Where to Put Baby in Shopping Cart

Updated on August 28, 2012
R.R. asks from Southborough, MA
32 answers

Hi! I feel really stupid, but I just found out that you're not supposed to put your baby in his/her infant car seat in the top part of the shopping cart! I did this with my daughter all the time and have been doing it with my 8-month old son and totally thought it was the norm. Am I the only one who didn't know this was wrong?

My seat has a clip that usually secures it to the cart, so I never thought twice about it. The last few times I've been shopping at different stores, I noticed that my seat no longer clips onto the new carts, which is why I decided to investigate why. I've therefore been putting my son in his car seat in the main part of the cart, but this is hard when my 3 1/2 year old daughter is with me as well and I have lots of groceries to buy.

When available I let me daughter drive in the cars, but those freak me out a bit in terms of cleanliness. Even then, it doesn't really solve the space issue if my son is in the main part of the carriage. Going on my own is not really an option and he does not sit up on his own yet, so I can't put him in the other part yet. I could use a carrier, but it really impedes movement.

Of course his safety is paramount, but any suggestions, words of advice would be great.


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answers from Milwaukee on

My tall kids grew out of the carriers at 5 months. They still could not sit but I would put them in the cart seat anyway. I would use a harness with a cart cover and then I put two giant rolls of papertowel on each side of them. You could also use a longer receiving blanket to tie them to the seat. wrap it in front of their chest and then tie behind through the slats of the cart seat.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Until baby was old enough to sit on their own I carried them in a sling. Once they were old enough I got one of those covers for the cart seat. Sometimes I used it and sometimes I didn't. A lot of the time I still used the sling.
Once they got older and wanted to walk I let them walk or put them in the seat part or in the sling if they fit. My runner we got a harness for so he could walk but I did not have to chase after him every 3 seconds.
Rarely we'd bring them in the stroller but found that to be annoying for something that wasn't wandering around the mall.
I am a very firm believer that a carseat is for the car and not to be lugged around. We never even bought an infant seat. I never liked the fact that the part my child was in wasn't the part actually attached to the seat.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

I have one of the cart covers for my daughter. She loves going to the store now. At 8m old there's no need to keep him in the car seat

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from St. Louis on

Eight months old, can't he sit up? As soon as my kids could sit up I put them in the seat and buckled them in.

It took about two months to figure out my kids are a lot lighter out of that car seat so I left it in the car and carried them in as soon as they could sit up. Then again I am old school like that.

Okay looking at some of the other responses, four kids, all allowed to suck on the handle, only one ever caught anything from that. Sorry but the antibacterial nonsense actually makes your kids never develop immunity so they get sick more.

Yup, wore my kids a lot too.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Okay, I have totally been here. Even if your 8 month old cannot sit on his own yet, put him in that top seat and strap him in anyway. Kinda keep him from falling over as you walk into the store. I seem to recall having my son in there and having a 15lb bag of cat litter on one side of him, and the baby bag or a gallon of milk on the other side, hehe. He did just fine. This helps them build those neck, back and abdominal muscles so that they can sit on their own very soon. If the shopping has to be done, we find a way!! I know how you feel, I don't have the option for help either, I always have my 2 kids with me ;-)

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

I would think your 8 month old would be thrilled to sit in the child seat of the shopping cart. By 8 months both of my boys were no longer using the infant carrier as they would scream and scream if I ever tried to leave them in it any longer than necessary.

As soon as they were able to sit up on their own, I put them in the seat of the shopping cart and strapped them in. They loved seeing the world from that perspective.

Does your store have a cart for more than one child? Some are extra long and have seats for big kids, too. Some have the cars that the kids can "drive." Love those carts! They keep my boys busy for a good 20 to 30 minutes, and I can shop in peace. I even used them when my oldest was big enough and my youngest could sit up in the child's seat.

