Tiny Carts, Tiny Shoppers, Big Debate

It was only a few weeks ago we stepped into a Target store and my kids saw them – the little shopping carts for little shoppers. Like many kids, my little ones are drawn to the freedom and independence of pushing their own carts. Like many parents, the thought of kiddos driving those carts around the store like little Jeff Gordons makes me break out in a nervous sweat.

kiddie_shopping_cart

The Great Shopping Cart Debate has parents lining up on both sides of the aisle. Where’s Lester Holt when you need him?

Before we shelve the issue – let’s take stock on where both sides stand:

Keep ‘em Rolling!

  • A mini shopping cart can turn an ordinary trip into an educational adventure! It keeps kids interested and engaged in what you are buying and why.
  • Instead of going for a ride and zoning out (or crying and whining), kids have a hands-on role in the process. Talk about independence – they may even get a say in what goes in their cart!
  • Not to mention, actively walking around the store is better than the passivity of sitting down. The kiddos probably aren’t working up a sweat, but a little activity is better than none.

Corral the Carts!

  • Every little shopping cart poses a danger to everyone’s ankles and heels. I have seen the looks of terror and frustration in the eyes of other shoppers and employees when there’s a little kid on the loose, and I don’t blame them. Getting bumped and run over HURTS! Especially when it happens over and over.
  • And did I mention the physical exertion it takes to shephard one, two or even more kids down the correct aisle and keep their hands off the breakables?! It can be exhausting!
  • And then there are the times when the kiddos get bored of their carts and you’re left bending over, trying to push a little cart with one hand and a normal cart with the other. At least you can skip yoga because you’ve already done your stretches.

Target wasn’t the first store to introduce little shopping carts, but it didn’t take long before shoppers’ safety concerns won out. Target probably won’t be the last to retire them. Customers in training have been pushing their own wheels for a while now in several grocery store chains. Time will tell if it’s a fad or the future of shopping with kids!

Baby Products You Don’t Need!

You can expect when you’re expecting that you’re going to get a whole houseful of new stuff. Between shopping and showers, you will have a hard time finding your own stuff once your home is chock-full of baby gear.

Some things you’ll use every day –  the crib, car seat and baby monitor. Some stuff you’ll use sometimes: the baby swing, jumper and that adorable outfit you actually paid full price for. But, there are some products you thought you needed that just end up taking up space.

Diaper Stacker
Diapers are obviously a necessity, but do you need a special hanging bag to put them in? Diaper stackers often come in a nursery set, so you may get stuck with one, but there is no need to go out and buy your own. Diapers fit awkwardly inside the stacker, depending on the size, and there’s no reason you need a stacker you’ll probably never have the time to fill. Just put them on the changing table or leave them in the box.

Wipe Warmers
You can drop between $20 – $35 on a wipe warmer, but what’s the point? Unless you’re living in an igloo, your house probably isn’t so cold that the wipes would bother a baby. If the wipe does end up a little chilly, warm it up in your hand for a few seconds and it should be just fine. I’ve also read reviews from other moms who said warmers dried out their wipes or even burned them.

Baby Shoes
I know, there is nothing cuter than little baby shoes. But I hope you enjoy looking at them without any little feet inside, because that’s how they will continue to look. It is nearly impossible to get a small baby to leave shoes on. Not to mention, shoes are pretty much useless for a baby. Until they’re walking, let their little feet breathe.

Peepee Teepees
If you have a boy, parents will tell you story after story of how their little guy sprayed you-know-what everywhere during diaper changes – across the room, on the ceiling, in their faces! Some parents may recommend the little peepee teepees to block the spray. Several moms of boys have told me these are just a gimmick. What’s the point of having another pee-soaked piece of cloth around? Instead, learn how to change a diaper really quickly and how to laugh at the little urine-covered moments life sends your way.

Education on a Stick: Take The Fair Home With You!

The gates are closed on the 2016 Great Minnesota Get Together. But the fair fun and learning lessons don’t have to stop! I was on WCCO, sharing ideas that parents and kids will love to do at home. Click here to watch the interview.

Click below to learn more:

Cow Milking Demo

Corn Flashcards

Apple Browning Experiment

Animals On A Stick