Were you like us last year who said that they’d be more organised next year and get the shopping done in advance but have realised that it’s only a few weeks left until Christmas and haven’t gotten any gifts yet? The internet is brilliant for shopping from the comfort of home but there will always be times when you still need to go out to the shops along with the hoards of other Christmas shoppers. Which is not too bad until you add your children into the equation! So here are ten tips for shopping with children in tow:

  1. Start out early in the day: The earlier you head out to shop, the less people you’ll have to deal with, compete with and push through in the stores.
  2. Feed the children first: Make sure your little ones are fed before you go to avoid having to spend time and money queuing for food to stop the ‘hanger’.
  3. Don’t go at nap time: If you do that, you are just making your life ten times harder and the shopping trip will inevitably be unsuccessful!
  4. Have a game plan: Map out your stops. Carry your gift list with you. Have in mind what you intend to buy and where. Distraction is the key – if you can, avoid the stores or isles which you know they will love – will save you having to cope with the tears when you need to move them on to the next store.
  5. Entertain them: Pack your bag with stickers and a colouring book if they’re in the buggy.
  6. Be realistic: You will not even come close to finishing off your gift list. Toddlerhood is full of nervous breakdowns—I mean surprises.
  7. Keep them informed: Children handle transitions when they know what’s happening next. Let them know what’s coming up, how long you’re going to be in the store, and what you need to look for before you leave.
  8. Think about others: It is worth bringing up the concept of buying for other people (“Do you think Alice would like these colouring books? Alice likes colouring, doesn’t she?”) whenever you’re shopping for toys. It helps sew the seeds for later in life and may distract from them wanting to fill their own toy box
  9. Let them get involved in choosing: Get them to help choose which present to buy for others or which shops to go in first – it helps keep them focused, distracts them from whinging and makes them feel like their opinions matter.
  10. Do yourself a favour and shop online: You can still get before-Christmas delivery!

Thank you for reading and hope these ideas help you make shopping with children in tow less stressful!

Jemma & Gill xxx

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