Mothering Forum banner

So, how do you go shopping?

824 Views 19 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  girrllie
My 15 mo. is really difficult to take into any store. He doesn't want to stay in the cart; he wants to run around and pull stuff off the shelves! Is this normal toddler behavior? (I'm assuming it is.) How do you deal with it?
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
My dd is 19 mos. and has for the most part always sat in a cart well. I do still take my sling along everywhere and if she isn't wanting to sit in the cart, I put her in the sling (she's about 22 lbs. so it's not really that hard to still wear her). She is absolutely not allowed to run around in a store. Too many things to get hurt with. If in the store, she wants out of the cart, I either put it aside and run out to get the sling, or we leave.

Is it normal toddler behaviour to want to run around in a store? Of course it is... new exciting place to explore! Perhaps if you took something from a shelf and gave it to ds, it would keep him occupied? My dd loves buckling and unbuckling the belt, so that keeps her for a good 15 minutes at least. She likes to be whispered to, so I whisper in her ear as we roll along and tell her about what we're doing. And peek-a-boo under the cart handle (even though she can still see me) is fun. We look pretty goofy in the store, usually, but she's never had a tantrum in public.

See less See more
I know! My ds is 16 months and also loves to run around the store! If he is in the cart, he is usually itching to come out. My solution is food. I bring some snacks (breadsticks, cereal O's, etc.) and keep him busy with those. I have tried putting him in the sling, but he just twists and strains to get out of it.

I don't know if your ds is a toy/book/food kid, but try one of those. Also, try giving him some of the food off the shelves that he can't break. I do that and it may work for 3 minutes...
Oh boy. Shopping. I personally am okay with my daughter in the food stores but other than that, we are miserable. We do great in the food stores because she brings her shopping cart or holds our bags and puts food in and picks out produce. I make it a learning experience in counting and colors and teaching her about the foods. We pick out food and plan our meals for the week. BUT. . . . . . .shopping for clothing or whatever is always horrible. I bring a sippy cup and a small snack like raisins and hope for the best. I sit her in the sling on my back(that seems to be her favorite position and she's "quiet" for longer on my back) and she's okay for a little while. If she will be in the stroller, which isn't often, I bring paper and I always have crayons in my purse for her. As long as we are moving she's okay, but I can never stop at any of the racks. We sing songs and practice our signs and discuss what we are doing and talk abotu her friends, we play race car with the stroller, etc. ANYTHING! Now restaurant eating, that's another story!!! I haven't been out to a restaurant in months!
See less See more
The only way I go shopping (of any kind) is without dd! Sometimes it's unavoidable, in which case I try to be as quick as possible.

Sometimes dh and I go shopping together, which is fine as long as there's one person to chase after dd.
So I expect him to be down "helping" me, and I will redirect him. Of course there are times when we are in a hurry, then I let him know before we go into the store that we cannot mess around. We are going in for such-and-such, so you have to ride in the cart while mama gets it. He's usually ok with that. Another trick is to carry on an entire onesided coversation with him the entire way through the strore. I talk to him about anything and everything. Yeah, I might get strange looks, but I'm the one with the happy baby, not them, lol.

Q is two and half now, so if I tell him we need certain items, he really can be a helper now. See what your baby is learning?
See less See more
I went with it. When my son had just started walking, that's all he wanted to do, no surprise. If I'd just learned something that exciting, I'd want to practice too!

So, I figured at least 1-2 hours for each errand. My motto is that all I have is time (I'm a SAHM). That means, my day will not go faster if we complete an errand faster. Every second that ticks by is a moment in time to be captured and treasured. The gift that we give each other is time spent with each other -- it's our choice how we use it.

And boy, is that hard for me. Hence the motto. I'm am go-go-go! And my son is a dawdler. But, by the time he was probably 18-24 months or so, he wanted to be in the cart at the grocery store most of the time. Like another poster, if we have to be brief for whatever reason, I can do that now -- he's old enough to understand that it has to be brief.

