View Full Version : Won't stay in the stroller / shopping cart anymore!
09-06-2003, 07:16 PM
So I guess I've had a pent up need for a Toddler Lounge! :)
Starting the last couple weeks, Sarah has decided she doesn't like being in the stroller anymore. She wants down pretty much from the second we hit the store. The same also goes for the shopping cart. Needless to say, I'm VERY glad I have slings at this point! She'll stay in the sling for awhile, but generally wants down after awhile.
Is this just a phase she's going through? Or are her strolling days numbered? Should I insist she stay in the stroller or cart or is this a battle not even worth having?
09-06-2003, 08:03 PM
I remember a few days after DS turned 2 I took him to the grocery store and I swore that would be the last outing until he turned 3! It was like some switch went off in his head and he was a mad man. I ended up not taking him shopping for just a few weeks. What I did start doing was going early in the morning so the store would be almost empty. I figured that way he could be out of the cart and I wouldn't have to worry as much about him getting in other peoples way. Grocery shopping takes a lot longer with a toddler but I actually consider it an outing on most days- how pathetic am I?
As for strollers, I always brought one along to the mall but he rarely rode in it, it was more a bag holder. I just saw it as a chance for him to burn off a little energy, get a little exercise, etc. Of course, if I actually want to SHOP, then I leave him at home or make DH come to the mall with us. We usually only go to the mall early in the morning, too- it's just so much easier that way!! Anwyay, good luck!
09-06-2003, 09:31 PM
Seems to me that everything with DS is a phase that comes and eventually goes. Around June he refused to go in the tub without screaming. It eventually passed. It has returned, in a different version. He takes baths, but refuses to sit. He squats or stands. Makes rinsing his hair kind of tough. He definitely has his moments in the high chair and shopping cart, too. The worst is when DH tried to take him out of one of those places (or stroller) when we're out, and then expects to put him back in. Nope, that's not happening...
09-06-2003, 09:52 PM
Hi Beth. How frustrating--especially if you are used to being able to shop with her. It's so hard to say--it could be a phase, like the previous poster suggeseted. Or it may be that she is giving up the stroller and carts altogether (hopefully not!). It's more likely that she is giving up the stroller for indoor use. I know Jack (who never really liked shopping) will no longer tolerate riding once we go into a store. It's just too boring for him to sit still while I shop, pay, etc. He immediatley demands to be let out, and then look out world! It is really frustrating, though at times can be cute. We dropped into a Baby Gap the other day, and he started picking outfits for his 4 month-old cousin: "This for Baby Sarah". Of course, I left the store with nothing because I couldn't get a thing done--I kept having to chase him down and make sure no one absconded with him.
Jack will still ride outdoors, though. I think he can differentiate between stroller riding for a purpose (i.e., we have to get somewhere and it's too far to walk) and stroller riding for mama's convenience ("hey, she's got me stuck in here again").
& Jack, 4/20/01
& Little Boy Two, e.d.d., 12/15/03
09-06-2003, 10:54 PM
Okay Beth, this is getting eerie. Truman just threw in the towel on shopping carts this week as well. Will you PLEASE tell Sarah to magically start sleeping again and to enjoy shopping again,too? I really need to get to Target and it sounds like Truman is mirroring Sarah in a big way!
And for what it's worth, we did manage a longish trip to Wal-Mart this afternoon. He fought and cried for about the first 10 minutes (I had to pick up a prescription for my MIL and old people kept cutting in line in front of me. I didn't have the heart to say anything.), but after a lot of jiggling the cart from side to side, some major tickling, and a hearty round of "C is for Cookie", he finally stopped crying and actually seemed to enjoy the rest of the trip.
Mom to Truman 11/29/01 and EDD 4/23/04!
09-07-2003, 07:49 AM
LOL!! Sarah likes to sing while shopping too! "C is for Cookie" is a big fav here too. And "The Wheels on the Bus" gets you a LOT of shopping! :)
Yes, it is very frustrating since I'm used to being able to get lots of shopping done with her.
09-07-2003, 11:03 AM
We are going through the same problem. I had to leave Target yesterday because of the fit he threw when I wouldn't let him walk around. I also have a husband who likes to let him out. Okay dear, that's fine when there are two of us shopping, but how am I going to chase him and get the stuff we need when I am alone????
Its driving me nuts, especially since dh is gone alot and I have to go shopping with Nick, who can also escape from the stupid belt in the carts in no time at all.
