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How to Shop Black Friday With a Toddler (If You Dare)

Can you believe Black Friday is almost upon us?

If you’re one of those awesome people who already has their holiday shopping done; wow! I’m so impressed (and more than a little bit jealz).

As for me, I haven’t even started my holiday shopping. Like so many consumers, I like to kick off the holiday shopping madness on Black Friday because I’m a glutton for punishment and the deals are just that good.

I’ve been Black Friday-ing for a few years now, but last year was the first I attempted to attack like a ninja shopaholic Jedi Master with a toddler in tow. To say a toddler altered my shopping experience would be the understatement of the century.

I’ll be honest with you, Black Friday shopping with a toddler isn’t easy, but it’s far from impossible.

With a little bravery, a bitchy can-do attitude and these tips; you can kick Black Friday’s assets!

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  • Think long and hard about it 1 of 14
    Think long and hard about it
    Yes, you CAN shop Black Friday madness with your toddler in tow, but do you really want to? Black Friday is crazazy so if you can find yourself a sitter, do. Besides, you can't pick up all of Santa's gifts with your tot by your side anyway.
  • Early to bed 2 of 14
    Early to bed
    Black Friday sales begin at the crack of dawn (or earlier) so hit the sack way early and prepare for a cranky morning. It's not that your child might be grouchy at 4am; it's a guarantee.
  • Bring reinforcements 3 of 14
    Bring reinforcements
    Bring a friend of five to help you manage the holiday hysteria with your toddler. Long lines, crowded spaces and utter confusion are a recipe for toddler disaster. A friend can help you keep your child entertained and carefully supervised.
  • I.D. your child 4 of 14
    I.D. your child
    No one wants to think about their child getting lost. Large crowds can be dangerous places so protect your child with a SafetyTat or other form of child identification for safety's sake.
  • Manage your expectations 5 of 14
    Manage your expectations
    It's probably unreasonable to expect to knock out all 63 presents on your holiday shopping list in a 12 hour Black Friday spending marathon. Shop for as long as your toddler is along for the retail ride but maintain reasonable expectations.
  • Come prepared (really prepared) 6 of 14
    Come prepared (really prepared)
    Bring enough snack and entertainment rations to last 3 days. Bringing a few new picture books or a portable DVD player can help too. You never know what your toddler may need or want in the event of Black Friday madness.
  • Bring a big stroller 7 of 14
    Bring a big stroller
    I don't care how big or how old your child is; bring a stroller!
    Strollers are not only designed to keep your child contained and comfortable, they are a handy dandy place to hang all those shopping bags!
  • Plan regular potty breaks 8 of 14
    Plan regular potty breaks
    Bathroom lines are stupid long on Black Friday. Avoid the toddler pee-pee dance and associated panic with scheduled bathroom breaks.
  • Plan your shopping strategy 9 of 14
    Plan your shopping strategy
    Do your homework by creating a shopping list and retail strategy of attack. Hit up the best sales for those big ticket items first and stay focused. It's a zen thing.
  • Bribe if you have to 10 of 14
    Bribe if you have to
    Black Friday is one of those special occasions when bribing is not only allowed, it's expressly encouraged. Do whatever you have to do to get you and your toddler through it.
  • Now, for those of you on the naughty list… 11 of 14
    Now, for those of you on the naughty list...
    You can use your toddler in crime to help you snag what you really want on Black Friday (relax; it's all in good fun)!
  • Use your diaper bag as a weapon 12 of 14
    Use your diaper bag as a weapon
    Your diaper bag can serve as a rather resourceful measure to fend off overzealous shoppers!
  • Create a diversion 13 of 14
    Create a diversion
    Toddlers create diversions even on their best days. Black Friday is the perfect day to use them to your advantage.
  • Use Bad Santa tricks 14 of 14
    Use Bad Santa tricks
    Train your toddler to "accidentally" trip people who are headed to that last flat screen TV on sale for $299. Hey, toddlers' legs are short, it would be impossible to prove.

Big thanks to my Toddler Times sister Monica for her naughty Black Friday shopping tips!

Have you attacked Black Friday with a toddler? Share your tips for survival!

More on Toddler Times:

Fun Up Your Thanksgiving With Turkey Notes!

Grown Up Stuff You Need to be Doing

Ouch! Readers Share Their Real Life Parenting Injuries

 

Don’t forget to cash in on Babble’s Best Holiday Coupon Codes!

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