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Does anyone have good strategies for being out with their toddler in public places (Target, grocery store, etc) and keeping them from running?<br><br>
Dd wants to run and play and hold both of my hands at once while walking backwards and hide under clothing racks... you get the picture. She will not sit in a cart. She's 2.5 and this has not always been a problem - a few months ago she would frequently sit in a grocery cart or hold hands pleasantly, but no more.<br><br>
I can tell that sometimes she's just overstimulated, but we gotta eat, and I don't always have all day to choose the best moment for grocery shopping. It's starting to really, really drive me crazy.<br><br>
Does anyone do this kind of shopping with the stroller? I'm almost ready to get a kid leash, but that seems like it might be more trouble than its worth, plus the whole idea is a little strange to me.<br><br>
Help?
 

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I don't have any advice except this:<br><br>
I do my grocery shopping after everyone here has gone to bed. (sometimes at 11 pm or later) At that time, there's no one in the grocery and I take my sweet ole time.
 

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yep, me too. .. i do everything i can to wait and go shopping when i'm alone (or with dd1 who is older and very easy to shop with). dd2 is 2 1/2 yrs and shopping with her can take lots of energy. so it's just not on my "to do" list unless it just has to be and i'm full of patience and energy to see our way through it. she'll outgrow it, but in the meantime we just rearrange things.
 

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Some thoughts:<br>
Can you find a grocery store that has those small kids carts? Or buy a wee plastic one for her so she is involved? Or carefully let her walk in front of you and help you push the big cart.<br><br>
Try discussing shopping with her before you go. Read her your list. Give her a list! Ask her to pick out which celery and which can of soup, etc. Again, when she feels like she is just bothersome luggage on an errand she will find a way to entertain herself. When you involve her she may participate instead.<br><br>
One thing we do (which may bug some people...) is we play a game called Stop and Go. She can sprint a short distance but she listens for STOP! and then GO! (and they come REALLy close together. I don't let her take more than three or four steps... except when we are playing towards the car at the park!) So, while I am grabbing something on an aisle, I Stop and Go her up the aisle and back. (Only when it's not crowded, of course.) This actually started as a tactic when she was IN the cart, to give her a feeling of control over THAT... so you could start with Stop and Go in the cart, with her saying the words (well, following your lead at first of course) then try it at home and when you feel you can count on her being into the game enough to stay with it, try it with her on foot.<br><br>
Good luck. It is challenging.
 

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I've been struggling with the same problem! If I put DS in the cart he tries to climb out and if he can't he screams, if I try to carry him in a sling he leans way over to get out and cries if I don't let him down, and he won't hold my hand or follow me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">:<br><br>
I leave him at home as often as I can, although once it's bedtime I can't leave because when he wakes up I have to be there. And I did try a child-leash out of desparation (my SIL handed one down to me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/huh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="huh"> ) and it kind of makes it worse. You have to continuously follow them around since the strap is only so long and they could get tangled up in the strap and trip or something. I need one of those dog-leash things where you can lengthen and shorten the strap as needed! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/Welcome.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="welcome">ag
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by kama'aina mama</i><br><b>Some thoughts:<br>
we play a game called Stop and Go. She can sprint a short distance but she listens for STOP! and then GO!</b></td>
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We do the same, but call "RED LIGHT!" "GREEN LIGHT!". That usually helps when she just HAS to move.<br><br>
Also, I set a limit (you may walk but not run, or you may hold this item but not grab others....etc) and then put her in the cart seat if she can not "handle" the freedom that day. Once in the cart, I go in to entertainer mode: I sing out loud, I zoom the cart in empty aisles, we play "I see something.....green! Can you find something green?" or maybe let her navigate....which way are the eggs? which way are the vegetables? Or shapes! What shape is this box? This can of beans? What color is this tomato?<br>
Whatever the game, I just make sure that *I am so entertaining that her focus stays on ME...and she doesn't even notice all of the other overstimulating madness surrounding her.
 

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I bought my toddler a leash/harness and we used it often between the ages of 12-20 months a LOT. Her choice was to either ride in the cart or wear the harness. She didn't mind it and it was a neutral way for her boundaries to be defined.<br><br>
Now she's older and knows to stay by Mommy. We've even had the mild stranger danger talk already about her getting lost. So she stays really well and I ask her to help me pick stuff off the shelves and put it in the cart (thunk!).<br><br>
Darshani<br>
and Abi 2.5 years old
 

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I don't know if you've already tried this, but I let ds stand up in the cart with his back against the folded up seat part. Does that make sense? He knows to hang on, and he loves that he is facing in the direction that we are going, and that he doesn't have to sit. Then I can let him play with stuff as I put it in the cart. Sometimes I make a little seat out of a package of toilet paper and paper towels, and loves to bounce up and down on that.<br><br>
I do this at Target and drugstores and stuff, but at the grocery store I make him sit in the little front area. The way we get through the grocery store is to feed him constantly. Practically every item I pick up has to be opened and tasted. I also sometimes go with dh on Friday nights or Saturday mornings so that he can run around with ds, ride the elevators, etc., while I actually shop.<br><br>
I have thought about the leash, and do have one but have never used it. I don't think it would help us for the reason that Sparkeze mentioned. I just know that ds would be pulling against it and getting tangled up in everything. I think it's worth a try if you think it might help, but I just can't see it helping me out.<br><br>
Edited to add: I forgot about another thing that I do. I got one of the fold up, soft sided coolers from the Container Store that I keep in the trunk of my car. That way I can go shopping whenever it is convenient while we are out, not just on our way home, and I just put all the perishables in there. That allows for a stop at the park or something on the way home, the promise of which also sometimes can buy me a few more minutes while in the store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
These are all good suggestions. We played the Stop! and Go! game at the park today for practice and she dug it a lot.<br><br>
I've forgotten to bring snacks for her lately - how dumb of me! I need to plan a little more before we next head out. We're in a busy and stressfull period just now so I'm often on my last thread of nerve by the time we get to erranc-running. I need to be calmer and try to go at less-busy times.<br><br>
Oh, the title of the thread meant for "insane" to modify "running" and not "toddler" - hope that makes sense. She's a normal kid! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Thanks for the help. A combination of planning and more patience and respect for her should help, I think.
 

