Take the baby along for shopping during the holidays? It may sound quite impractical, especially when the holidays are times when department stores are jam-packed with people whose health conditions we have no inkling about. There’s always the possibility that somebody with a contagious ailment may be lurking somewhere there.

We all know how risky it is to expose babies to crowds, especially when the infant immune system isn’t well developed yet until a certain age. Some doctors say kids aren’t supposed to be taken out of the house much until they’re more than a year old. And they’re not to be exposed long in crowded areas until they are about 4 or 5.

However, the fact remains that sometimes, parents have no choice but to go shopping with the baby during the holidays. Here are some reasons:

  1. No one’s available to look after the baby at home.
  2. Some clothes or accessories like shoes and socks need to be tried on the baby to make sure they fit.
  3. Parents need to plan their time well and cut on extra trips, so they have to take the baby on their way to shop and have the baby checked up at the clinic later instead of going back home to fetch the baby.

If you find yourself with no choice but to go shopping with the baby, especially on a holiday, then take the following safety measures: [INPOSTLB]

  1. Always put the baby in a less crowded area.
  2. Put them in areas where there’s less or zero chances (if possible) of people sneezing or coughing nearby.
  3. Make sure the milk bottle nipples are always covered to avoid contaminants in the air from getting to them.
  4. Always have ready-to-use portioned milk powder in small containers handy in your baby bag, plus 4 to 5 bottles with measured-off water. Don’t take the whole can of milk and then open it amid the crowd and do the mixing there. This only leads to more unnecessary exposure to airborne contaminants.
  5. Always bring along a medicine kit for the baby containing a thermometer, an infant paracetamol syrup, two small towels for sponge bathing in case of sudden fever, and some cotton balls.
  6. Don’t leave the baby in the stroller alone. This seems like a pretty obvious mistake, but you’ll be surprised at how many people still do it.
  7. As much as possible, stay where security guards are visible. You never know when you need extra assistance during an emergency, like if you need to call a medic, ambulance, or simply need extra hands to help you.
  8. Always know where fire exits are. You’d see them on building maps posted on walls. In case trouble (fire or earthquake) happens that necessitates getting out of the building with your baby fast, you know exactly where to proceed.
  9. You touch a lot of things during shopping which other people most probably have also touched. Thus, always wash your hands before touching your baby.
  10. Beware of smoking areas. Always take your baby as far from them as possible.

Make your shopping experience with your baby as comfortable and safe as possible and follow these tips.