Seattle Babies

Toddlers and shopping carts

Anyone have smart ideas for getting kids to stay, sitting, in a cart while you get groceries? The Target post on this board got me thinking, because I could completely sympathize. Just in the past 2 or 3 weeks, my girl (22 mo) has started refusing to sit down for more than a couple minutes. Even if she's in the big section of the cart, she won't stay put. Trying to haul her on one arm while grocery shopping has NOT been fun -- especially because I'm 7mo pregnant!

She has a LITTLE more patience in the car carts, but not every store has those.

Re: Toddlers and shopping carts

  • I either get one of the carts with steering wheels/little car to keep them happy or I have to use the stroller, which is a pain since I pull the cart and push the stroller. I've actually had to walk into stores, look for a double cart, and walk back out with 2 toddlers to get the stroller.

    PITA and I'd love to hear other suggestions, but I know sitting in the cart wouldn't work right now since they don't listen really well yet.

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  • I have acouple things I do with my 3 1/2 year old. He knows he needs to be in the cart otherwise we leave mid-shopping. Yes, I have done it before and will again, not fun for me, but necessary at the time.   I try and plan Target, Costco, grocery stores for first thing in the morning, we are all in better moods.  I pack a snack, bring an extra pen so he can mark things off my list as we find them, have him search the shelves for certain items, and usually at the grocery store I let him have a box of animal crackers towards the end. 

    It is hard with 2 kids, so far I shop with M in the cart seat and W in either the bjorn or his seat in the cart itself.  Depends on where we are and how big our list is.  I do usually grocery shop on Sundays with just W, much easier.

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  • I think every mom has this issue at some point. My 2 1/2 year old hates being in the cart.She's also figured out how to unbuckle the seat-belts on them, so buckling her doesn't do much.

    -She likes the car carts, but even then climbs out of them, sometimes while we're walking along.

    -I try to shop when I know she's not overly tired or hungry, it tends to be a slightly smoother trip.

    -I pack a snack and a special treat (like fruit snacks) she gets towards the end if she's behaving. Sometimes I buy myself Starbucks and get her a kids chocolate milk. She thinks that's pretty cool, so it keeps her busy.

    -I faced my fears of judgment and bought a monkey harness for Em to wear if she wants to walk BUT she gets two chances to follow directions before she has to wear it or get back into the cart.

    -When she gets to walk with me because she's behaving and not running off, she gets to help me pick out things like fruits, veggies and boxes. She likes to feel like she's helping mommy.

    -I make DH go shopping with me any chance I get because it is easier, but some days, you just have to go alone. 

    This is what I do. If she can't behave and starts throwing a fit, I keep shopping. She gets a warning and then a time-out. I don't let her run the show. 

     

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  • I think I might be lucky, or just found something that works for us.  But my son does pretty darn good in carts.  He has never ever sat in the big section of the cart, and is always buckled in the front part (unless there is a cart with a car in the front of it).  He knows I mean business, and that he isn't allowed to get out of the cart.  I use bribes, rewards and punishment when we go out and it works for us.  For example, in the check out line he gets antsy I tell him he has to be a good boy to get a cookie...he will be a good boy for a few minutes (or seconds LOL) then I will tell him if he doesn't stop then he will go in time out.  That is usually the sinker and he will stop.  The biggest thing I have learned with him is that I have to stick to my word, mean what I say, say what I mean.  So if I say he is going in time out (and I give him more than one chance unless it's really bad) he has to go in time out. And of course I always give him a cookie if he is good.

    But like C said I also pick times that I know he will be better in a cart, and also will bring him a snack, or distract him with talking.  We do a lot of car sounds, racing, and making funny faces when we go out (I bet I look like a total freak...lol).  

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  • Ben is really good too.  I honestly don't remember a struggle with getting him to stay seated.  I think he knows that it's not safe and that I would not stand for it.  He has tried to get out of the car cart things, and like someone above said, I have told him that they have naughty corners at Costco too, and would not hesitate to stick him in a corner somewhere in the middle of a store for bad behavior. 

