16 answers

Escape Artist - Grocery Shopping with a Toddler

Mamas & Papas -

I took my DS grocery shopping on Saturday, and had a harrowing experience to say the least. The cart didn't have a belt. He squirmed his way out of the seat twice and was standing with one leg on the top of the cart, and another on a huge display of rice. I opened a box of animal crackers and started feeding him in the market with hopes that would quiet him and help keep him in the cart. No such luck. He tried to escape again. With fear that he might fall out, I took him out of the cart, and put him on the ground, and encouraged him to push the cart, while holding my hand. That wouldn't do for our little one. No, he wanted to be carried so he could push the cart from the handle, like mommy does. Next thing you know, he's made off to the canned goods aisle, and pulling stuff off the shelf. Then he squirmed his way through the legs of customers at the cashier and made for the automated exit. Were it not for a watchful cashier he would have been into traffic for sure. The cashier was good enough to help me strap him into the stroller, which he squirmed and faught mightily. He made for and out the automatic doors again, before we safely restrained him.

Any tips on what to do, apart from go shopping without him?
We've got a kiddie harness, but hadn't introduced it as yet. Any tips on how to go about that?

More about us, and our local markets. We live in NYC (queens). Real estate here is at a premium, so supermarkets are small, and congested. Carts are hard to come by, and a little shabby at best. Seat belts have all broken off long ago. The "fun carts" aren't available either. Because the city is so congested, people wear blinders on most of the time, and retreat into themselves, and don't notice other adults, much less little ones. Its a crazy place.

Thanks a bunch,
Fanged Bunny

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I probably look like a crazy woman when I am shopping--I wear my baby (9 mos) in an Ergo carrier, and my 2 yr old, who is also a Houdini and can open the cart seatbelt buckles, is on a kiddie harness (which I then clip to my cart using that "Mommy Clip" thing.) Yes, I probably look like I one of the families from the "Exodus" scene of "The Ten Commandments," but, it works for us.

2 moms found this helpful

My daughter escapes from the belt and likes to go back and forth between the basket part of the cart and the child seat part. We have found that strapping her in and giving her a lollipop is the only thing that keeps her still. We are working on walking with mum or dad instead of running away but we only try it if it isn't crowded. I'm not about to let her annoy all the other customers by running into them and ripping things off the shelves (ETA: Not trying to be mean...I just know that that annoys people and my child is wild when running free). I've never used a harness (because my husband remembers his mom using one with him and he hated it) so no pointers on that. The lollipop is the only thing I have to offer. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

This is why I always keep duct tape in my purse. :p

6 moms found this helpful

wow, time to get control of your child! if your child is that out of hand, give up your shopping trip and go back later! pack a leather belt with you, use it to buckle your child to the cart if the store you regularly shop at doesn't have belts. beyond that, you maintain a hold on your child - you hold his hand, arm, something... furthermore, you explain that he WILlL sit down in the buggy, end of story. what you described is beyond unacceptable, not to mention unsafe and a nuisance to others. you don't mention his age, but i'd assume somewhere between 1 and 3, get control NOW or you're in for a bumpy ride! good luck!

6 moms found this helpful

I HAVE to find a cart with a belt. I have actually asked people to swap carts with me before! Don't feel embarrassed if you have to do that, most people are more than happy to switch.

Our grocery store also has the shopping carts with the 'car' on the front. Do you have those? They're ridiculous and hard to maneuver, BUT, they have a chest harness too :)

If push comes to shove and you're really, really stuck, tie his shoe laces to below the seat line on the cart, he won't go ANYWHERE ;)

4 moms found this helpful

Make sure you get a cart with a belt? (I don't mean that to be condescending, it's the only answer I could come up with!!)

3 moms found this helpful

This was my son to a T. The only thing that worked was doing an intensive "shopping practice weekend" -- basically all I did all weekend was take him to stores and tell him we would leave immediately if he climbed out of the cart, ran, screamed for a toy, knocked things off the shelves in purpose, etc. I didn't do any actual shopping, and I did a LOT of talking! I just walked around the store with him in the cart, praising him when he was seated and talking him through the rules over and over. I followed through on the leaving part every single time (even if there was something I really wanted to buy). The first couple times, he flipped out in the car (after screaming the whole way out of the store with my carrying him in a bear hug so he couldn't flail!) so I had to wait for him to get it all out before I could get him in his car seat to go home. But by the fourth or fifth trip, he seemed to "get it."

I think he was a bit older though -- probably 2 and a half. Before that it was just an awful experience to go shopping with him. But now he is fairly good. We will have an occasional meltdown (and leave) but for the most part he can handle brief shopping trips like a champ.

2 moms found this helpful

I probably look like a crazy woman when I am shopping--I wear my baby (9 mos) in an Ergo carrier, and my 2 yr old, who is also a Houdini and can open the cart seatbelt buckles, is on a kiddie harness (which I then clip to my cart using that "Mommy Clip" thing.) Yes, I probably look like I one of the families from the "Exodus" scene of "The Ten Commandments," but, it works for us.

2 moms found this helpful

Please investigate where love and logic parenting classes are being taught in your area. They have this exact example over and over in their teachings.

My personal advice to you:

#1, start going to the store when hubby is home and you can leave little one at home.

#2. Be the grown up, tell him before going in that he is expected to sit in the cart on his hiney. That if he doesn't you will be leaving. Then follow through. He needs to learn to mind.

#3. Choose a different cart next time

2 moms found this helpful

Does your store have the fun carts? The ones that look like a car or have a little car attached to the front?
These helped me so much when my daughter was little. Here in Florida all the Publix (our supermarket) have them and the child sits up where you push the cart. In PA they had the kind with a little car in the front, which was nice at check out because she couldn't climb out in the cashier isle.

Bring a belt with you from home and put it snugly around his waist, be sure to buckle it behind him and not in the front where he can open it and get out. Other than that bring the kiddie harness.

2 moms found this helpful

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.