Shop Stress-free With Baby

Ask new parents and they will tell you that babies don’t make ideal shopping companions. While you are trying to run errands, they get bored, cry, and play up when they are being pushed round the shops in their carts by their parents. However, research shows that retail therapy is actually good for children’s brains. According to a joint study by Oxford University and the Open University, shopping trips are just as beneficial for the child’s development as painting or drawing activities. According to the research that was presented at the annual conference of the Royal Economic Society last year, the more retail therapy the babies and toddlers were exposed to, the happier they seemed to be and the more developed their everyday skills eventually became. The two universities made these conclusions after studying the results of an economic survey in Germany, which had looked into the daily routines and habits of 800 parents with their young children.The report said that shopping was beneficial because it involved changes of scenery from shop to shop, which improved the child’s motor and social skills more than a sedentary activity. During shopping trips children get visual stimulation, they get out of the house and into a new environment, bump into other families where social skills come into play and toddlers also get the chance to do something physical in a shop, like run around. However, if you are one of those parents that are stressed out about taking your kid, especially a baby, to the mall or to the market, here are a couple of pointers that could help you have a stress-free shopping trip:

Get organised. One of the keys to shopping with baby is to make the trip as quick and easy as possible. Make a list of exactly what you need before leaving the house. Arrange your list by category so you don’t have to take too many laps around the store.

Choose the right time. Try to go to the mall when it’s less crowded and noisy, usually first thing in the morning. Plan your trip for right after baby’s naptime so he or she is well rested and fed.

Take frequent breaks. Babies can become dehydrated in the dry air of shopping malls, so be sure to take frequent nursing or juice breaks.

Carry the baby. Babies are happier when they are carried, especially, in situations where the people, lights, and sounds can be overstimulating and could result in a meltdown. Wear a sling or carrier instead of using a stroller or grocery cart. Also carry a small childproof toy, which can distract the baby and can help him or her cope with the inevitably lessened attention from the parent.

Make it fun. Keep talking to the baby as much as you can, hum songs, point out colours and different foods. This should keep the baby happy and entertained.

Keep in touch. Even when you are busy shopping, remember to make eye contact often, smile and take a moment for gentle words.That should help the baby feel secure and calm.

Know the limit. If, after trying some of the above suggestions, your baby has simply reached the end of their ability to handle any more, please respect that. Shopping can wait.Leave before you are overcome by fatigue and anger. Let the baby associate the shopping experience with a pleasant sensation. It will work for the better the next time.

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