How do you go to the store with a baby and toddler by yourself?

Kelli - posted on 02/26/2009 ( 33 moms have responded )

1

7

0

I have a 2 1/2 year old and a new baby. I've been putting the toddler in the seat to buckle in and the baby in the basket part of the cart in her carseat. This takes up the whole cart, but I don't see any other way of doing it? Why don't more stores make carts for a toddler and baby both?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Adrienne - posted on 12/29/2014

1

0

0

Hey Kelli, I always carried my tinest baby in a front sling, snuggly adjusted to my body. the tighter the strap, the easier on my back. Then I put the other child in the cart, with a prepacked snack to keep him happy. I always felt the most relaxed when I planned the trip like this, it helped me shop threw the raising of 4 boys. I pray that this helps Kelli, happy mothering

Dana - posted on 03/03/2009

52

8

6

My kids are 17 months apart and grocery shopping is still a challenge.  : >  Here are the strategies I used:



When my baby was tiny I put his carseat in the grocery cart (toddler in the seat) and stacked the food around the carseat.  This worked fine, but then when you get to the checkout and they bag the groceries you need to ask for help out to the car with a second cart because the bagged groceries don't fit around the carseat.



When my little one got a little bit bigger I would put him in a bjorn carrier, toddler still in the cart seat.  When the youngest outgrew the bjorn, I borrowed an ERGO carrier from my neighbor which allowed me to put the baby on my back kind of like a backpack with the toddler in the cart seat.



Now my older son enjoys sitting in the little cars on the front of the carts they have at some stores and my younger son sits in the cart seat.



I've tried having my older son walk (he's now 2 1/2, my younger is now 16 mos), but he just ran around and grabbed at things which was super stressful.  So now I've found that sitting in the car with the seatbelt on and maybe a snack for both boys grocery shopping usually goes without a hitch.



Good Luck!  If that doesn't work you could always try grocery shopping online, though it's not the most cost effective solution.

Elvira - posted on 12/29/2014

1

0

0

Get the toddler a leash, hook the leash to the cart, and put the baby in a red wagon on its back and strap the wagon to the cart as well. This worked really well for me and other parents would stare in envy.

Adrienne - posted on 03/05/2009

549

24

46

My two boys are exactly one year apart. I'm still having troubles taking them to the store by myself. It is so hard sometimes that I wait til late at night when they are in bed to go. I'm still trying to manage it. My sons are now 20months and 8months old. I hate the shopping carts at a lot of stores they don't help me much right now. I put my oldest in the seat and my youngest one in the car seat in the basket part and go from there. I end up needing help getting to my car though. I hope you get some good advice!

[deleted account]

If I were you, I'd put the baby carseat angled upfront on the cart. Then, tell your 2 1/2 year old that she has to walk and always hold onto the side of the cart. My kids are two years apart and after some intial "training" my oldest does really well always holding onto the side of the cart. Occassionally, reminders are necessary, but overall it works very good.

33 Comments

View replies by

Heather - posted on 03/07/2009

7

22

1

Not sure what store you are going to, but the magority of them have a hadnful or carts that have either a plsatic car or something like that attached to the front or extra seating between the hande and the cart itself. I would say if the stores you are shopping at don't have these, get one of those carriers for the baby you can where on your chest/belly and then put the toddler in the cart. Then you have the cart to use in it's entirety. If your 2 1/2 yr old is well behaved, make shopping fun for him/her by letting them help you by getting the smaller nonbreakable things off the shelf. My kids love to do this.

Heather - posted on 03/07/2009

7

22

1

Not sure what store you are going to, but the magority of them have a hadnful or carts that have either a plsatic car or something like that attached to the front or extra seating between the hande and the cart itself. I would say if the stores you are shopping at don't have these, get one of those carriers for the baby you can where on your chest/belly and then put the toddler in the cart. Then you have the cart to use in it's entirety. If your 2 1/2 yr old is well behaved, make shopping fun for him/her by letting them help you by getting the smaller nonbreakable things off the shelf. My kids love to do this.

Theresa - posted on 03/06/2009

31

16

0

Our girls are all right around 2 years apart so I always put the baby car seat in the top part and if I wasn't getting much the older one in the big part to help hold the groceries. If I needed to buy a lot of things I'd have the older one hold the cart and walk with me.

Beth - posted on 03/06/2009

5

31

1

Quoting Michelle:



What about putting new baby in a sling.





