A solution for shopping with an unstable sitter (baby or toddler)

We have family coming to visit, so I did a BIG grocery shopping trip today with my son who is 3 months old. As I wedged red bell peppers and pints of blueberries around his carseat, precariously perched salad mix on a tower of condiments, and stashed chicken breast on the ledge under the cart between the spaghetti squash and popcorn, I was reminded of that magical moment when a baby finally graduates to sitting in the cart without the carseat.

In an attempt to have full use of the cart’s storage space, I tried using a front baby carrier while shopping a few weeks back. However, that comes with it’s own set of challenges. Have you ever tried to reach into a nearly empty watermelon bin to fetch a nice green seedless with a baby between you and the melon? Take my advice. Don’t. For a quick moment I envisioned my son sliding out of the carrier and spearing head first into the dirty cardboard pit. Luckily, we both survived. However, I now think twice before venturing into the store wearing my son.

When Lily was a baby, it took her a little longer than average to sit up on her own because of her weak core and trunk muscles. As a result, I was really ready for her to be able to sit independently in a shopping cart when that magical day finally arrived.

To accelerate the timing, I tried using a blanket to provide cushion while propping my purse next to her to hold her up. It wasn’t very effective. The blanket would slide down, and she would slump, and the grocery cart belt hit her just below the armpits, which looked terribly uncomfortable. I ended up carrying her because I worried that if she lost her balance she’d flop into something hard and metal, causing a nasty injury, and giving me a lifetime of mommy guilt.

So… I went on a hunt for a better option.

I found THE COOLEST shopping cart cover for a wobbly sitter. It helped free me from all of my shopping cart sitting worries.

Leachco shopping cart cover with pillows for unstable sitters
Leachco shopping cart cover with pillows for unstable sitters

Meet the Leachco  Prop ‘R Shopper.

It has PILLOWS. On both sides. If she slumped to one side, she got a nice, soft greeting rather than a hard metal rail. The pillows also came in super handy when she was tired, because she would lay her head down for a nap while we shopped.

Leachco shopping cart carrier with pillows for unstable sitters - pocketsOther extras that made me giddy?

  • Pockets for carrying my phone and and grocery list.
  • Two loops for attaching toys or teething rings to the cart.
  • Cloth covering for the hand rail so she could teeth, drool, and slobber as she pleased.
  • A belt that actually went around her waist!

Leachco shopping cart carrier with pillows for unstable sitters - rail coverThe only down side?

  • It folds up with a carrying handle, but is a little bulky due to the pillows.

Note: If your child has very little control over their trunk muscles, you might have to add a little extra support on either side of them. The pillows work great to buffer kids that are unsteady, but there will likely be a small gap between the pillow the the child.  

Does your child have a disability like low muscle tone or partial paralysis that causes them to have trouble sitting independently? 

What creative solutions have you come up with for shopping with them?




  1. OK this is awesome!!!!! I need to get one of these. Emma is getting better but I know what you mean about the mommy guilt.

  2. They should make the pillows blow up, maybe a little blow up balloon inside some padding to make it more comfortable than just air. This would have been nice a few years ago….

  3. My kids are much older than yours and did not face the challenges that your Lily has but every baby needs stability in the shopping cart. I always used to begin my shopping trips by picking up two rolls of paper towels. My purse, covered by a baby blanket, went in front of the baby, and a roll of paper towels was propped up sideways under each of the baby’s arms to keep them from falling over. It was very effective. I used a cloth belt under their arms as well, run through the back of the metal seat, to keep them from sliding down, and especially as they grew older and more inclided to try to stand up. My inclination to dress the boys in overalls was very helpful, too, giving me an easy way to run the belt through their clothes for more stability.

Leave a Reply