    When he was younger, I had a cart cover that actually had over the shoulder buckle/harness type fasteners.  I use that with Cooper now.  Cooper is much more wiggly and will probably give me more grief.  I very rarely had to buckle Ben into his stroller or anything, but Cooper tries to stand up, so he's buckled in all the time.   So I think an easy way to make them sit is to buckle them in.  And if they unbuckle it, then rebuckle it.  Keep doing it til they stop.  Stand there for 15 minutes not moving whiel you unbuckle/rebuckle if you have to. You're in charge.  You decide.  Not your 2 year old. 

    I think part of it is being really consistent.  Never let them get away with standing up.  Never.  Eventually they'll stop trying.  I tihnk it's sort of like CIO.  Don't go in if they cry and eventually they'll give it up.  If they think there's even a chance of getting to run around the store, they'll take it.   I don't think Ben knew his feet could touch store floors til he was nearly 3. 

    Now with two, I put cooper in the Ergo and Ben in the cart, unless it's a pretty short trip and then before we even go in, I tell Ben what I expect of him if he's going to walk.  And I remind him through the store.  He will start to try to run, and that doesn't fly.  And then I make him hold the side of the cart or stroller while we walk.  He doesn't like that. 

    OR, my really best thing ever, is to check Ben into the play land thing at our Fred Meyer or our QFC.  He loves it.  He sometimes asks to go to QFC for fun.  Seriously.  Then I do a leisurely shop with just Cooper.  It's heaven!

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  • I wish my grocery store had a in-store day care! How nice!
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  • I don't have an escape artist YET but one way I keep Collin distracted in the cart is to let him play this baby game (BabyGo) on my BlackBerry while he rides in the cart. He pushes buttons, it makes noise, he's a happy bear. It doesn't last forever, of course, but it does keep him happy for a little bit. I also occasionally offer him a snack from my purse.
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  • Jules likes to hold a lot of the groceries and put them in the basket for me. Not always good for what we're buying (she threw a canned food item directly onto my eggs last week) but it helps keep her contained. I also make the cart go fast when there's nobody inthe way. I make sure to tell her to hold on tight and then make the cart surge so she gets the rush. I try and shop either on Sat morning when she can stay home with DH or I go before I pick her up from school.
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  • There's also amazon fresh or Safeway.com. :)
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  • When I put Cooper in a cart at the fron the is 9 out of 10 times happy. I take along a book or stroller toy that has a hook that I can hook onto the belt and he is a happy little boy. He loves being out & about though, smiling and waving at everybody so who knows if this will change when he gets older - fingers crossed he stays this good for a long time!
    collage Cooper Flynn is 3 years old and growing! May 10,2009 Miscarriage April 2008 Ectopic pregnancy August 2011
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  • I've actualy found it easier to let her walk.  She simply can't resist the temptation to stand up, but she is pretty good at listening when I ask her to stay with me and not touch.
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  • Cruz gets a treat in the grocery cart if he stays in.  So usually we go and I push his sitting ability as long as I can and then we head to the bakery and he either gets a bagel or a doughnut which takes him the remainder of the time there to eat it.  Probably not the best route to bribe him all the time but it works pretty well until we get to the checkout line where they purposely stock toys!

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  • Contrary to popular belief after my post earlier this week, DD does actually stay seated most of the time. We put her in the basket because they just don't make carts for two kids (at least not an infant and a kid - wouldn't that be something). We used to have to distract her with a can of cat food but she has gotten much better at listening over time (just not in front of a crowd apparently) and will usually sit if we ask her. In fact yesterday we were at PCC and she stood up while we were waiting in the checkout line and I just asked her and she sat down. If all else fails, she gets to walk, she's pretty good at staying close by so I don't have to chase her down.
  • DS will generally sit in the buckle seat part or walk keeping one hand on the cart. Otherwise, I go without him. I get a sitter or go when DH is home. So many of the PP stuff is great advice if you have to take them (i.e. snacks, morning etc). But I know my kid and there is only so much I can expect out of him and demand at certain ages and times of day. I have also learned to buy much of what Target sells on Diapers.com or Amazon.com for often less money and way less effort particularly w/ a 7 month old to haul around too. Sometimes they just have to comply because they need to learn to do that but I cannot spend an hour in Target poking around - it's in and out w/in 30 mins at MOST when I have DS.