Oh yes. a sling!  Once you get used to one, you wont know how ppl manage without!

Beth - posted on 03/06/2009

5

31

1

Ask the store manager to order multiple child carts.  Do it every time your there... send e mails.. and find another store that carries them!  The car ones are the easiest.  I had 3 single births in under 3 years.  so I feel your pain!

Heather - posted on 03/04/2009

11

53

0

One other thing you might look into is finding another mom of 2 that you trust & swap hours. Set a day every week where she takes your kids a couple hours & another day you take hers for the same amount of time. Or even swap just your oldest. It will give you a much needed break plus you can get something done without interruption! My close friend & I started doing a whole day every other week! It was fun while it lasted!

Heather - posted on 03/04/2009

11

53

0

I know what you mean, very inconvenient! Maybe a sling for the newborn would be helpful? Somehow, you just do what you have to do as a mom! You will find more things like this that are totally inconvenient! Good luck!

Heather - posted on 03/04/2009

1

10

0

When my kids were that age (they are 2 and 4 now) I used to make it fun for my oldest, I would bring toys for her to play with give her  choices with the food. I have been a stay at home mom for 2 years. My fiance works 6am to 430pm so i had to figure out a way to do things myself.

[deleted account]

I found it way too hard to take my three kids shopping together. I just did the shopping when my husband was home with the kids. It didnt work with my husband coming with us with the two little ones in the pram because my husband picked up so much junk it put our shopping bill up!! Sometimes I go with my mum and she will push the pram and I will push the trolley.

Angela - posted on 03/04/2009

33

25

2

The first couple of times I did this, I was extremely overwhelmed! But I put my baby in the car seat at the front and had my 2 yr old hold on to the basket or hold my hand. Some stores have the car on the front of the grocery cart, and she rode in that.
Just go slow and if you can wait till after your husband comes home to grocery shop, then do that for a little while. Or just take one with you when you go. But a few small trips out will help you adjust and find your pace. Good luck!

Heather - posted on 03/04/2009

150

9

8

I'd do the same the oldest can walk and the youngest in seat. Bring snacks, a friend of mine likes to cut out pictures of things they need ans glue them to paper to make the toddler their own list and then they can help find those items on their list.

I will be doing this summer when I am due so i'll see what works best for me then!!

Shari - posted on 03/03/2009

8

6

0

My oldest was 3 when I had my second and the greatest purchase I ever made was a baby carrier! You can get one for like $20-$25 and they're easy to strap on. They work great at home too, baby is happily carried around and you are hands free!! Good luck :)

Rebecca - posted on 03/02/2009

89

17

16

Im not sure if you have a superstore or not. but they have the big carts. it has the belt seat part and then like to cart part things lol i dont really know how to explian it LOL

[deleted account]

i have a 4 year old and a 17 month old....and my husband works away for a month at a time for work and while he is gone i have to do all the shopping to myself with the kids.... i find it the easiest to park near a cart corral so you can take then from car to cart quickly and easily.... also bring snacks... it keeps then occupied.....and go in between naps......i do wish more stores had accomidating carts..... love the ones with little cars attached so my toddler can sit in there pretending to drive

[deleted account]

Oh BTW another great option is to enroll your child into a preschool program 2 days a week, the ones around here run from 9-12, or put her in a mothers morning out program once a week, or once a month so that you can get some errands done with less stress.

[deleted account]

I have a 4 year old, a 15 month old and a 3 month old,  so I understand your dilema.  I either let my 4 year old walk or hang on the the cart while  I push it or if the cart holds 2 kids I allow him to sit with the 15 mo. old in the cart.  my 15 month old always goes in the cart, and then I have to put the baby in a snugglie so I can have my hands free.  My 15 mo. old doesn't like to sit for very long so I usually bring a bottle or sippy cup and some cheerios to keep her happy.

Julie - posted on 02/27/2009

261

13

65

When my last child was born I had a 5 year old a 4 year old a 14 month old and a newborn. So I have had a baby and a toddler for years. I put the baby in the front pack, I had a baby Bjorn which is the only one i have ever liked. Then the toddler went in the front seat of the cart. My older ones learn very young the rules of walking, the youngest one walking has to hold on to my back pocket of my jeans or my purse strap and the other one walks behind her. I have a double stroller too for the mall or that type of shopping. It gets much easier, I promise!

