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Tips for shopping by yourself with a newborn

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, trav...

You can do it, mama!

Shopping with a baby is easier said than done. Lucky for you, we asked some seasoned mommies for their best tips for shopping with a newborn.

Baby in a grocery basket

Photo credit: Studio-Annika/iStock/360/Getty Images

Pampers sponsored this article to make sure you have everything you need as a new mom.

Pick the right time

Remember when you used to grab your purse on a whim and head out to the store? Sorry, mama, those days are no longer. You're at the mercy of your baby's schedule, and you'll do best if you consider it when planning your trip. "Go right after you feed," advises new mom Heidi Christensen-Kock. We all know cranky babies are fussy, so feed him right before you head out the door and try to get all your shopping done before it's time for the next feeding.

Amber Fosler, a mom of a nine-month-old, says she likes to go shopping during nap time because her son will sleep peacefully in his carrier through the whole trip.

Choose your parking spot carefully

Gone are the days of searching for the closest parking spots. "The best parking spots are the ones closest to the cart return slots," said California mom Katie Webber. Not only is it handy to grab a cart and load up the baby at your car, rather than trying to heft all that stuff into the store, but it means you can put the cart away when you're done shopping without abandoning your baby to dash across the parking lot.

Wear your baby

There are so many reasons to practice baby wearing when you're shopping with a newborn. Not only does the closeness help keep the baby calm, but it frees up your hands for shopping and your cart for groceries. Laura Pryst, a mom of three, says she like to wear her babies to discourage strangers from touching them.

Grab a good cart

You'll learn very quickly that a cart is not just a cart. Mom of three Amber Horn says she picks what stores she shops at based on their shopping carts, and we'll admit that we do, too. Some shopping carts are larger, allowing more room for baby. Even better, some shopping carts are designed with special platforms made to hold a baby carrier. You'll also quickly become a fan of carts with large shelves underneath, as it makes a great place to store that giant diaper bag you're lugging around.

Come prepared

Speaking of diaper bags, make sure yours is well stocked before you hit the store. Anything can happen with a baby in tow, and you've got to be ready. If you formula feed, pack an extra bottle, even if you just fed your baby — you never know when a shopping trip will run over or when he'll wake up hungry earlier than normal — as well as extra pacifiers, if your baby takes one.

Pack extra Pampers (we don't have to tell you what those are for, right?) and make sure you're ready for any kind of mess. Stock your bag with burp cloths, lots of wipes (those little travel eight-packs are basically worthless), and something to transport all the messy items back home. "I recently learned the hard way to always carry a plastic bag to put the 'poop clothes' in," said Fosler.

It won't hurt to throw an extra shirt for yourself in that bag, too. Babies aren't known for keeping their messes to themselves.

Keep your cool

There's no way around it: Shopping with a baby is going to be stressful, no matter how much you prepare. There's a good chance she's going to cry. So what? She's a baby, and that's what they do. You might not get all your shopping done. That's OK, too. There's no rule that says you can't go back tomorrow. It's pretty much impossible to stay inside those perfect lines all the time, now that your life revolves around that little one. Just go with the flow, mama.

More for new moms

Completely irrational fears of new moms
How Google is helping moms breastfeed
Dining out with babies: Dos and don'ts

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