Being a mother of a newborn is difficult when it comes to everyday tasks. It’s even more difficult when it comes to errands, like shopping. It isn’t just inconvenient at times; it can be dangerous as well. This is not to scare you off from a run to the grocery store or an hour at the mall, but when shopping with your baby you have to go the extra mile to ensure both safety for them and peace of mind for you. Just remember to CARE: Connected, Alert, Ready, and Empathetic.
When you are out shopping you are constantly having your attention vied for. This is distracting when you are by yourself and it is something you cannot allow to happen when you are out with your newborn. Setting down your child carrier and turning your back even for a few seconds is chancing fate, especially in busy places. Many children and infants have been abducted when their parents were a mere couple of feet away. Always be connected to your newborn. If you need to set down the carrier, set it down against your ankle. You will be able to feel it while checking the price on olive oil, or finding your size of those adorable lavender pumps.
Connection can be visual as well, but it should always be maintained at some level depending on the situation. Child carrier strollers are a great option for longer shopping trips and helps tone down the attention needs. However, do not take this for granted, children have been kidnapped from their strollers. Keep an eye on your stroller. Buggies with newborn seats or just putting the carrier in seat of the buggy are great for grocery store. Remember if you are going to bend down to scooch the buggy as close to the aisle as you can with the handles facing you and the nose against the wall of the shelves. This will create a safe area for your baby since any potential snatchers would have to come by you to do anything at all.
This ties right in with being connected; if you are keeping a lookout your child will not be approached. Predators are looking for easy targets and people off their guards. Maintain a visible vigilance; look like you are looking out. How? Simply be attentive and take in your surroundings. Know who is close to you and how much activity is going on. This is the easiest and most effective step in safety against predators. The best defense is a good offense.
Have a handle on everything; organization is key. Know how long you’ll be out and where you will go. Know if your trip will need a stroller because you can hold a carrier forever, or if you only need a carrier. Also, remember feeding times, a cranky baby is terrible when it comes time to shop. This planning will keep you on task and on schedule, both important in alertness. Don’t get lost in shopping, granted it can be relaxing and you should not sacrifice that, simply give yourself some timelines to follow. This organization will keep you from feeling rushed, getting frazzled, and losing focus.
Lastly, be empathetic. Your newborn might not like shopping and he certainly may not enjoy a long carrier ride and delayed feeding. Keep your baby in mind when planning a shopping trip. How long has he been up? Has he been feeling well? Will this be when he needs to eat? Could this trip last longer than expected? Should I get a babysitter? These are all important questions. Keeping your baby safe is important, but so is keeping him calm and happy.
Remember to CARE on your next shopping excursion with baby in tow and both of you will be happy and safe.