How to Shop with a New Baby

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You may be a fierce coupon queen who knows the grocery store like the back of her hand. Checkers may quake in their boots when they see you walk through the doors with your handy, dandy coupon binder in hand. You may be able to quote the sales at every grocery store in town and be able to reference where the necessary coupons can be found.

However, have a new baby….. and well, let’s just say, you may lose some of your grocery geekiness. Or at least you should.

If there’s one thing I have learned over the last few years of deal shopping and coupon clipping, it’s that:

Something’s Gotta Give

You can’t possibly do it all. Nor should you try. As Lauren suggested so eloquently earlier this week, new moms should find their bottom line and stick to it.

Here are some ideas for keeping the pantry stocked without wiping yourself out:

  1. Let your husband, neighbor, mom, friend do the shopping. If your friends are providing meals — which I hope they are — then, you really shouldn’t need to do extensive shopping during the early weeks. Provide a list and money and be okay that it’s not done exactly the way you want it to be done. Paper or plastic? Who cares! Let them help you.But, do give your husband specific directions about feminine hygiene — maybe even send him a picture on his phone of the packaging. You don’t know how many times I’ve received a phone call, “Do you want wings?”
  2. Stock up before the baby comes. If delegating this area of your life is difficult, then make a point to fill the pantry and fridge with essentials before the baby arrives. You can do it your way — ahead of time.
  3. Go shopping alone. I don’t know about all moms, but once I was recovered from a delivery, I liked to get out and about. If I had a short list, I could easily go by myself and leave the baby with my husband. In doing so, I got a break from cabin fever as well as a chance to get back into the real world without exposing the baby to unnecessary germs.

What has been successful for YOU?

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  1. My best advice is to make meals ahead of time and freeze them. And when I say meals I MEAN MEALS !!!


    Whatever you normally eat !!! And I say to hve enough in your freezer for at MINIMUM 6 weeks. 8 weeks if you know you are having a c-section. The more you can make and put up for later the better it will be. I know it sounds crazy to have that much food put up but trust me. Whem the time comes the last thing on your mind will be cooking or going grocery shopping. This way you won’t have to do neither until you are healed and released from your dr !!!

  2. Tips:
    -Let them help. Tell them to get the lower items for you (color/shape/etc).
    -Play games: Find a box/can with the letter ‘C’ on it? Point to the color Red. Sing songs.

  3. @Nia,

    I have a 5yo and 3 yo and an 18 mo old with one due literally any day. And I usually have to take them all with me shopping. So this is what works for me:

    I make sure: they are all fed and pottied and hopefully they’ve slept well. I make sure they understand before we get out of the car that they must be on their best behavior.

    I put the 18 mo old in the seat in the cart and the older two are required to either hold on to the cart and walk along or hold on to my shirt or pants or skirt.

    It’s tough! That’s for sure!


  4. re: What to do when you do take the kids with you…

    I have a 1 and 2 year old, and perhaps our grocery store is more service oriented, but here are my biggest tips:

    1) I take the kids at snack time. I either bring a snack or I just open one up right in the store. Checkers don’t mind ringing up an open container and the kids can sit in the cart and eat their snacks peacefully (for a while, of course!)

    2) My 2 year old really likes to do some of the shopping herself. I let her pick the crackers, cheese, etc and put it in the cart “like a big girl”. She feels like mommy’s little helper and stays focused. Sometimes she demands an item I don’t want to buy, and rather than a fight, I let her put it in the basket and move on. She doesn’t even remember the chocolate bars at checkout when I pass them over to our checker to put aside.

    -Jennifer, one Happy Mama

  5. I spent a fair amount of time at home waiting for my mom’s weekly visit (my husband has been in Afghanistan) so I could get out and get some really grocery shopping done, but after a couple of weeks I gave up worrying that she started fussing EVERY TIME we hit the check out lines and just went shopping. I eventually tried her in our diy moby wrap and now she either looks around the store or snuggles in and falls asleep and I enjoy my time out of the house!

    I did a big freezer cooking week when I was 39 weeks along to stock the freezer and we were blessed with amazing friends who brought us meals the first week or two.

  6. So any tips for when you HAVE to take the kids with you to shop. How do you other moms get through a shopping trip with more than one child? I NEED tips.

  7. For me when I got to my third and fourth kiddos (my first two were twins), my treat was to go grocery shopping with just the baby when they were little. The baby would almost always sleep the whole time, so it was like I was alone (definitely more peaceful than having the older kids in tow!) I’m sure it depends on the temperament of your baby and what stage they are in, but I found bringing the baby and leaving the kids at home was a great deal to swing with dad! (But hey, if you can be completely by yourself, even better!)

  8. When my 1st daughter was born she HATED Walmart. I’m not sure what it was, but any time we would go there she would scream. So, for a time we changed the way we shopped. We had a Price Chopper close by that had higher prices than Walmart, but was so much calmer and she was great there.

  9. My tip was #3. The only downfall is you get accustomed to those Mommy-only trips that don’t happen when newborn turns to infant who turns to “Mom, Mom, Mom!” toddler. 😉