It was a win/win for us.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Wear your baby! Get a front pack like ergo or mai tai and you can wear your baby hands free. I do this everywhere and its very helpful with lots of little ones in toe. When your baby is older you can put your little one in the front with a cart cover and prop him up on the sides with your purse on one and then some type of grocery on the other. Your 3 year old can ride in the back with your groceries. HTH

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Savannah on

When I did not have my moby wrap with me, I would use the stroller and a cart. It takes a little getting used to, but by the end of the shopping trip, you will be a pro! All you have to do is push your stroller like normal, and pull the shopping cart behind you. You just have to make sure that you pull the cart in the same direction that you would normally push it. Do not try to pull the cart from the handle, because you will not be able to steer it. Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

I still clip the carseat to the top of the cart. There are no pictures or instructions saying you aren't suppose to do that and no one has ever said anything about it or told me not to. Honestly it's the best place for them. I have tried the sling thing & didn't like it... I always felt like I was going to drop the baby, but my sister loved slinging her kids.

My daughter is now 9 mo & does like riding in the seat or in the car carts with her 2 yr old brother.

As to the one post about the baby dieing... I feel really bad for the baby's family. But we always hold onto the car seat when we go over bumps, not that I feel the clip will give out, but more so that the seat doesn't shake so much. My 9 mo old is my 6th... and none of them have ever been hurt by riding clipped onto the cart. I think what happened was a really sad strange accident.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

wear the baby!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

I put a baby carrier in the seat of the cart, or carried my daughter in a sling or backpack.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I read news that there's a 3 month old baby who died because of that. Her mom pushed it through a road bump, the baby cart fell, the baby's head fell and died instantly.
I often saw it in market, so not safe. Many older kids play with pushing cart and try to speed with it. Imagine if this " bom bom car" hit a cart with a baby on it.
Wear the baby. Y3ah, shoulders will be sore and tired, but baby is safe!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

If I have to use the top of the shopping cart I will but i'm really careful about it not letting go of it or having my foot on it at all times if I need to reach for something and not having my toddler move it for any reasonIf I have help out I will carry her and not have the employee push it while baby is in the shopping seat thios goes for thems sitting up or in the larger basket.I will also place the carseat in the large basket and have my items in the seat or cram them in front of the carseat depends on what it is if it is heavy or glass they will go in the basket.I have 3 carriers that I do use.The clip on carseats it's not meant to be used as a safety mechanism for shopping carts just for our bases and strollers.I wan t them to be babies for a while but times like these I wish they could sit up or walk.In a few weeks i'm going to try to sit baby up and use the buckle,5 months she does well being a supported sitter and of cousre i'll have a blanket with me.It does work since the carseat carrier is getting heavier and my back is getting weaker.He is 8 months is he not sitting up yet?He should be fine to sit in the shopping cart buckled with a blanket for support if needed.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

It really made my life easier to let the kids go to Mothers-Day-out a day or two a week for a couple of hours. That was when I did my doc appointments and grocery shopping.

I suggest you trade off babysitting with a friend and take a couple of hours each week so that you can have some time to go do stuff like this.

I have always put the kids seats on the top too. Until they could sit up anyway. At 6-8 months old when they were sitting up on their own I just sat them in the top seat fastened in. If they are sitting up then sit them up and fasten the seat belt.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Erie on

The sling was my best friend for shopping trips, later I would switch to a back pack once they could sit up on their own. The older child(ren) would be in the cart or in one of those "car" type carts for kids. Although for a long time I actually chose to pay a little more for groceries so I could use the babysitting rooms of one of our stores here once I had my 3rd child. Do you have Wegman's or Giant Eagle there? Both have babysitting rooms for kids 3-8yrs, and they are so worth it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

Put the baby in a stroller. Have your little girl push it. Kids love to help. Problem solved. :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

A carrier is really the way to go. I don't know how I ever would have managed grocery shopping without my sling. I did start using a cart cover with shoulder straps once my baby was old enough to sit assisted because it held her up. This is the one I used.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

If he is 8 months he should be sitting up, and not in his baby carrier. Is he just a little wobbly still? Put a blanket in the seat of the shopping cart to help prop him up. If he is not sitting independently now, he should be within weeks. Your 3 1/2 year old daughter can walk. If you are worried about the cleanliness of the carts carry some wipes with you and wipe the parts the kids touch (in fact I see many stores provide wipes for that purpose), but keep in mind it is good to expose kids to some germs to help build their immune systems. I had an incident when I had my newborn in the car seat clipped to the top of the cart, and my three year old in the big basket, and my three year old reached too far over and knocked the cart over. Scared the hell out of all of us, but luckily everyone was ok that time. It was the last time I ever clipped the carseat to the top or let a kid ride in the basket!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

With twins and a two year old, I would use two carts. Push one and pull one. (I clicked one carseat in and put the other in the cart.) I also went as early in the day as possible, before the store got busy. I was embarrassed at first but got over that really quickly. You could put him in one cart and put groceries in the other.

