15 Handy Hints For Shopping With Kids

February 19, 2016

Pretty simple really, don't. Avoid at all costs. Shopping with kids is asking for trouble and a possible indecent exposure charge.

Schedule your shopping trip like you would any other kind of necessary appointment. Cash in some babysitting credits, take advantage of an extra daycare day, call in a favour, tell your partner you outtie and BOUNCE.

To achieve Cher's self-satisfied look:

  1. Do your research and have a hit list; whether it be stores, items and/or specific needs. 
  2. Don't waste precious time with personal administrative tasks. Focus on the retail.
  3. Go alone or with a straight-talking friend who won't hold you up looking at their own stuff and is there specifically as your assistant to run sizes and give frank opinions.
  4. Eat beforehand. Again, this will maximise available time. Allow yourself a coffee and cake for refuelling purposes. WARNING: do not borg on said pre-eating or you will end up in the maternity section, dressing for a food baby.
  5. Use the time instore sans kids to try things on in peace. If undecided at the time, you can always buy online later or swoop in and out with kids. You might even get a better price during online-only sales. 
  6. If you are seriously struggling, in need of expert advice and don't have anyone available as in item 4, consider a personal stylist session. Have a browse online - lots of style bloggers offer the service at a reasonable price. Outline your budget and expectations but also be open to trying on new things or visiting new stores.
  7. Hit the shops at a non-peak time so you have a bit more breathing room and don't have to waste time waiting for change rooms or lining up at counters. Avoid school holidays and late night shopping.
  8. Make sure you have all your loyalty cards and any gift vouchers stacked and racked.
  9. Keep an eye on your emails for sales and spend & save offers.
  10. Stay away from the kids' clothes (unless you're Liv from Eenie Meenie Miney Mum), menswear (unless you're broadening your scope) and toy sections. This is about YOU and you only.
And if you really can't avoid hitting the shops with kids in tow:

Alright, fine.
  1. All of the above, plus:
  2. Have them well fed and rested with the promise/bribe of a food court treat should behaviour be adequate.
  3. Have some form of entertainment at the ready. I will not judge you if your kid is happily sat in the big part of a trolley while playing your iPhone as you zoom between racks because girl, I feel you.  
  4. Avoid the stores that are crowded with stock and non-pram / trolley friendly. They will only irritate you, waste your time and the changerooms are never big enough to fit a wheeled contrivance. If you feel strongly enough, email the store later and complain.
  5. If possible, bring someone along as a distraction who can mind the trolley / pram and assist with general wrangling. 

For more ideas on how to shop with success, check out this post.

Got any tips to add to the list?

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