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I was relieved to see a couple positive harness comments - not knowing how the mothering crowd would feel about that. We bought one recently, but haven't used it get (dd is 16 months). I'm due with #2 in 2 months, and I think it may be of more use then, I don't know. She's such a monkey, I'm so worried that she'll get away from us some day.
 

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I often bring a little basket of small toys (plasic animals, finger puppets, cars, etc) to put in the seat beside my dd and she's content to play with those for a while.<br><br>
Snacks are always good. Dd loves those little individual Horizon milks with a straw--we never have strawberry milk at home, so it's a major novelty. It also helps when the store has free cookies <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">.<br><br>
My dd also like to help with decisions, like "green or red apples?", "big or baby carrots?". Keeps her mind occupied.<br><br>
When she gets really restless, we race down the aisle, playing the stop and go game. Singing usually distracts her long enough to get through the checkout.<br><br>
HTH!<br><br>
peace, Beth
 

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I don't expect anyone is a huge fan of leashes... but like many other things it is a tool and if used responsibly can be just fine. My sister used on a couple times with my niece, who HATED it. Then one day my other sister was aroundand made a big deal with my niece about how <span style="text-decoration:underline;">she</span> (sis #2) was worried about getting lost in a crowded place and asked niece to put her on the leash. So she wore the velcro strap end and niece held the 'handle'... it works just as well!
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I was relieved to see a couple positive harness comments - not knowing how the mothering crowd would feel about that.</td>
</tr></table></div>
My dd is very spirited and gets locked in on things, so often cannot or will not hear me if I call out to her to stop or come back. She went through a phase where she would not hold my hand either, and didn't want the sling anymore. The leash was really the only choice other than strapping her into the stroller when she really wanted to walk and stretch her legs.<br><br>
It came in very handy when we took her to India at 12 mos. old. Got a lot of "that's weird looks" but a lot more "that's a good idea" looks. So when we got back I kept using it until she started coming back to me when I asked her to, and holding my hand in the parking lot.<br><br>
I've had several parents since then ask where I bought it because they wanted one too.<br><br>
By around 15 mos. she was actually bringing me the harness and asking me to take her for a "walk"!! So she must not have disliked it that much. :)<br><br>
Darshani
 

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I know that I'm really lucky - my dh does the grocery shopping on his way home from work. I have SUCH a hard time taking ds to the store. It takes so much energy!<br><br>
I like the idea of keeping a cooler in the car. With the promise of something fun, ds will usually cooperate.<br><br>
Outings have been even more difficult with my injured left hand/wrist. I keep re-injuring my hand picking up ds. Dh was with us all day yesterday, so I made sure he carried ds. A day off helped, but it still hurts.
 

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I bring ds to the grocery store when he's really hungry and give him snacks through out the trip, and I try to make it speedy. Even using the carts that are shaped like cars didnt' work since his biggest thrill is getting in and out a zillion times (and running away when he's out).<br><br>
Still though, I prefer to shop anywhere alone when possible. Bringing a wiggly, impatient toddler anywhere is really frustrating for me. And we'll probably use a leash when we visit the county fairs shortly (there's an organic one in Maine this coming weekend).
 

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I'm lucky enough that it's usually DH doing the grocery store limbo with DS since he's the one with a car! :LOL<br><br>
But I wanted to pipe up on the leash discussion. We went to a Renaissance Faire with DS today and figured a stroller would be a nuisance and since he's 30+ pounds we can only sling him so long before our backs protest. Anyway, we have a homemade sling from the Maya pattern and when Ian wanted to get down and run around we wrapped the sling around his waist and held the tail as a leash. It worked beautifully and I was surprised by the number of people (at least 5!) who said, "What a great idea!" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> We even saw one mom slinging a wee baby who seemed to be sizing it up for future consideration. :LOL<br><br>
Anyway, good luck with the shopping conundrum, it sounds like some great ideas have been shared here!
 

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My son, just over 2 and a half, has always been a kid who ran around stores. So we established that he had to be in the cart. But now, in the last couple months, he has REALLy wanted to get out. So, what has worked for me is to be really clear with him that he needs to 1 - stay with me and 2 - not pull stuff off the shelves. If he is in a space where he can't do that, he goes into the cart. Since I had knee surgery 6 weeks ago, and just got off crutches, he has been pretty good about accepting the deal.<br><br>
My point is that, while I recognize that all kids are different, some kids at this age understand the trade-offs involved, even if they can't grasp the implications of running off in the store all alone.
 
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