This was one of the more challenging aspects of day-to-day life after giving birth. On the one hand, I had gracious help who offered to grocery shop for me, but how long could I keep that up? I had to learn how to run errands with my newborn, eventually.
Here are a few tips and tricks I learned along the way. I hope they help!
1. Grocery shop with a friend
This was invaluable to me. It was so helpful to walk around the grocery store with a friend who was also trying to juggle grocery shopping with a baby. We chatted along the way and stopping every 3 seconds wasn't an issue because we both understood. We were so happy for the companionship. Plus, it was fun to compare carts with another person on the New Mom Diet.
2. Carry wipes, hand sanitizer and a sign that tells others to stay away from baby!
Seriously, people can't keep their hands off a baby. That same stranger (or even a good friend!) who just rubbed their eye, caught their sneeze and picked something from their teeth won't be able to hold back when they see your sweet, little baby. It's a slow-motion thing: Person goes to grab for baby and mom is trying to figure out the best defensive block.
Let's put it this way: That move takes practice. For me, it took buying many socks so my son's favorite chew toy (his feet) never ended up in an unwashed hand. The effort was bolstered by my new found confidence to say things like, "Dude, no touching unless those hands are washed!" It took a lot to get this out in a light-hearted way and I took many tumbles along the way. Staying lighthearted about it was key for me.
3. Grocery delivery services
It seems grocery delivery services have popped up out of nowhere. Some of them offer free trial periods while others might offer free delivery with a minimum, or others yet still might have a cost associated but the cost is well worth it when you have nothing and someone magically appears at your door with exactly what you need. Depending on where you live, some stores are still offering delivery. I live near a Safeway (I get no compensation from sharing this link, but if you're reading this Safeway, send those comp dollars over here!)
4. Invest in a good carrier
This. This this this this this. Let me just save you all the hassle in the world regarding picking a carrier. Pick a carrier that feels good for you. Period. If you think you can origami wrap a baby, go for it. If a structured carrier (one with belts and buckles) seems easier for you, go for it. Pick any carrier that feels supportive in the ways you need.
As for all of the stuff you've probably read about carrier positioning for baby's hips and legs - Seek out the advice of a physical therapist. Without speaking for them, many PTs I know tell me the same thing: Most carriers are the same in that it's hard to say one is actually better or worse for baby's positioning. The thing to think about is how long baby is spending in the carrier rather than the position they are spending that time in. But again, this is just what I've been told and I'm passing it on for help in your decision making.
5. Look up videos on how to breast or bottle feed in your carrier
I take back my previous "this this this this this." THIS point is more "this this this this this" worthy. I would walk around with my son in his carrier, discreetly nursing and creating peace in my small part of this Earth. It was one of the best things we figured out together. I never had to cut a grocery session short...it was hard enough to get out of the house in the first place! I couldn't afford to multiply this task by leaving without finishing my express purpose!
My son would let me know he wanted to nurse and I would get right into position. It was great and no one even knew what we were doing!
Hope these tips help. I'd love to hear about your first grocery trip! Also, share your best grocery shopping tips in the comments!