Sarah - posted on 02/27/2009

56

24

6

I have 17 month old twins and I keep a 2 year old during the day so when I go to the store I take my double stroller and the twins are in that and then the 2 year old is in the cart. and I push the stroller and pull the cart. When I have my older kids with me then I put each twin in a cart and my 4 year old sits in the bastet and my 7 year old pushes one of the carts.  Somehow it all works and we get all our shopping done. When the twins were babies I put them in one cart and pushed them and then pulled another basket for the stuff I was buying.

April - posted on 02/26/2009

222

15

24

wal mart and target do have the super gigando carts with 2 toddlers seats followed by the regular basket. I have twins and I used to do that with their baby seats, but then couldnt fit any groceries! Now they are older and the one cart doesnt work. those are the only stores I know of that have the bigger carts. on a really good day my 3 year old can help me grocery shop, she has her own list of food pictures that she gets. not everyone will agree, but I do have a toddler harness/leash/whatever you prefer to call it to keep her with me and the other kids (I have 5) so that is a lifesaver. she is really good about staying with me, but in a huge store its good for backup. but the gist is, at that age kids love to help, so try making her a shopping list of her own, you can even laminate pages so they can be used each time.

Amanda - posted on 02/26/2009

52

16

12

I always park near the cart corral so I don't have to carry them both in, or carry one and walk with the other.



I really pick my grocery store depending on their carts....I live in a small town, but there are a few choices. One has the type with the two seats by the handle, one had the cart with the dreaded car in front. I wipe the car down with lysol wipes and then put my older son in that...my younger son still sits in the seat right in front of me so they don't fight. (now they are older :))  A friend of mine sits her baby in the seat portion (on a normal cart) and gets a 12pack of soda and uses that for her toddlers "seat" in the big part of the cart.

Kelly - posted on 02/26/2009

629

1

51

When my first two were little, I'd do as others have mentioned, one in seat, one in back, and use another cart for the groceries. Pulling one cart and pushing one, that was fun! With my younger two, I wore the littlest as long as I could and that was definitely better!

[deleted account]

I'd say try wearing the new baby in a sling or carrier and then put the 2 year old in the seat of the cart.  That way your hands are still free and you still get all your cart space.  That's what my sister in law did.  Then she had another and it's a little harder with 3 because you end up with one in the cart in the seat, one in the actual cart where the food goes and one attached to you.  I don't know HOW people with more than 3 do it lol!  Good luck!

Kristi - posted on 02/26/2009

7

14

0

I don't take both of them by myself, but if I did, I would put the baby in the front of the seat and let my toddler walk with me. If I was only getting a few things then maybe the toddler could sit in the big basket and help hold the groceries.

Veezie - posted on 02/26/2009

24

22

2

one in a sling/carrier/pod/mai tai/what have you, and toddler in the cart seat. i wear my baby on my back in a pod or podegi ( you can buy them online, i know a particularly well-made one can be purchased from Renee Holiday who has a facebook), and i am hands free for the big guy. easiest thing ever! :D

Anna - posted on 02/26/2009

269

9

55

When my dd was little and I needed to do a full grocery, I put my ds in the seat in front and my dd in the baby bjorn so I could fill the cart. If I was only doing a few groceries I put the babie's car seat in the cart, toddler in the seat and a grab a basket and put it underneath the cart to throw in the grocery items. It's not always easy, but I always take them both out w/ me.

Dawn - posted on 02/26/2009

604

16

85

what i aways did was to put the baby on the top part. the baby seat that i had would snap onto the cart just like it did in the car. and then my daughter would go in the back. she liked to help me with the groceries. and now that the baby is 9 months old he just sits in the seat. i got one of those cart buddies that go over the seat and handle so he wasn't touching the cart.

Amanda - posted on 02/26/2009

196

27

23

My daughter will be 7 mo. on the 2nd of March and my son is 2 yr. 2 mo. old. I have only been to the store about 3 times with both kids by myself. I have done the exact same thing as you....luckily the few times I have gone with both kids I haven't need a lot from the store so it hasn't been that big a deal. I don't know if any of your stores have the little cars underneath the shopping cart for your toddler to sit in but some of ours do I just haven't used one yet. Also, I know Target has the extend cart with the 2 seats w/ seatbelts are in front of the actual cart. Do you know what I am talking about? It is definitely difficult... I am hoping once the weather is a little nicer it will be easier to get out and about. I have found as time has gone by it has gotten a little easier with the two but good luck!!! :)

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms