How to Grocery Shop with Your Baby or Toddler in Tow

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It's possible to shop with an infant and buy everything on your list. Here's how to grocery shop with a baby.

So you’ve decided to go grocery shopping with your baby. Wait! Before you change your mind, know that you’ve got this.

A quick trip through the produce department can feel like a marathon with a little one in tow, so we’ve gathered our favorite tips for keeping your child safe and comfortable while you get the job done. This is how to grocery shop with your baby!

Don’t Rest Your Car Seat on Top of the Cart

Once you and your helper have made it to the store, it’s time to decide where to store their car seat. You’ve probably seen other carts with infant carriers perched on top (that’s not what those loops on the grocery cart are for). It may feel secure at first, but a grocery cart cannot safely support a car seat. Having the car seat resting on top throws off the cart’s center of gravity, making it likely that both could tip over.

To keep your child safe, place the car seat directly into the back of the cart. This takes up most of the cart space, but we’ve got ideas to solve that problem below.

To stay safe right now, don’t forget to put on a mask before walking into the store.

Invest in a Shopping Cart Hammock

To save space and keep your baby relaxed and happy, try a shopping cart hammock like this. This handy piece of fabric attaches to the grocery cart and allows your baby to hang out while saving space in the cart. While this option is safer than placing the car seat on top of the cart, it’s still important to keep a close eye on your child and never walk away from the cart when they’re in it.

Use a Shopping Cart Cover

If your baby is entering toddlerhood, they may be ready to sit up front in the cart’s seat. Of course, you may not love the idea of them touching a cart that has different hands on it all day. And we’ve all experienced the horror of turning around to see our sweet angel sucking on the cart’s handle. The solution? Invest in a shopping cart cover.

Not only is this more comfortable for your baby, but you’ll cut down on the surfaces they’re exposed to. Once you’re home from the store, simply drop it in the laundry (oh, and then do the laundry).

Hack Your Shopping Cart With a Basket

So what do you do when you have a toddler in the cart’s seat, an infant carrier in the cart and a week’s worth of grocery shopping to do? Well, first, congratulate yourself for taking on this impossible mission. Second, invest in a pair of super-duty bungee cords.

Author and parenting hack expert Asha Dornfest discovered a simple hack to save space when your child’s carrier is taking up the entire cart. Attach a grocery store basket to the front of your cart with bungee cords to hold your groceries. Because the kids and basket will put a lot of weight on the cart, always stay right next to them to be safe.

And if all else fails, there’s always grocery delivery.

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Carrie Madormo, RN
Now a freelance health and food writer, Carrie worked as a nurse for over a decade. When she isn't hunched over her laptop with a baby in hand, you will find her cooking her grandmother’s recipes, lacing up her running shoes or sipping coffee in the bathroom to hide from her three young children.