How To Put Car Seat In Shopping Cart At Store
Often, if your child falls asleep in the car on the way over to the store, you’ll decide it’s best not to wake them, as it saves both you and the little one a lot of bother, but you can’t hold the heavy car seat, shop, and push the cart, so what now?
Well, the obvious solution is to put the car seat into the shopping cart, which is technically fine to do, but unless you follow certain precautions, it can be quite dangerous.
As such, when my daughter arrived, I consulted my health visitor and all the parents I knew about best practices when visiting the grocery store with baby.
I then took my research to the internet, reaching out to authorities in the child safety field before settling on and testing a method.
Please read this article before heading out for your first shopping trip as a new parent, as it could well prevent some pretty serious injuries!
Placing A Car Seat In A Shopping Cart: A Step-By-Step Guide
Step 1 — Choose The Largest Cart
Your baby may be a cute little teenie-weenie thing, but their car seats take up a surprising amount of space, so in order to save room for loading items into your shopping cart, it’s best to choose the largest one offered by the store, also check out are article for How to Loosen Car Seat Straps, for tips. .
You can choose a smaller cart if you’re only planning on grabbing a few bits and bobs, but for any semi-significant haul, you’ll need to go big.
I always go for the bigger cart now, as I’m forever finding things I didn’t know I needed, so whenever I used a small cart in the past, I end up struggling to find space for everything. If this is your first time check out our article for tips “Five Things First Time Moms Need to Know About Newborns.” .
Step 2 — Check The Wheels
It can be tricky finding a shopping cart with four fully working wheels, but it’ll be well worth your time to do so, as anything other than a smooth ride might wake up your little bundle of joy and transform them into a screaming bundle of rage.
Dodgy cart wheels also increase the chances of a tip, which is to be avoided at all costs, so do yourself and your baby a favor by picking a cart that has a good glide to it!
Step 3 — Placement
The golden rule of car seats in shopping carts is that you never balance your baby on top of the smaller basket of a trolley or on the toddler seat (if the cart has one).
I know it’s tempting. I myself thought that was the way to do it initially, but these placements can throw the cart off balance, increasing the chances of tipping or of the seat falling free from the cart.
The only remotely safe way to place a car seat in a shopping cart is to place it directly into the larger basket of the cart, which is why I suggested getting the biggest one available, as the car seat is going to hog A LOT of space.
As for which way your baby should be facing, even if they’re asleep, they should always be facing you so you can keep an eye on them as you shop.
I like to think of the shopping cart as a makeshift stroller. Until your child is much older, you should be able to see them clearly at all times when you’re on the move.
Step 4 — Loading The Cart
Okay, so you’ve got a big shopping cart with well-oiled wheels, and your baby is dozing peacefully in their car seat in the main basket of the cart, facing you — Excellent!
You’re ready to hit the aisles now, but when you start loading your trolley with products, be wary of what goes near your baby.
Don’t let them grab hold of any products, as they may end up putting unsanitary things in their mouth.
Raw meats in particular should be loaded responsibly, but it’s not just the individual items you should be worried about. Think carefully about the way you load your cart as well.
With limited space due to the presence of the car seat in the main basket, you may rely on stacking to fit everything you need in the cart, but never let products stack too high, especially heavy items such as canned goods, as they might topple and land on your baby.
At the very least, this will wake them up, but they could just as well get quite hurt too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Some Shopping Carts Have Car Seat Docks?
If you’re extremely lucky, your local store will provide shopping carts with a special docking mechanism that you can clip your car seat into the same way it would click into place in your car. Grab one if you can!
Are There Safer Alternatives To Putting The Car Seat In The Shopping Cart?
If you forecast a stressful time at the store with your baby, it’s best to do away with the problematic scenario altogether by having someone you trust look after your child while you get the shopping done.
If a friend, family member, or partner is available, they could even come along with you and hold your baby while you do the shopping, or vice versa.
I know not all parents have the luxury of a robust support network, so this isn’t going to be an option for everyone, but, thankfully, it’s not the only alternative to placing your baby in the shopping cart while they’re still strapped into their car seat.
A quality baby sling is your best bet.
Most babies absolutely love these carriers, as they get to be super close to you, which they find comforting — 9 times out of 10, they’ll fall asleep against your chest and snooze all the way to the checkout.
I use this Boba baby sling because it came recommended by loads of my parent friends, and upon further research, I found that it’s a unanimously trusted product.
It’s made of quality, stretchy, breathable material, it’s easy to use, and as a bonus, it’s affordable (not all baby slings are).
Now, I know slings aren’t for everyone, so if you’re not comfortable with them, a well-designed carrier might be a better option.
I also have one of these simply because sometimes my baby isn’t in the mood for a sling ride.
My recommendation is the Ergobaby Omni 360.
It’s a little pricey, but as soon as I unpacked mine and took my baby for a test drive, I completely understood why all the new parents I know were forking out for it.
It can comfortably hold your baby facing in or out (hence the 360 in the name), which is super important, as sometimes babies are in the mood for a cozy hug, while other times they want to be in the driver’s seat.
But by far the best thing about this carrier is that it holds their legs at the correct angle, ensuring good hip health.
Alternatively, shopping cart slings are considered a safe way to keep your child snug in their seat when you hit the store.
They’re essentially a little hammock that cradles your baby above the main basket of the cart, saving tons of space for shopping, and as your child is secured by safety belts, even if the worst happened, and the cart capsized, your baby would be a-okay.
And guess what? Yep, I have one of these too! Again, it’s just another arrow in my quiver I can use to keep my baby safe and comfortable.
My go-to for cart slings is this Binx Baby hammock because it’s simple, safe, affordable, and effective.
If you are only getting a few things you can use your stroller and carry a hand basket. I have done this on many occasions. We put together a list of the Best Strollers for Tall People to check out if you are looking for the best stroller.
There you have it — Shopping with baby doesn’t have to be a stressful experience.
With a bit of forethought, you can smooth the whole trip out and keep the tears at bay, for you and your little one.
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