Shopping with your tiny tot may not sound like a pleasant or smart thing to do. Most young kids have short attention spans and tend to be fidgety, which means spending several minutes at a store might seem impossible.
Shopping in Dubai with a toddler, though, doesn’t have to be a stressful and unpleasant experience. With the right hacks and strategies, you can enjoy engaging in retail therapy, something that you may have missed doing or not been doing enough since you’re taking care of your child.
Following the right tips can also encourage you to make shopping with your toddler a weekly habit.
Making Shopping Pleasant and Stress-Free With Your Toddler
If you’re planning your first shopping spree with your tiny tot, here are six tips that can help you have an amazing, fruitful time:
- Bring a companion.
Although shopping may be a great way to bond with your little tyke, the whole experience can prove to be a handful, even if you only bring one child. Because of this, you have to find another grownup to go with you to the mall.
Going to the mall with another adult ensures you have another person who can look after your little one when you need to try on some clothes or shoes.
Your companion can also help carry your shopping bags, just in case you end up holding too many.
Your spouse would be the ideal person to accompany you and your toddler on your shopping trip. A sibling or close friend would also be another excellent alternative.
A relative or friend with a child about the same age as your little one is also a great option. You and your companion can both engage in some retail therapy and bond together, while the children can have a playdate at the mall.
- Pick the right time to go to the mall.
Choosing the right time to go shopping will reduce a lot of the stress and hassles you might experience at the mall.
Aim to go to the mall in the early morning or at night during weekdays since there are fewer people. You and your toddler will be able to avoid large crowds and loud noises that may irritate your little one.
Shopping during these times of the day also ensures you’ll deal with fewer queues at cashiers and fitting rooms, further reducing the stress you may feel.
If you plan on shopping during holidays and mall-wide sales, don’t go on weekends and stick to the recommended times since you’ll still have a higher chance of avoiding the rush caused by the large number of shoppers.
Lastly, choose a time that will work well for your toddler. If your little one usually takes a nap in the early afternoon, head home immediately after having lunch.
If your toddler can sleep on a pram, you can also consider going to the mall while they are asleep. Doing so will give you at least half an hour of worry-free shopping.
- Bring toys and snacks.
As mentioned, toddlers usually have short attention spans. They may start becoming restless and cranky once you start taking time trying on different clothes and shoes.
Failing to prevent or minimise your child from crying too long or throwing a tantrum is the last thing you want to happen when you’re shopping.
As such, you have to be prepared to deal with a cranky, fidgety child if you want to have a fun time shopping. This entails bringing the right items to the mall.
Pack your toddler’s favourite toys and books. If your child has a music player, bring it as well; it will help keep them calm and entertained.
Also, bring some of your child’s favourite treats, such as biscuits, pretzels, carrot and apple sticks, and yoghurt. Giving them food when they start getting loud or irritable will also calm them down.
Don’t forget to pack water, fruit juice, and milk, which will appease your child as well.
- Pack hygiene essentials.
Be prepared when your child makes a mess when they eat by packing wet wipes for wiping their hands and face.
Don’t forget to bring a box of tissues for wiping wet messes they might make on the floor, pram, and their clothes.
If your toddler still wears nappies, bring one or two more just in case you need to change them while you’re still at the mall.
Also, bring a hand sanitiser to keep your and your child’s hands clean and germ-free.
- Use a pram.
An umbrella pram is fine for running quick errands. However, since you’re planning for at least two hours of shopping with your child, you’ll need something larger and stronger.
A bigger, sturdier stroller can give your child more room for movement and a comfy spot for relaxing and maybe even taking a nap.
A large pram also gives you a place for stashing your shopping bags.
If your child is already too big for a pram, rent a kid shopping car, which you can find at the mall. This fun vehicle will help keep your toddler entertained as you go from one shop or place to another.
- Plan games and stopovers for your child.
When shopping with your toddler, make sure you also plan some activities that will keep them entertained and have fun.
Play some simple games that your child will love as you shop. This includes asking them to point toward certain objects with colours or shapes.
You can also say the name of an object and ask your toddler if it is small or big.
Malls in Dubai also have several indoor playgrounds. Make sure you let your toddler play in one or two of these places so that they’ll have fun.
If there are nearby child-friendly attractions and activities taking place outdoors, make sure you bring your toddler to them so that they explore other areas and try other exciting things to do.
Another option is to bring your child to a bookstore when they need a break. Spend at least half an hour reading new books together or anything that catches their attention.
When you follow these tips, you can make a day at the mall pleasant and rewarding for both you and your little one.