Taking Baby to IKEA Tips
If you are a new parent, outfitting your home as a safe, relaxing environment is more important than ever. Chances are, you’d like to get out of the house, too, so taking your baby to IKEA, the Swedish home goods giant, might be the perfect way to get some fresh air, introduce your baby to the real world, and pick up some housewares to bring back to your nest. It’s easy on the budget for a growing family, a great source for baby products, and a non-threatening place to see if your baby is ready for life outside of the house. Here are some tips to consider to make the day more enjoyable for you and your baby:
IKEA is notoriously family-friendly, so taking your baby to IKEA can be one of the most enjoyable shopping experiences you’ll have as a new parent. Unlike other retailers, IKEA is intentionally designed to support parents, so you are sure to find everything you need to make the trip relaxing and productive for your family when you take your baby to IKEA. Whether you have a shopping list of items you want for your home, or you’re just browsing to get out of the house, taking your baby to IKEA should be a lot less stressful than the average shopping trip.
1. Browse Their Website First
Before taking your baby to IKEA, take some time to peruse the IKEA website to get the best possible idea of what you would like to purchase there. Researching online will allow you to get a good look at the items, read customer reviews, and even check store availability before taking your baby to IKEA with you
For example, if you have narrowed your choice of sofas to three or four favorites before taking your baby to IKEA, it will be much easier for both of you than if you try sitting on every sofa in the store and examining the details for the first time with a baby in tow. Make a list of the smaller items you want to pick up, such as linens or kitchen utensils, and assess whether or not you will need a shopping cart to hold them. (Read on for more about the shopping carts.)
2. Feed Baby Before Coming
Make sure that your family is well rested and well fed before taking the baby to IKEA. With an average visit lasting over two hours, you can bet on a meltdown if you try to shop with a tired, hungry baby.
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Check on your little ones (and yourself!) when you arrive at the store and stop in the restaurant for a snack if needed. There are many nutritious and inexpensive options to offer when taking a baby to IKEA, so make sure everyone is satisfied before you shop. IKEA is also equipped with baby care rooms if you need to nurse, bottle feed, or change your baby.
As with any outing or event, the more regular a child’s routine, the better things tend to go. Prioritize healthy feedings and sleep habits in the days prior, especially if this is the first big shopping trip for your little one.
3. Pack Diaper Bag
Before taking your baby to IKEA, gather the usual essential items: diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream, and extra clothes. If you haven’t already, add a small bottle of Tylenol to your diaper bag, too. Taking your baby to IKEA will be a short-lived and unpleasant adventure if you’re not prepared for teething pain or fevers that can come up suddenly in infants.
Pacifiers, pre-made bottles, and nursing-friendly clothing on Mom can also be a lifesaver. Don’t hesitate to sit down and feed your baby on a sample piece of furniture, either. You’ll never find a store so welcoming of on-the-spot baby care than taking baby to IKEA.
4. Bring Your Own Stroller
Even if you have a portable seat cover that you use for shopping carts, you might find the carts at IKEA rather frustrating to use with your baby.
On IKEA carts, all four wheels swivel, unlike typical American grocery carts, so it takes a little more muscle to control when taking a baby to IKEA and using the shopping cart. Chances are that your baby is already used to riding in a stroller. Take advantage of that comfort and push your baby in your stroller instead of using the shopping cart.
If your belongings are organized in a diaper bag, you can certainly stow the items you wish to purchase from IKEA in your stroller’s cargo area. Ask an associate to help you with anything that won’t fit. Using your own stroller will be easier for you and, in turn, more relaxing for your baby.
5. Use IKEA’s Free Childcare
Start in the children’s department. When you arrive at IKEA, you can leave older (potty-trained) children in the Smäland play area and just take your baby through the store. A suggested traffic pattern is laid out with arrows on the floor to help you see the complete collection, but you will be happier taking your baby to IKEA if you visit the children’s department first.
Not only can you peruse the selection of baby and juvenile furniture, but you can also borrow some toys to keep your baby entertained while you shop! Give one to the baby to hold, and stash a few in your shopping basket to hand over if your baby gets tired. If you decide not to purchase the toys, simply hand them to the cashier to keep when you check out.
6. Look for Teachable Moments
Taking your baby to IKEA is an excellent opportunity to teach your baby the manners and consideration that you will expect in other public places someday. Taking baby to IKEA means that many items will be within your baby’s reach if they are old enough to grab things.
Breakable items are generally kept out of reach. (One exception is vases–they tend to be displayed on endcaps near the main aisle, so steer baby clear of these!) It’s the perfect, stress-free environment to gently show your baby that we don’t touch things that don’t belong to us. Imagine trying to teach that important lesson in the fine china department at another store! You’re much better off to bring it up and gauge your baby’s progress in a family-friendly place like IKEA–with something unbreakable, if possible!
A trip to IKEA might be the perfect outing for a parent to take with a baby. Of course, the object of all the family-friendly conveniences of IKEA is to get you to come to the store and stay there as long as possible. However, you can simply enjoy the visit as a pleasant experience being out and about with your baby. If you use the tips above, you’re going to have a great time.
Again, the safety and comfort of your home have never been more important than they are now with a little one around. IKEA is a perfect place to start if you need to get out of the house (and you’re not alone–all new parents get a little stir crazy). You’re sure to find a few things to style your space, make your rooms more baby-friendly, and inspire you to make memories with your growing family.