New-Parent Social Rules: Where You Can Take Baby

Shopping

In a perfect world

You're finally ready for that pair of non-maternity jeans (oh happy day!) so you'll hit the sales at the mall while pushing your baby in the stroller.

The reality

Bargain-hunting with an infant is very doable with a little planning. Shop at stores that feature a wide-open layout to avoid becoming tangled in a rack of sweaters as you maneuver your baby's wheels up and down the aisles. Also, look for spacious dressing rooms -- you can squeeze in a private nursing session or change a diaper if you need to. (Those giant mirrors are great fun for babies.) Don't be discouraged if your first attempts are rocky; as you get to know your little one better, your shopping sprees will go more smoothly, says Laura Jana, MD, coauthor of Heading Home with Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality. "Some babies do well being out and about; others don't," says Dr. Jana. Once you figure out which kind of kid you have, you'll know how long you can browse and what time of day is best.

Our advice

Shop, but be ready to cut your trip short. A tip for grocery stores: If you haven't made it to the checkout aisle when meltdown time hits, ask a manager if he can refrigerate perishables and set your cart aside until you come back later.

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