Getting ready for another shopping session with the kids? Make sure this one goes well with a little pre-planning. There’s plenty of things to do before you leave the house that ensure errand success…and prevent you from having a midday meltdown. Check out what to do and enjoy a much more streamlined experience:
Pre-Pack Your Diaper Bag
Save yourself some time by pre-packing your diaper bag the night before. It only takes about five minutes to add diapers, spit-up cloths, wipes, and anything else you need to said bag. You’ll feel a lot less stressed the next morning as you prepare to leave the house.
Another great tip? Keep what you need by the door, such as shoes and the diaper bag. You won’t have to spend 15 minutes searching for everyone’s shoes when you should be at the farmer’s market.
Use The Ziplock Bag Trick
Pack one outfit per child in a Ziplock or wet bag in case of accidents. Potty training accidents and dirty diapers are often part of doing errands with young children, so sidestep messy problems by keeping extra clothes in the car. Using a Ziplock or wet bag also means you have somewhere to stash soiled clothing rather than allowing odors to permeate your vehicle.
Create A Daily Schedule
Create a daily schedule that works for both you and your children. For example, doing errands after they’re fed and rested is usually best, as you won’t have to deal with hungry, tired kiddies who are much more likely to cry. Dealing with a hysterical child in the middle of the produce section is hardly conducive to a productive errand day.
Keep The Routine The Same
Once you’ve gotten your daily schedule down, keep it the same. Young children do better with specific routines, as they know what to expect and will even do a few things independently of you, such as putting their shoes on. If your children can get themselves ready, you’re looking at a much more efficient day. You also won’t have to tell them to get ready 15 times.
Talk To Them First
Talk to your children before entering a store, and be sure to use a serious voice and eye contact. Let them know they aren’t to ask for anything while in the store and to stay by you at all times. Doing this before you walk into a store is a great way to avoid problems.