I cannot tell you how many times we took a mop to the register and then handed it over at hte grocery store -- he loved to carry those things around with him through the aisles.

If just letting him play isn't an option for you, maybe you could do an activity with plenty of exercise prior to running errands so that it isn't such an urgent issue for him?

As for pulling stuff off the shelves, believe it or not, by going with the flow on that one, I actually have a 2.5 y.o. who puts things away. I'm not kidding! He even dumped out a huge bag of toys this morning then put them back moments later when I announced that we were ready to leave on an exciting outing. I've gotten numerous comments from people about how 'good' he is at that -- and it's something he's learned by example not by nagging.

So, going with the flow worked for me.

Basically, the way I did it was this: You play, then we shop. Then you play (while I play/supervise), then we shop. We just took turns. Store after store has been astonished at how 'well-behaved' or 'quiet' he is. It's because of this philosophy: If his needs are met, then he is in a better position to meet my needs.

Good luck. I'll take a deep breath for you!
See less See more
I don't do big trips with my 15 mo old ds. I wait until dh is home and leave ds with him. Short errands I can keep him happy with games, snacks, and walking holding my hand if I have a hand basket. He loves to drag the basket also
Noah loves to go shopping, just like his mama!

He often walks, cause he doesn`t like to sit in the cart...

He helps me pick the right fruit/veggies if we are grocery shopping, and he helps me find other things if we are in another store.

I always have a snack and something to drink with me, and also my hip-carrier. Just in case he gets tired from walking/running all over....

I have no problem with letting him run free in the store/mall, but I always stay very close to him, ofcourse.
See less See more
Honestly, I found shopping with my dd nearly impossible at 15 months. She HATED being in the cart and out of the cart would just run wild. I tried the take-your-time and play approach described above..I even tried taking special trips to the fabric store or the grocery store or whatever just so she could browse and play...but it just didnt' work well for either of us. Or she couldn't get the taking turns thing, and no matter how much I let her play, she wasn't able to sit still or stay with me to get the shopping done. Stores aren't childproofed, and I just ended up keeping her away from the enticing things she wanted (usually glass!) and she got frustrated--and so did I.

The good news is that a year later, shopping is rarely a problem...we eat our way through the grocery store, she'll sit in the cart (usually) or stay with me and help push the cart. When she was 15 months old, I never could have imagined that I could shop with a toddler, but for us it did get better.

Good luck! I think mothering a toddler is about 85% patience!!
See less See more
Some places I take dd (17 months) and some places I don't. (She is very active and "high needs.")

I've had success taking her to places we go often like Wild OAts and Target. I always bring snacks and a drink. At Wild Oats we usually reward ourselves afterward with a snack (this is just as much for me). They have a nice area to sit down and nosh.

Similarly our Target is next to a bookstore with a wooden train set. We always try to hit the bookstore afterward and play with the train and read books. Normally I don't let dd run arround in stores - except bookstores where she likes to pull everything off teh shelves and read. I do try to clean up when we are done.

I don't think of this as a reward, just our routine. DD is really into ritual...

Luckily we can walk/sling/stroller to the regular grocery for last minute necessities.

Just about everywhere else I go all in one trip on Saturday mornings. I actually drive farther away to a strip mall neighborhood that has pretty much everystore all together rather than drive accross town. DD and dh do special daddy daughter stuff at this time like go to the farmer's market. (I guess that also counts as shopping.)

I also buy a lot of stuff online. I had to buy some wedding gifts recently and I opted to pay shipping rather than go out to a store with breakables with dd.

I hope you get out soon!
See less See more
Hi. I've learned to save the big shoppings (grocery stores) for the weekends when DH is home. And I've learned to read DS better. If he's in a good mood, I can go to a store to get a few things. I've also learned that I have to be swift and make it fun. I also usually have to let him sit in the back of the cart. I used to be adamant about him NOT sitting back there. But what's the harm if I watch him like a hawk, not let him stand up and he's happy?