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  • image chibipoe:
    Contrary to popular belief after my post earlier this week, DD does actually stay seated most of the time. We put her in the basket because they just don't make carts for two kids (at least not an infant and a kid - wouldn't that be something). We used to have to distract her with a can of cat food but she has gotten much better at listening over time (just not in front of a crowd apparently) and will usually sit if we ask her. In fact yesterday we were at PCC and she stood up while we were waiting in the checkout line and I just asked her and she sat down. If all else fails, she gets to walk, she's pretty good at staying close by so I don't have to chase her down.

    K - I didn't take from your post that Syd doesn't stay seated most of the time.  She's just a toddler and it happens from time to time and you had a really, really pushy Target employee.  If he'd have acted with me the way he acted with you, I'd have gone pregnant lady batsh&t on his butt.

  • Shopping goes best with Jillian when she doesn't know that there are any options besides sitting in the cart.  If she thinks she can sit some place else or walk, it becomes a disaster.  And while she loves the carts with cars, the ones at Safeway that are low to the ground are horrible since she can get out.  Also strapping her in doesn't always work because the kid is freakin' Houdini and can wiggle out no matter how tight you have it.

    Jillian is just now catching on to cause and effect, which makes dealing with misbehavior more challenging because it limits my arsenal to distraction.  Time outs don't really work with her yet...she thinks they are fun.  And she would hardly see leaving the store as a punishment.

    So at this point my approach is:

    1.  Give her no option but the cart.  DH often sabotages this.

    2.  Bring lots of snacks.

    3.  Avoid shopping with both kids when I can.  It is much more manageable with one of the other.

    4.  Have DH do the shopping when he is home during the day with the girls.  If you see a guy frantically trying to control a baby and toddler at Wal-Mart, that's my man.

    I am also not above the monkey backpack/leash.  Jillian LOVES it.  I have never used it while shopping.  But it has come in handy at the fair and zoo, as Jillian doesn't like sitting in the stroller either.

    Jen - Mom to Jillian (10/2008) and Hayden (4/2010)

    My Blog

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  • image iHeartHimMore:
    I wish my grocery store had a in-store day care! How nice!

    Fred Meyer has a kids play area.  It's an hour and it's free! 

    BIG Brother born 10/19/07 little Brother born 1/31/12
  • image IdahoGirl:

    image chibipoe:
    Contrary to popular belief after my post earlier this week, DD does actually stay seated most of the time. We put her in the basket because they just don't make carts for two kids (at least not an infant and a kid - wouldn't that be something). We used to have to distract her with a can of cat food but she has gotten much better at listening over time (just not in front of a crowd apparently) and will usually sit if we ask her. In fact yesterday we were at PCC and she stood up while we were waiting in the checkout line and I just asked her and she sat down. If all else fails, she gets to walk, she's pretty good at staying close by so I don't have to chase her down.

    K - I didn't take from your post that Syd doesn't stay seated most of the time.  She's just a toddler and it happens from time to time and you had a really, really pushy Target employee.  If he'd have acted with me the way he acted with you, I'd have gone pregnant lady batsh&t on his butt.

    Haha, thanks for the backup. I just said that because I don't know that anyone would care for my advice after that.

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  • image jcyahne:

    4.  Have DH do the shopping when he is home during the day with the girls.  If you see a guy frantically trying to control a baby and toddler at Wal-Mart, that's my man.

     Thanks, everyone, for a bag of  tools I can try out. If all else fails, we'll do safeway.com. I especially love the tip above!!!!

    Jenn- where did you find the BBerry game?

  • You download it to your phone here.

    http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/2973

    I'd warn you that it can be loud if your phone volume is up, but since you gave me "YOU MADE A MATCH, LOOK WHAT YOU FOUND!" for my fridge, I feel we're now even. ;)

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