FWIW, the seats of babies that have fallen were probably not clicked onto the cart. If it didn't click, the carseat went into the cart. I always yanked on it to make sure it was attached.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

At 8 months, he should have enough trunk stability to stay upright if you use the seat belts.... can he not sit upright in a high chair? I would also put my purse on one side of my child, and something on the other, to help keep them upright.

Using the "floppy seat" also helps... you just thread the seatbelt through, and that also helps keep them up. In most shopping carts, the seatbelt is up fairly high, so it goes more over their chest than their legs, and that helps with stability.

Yes, I know it is difficult to shop with one in the seat, and another walking.... I remember what it was like shopping with an infant, a 2 year old, and a 4 year old... THAT was a challenge! One time, my 2 and 4 yr old ended up "hanging" from the handle, and tipped the cart backwards... darn near scared me to death! We left the grocery store shortly after that.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I would either wear the baby or get a shopping cart cover with a harness seatbelt, and pad the sides with items to help hold him up. If all else fails, do you get Peapod? It can be expensive, but I did it when my babies were small. It was easier than taking them to the store. Otherwise, I'd wait until my husband got home and would go at night.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I always did that (back in the day!), but I can see why it would be dangerous. The other thing I did often was wear the baby -- in fact, I loved doing that. And I agree with you about the car carts -- how often do you think those get cleaned!? 0.o
My kids loved them, but ew.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

What I did was put them both in the basket and have the 3-year-old hold the baby who could not sit. I never left the cart. I would never put an infant carseat on the cart.

These were shorter trips and it was limiting to buy food. But it was out of necessity. It wasn't the best solution. I did it because the baby could not sit up to go in the actual infant part of the cart. The 2 and 5-year-old were at school during this time. I was just trying to have some food in the house. These days I shop at 9pm after kids are asleep and husband is home. If you don't have that option, perhaps the stroller idea might help. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I never used the to of the cart--I never thought it was safe. I would either put him his carrier in the back of the cart or carry him in a Bjorn carrier. Once I had two about the ages of your two, I would put the baby in the front (sitting with a shopping cart cover--I think it's called a "floppy seat") and my 3 year old would walk. I learned to shop FAST!


answers from Chicago on

Use a wrap or sling (cloth not structured like a carrier) to wear baby while shopping - it is AMAZING!!!!



answers from Burlington on

Wear your baby, keeps close tabs on him :) It gets better, I'm told :)


answers from Cincinnati on

I had no idea it wasn't "safe" or whatever to do that. Personally, I'd look for an older shopping cart. LOL! Good luck



answers from New York on

Carry baby with you in a baby bjorn or sling. 3 1/2 year old in front of cart, as she is old enough for that. Put entire baby carrier in main compartment of shopping cart and things in the space you have left. I found it easiest to just carry baby on me somewhere with the help of a carrier....front, back, side/hip. Check online for Bjorn, ERGO or Infantino.



answers from Omaha on

I always put the whole infant carrier in the main part too because the bottom of the carrier was rounded so I was too concerned about putting it on top of the seat part. I usually only did my big shopping on the weekend when my husband or mom could be home with the kids while I shopped. When they got older I switched to a store that had a lot of the car style carts available for my kids to ride in. They loved them and I just wiped them down with a baby wipe or the disinfecting wipes provided at the store.



answers from New York on

I always put my son in the cart where all the food goes because it always looked dangerous to me to put him in the little part. Most of the moms I saw put their baby in the little part like you, so you are not alone. By 8 months she should be sitting and you can put a cart over over the cart to keep germs away.



answers from Phoenix on

Can you shop without them, after your SO gets home?



answers from Minneapolis on

I have always carried babies in a front pack until they could sit up in the front seat part of a shopping cart.

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