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How to keep my 17 month old son in the front of the cart while shopping?

while shopping I put him in the front of the cart, I buckle him in, bring his sippy and a few toys a snack in tow and he just will not sit there he will throw everything I bring for him and he will cry in the struggle of being buckled in, I have tried unbuckling him and that makes it worse he will just try to stand up he just wants out. Its mostly when the cart stops and I am looking at items. shopping is nearly impossible, I rush and forget things and end up having him run away from me. I have never had this problem so soon with my sons they were around 3 when they wanted out of the front of the cart. Honestly I think he sees two big brother walking and he wants to walk too.

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Asked by n8nnickmom at 4:00 AM on Nov. 1, 2013 in General Parenting

Level 13 (1,137 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • Can you do the bulk of your shopping at night? Then just take him for short trips for 2-3 items, praising him when he stays seated and offering rewards. My 3 and 4 yo know that I keep dum dum lollipops in the car (I buy them by the bag) and if they behave in the grocery store, they get one when we're done. You should be able to extend your trips over time and go back to doing your full list with time.

    Answer by missanc at 7:34 AM on Nov. 1, 2013

  • There was a stage when it was just impossible to bring them. Wait until your husband gets home and go then. I used to go after I put them to bed. I would do anything to shop alone.

    Answer by mompam at 7:54 AM on Nov. 1, 2013

  • Yes, if he sees his siblings walking he wants to do the same. Why not try one of those vests with a lead type attachment so he can walk and you can keep him close. But I agree that maybe you could do shopping at a time when someone else could watch him until he gets older. After that you can make him your big helper to actually put what you want in the basket.

    Answer by silverthreads at 7:54 AM on Nov. 1, 2013

  • I would stop taking anything for him to throw, and we would practice just sitting at home. Start out with one or two minutes, and then progress upwards. This is not about boredom; this is about defiance and his wanting to be in control. You have to teach him that you are the authority and that he must obey you. I had three children and I always had to take them everywhere with me. When one has to do that, she has to be proactive and prepare the child for what is going to happen. My husband and I spanked our children for 2 things: disrespect and disobedience. The control mechanism is present in children from birth, and it has to be transferred from child to parent and then to teachers, coaches, and others in positions of authority. I would tell mine before we left home what we had to do and how I expected them to behave. Discipline was then carried out based on those expectations. Your child is at the starting point!

    Answer by NannyB. at 7:59 AM on Nov. 1, 2013

  • As soon as they could walk, both before a year old, my kids HATED being strapped in to anything. So we started making discipline a little bit of a game. We instituted red light/green light. If they could listen to us, and do as we said, they got to walk. If they ran off, or stopped listening they got buckled in to a stroller or cart, whatever we had on hand.

    Red light: stop
    Green light: go run
    Yellow light: walk close to us
    Purple light: stop and come back to us
    Blue light (dad was going to be a cop): uh-oh! here comes Daddy chasing you to tickle you!

    My kids are now 10 and 6 1/2 and will STILL follow that light system.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 11:33 AM on Nov. 1, 2013

  • Don't take him & shop at night when your DH/SO can watch him. That's what we do.

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 11:55 AM on Nov. 1, 2013

  • Night time shopping, Stores are less crowded and you can zip in and out quickly. All dad has to do is watch them sleep.
    The other alternative would be to try the BACK of the cart!

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 12:54 PM on Nov. 1, 2013

  • Can you validate his feelings? He's having a hard time; you may need to make space for his unhappiness about being confined to the seat. I don't believe that you have to intimidate him into giving up/submission, through spanking. Nor is it "necessary" to avoid the situation entirely (although if that is a possibility you may adjust your schedule to do this, as many suggested.)
    By making space for his unhappiness, I just mean acknowledging it & showing understanding for it. You don't have to feed into it, dramatizing it. It's about finding the resources within to "allow" his upset feelings to be okay with you, not something you desperately need to avoid or fix. Words like, "Yes" & "I know" are what I'm talking about. Not as platitudes or manipulation (say the magic words & he'll stop), but as empathy & validation. Acknowledge what's actually happening: you know he wants out but you're insisting he sit. It's frustrating for him!

    Answer by girlwithC at 4:18 PM on Nov. 1, 2013

  • my husband works so much that I usually have him do the shopping by himself but there are days that we try to go together and I usually hold him through the store and put him down to walk when my arms get tired, of course I talk to him and validate his feelings, because I love him and know that he just wants to roam and be like his big brothers.

    Comment by n8nnickmom (original poster) at 11:03 AM on Nov. 2, 2013

  • do any of your stores have a Cookie Club? our walmart has free cookies for kids, & i tell mine they can have a cookie IF they behave the whole time. some ppl think thats bribery, but i figure i get rewards when i work hard & behaving is hard work for little ones. i have no problems now b/c they know that theres something in it for them. there have been times they havent gotten one, & they were really upset...but the next time they were angels. there have also been times one got a cookie & the other didnt, again lots of tears. but discipline is about setting limits/rules & issuing appropriate consequences.

    make a list of the things you need so he cant distract you.
    dont give back toys he's thrown, pick it up and put it away. he throws it he loses it.
    dont give into his crying by letting him down, you're just teaching him that throwing a fit gets him his way.

    its not impossible, you just have to get over this bump.

    Answer by okmanders at 3:18 PM on Nov. 2, 2013

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