Christmas is just around the proverbial corner. Just like every year, we promise ourselves to start early and finish early. We dream of shopping, wrapping and tucking those presents away, laying our parental heads down for a nice winter’s nap. But then we work overtime and so does hubby. The sitter has the flu and it’s all down to you. The Christmas shopping just won’t wait and you have no choice but to take the wee one with you. You bundle up the toddler or toddlers and put on a happy face. You know it will be a challenge, but by golly, you are going to make Christmas happen. You don’t get around the block good before the crying starts. You sink into your seat and ignore the Christmas bells ringing on the radio. You need some help and some good tips for holiday shopping with toddlers. You begin to feel like the Grinch.
Sometimes there is no getting around shopping with toddlers. You’ll need to plan to conduct your shopping time during the happy hour. The toddler happy hour is when your child usually feels the best and is normally his least crabby time of day. Holiday shopping with toddlers should be quick, fast and in a hurry. If your one year old usually feels good around four o’clock and takes a nap at five then you’ve got one hour to get something done. Plan your holiday shopping with toddlers during their up time, not yours.
Your normal holiday shopping might be a downright tour of the local malls and dollar stores. You need to put that strategy aside and work in your child’s time line instead. Instead of one large shopping day, you’ll need to bust that up in to three or four days of shopping. That way you can keep holiday shopping with toddlers short and easy to manage for you and the child.
Pack for a Trip
Your toddler isn’t going to entertain himself. Think about how you will keep your child’s spirits up, and other shoppers during your holiday shopping. In your diaper bag, pack two or three favorite toys, a cup to drink, some non-messy snacks and a favorite blanket. Make your child’s shopping buggy ride enjoyable by cushioning the seat before planting a little behind on cold metal. Think about the trip from your child’s perspective. Ask questions and communicate with your child while you shop. Involve your toddler with the holiday shopping.
While holiday shopping with a toddler may be a necessity, be safe. Never venture away from your child, even for a snap second. Don’t trust a stranger, even a friendly grandmotherly looking one. Keep your eyes peeled and your wits about you.