Hanging out and going shopping at the mall is always fun and enjoyable. However, once you bring a toddler with you, the whole experience can become a nightmare. Toddlers are naturally curious and needy, and can become a clear test of both patience and resolve when brought to the mall.
The need to watch, carry, and care for the child requires more than what one might actually expect. Add to that the many distractions of great bargains and fun window shopping options and you may find yourself regretting bringing the child with you. Here are a few friendly reminders on how to bring your toddler to the mall with you without going insane.
- Accept the fact it will not be like your usual trips. A trip to the Mall with a toddler will always be a trip that will have less actual shopping and more window shopping. Whether the child is in a stroller, carried by hand, or on a body sling, you will quickly discover the idea of trying stuff on or watching a movie will be far more difficult. Hence, your experience will be significantly different.
- Know you are running on a timetable. Kids will have a level of tolerance or patience that will be different from your own. Expect the kid to get hungry, make a mess, or start becoming fussy at least once during the trip. Keep the bottle of milk and snacks ready and within easy reach if possible. Taking note of baby stations and comfort rooms around the mall will help as well should the time come for diaper changing. All these will help you manage your time in the mall with much more efficiency.
- Do not lose sight of your toddler. While kids who still require carrying are most likely within your scope of attention, toddlers who can walk may wander about or run off and vanish at some nearby store the moment you turn your attention elsewhere. Do not ever let your children leave your sight when you are at the mall. The mall, even with security, is still a place filled with strangers and you never know if your child might be taken by someone, be it an honest mistake or an intentional crime.
- In addition, typical everyday mall things like escalators and elevator doors can be pretty normal for adults, but can be dangerous to an unaccompanied child.
- Consider daycare facilities. Obviously, you are going to the mall for a reason. And, sometimes, that reason will not coincide with what the toddler wants to do. There is a solution to this problem. Most of the larger malls actually have daycare facilities that you can take advantage of. These facilities normally have secured and child-friendly play areas as well as competent staff to take care of your child while you roam around the mall freely. If you can afford the service, consider dropping your kid here to free yourself from the burden for even a half hour or so.
Lastly, bear in mind that if your kid breaks anything, you will most likely have to pay for it. That said make sure to be extra careful when shopping with your kid in tow to avoid unnecessary expenses.