When it comes to running errands as a new mom, you can either dread the process or look very forward to the much needed fresh air to break the occasional cabin fever you experience after having a little one. Another relative topic like all things baby and parenthood, running errands is one of those things we all do differently according to our babies needs and behaviors.
Well, I’ll be honest– Cammy hasn’t been completely easy 100% of the time, but for the most part…this kid has been an easy ride when it comes to hitting up the post office, grocery store and even frivolous shopping trips. The tricky thing about figuring out how to run errands with a baby comes down to one main thing– babies CHANGE from month to month and with more hours spent awake, more mobility and more physical independence once they start sitting up, walking, etc– the dynamic of this errand running process can change.
1. My FIRST recommendation is something I’m a HUGE advocate of, get a shopping cart cover! They’re about $20 and I always see them at TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Ross. You can additionally find them for a little more $$$ at Babies-R-Us, Target and Walmart but they are sooo worth it! I even recommend having two of them if you can just in case you need to bring one in to clean (and they’re SO easy to throw into the washer!), they’re a lifesaver! Here’s why:
*If it rained that day or recently and all of the available carts were outside, you don’t have to worry about drying it off or sticking your baby in a wet cart.
*Extreme weather- you definitely don’t wanna stick your baby in a hot metal shopping cart or a freezing one either!
*It holds things besides your baby! Having a shopping cart cover can allow you to stick their snack cup, juice/bottle and little toys/books for entertainment in there while you shop to buy more time – much better than watching it all fall through the metal bars and having to bend over and pick it up!
*Germs- I’m not a crazy scared of germs person because after having a baby and watching them get into everything– they WILL get away with some dirty stuff but it’s nice to have that cart cover for that kind of protection and for yourself because it also goes over the part that you hold on to!
And??? Because they double as high chair covers– which you DEF want!
2. Next up: PARK NEXT TO THE SHOPPING CART RETURN!
Okay I’m the person that’s STOKED when I get a spot up front, I really used to get excited about it because I work so hard doing everything else that I love being an occasional bum..but when it comes to hauling that little one around– it’s SO much easier to grab a cart on the way in right next to your car if there are some in there and to unload your groceries right there into your trunk with your baby in view and then to walk one spot over to drop that cart off when you’re done! I now treasure those spots next to the cart return far more than the ones right in front of the store! Even more golden is when you find a store with infant/expectant mother parking– up front– next to a cart return. Rare, but BJ’s definitely has that at some of the locations and I love it! (I blogged about BJ’s in the first of the New Mom Series!)
Look how awesome and convenient this is to be right next to the cart return! And look– she didn’t have a cart cover that day. Presented the shopping trip as a little more of a pain in the butt for me, but I forgot! 🙁
3. Lastly, this is again, relative– but I think in general it could go across the board for the most part. I try my BEST and always plan to go to the grocery store in the morning. The reason the morning works best for us is because after she’s had breakfast, she’s the happiest and she’s in a great mood about to seize the day. She’s the most agreeable then and well behaved and also, she enjoys having a little mid-morning snack and juice while shopping and the stores are LESS CROWDED. The last thing you want to do with a baby, ever, is wait in line. You can almost feel them becoming anxious sometimes and getting irritated that you’re stagnant. No lines while shopping with baby is a BEAUTIFUL thing!
I will never forget my first trip to BJ’s after she was born. I just happened (not planned) to go at 9am when they opened because I had lots of work to do that afternoon, and I saw SO MANY MOMS with very young children! Lots of them with two and it was like a light bulb went off that day– ohhh okay ladies, so THAT’S when you come out and get stuff done with those little ones! So brilliant! It’s also a great time to go because then you get home and babies are naturally worn just from the travel and experience of getting out, that you get them a little lunch and have them play some more and they’re OUT for nap time!
I hope this helps! You don’t really think too much about these simple everyday tasks and things too much before the baby arrive because you’ve never had to adjust your schedule and life around anything like this before, but it’s so important to figure out what works best for BOTH of you! Also, please ask a friend or relative to come with you the first couple of weeks after baby is born– you definitely need to heal no matter what kind of birth you had and lifting things and maneuvering around a store can be very draining, and if you’re nursing too? You’re being constantly depleted of energy even moreso– that’s an extra 500 calories a day you’re burning so take care of yourselves!!!!! 🙂