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Traveling (even for groceries) with my daughter has been a process of stages as she has grown older. Early on it was easy, she was pack and go. A little older it became a debate of "is everything we have to pack to go now worth the trip". Next came "is it worth it to go if she’s fighting". Now at almost 16 months old, it’s a question of is she in right the mood to travel. Honestly no stage “passes”, we simply learn how to overcome the complications of each one. What stages have you and your child gone through (any tips on what’s coming)? How did you overcome them?
Hehehe...Mine's still in the easy stages. She's only 5 months so she mostly just stays in her carseat while we shop. If we're going to do something like going to laundromat I make sure I bring an extra blanket for her to be able to lay on and extra toys so she doesn't have to be in the carseat the whole time and of course we've gotta have enough bottles and now we're starting to need to carry cereal and baby food as well lol.
I really don't give it a lot of thought. As long as my daughter has had a nap, she is good. I pack diapers, wipes, snacks, and a sippy. If it will be a long car trip I bring her blankie. The only time I put tons of thought into packing is for vacation and church. I make sure to pack quiet toys for church (crayons, dolls).
We're going through a fun one right now. My daughter just turned 4 so we're going through the transition from riding in a cart or stroller to walking. At most stores she prefers to walk, but when she's tired she still rides in the cart. When we go to the mall or something we have to fight not to use a stroller. Not only is she getting too tall for it, but once the little one comes in June she's going to have to walk anyway. We're putting up with a lot of crying. The best motivator is that she gets to use the escalator if she walks.
The escalator is a great motivator! My son loves it. We've never used strollers very much (I'm too lazy to get it out). :) I do have trouble with my son wanting to ride on the side or front of the shopping cart. I don't allow it because I see so many head injuries as a nurse. I'm so afraid he will fall and hit his head on the floor. I offer a sticker for everytime he makes it through a shopping trip without fussing about riding on the side of the cart. Sometimes I offer to let him ride in the little vehicles they have at the front of the store if he is good.