Thursday, September 6, 2007

Shopping Cart Cover

People keep asking me about our shopping cart cover, so I figure I'll post about it.

As I've gotten older, I've become more of a germophobe. So when MetaBaby came around, I wasn't keen on exposing him to certain things, such as shopping carts. I really wanted a cover for the seat in the shopping cart, but a friend pointed out that his kids never wanted to be in the shopping cart, so for his purposes it was a waste of money. I realized that even though I wanted a great and perfect cover, it might be a waste of money if our energetic little lad didn't tolerate being in the shopping cart. That said, as he started teething and putting everything in his mouth, I knew that he'd just suck on the handles, railings, etc.

I looked around at covers, and they ranged from about $20 to $108, and everything in between. Since I didn't know how long we'd get to use it, I went for the cheapest option.

It's very basic. The elastic trim allows it to stretch to fit over the shopping cart seat at various stores, including Costco, Albertson's, Trader Joe's, and Target. However, it doesn't fit the seat very snuggly. As a result, when I put him in and latch him in with the cover's harness, he's still not very secure because his movements are enough to wiggle the cover out of place. That said, he can't chew on the shopping cart, which is the reason I got it to begin with.

In summary, if you go for this cheaper option:
  • Your baby will be protected from whatever grossness that shopping cart has been through.
  • There is not a lot of padding on this cover, so if you're baby can't sit up well without support, you should probably wait to use it or provide alternate padding of your own.
  • This model has a tiny pocket for stuff in the front, which is accessible to the baby. However, I find it too small to put anything in it. Even if I could, he'd end up dropping it because of his current inclination to test gravity.
  • Some covers provide loops to hook toys onto, thus preventing the aforementioned testing of Newton's law. This one does not.
  • Some covers provide a storage pocket on the back that hangs into the cart. This one does not.
The cover has worked out pretty well for me. I started using it pretty early. He was about 18 lbs at 3-4 months, which made it really hard on my back to carry him in a sling. Once he was stable enough to sit up, I started using the cover and added a little padding of my own (blanket on either side) to keep him protected if he managed to topple over. I don't mind not having a pocket for storage of toys because I try to travel light. However, I do wish there was a loop/hook on it sometimes so he could play without dropping every-single-thing. As for the safety problem, I would prefer something that fit on the cart a bit more snuggly, but it's actually worked out fine. I just don't separate myself from him. That said, I can't imagine separating myself from him in the store, anyway. If I had to do it again, I'd either buy the same one again or this one, which looks like it might secure onto the cart better.

For other ways to keep your baby safe and protected, take a look at the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association's (JMPA) list for Baby Safety Month. That said, isn't every month "baby safety month"?


MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

I researched the same thing and was almost going to buy one. But I just haven't got that far yet.

Is that MetaBaby? Wow, what a professional photo!?!? And he's so good in the cart!

MetaMommy said...

No, no, no...he's much more unruly. MetaBaby would be leaning out trying to grab onto anything in reaching distance. In fact, the only way I can keep him calm at Trader Joe's is to give him a fruit leather like this one and he just slobbers it up until he gets bored.

That's a photo of the product by One Step Ahead :-)

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

LOL. Our guy is like mr sticky hands in a cart too!

BTW, those treats look awesome!