WAHM to Nicholas 10/01/01
09-07-2003, 01:00 PM
We are definitely going through this too. Julia is almost 20 months, and she's been fighting the stroller/cart all summer. She will sit still in the stroller if we are taking a walk outside, but that's it.
I always have snacks and drinks for her, and that helps a bit. At the grocery store, I've just started using those cool car carts, but they are in short supply, so we have to go at an odd time. Julia LOVES the car, and often cries when it's time to get out. I really only use the stroller at the mall. She'll start out OK, but 1/2 way through our trip, she is usually walking with me. She really likes to push her cart from behind with me guiding it. Lately, I've been doing mall trips at night when she is home with daddy.
I think it really is just a phase, but it's definitely not going away any time soon! They are just curious toddlers who do not want to be confined!
Mama to Julia 1-10-02
twins r fun
09-07-2003, 08:58 PM
Well in my case I don't have a choice but to insist that they stay in the cart or stroller, but in my opinion it's a battle you could win and probably worth fighting. Jacob and Caleb went through this awhile ago (16 months, maybe) -it was a rough few weeks and I truly felt like I was never going to get to go shopping again. But since I had no choice, we suffered through tears and fits and they are reasonably content again. I have to be careful about my speed and can't shop for anything that would take a long time standing there trying to make a decision, but for general shopping (Target, grocery store, quick mall purchases) we do pretty well now. I usually hand them something in the store and either buy it (because we need it) or put it back before we leave-gives them something to do while we shop.
09-07-2003, 11:39 PM
Well I hate to say it but it doesnt get much better as they get older! Angela is about three and a half and there are times that she wont get in the shopping cart or stay for very long. Im pretty strong about making her stay in the cart, only because Im worried about her straying to far from the cart or someone just snatching her the second I look away.
I found that bringing a snack along does wonders, or finding a toy she can play with while in the store. That usually buys me a little time. Her new thing is she likes to sit in the basket part and use something as a pillow to lay down, sometimes my purse, or we make a special trip in Target wherever to the bedding aisle so she can pick out one while in the store. Her sitting in the basket is fine as long as she doesnt stand up. Snacks and toys seem to work best at this point, its just a matter of keeping her busy! for little ones you might want to pack a small bag of things that they dont see you putting together then let them sit in the basket part and look through it. Perhaps have a snack hidden at the bottom, a book to look at, or other things to explore. Angela loves looking through my purse though everything gets all over so if you pack and old purse with treasures it might buy you a little time in the store....just make it large enough things that dont fall through the holes of the cart! Toddlers own little treasure bag!
09-08-2003, 07:46 AM
We started having this problem a few months ago with shopping carts. Yikes! I think (hope) it is a phase. The only solution I have found is to use the comfy strap (that padded seatbelt thing) and secure her tight. She is not happy for a few minutes but decides it isn't worth it to put up a fight. However, I still have to shop very quickly and sing every children's song in the book... I hope this doesn't last too much longer for you. :)
09-08-2003, 01:54 PM
Hello! Jada is 20 months, and when I had trouble with her in the shopping cart, I usually just gave her my purse to play with. She was fascinated by my wallet, especially when she found pictures of herself in it. :) It became a problem when she started throwing around my driver's license, etc., so now she's got her own purse which I fill with small toys and a play phone. (I have even seen a Baby's First Purse that has pretend-lipstick, compact, phone, credit card, etc.) That helps, but I usually still need to go early and hurry it up before she gets too antsy. Otherwise, I go at night when hubby can watch her.
