I love my children, but there were some things I just wasn’t giving up for them. I let go of coffee because it made my little girl uncomfortable. I eliminated dairy from my diet because my baby boy was allergic. The one thing I wasn’t giving up, though, was Target. Like it or not, kid, you’re coming on this ride!
I learned a lot from my inaugural Target run experience with my daughter years ago, and took those lessons with me a few months ago when I introduced my new baby to my favorite store.
Before you go
Even if I think my Target trip is going to be a quick one, I make sure to always bring my diaper bag in the store with me. Babies are so unpredictable that you always want to have the right tools on hand in case of an emergency — even if a diaper bag seems obvious.
I learned this the hard way.
The first time I took my daughter to Target by myself, she had a huge blowout and ruined her clothes while I was in line at Starbucks. I tried to ignore it because I needed that cup of coffee. When I looked down and saw the poop starting to stain the front of her pajamas, I gave up, left, and cried all the way home.
Not this time.
Of course you’ll have diapers and wipes in your bag, but you’ll want to pack a blanket, too. I use them for everything from nursing to soothing my son when we’re walking around Target. It also comes in handy to cover up my chest when I start leaking and don’t even notice until it’s too late because I’m smelling candles or manhandling adorable mugs.
Remember to bring whatever you need for your baby to eat, as well as hand sanitizer, a changing pad, and a change of clothes for the baby. If I would’ve had my diaper bag with me when my daughter had that big accident years ago, I could’ve wiped her down, changed her clothes in the bathroom, and grabbed a cup of much-needed coffee.
Oh yeah. I’m still bitter about that.
If you want the trip to last longer bring a wrap baby carrier to lighten your load. If they get fussy in the car seat, strap them to your chest and you can probably squeeze out a few more minutes of shopping.
I appreciate baby-wearing in Target because my hands are free to dig through the bins in the Bullseye Playground, even though my husband says I have enough funny stickers and craft supplies. Clearly, he’s wrong. I’m the woman who birthed his children. I deserve hilarious stationery and quirky cocktail napkins. It’s like getting a push present, only better.
How to have a good run
When I walk in the store and grab a cart, the first thing I do is wipe down the handle, thanks to the wipe dispensers in every store. I rub that cart down like I work at a car wash. If you’re obsessive about germs like me, doing this will ease some of your anxiety. People might look at you like you’re a lunatic for your incredibly detailed scrubbing of a Target shopping cart, but at least you’ll feel better knowing it’s clean.
Once the baby is all squared away, you’re good to go. Target is a magical place for new moms. It’s clean, and they have everything you want and need in life. I mean, there’s nail polish and cookies! Pretty dresses for me and adorable outfits for my baby. Does it get any better than that?
The part I like most about my Target runs is that it gets me out of the house. If I wasn’t strolling through the aisles squeezing pillows and reading the back of hair care product bottles, who knows what else I could be doing — maybe solving world peace?
The one thing you need to be flexible with when venturing out on baby’s first Target run is time. As hard as I work to remain in charge of my own life, when it comes to sticking to a schedule, my infant son is the boss. When he’s ready to leave, it’s time to go.
I left the store without purchasing anything on my daughter’s first Target run because she was screaming at the top of her lungs. My son slept for his entire first trip, so I walked around for over an hour and left with a cart filled with A MILLION ITEMS THAT I ABSOLUTELY NEEDED SO STOP JUDGING ME I JUST HAD A BABY.
Don’t feel bad if baby’s first Target run doesn’t go as planned. As you can see below, my son wanted to keep napping. I pushed through for a bit trying to see if, since I gave him life, he would give me a break so I could keep shopping. He didn’t. He was over it, and so our Target run was officially over.
If you need to leave early because of a crying newborn, or you’re feeling tired because taking care of a tiny human is exhausting, you haven’t failed. The good thing about Target is that any time is a good time, so you can try again tomorrow. Or the next day. And the day after that.
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