We also buy online and make big purchases together.
Originally posted by pinky

The good news is that a year later, shopping is rarely a problem...we eat our way through the grocery store, she'll sit in the cart (usually) or stay with me and help push the cart. When she was 15 months old, I never could have imagined that I could shop with a toddler, but for us it did get better.

Good luck! I think mothering a toddler is about 85% patience!!
So hopefully it will get better! My ds is quite spirited.
My daughter can be exactly the same way! Groceries are a pain in the neck to get done because she just wants to keep moving in the cart or get "dooown" as she says and have free reign of the store! For grocery shopping, I usually drag along dh so there are at least both of us there to keep her entertained. If he can't come, I get my grocery list and coupons ready before I go and whiz through as quickly as possible. Dd is pretty good going through other stores as long as we don't stop for too long and keep moving. I think it's very natural at this stage in their development.

I bribe.

There's a carousel in our mall, so when we have to shop, I tell dd -who LOVES the carousel, that "first we shop, then we ride the neigh." over and over on the way there. She seems to understand this.
When we are shopping, every 5 minutes she will ask me, "Neigh?" and I respond either, "Yes, you are being very quiet and patient. We will ride the neigh when we are finished." OR "Please be patient or we won't be able to ride the neigh." (We've never not ridden it, it always works.)

For grocery shopping, it's the pet store afterwards - right next door. Some mamas may judge me for bribing my 20 month old...but it works for us. Besides, it's not bribery, it's rewarding.

Good luck! Even if you think your child can't understand that concept yet, they will catch on to positive reinforcement very quickly.
See less See more
I used to take my 2 kids shopping with me, then one day I woke up and smelled the coffee, LOL! Now, unlesss absolutely necessary, I go shopping at night after DH comes home. Sometimes I go when he puts the kids in the bath, or I go after everyone has gone to bed (we have a 24-hr Walmart). Or on weekends if DS is taking a nap, I'll take DD with me as she's 4 and easier to take.

Kailey loves shopping of any sort. She used to sit really well in the cart, but after age two would get bored really easily.

Now she likes to walk with me, push the cart, put things in the cart for me, and ride on the back of the cart(this is her new found talent and she is completely happy for the duration of the shopping trip.

At 19 months Kailey loved to hold some of the goodies we were getting, or I would pass them to her as I got them off the shelves for her to put in the cart. But I always talk to her about what we need, what I see, etc...

I think as a general rule it does get better
See less See more
i have to agree with 27 month old is pretty good most of the time, when i have time, and we go into walmart, i let him walk... he knows that if he doesnt stay with me then he has to get into a carriage, but for the most part he is real good.. He also takes things off the shelf to look at and then will put it back... i have no problem allowing him his time as long as i get to find the things i need too.... my mom on the other never says anything but i can tell it bugs her how much time we have to spend in the store when i let him oh well....
We do snacks and dd gets to choose to sit in the seat of the basket. Sometimes in a single trip she'll go back and forth 2-3 times. It took a while to teach her that she needs sit in the basket. Sometimes when she was really insisting on standing, I'd let her kneel on her knees and hang on to the rim. She didn't like to do that very much so she'd soon be sitting. Other's may disagree, but I don't think the basket is unsafe. I always keep her in front of me so I can in the corner of my eye that she is not crawling out. For my dd that choice makes all the differnce.
food, food, food. The grocery stores here give out free cookies, so that's our first stop. Then I give her cheese or turkey from the deli. By that time, I'm at least 1/2 way through the store and she usually is o.k. for the other half. If not, then the fruit comes out. I always offer to pay for the missing banana and not once has a checker took me up on it - they usually just smile and say it's o.k.

I have to go fast though. So sometimes I realize I'm dawdling and have to tell myself to speed it up! I can't comparison shop as much as I can when I go without her. I have the same strategy when we go clothes shopping, errands, etc.

A lot of the time I let her get out and push her stroller (she holds onto the basket and i steer). She loves to do this and it entertains her for quite a bit while we're walking store to store.
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.