For my babys first trip abroad ever, we went on a shopping spree in Dubai, more because I needed thechange than the merchandise. I knew it wouldnt be easy to roam a huge shopping mall with a 7-month-old, but Idecided it was worth a try. After the trip, I came up with a few pieces of advice, some of which I did and were life- saving and others I admittedly didnt do, but wish I had.
a) Make a list: If youre not only shopping for the fun of it, and need to get things done, make a list of everythingyou need to buy, or at least some of them. It will help yousave time instead of staring at the numerous shops saying "Why did I come here again?"
b) Sit at your computer: If you know specific shops you intend to go to, visit their website. You can get an ideaabout available merchandise and prices from the comfortof your own chair. Also, dont forget to visit the website of the mall/s youre heading to and writing down in a small notebook where each store is, or at least on which floor. This idea is a tremendous timer-saver.
c) Get your gear ready: Maybe your baby is not a big fan of being strapped to a stroller or carried in a soft carrier, but those gears are an absolute necessity. Your baby might fuss for a while when first put in a stroller if hes not used to it, but he will be distracted by motion, shops, people and everything happening around him that he willeventually stop crying, even when stationary. So no matter how the baby gear is a pain to carry around, resist the temptation to leave them behind. Most strollers are equipped with baskets, which are great for keeping thebabys bag and small shopping bags, without needing four arms to carry stuff around. Give it some thought and decide which suits you and your baby better. If travelling by air, remember that strollers can be folded, wrapped in plastic wrap for a small fee, given a number and claimed
a) Plan "alone time": No matter how difficult it is to leave your baby in a hotel room or at home with someone, ifyou need to get things done, you just might have to. Leave your baby with your partner or any family memberaccompanying you for a couple of hours or so. During this time you can buy lots of things you need, visit non-baby- friendly stores and get things done faster. No matter howhard you try, a baby will make things go slower, so you are bound to buy faster and more efficiently when alone.Combine this with the list idea, and youll be saving loadsof time. Try to leave your baby fed and changed: you dontwant to come back to a husband whos complaining about how "the baby wont eat", "wont stop crying" or a baby whose diaper isnt worn the way it should be. (Sorry guys, but when it comes to babies, you crack in a flash!)
b) When shopping for clothes: You may keep your baby in his stroller next to your seat while you try on a shoe, but in a fitting room? Not always an option! Some fitting rooms are too tight to accommodate you, your clothesAND a stroller. In this case, use a car seat instead which is especially useful with younger infants. They fit in almostevery fitting room. However, the only downside to them is how tiring it becomes to carry around your baby in hisseat while you walk long distances between shops. So try to have someone with you to guard your baby in his stroller while you try on clothes, dont go to many shops or walk a lot if you use a car seat, and better yet, restrict clothes shopping to your "alone time" if possible.
c) Pay attention to your babys needs: With all the glamorous shops out there, you might forget about your babys schedule for moments. Trust me, it happens! Needless to say, you will be carrying around your babys bag full of his necessary items. Do not take everything with you, but keep it short to the crucial items only. You dont need the extra weight to carry around. Theres noneed to carry extra clothes or all the medicine you brought from home, the ones which your baby needs a dose of during the day are enough. Some necessities are:
i. Diapers and wipes: If you use cotton balls and water, forget it! Be practical. Let your baby wear a bibbefore going out and keep one or two in his/her bag, to minimize the need for changing clothes.
ii. Teething medicine (e.g.: gel) and teethers if your baby is teething and the pain kicks in.
iii. Baby food jars and bottles/formula/warm water in a thermos bottle/nursing cover. Tip: Only take baby foodyour baby tried and liked. You dont want him/her makinga "yuck" face and spitting the food on the go or at a table.
d) Have fun: Dont let motherly responsibilities overwhelm you, enjoy your day/trip as much as you can, and dont panic if anything goes against your plans. Be happy about the fact that your angel is sharing this with you and dont think of him/her as an obstacle.
Relax: Shopping with an infant, especially for consecutive days, is exhausting and it drains your energy. Take a day off and do nothing but care for yourself and your baby.The shopping bags are going nowhere and will not scream for help if not unpacked, no matter how excited you get about them. And yes, take-out is now a 24/7 option, so use it, or make simple sandwiches using things yourpantry already contains. Forget about the laundry, take a nice hot shower when your baby naps, and postpone every chore for the next day.