Have you read "How to Behave so your children(or preschooler) will, too!" by Sal Severe? In it, he gives an example of being proactive with a 4-year-old while shopping. Our kids may be too young for this, but you could try it. The mom started out small by going on short trips to the conveniece store with the child. Before they left the house, she would explain how she wanted him to behave, where they were going, and what they were going to buy. She would give him the shopping list of 3-4 items and, at the bottom, a treat for him, such as cookies. She would ask him what he wanted to put on the list. He would hold the list while they shopped, which gave him ownership and something to do, as well as some control. As they got each item, he would cross it off the list. If he did a good job, he could choose the cookies. The mom would be generous with appreciation and encouragement while they shopped. Gradually, she could increase the time she shopped and go to a real grocery store. Sounds nice, doesn't it? Not sure how it works in real life, though! :)
mom to Jada, 12/31/01
09-09-2003, 12:39 AM
Well, DS is 3-1/2 now and he still doesn't care to sit in the stroller or cart. Here's what I do. If we are going into a store where I KNOW he will get into too much trouble, or there are lots of little "fun" things, I explain to him that there are too many dangerous/fragile/whatever things in this store and he has to stay in the cart. OR at Costco I tell him he has to be in the cart so he doesn't get lost because it's too huge a store and too many people in the store. OR, at the entrance I tell him to not touch anything or he will go into the cart! The threat of going into the cart is usually enough to keep him on pretty good behavior (not perfect, but good enough for me anyway). At the grocery store or Target, he likes the special carts with the extra seats or "car" seating. He has pushed the kids cart around the grocery store a couple times, but that usually gets old about half-way through and I end up pushing a tiny cart or putting it back. A big bonus now that DD is old enough that she is sitting in the carts, is that sometimes it's enough that she will be sitting next to him! The other day, we ASKED him if he wanted to sit next to DD (after he said he wanted to walk), and he said YES!! (and so did I... inside!)
I don't think it ends, but it can be manageable if you are consistent in the options you offer, and if you keep explaining things to them. Talk, talk, talk. I find the more I explain to him, the more manageable he is.
09-09-2003, 12:35 PM
Feel grateful that Sarah ever liked the stroller, shopping cart! :/ You always know how Meg has liked any form of enforced sitting. This is why I probably never caught the stroller bug that most of you did and why I have never been a mall cruiser since Meg has been born.
I do still have times when I need her to sit in the shopping cart and stroller and I have a few tricks that work for me to ensure a tantrum free trip. In the car, we always review Meg's rules of behavior but I then add "In this store you have to ride in the cart and stay in." My cheerios dispensor has made many a happy trip along with Meg remembering my list and trying to spot the item in the aisles before me. Maybe this makes me a bad Mommy, but Meg and I usually head first to the toy section at Target, pick out some sort of annoying electronic toy for her to play with, I do some shopping and we go back and switch toys when she gets bored. At the end if she does "good shopping rules" I let her get out and look at her beloved Thomas trains. She gets a countdown of 5 min, 3 min, etc. until she must go back in the cart to check out.
If Scott is along with me, we let Meg out and one of us walks around with her. She loves the Keebler elf display at the grocery store and generally plays there the whole time with her dad while I shop.
I don't know what I'm going to do once I have two to schlep around. My husband thinks it has to be true that our next child will LOVE the stroller, car seat, shopping cart, etc.
mom to Meghan 7/13/01
and #2 EDD 11/12/03
09-09-2003, 01:52 PM
I have a few thoughts, but they might not be popular. DS is 2 and has never been a good shopper either. He got better for a little while, but not to the point that shopping by myself was ever enjoyable.
Here's the unpopular bit -- I actually liked that op-ed piece in the New York Times that said that we should let our children explore and not plop them in a stroller all the time. I agree that with respect to safety (i.e. - when there are other carts around) or sanity (i.e. - when you have 2, or when you are surrounded by fragile things) toddlers should be in strollers. However, I find I sometimes have so much more fun shopping at DS's pace.
My suggestion -- yesterday we went to the mall and I put DS in the stroller to start -- that lasted for a very short time, so I took him out and said that he can walk as long as he walks with me and the stroller. He walked a bit and then veered off. I immediately picked him up and told him he couldn't walk by himself if he didn't walk with the stroller and me. This continued a bit and then he veered off again. Again I told him the rules, but this time I told him he would go in the stroller if he didn't walk with me. I laid out the rules and he was quite good at following them. Once he stepped out of bounds for a 3rd time, I put him in the stroller. He protested a bit and then I told him he would ride for a little while and then he could play in the center court of the mall when we were done. I actually managed a good deal of time in the Gap with him and a walk through most of the mall. When he finally got his chance to play in the center court he was full of energy and played really well (his play consists of finding every colored tile and jumping off it with his t-shirt pulled up to his chin... don't ask, LOL).
I am a big fan of letting kids walk as much as possible. I love the strollers and all, but I don't want to impose that DS must sit in one if he can walk. How else will he learn to walk around a mall with me? I can't keep him in a stroller forever, so this is the time for us to take "trial runs" of walking and making sure that he knows the rules for the future, just like potty training, eating, you name it.
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