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New Year sales: Best way to shop with just you and baby

Pre-Shop Plan
Krysta Belliston

One of the major shopping seasons is not yet over! According to ShopperTrak, the world’s largest analyzer of retail traffic, holiday sales were lower than expected for 2013. This New Year brings many post-Christmas deals that call for more customer spending.

Many deals can be found on a daily basis on RetailMeNot. Among the many stores featured are, Michaels, Bed Bath and Beyond, Old Navy, and more. You are given the option to show mobile coupon codes or to print coupons. Some of the best deals offer 50% off or more on an item.

If you want to take a quick trip to the mall, and you are a last-minute mommy shopper, there is a way to do it without having to hire a babysitter. Follow along with pictures and read for the best ways to shop with a little one, when no one else is available to help you.

Pre-Shop Plan
Pre-Shop Plan Krysta Belliston

Pre-Shop Plan

In order to make this shopping trip less of a hassle it is essential to plan ahead. Steven Covey, author of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, suggests to “begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired direction…”

Shopping can be pleasant, but can also quickly turn into a stressful feat. This is especially true when you have limited time, money, and a crying baby. To avoid this, make a blueprint of your day. The day before, make a to-do list of all the things you need to buy. Look up online which stores offer the products on your list.

You are now halfway through your planning. Now, it is just a matter of doing your research, and deciding which mall has all the stores that offer what you need. With a baby on-board it is best to go close to the opening time, with the likelihood that there will be less people. It is also best to go to a smaller or older mall which naturally has fewer visitors and more open parking spaces.

Mommy and Baby Prep
Mommy and Baby Prep Krysta Belliston

Mommy and Baby Prep

Sometimes it is easy to forget your own necessities while gearing up for the baby. First, make sure to wear comfortable shoes. This can be the determining factor of how long you can last before you cut your shopping trip short because of sore feet. If you are nursing it is important to wear a nursing-friendly shirt. Look for a stretchy shirt that pulls down easily or one which opens up from the front.

Aside from this there are things that can help both you and the baby before you head out. Let the baby have at least one nap before you head out the door. Take that moment to eat a well-balanced breakfast to give you the energy you need. At the same time, take this time to review your to-do list. Shopping around without an agenda uses up more time, which ticks closer to your baby’s feeding time. To avoid having a hungry baby right when you arrive at your location, feed the baby right before leaving the house.

Fully Equipped
Fully Equipped Krysta Belliston

Fully Equipped

Leaving the house with the baby may require skillful packing. Begin by bringing a hand-held wallet rather than a purse. This can lighten your load and not compete for space with an already full baby bag.

Next, check to see that the stroller is folded away in the trunk. It will serve as your baby carrier, shopping cart, and storage. Many strollers come with just one basket for storage, but you can buy some simple add-ons to make it more suitable to your needs. A hook stroller hanger is a handy accessory that can free your hands and act as a bag holder.

Lastly, when you arrive at the mall, park away from the entrance where you are more likely to find an open space. It will also be to your advantage when you are ready to take off. You will be able to unload without feeling pressured or rushed from cars that are anxiously waiting to take a parking spot towards the front of the mall.

Wrapping it Up
Wrapping it Up Krysta Belliston

Wrapping it Up

As you begin to wind down, pay attention to your baby’s feeding cues before it turns into a screech or scream. If it is time to nurse or bottle feed, find the nearest fitting room. Bring in a pair of pants, your wallet, your baby necessities, and leave the stroller on the side. Another option is to find a less crowded bench area at the mall to bottle feed or nurse (using a nursing cover). Take your time. It is better to have a calm baby, rather than an agitated baby right before the car ride home.

Again, it is important to also take care of your needs. After feeding the baby, grab a bite to eat. You can just snack or you can go to the food court and splurge on something that can even leave you with leftovers for you to have later or bring home to your spouse.