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When you have your first baby your normal life goes out the window even down to the most mundane of things such as having a long bath, getting to sleep on time and doing your big shop. Oftentimes, it’s just not practical to do these things with a baby in tow straight away.
Newborn babies shouldn’t be placed in a shopping trolley which can make doing the big shop harder if not impossible unless you leave your child with someone else. In this article, we answer the question of when can babies sit in a trolley and offer some quick and easy tips on how to get the best out of a shopping trip when you have a young baby tagging along.
What age is it safe to put a baby in the seat of a shopping trolley?
Some supermarkets such as Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer can offer shopping trolleys with built in baby seats which can be used for newborns provided you bring some extra support to make it more comfortable such as a blanket. Some may have a weight restriction which is roughly 9lbs (4kgs) after that they will need to go into a toddler seat.
For supermarket trolleys with a toddler seat then the recommended age for them to sit in one for the whole trip is around 6 months, sometimes more. The reason for this is that to sit in a trolley safely a baby needs to be able to sit up straight and support themselves. Healthline estimate this is between 7 and 9 months but can be as early as 6 months. Toddler seats have a weight restriction of around 40lbs (18kg).
Shopping trolleys can be uncomfortable for babies
Until they are able to sit up straight and support themselves then sitting in a supermarket standard shopping trolley can be uncomfortable as they’re surrounded by steel bars which they can bang into. Plus, the seat itself is a solid piece of plastic which isn’t the best for a baby’s bum. So, we recommend bringing a small blanket for them to sit into and always strap them in when you go shopping.
If the shopping trolley does not have a safety harness included we don’t recommend letting them sit in a trolley until they are much older as they can try to wriggle out when you’re not looking and potentially fall out and hurt themselves.
Going shopping is great for a baby’s development
Sitting in a trolley and going shopping has many developmental benefits, according to a study conducted by Oxford and the Open University. Seeing the products, pictures, numbers and how other people socially interact (as well as yourself) really engages their brain and helps them begin to learn the nuances of how they should behave in public.
Therefore, it’s encouraged to let your baby get involved with your everyday life wherever possible when it is safe to do so. Even if they’re not able to sit up straight in a trolley seat and there’s no baby seat trolleys available you can still go with a baby carrier, a pram or a buggy until they’re ready.
Tips to make a shopping trip with a baby enjoyable
Bring some entertainment – Some babies are happy enough people watching and are fascinated by all the products in the supermarket. For those who don’t bring their favourite toy or comforter along to keep them occupied. Some may want to bring digital entertainment such as a tablet to play their favourite shows.
Don’t be afraid to feed them while they’re in there – If you brought food for them – great. If not, it is not illegal to give them snacks off the shelf as long as you pay for them before leaving according to the Theft Act.
Keep it short – Write a list of everything you need before you go to keep the shopping trip as short as possible.