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How to Shop with Your Kids at Boutique For A Week

Amy from Gabriel’s Good Tidings joins us again to share tips on how to shop with your little ones at Boutique For A Week.


As a mom of young children, I know going to the grocery store alone seems like a vacation, and this is a sale that should ideally be shopped alone. However, sometimes life just doesn’t allow that to happen. So, if you find yourself in a situation where you must shop with children, here’s a few pointers.

1. Play by the rules. Check BFAW website for general shopping policies regarding children, and note that the pre-shopping times for new, expecting, adopting, and foster moms has additional restrictions on bringing children. Make sure you are allowed to bring children during your shopping time before going to the trouble to plan such an excursion.

2. Have a plan. Even if you don’t have children with you, I encourage you to make a list. Does your son need a navy Polo shirt to match those cute shorts? Does your daughter need shoes for school? Are you planning a Strawberry Shortcake birthday party in coming months? Know what you’re looking for and plan to shop intentionally. Now, if the kids fall asleep or are exceptionally happy, feel free to browse - but in the event of a cranky shopper, make sure you get the most-needed items first.

3. Bring new toys or an electronic device. Depending on your child’s age, consider bringing a new toy they have yet to see and/or an electronic device they love such as an iPod or iPad. This may buy you some precious shopping time as they play with such a well-loved toy.

4. Go hands-free. Again, depending on the age of your child, plan to bring something to help you be hands-free. A baby carrier (I always loved my Ergo for things like this!), a stroller, or even a wagon- just somewhere for the kids to sit away from your hip.

5. A full tummy. Clearly don’t bring the kids half an hour before lunch. Rather, plan to shop at their best time of day. Consider bringing snacks to help their hunger if you end up staying longer than planned. If you forget or run out of food, Boutique For A Week often has snacks provided by sponsors, so ask a volunteer or look at our checkout tables.

6. Sleepy shoppers. If your child is a stroller or baby carrier sleeper, consider shopping during nap time. Of course, have a plan B in case your child refuses to sleep, but this may work well for shoppers with infants who are good on-the-go sleepers.

7. Partner up. Consider joining forces with another mom (or a non-mom – they will learn to love these sales, too) who can lend an extra pair of hands if a child is having a hard time. It’s more fun to shop with friends, anyways!

8. Have a plan B. If things are disastrous - kids are hungry, a blow-out diaper, child with a fever, or any other unexpected events - have a back-up plan. Know in the back of your mind that you can come back later in the day when someone can watch your children, or when you have some time alone. It will be far less disheartening to walk away from great deals if you know you’ll be back later.

What are your best tips for shopping with children?