The first time I went grocery shopping with 2 under 2, I practically had an anxiety attack on my way to Costco. I really had no idea how I was going to manage the kids.
With one kid, I had a mini crisis every time I got to the check out line. My crisis was- do I send my son in the grocery basket on the other side of the belt, or take him with me on my side. Looking back now, it seems ridiculous that I ever thought sending him not even 4 feet away from me, in absolutely full view of myself and other shoppers, strapped in safely to the grocery cart ever gave me feelings of apprehension. I always thought people were judging me for sending my baby through with the 72 pack of Coca-Cola. Now, I don’t give a CARE what anyone thinks when it comes to such small stuff. But anyway, that’s not why you’re here.
You’re here because you’re as worried as I was about how the HECK you get grocery shopping done with 2 under 2, so here goes.
8 Tips for Grocery Shopping with 2 Under 2
Newborn + Toddler edition:
1. Feed yourself and the kids right before you leave. Nobody does well when they’re hungry.
2. Do it as early in the day as possible, working around toddler’s nap schedule so he/she is less likely to melt down. Going early helps you beat the crowds, too, so you can get in and out as quickly as possible.
3. Park NEXT to the cart corral in the parking lot. Even if you have to walk further from your car to the store, it’s worth it because a) you can load your toddler into the cart immediately from the car and b) you don’t have to be the jerk who leaves their cart in the middle of a parking space for everyone else to trip around later.
After the trip, you don’t want to have to unload groceries, then agonize over whether to put the kids into their carseats first, leave the car doors open while you RUN to return the cart, leave the cart (see B above), or return the cart with the toddler in it and then hope he decides to use his relatively new walking skills to help you get back to the car while you have your newborn strapped to you. So save yourself that stress and just park next to the corral.
4. Wear the baby. It makes everything easier. Please don’t clip your infant car seat to the child seating area (trigger warning- link mentions infant injuries and deaths). And make sure you know how to wear your baby safely. If you have a good carrier, then baby is usually happy to be snuggled up next to you, and you have both hands free!
5. Know your plan ahead of time- this means going with a list, IN ORDER of where the items are located in the store. I know the layout of my Costco really well, so I can visualize where the items I need are in the store before I go.
6. Don’t forget to go to the bathroom and have the kids in clean, new diapers and doubled up stretchy pants before you go. Trust me on this one.
7. Put a cooler in your trunk for frozen items. The first few times you go, you’ll be amazed at how long it takes to unload the groceries and kids when you get home. You won’t want to be worried about the ice cream melting. And you have 2 kids under 2, so you freaking need the ice cream.
8. Just take a deep breath- you can do this. All of it. And soon enough they’ll be a little more independent and a little easier to manage.
And big enough to reach behind the kids’ seats and throw your hamburger patties right out of the cart.
So there’s that.