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10 tips to stress-free shopping with your toddler

From freedigitalphotos.net
There aren’t many of us who haven’t witnessed a toddler meltdown in a supermarket aisle. As most parents of a toddler will know, doing the weekly supermarket shop can be a stressful, tantrum-prone event (and that’s just for Mum and Dad). However, there are ways to make the whole experience a pleasant, even educational one. Try these tips to help you.
  1. Shop when it’s quiet, if you possibly can – early mornings are great for this. You’ll get round in extra-quick time and your toddler will be well-rested and less likely to be cranky and start trying to scale the trolley sides. Just make sure he’s had breakfast and that he’s firmly strapped in!
  2. Woolworths has specially designed trolleys to accommodate your newborn and/or toddler, and little bottoms will appreciate it if you pad the seat with your jumper or a stroller blanket. If your toddler’s not comfortable he’ll soon let you know about it!
  3. Bypass the toy and confectionery aisles unless you absolutely need to visit them and choose Woolies’ confectionary-free checkouts – there’s at least one in every store and that’s the best one for you! 
  4. Don’t leave the trolley within reaching distance of the shelves, as little hands can create havoc. At the very least you might end up with some unusual items in your trolley.
  5. Don’t take a hungry or tired child to the supermarket unless you can’t avoid it. If you can, bring one of his favourite snacks to keep him occupied for at least some of the trip. Mini rice cakes, crackers or raisins are all good choices because they’re mess-free, won’t get squishy and won’t give him a sugar-high.
  6. Let them help – older toddlers especially will love the fresh produce section and you can hand them fruits and vegies while talking to them about what you’re doing, and naming or counting the items. Plus, for a 50c donation at Woolies’ Kids Table, little ones can choose a piece of fruit and have a healthy distraction to munch on. 
  7. Give them a ‘pretend’ list. Toddlers love to copy, and they’ll be thrilled (for at least five minutes anyway!) with their own piece of paper to consult and a crayon to cross things off as they go.
  8. Play I-Spy with older toddlers as you go round. Mums are great at multi-tasking anyway so playing games while keeping track of what you’re buying will probably be child’s play!
  9. Free in-store food sampling is a good distraction when your toddler has just about had enough of being in the trolley. It’s a great way to get them to try different foods too, which they might normally have turned up their noses at. Be mindful of cooking stations and hot items.
  10. Praise good behaviour but think before you reward it with a treat as your little one might then expect a surprise every time he goes to the supermarket – and complain long and loudly about it when that’s not the case.
 Extracted from Woolworths Baby and Toddler Club.

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