Timing Your Attack: I’ve found that the best time for hitting up the shops is after Baby has been napped and fed. At this point it is a mad rush to get him newly diapered, changed and to load up the veeks in order to maximize time. As far as the best time to go – anytime in between rush hours is perfect and of course, during a weekday when its less busy.
Battle Gear: Ensure you have a fully stocked diaper bag (diapers, bottle, comfort toys, pacis, change of clothes, etc.) as well as your own essentials (wallet, phone, keys, chapstick, bottle of water). I find it easiest to just carry my own gear in Baby’s diaper bag to lessen my load.
Suit of Armour: Baby should be wearing something cute yet comfy. Make sure no annoying tags/zippers/buttons will irritate his delicate disposition. Go seasonal and bring a blankie for him to snuggle on the off chance he will drift off while you are trying shoes on *bliss! never happens for me!* As for Momma, you should be adhering to the C&C (cute and comfy) adage also – make sure if you are bf’ing that you wear a top that is super easy to whip the girls out should Baby need some sustenance. Dress in layers so you aren’t sweating it out in a thick parka while your kiddo screams for his paci.
Attack Strategy: Park underground or in any ‘Parent with Child’ parking spot so that its easy in and out. If you are actually going in to buy something, perhaps check online ahead of time to see if your item is available at the place you’re headed to. Grab your ‘need to get’ items before doing any leisurely strolling in case Baby decides he’s had enough. Bring a granola bar to munch on to keep your energy up – last thing kiddo needs is a Momma who collapses in a hungry heap.
Bring Reinforcements: Its always more fun when you’re not the only one with a screaming baby. Hence calling up your pals who are also on mat-leave and doing a double-duty mall run where you can not only get some errands done (ahem, stocking up on this season’s must-haves) but also socialize and catch up at the same time.
So there you have it mamas, heading out to shop can be tackled successfully with a kid. It may feel like you’re fighting a war sometimes, but if you approach it with some battle tactics of your own you may in fact enjoy. Granted, you may not be able to be as leisurely as you were pre-babe (and for those who can, you are lucky!) but its still a nice change of pace for not only you but the little one too.