How To Survive...Clothes Shopping With A Toddler - The M Word

How To Survive…Clothes Shopping With A Toddler

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Shopping with a toddler is hard work… Gone are the days when you can swan around the shops for the day, sipping coffee and eating cake in between, this venture needs a plan. Like military precision! You might be thinking of that dream Guna for a wedding and in your head are planning on resembling something half “human”. You will need a few tricks up your sleeves. A full blown survival guide is essential, so here you have it, everything you need to “attempt”  clothes shopping with a toddler tantrum free.

 Plan Ahead

The night before, when munchkins gone to bed, go online and give yourself a heads up. Make a list of what you’d like to try on the next day. Now your mission has goals, “Guna Goals”.


Pack snacks and drinks, things like finger food. Crackers, bread sticks, rice cakes, raisins. Something for smallie to graze on throughout the mission.


There are two types of toddlers, buggy sleepers and non-buggy sleepers. If yours is a buggy sleeper, perfect! Hit the shops at nap time and let them sleep in the buggy (you’ll get at least an hour here). If they’re not buggy sleepers, let them sleep first and then head out. Shopping and a tired rugrat do not mix! You will need tricks up your sleeve for these guys to keep them busy.

Tricks Up Your Sleeve

Pack a bag of tricks: Cheapy toys that you won’t mind getting lost. A beloved cuddly toy (tie this to the buggy in case it does gets lost!). If they have a tablet bring it – not a popular choice but I’m all for whatever works (I limit screen time for missions like this, it’s more of a novelty that way).


Be conscious of the time, tots get fed up being strapped in the buggy for anything longer than an hour. Praise them and tell them they’re doing a great job. If you feel things are about to kick off have a bribe in reserve.


It has its place! Something like: if you’re a good girl/boy for mammy we will have a play in the playground when we are all done. Factor time for this into your plan (10 mins is loads).


If rugrat is sitting for any length of time, make sure they’re comfortable. Do a nappy change. It sounds obvious but sometimes I can get distracted by the “shopping mist” and forget to do a nappy check.


So you’ve had a successful look around a few shops, but sense the mood could change in the buggy (from gismo to gremlin). Have a pit stop. You could probably do with one yourself.


Coffee and juice time, stop into a coffee shop and fuel up, Caffeine is my fuel of choice and “baby chino” is my toddlers, Mumma and toddler coffees make the cutest photos ever! I also think you get the best chats with a mini me at these times! Enjoy it, even share a cake if its going well.

I want

‘Mammy I want. I WANT!!!’ Distraction is the secret weapon of choice here. The perfect distraction is bribery and a pit stop. If these are already used up, a 5-minute stint out of the buggy at the end will work wonders.

And that’s it. I can’t promise there will be no tantrum getting back into the buggy or leaving the playground, but hopefully you’re fully armed with a Guna at this stage, so I’m claiming     “Mission Complete”!

P.S. You will also find me hanging out over on my blog One yummy mummy  @ Twitter My Facebook Page  and Instagram 

Jolene x

Jolene Cox
Jolene Cox
Jolene has worked in the childcare sector her whole life, but when it comes to parenting she's winging it like the rest of us. Her passions are creating family food on a budget by day, and swigging a glass of red while writing her parenting stories by night. You can also find her hanging out at her Award-winning parenting and food blog One Yummy Mummy