My 15 month old acts out every time we go to the store: Advice?

I have a 15-month-old Every time I bring her into the store, she starts acting up. Any suggestions on how I can handle this before she gets older, and it gets worse.


Maybe do something to distract like give a snack or a toy to play with…Kids get bored in stores…

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Bring items you can clip on to the cart so she can’t just throw them. Sensory type toys. My daughter is the same way. I think she just gets bored and is mad that she can’t be out walking around like everyone else.

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I realize screen time isn’t the best option, but sometimes it’s all I can do to keep my 15-month-old entertained. His grandma got him an Amazon Kid’s Tablet and it’s super durable. I have it loaded with some of his favorite 30 min shows (Sesame Street, Bubble Guppies, etc) and also some Fisher Price Games. He also has some favorite YouTube’s and if there’s WiFi I’ll put some of those on. He’s finally at an age where he can hold the tablet (or even my phone) without throwing it, so I just let him hold onto it in his lap. Keeps him happy to and from the store AND during! We’ve tried bringing toys in with us, but unless it’s strapped to the stroller he tends to lose them. Snacks are another good way to keep them happy!


My son who is now 4 did this. Would literally start acting up as soon as we walked through the doors, if we made it that far in. What worked for him , leaving the store. When he started acting out, I’d take him directly to the car. ( sucked multiple times because I had to leave my cart behind) one time only he did it ( 5 or 6 times in of taking him to the car) and I put him in the car seat and left the parking lot. He was destroyed. I circled the block, calmed him down and explained we can’t scream and act up in the store. Told him we could go back if he behaved himself. He did. Never acted up in the store again and still hasn’t. He was about 2 then.


I used to let my son help with groceries, and play I spy

Give options and include. Do you want Cheerios or honey comb cereal this week? Should we get apples or bananas? Can you point to which meat mommy should choose? Also let them know what you’re doing if it includes them in any way. We’re gonna get in the car now to go shopping. Lets buckle you in nice and safe. Ok I’m gonna get in and start driving now see you at the grocery store. Hi again! Let’s unbuckle you so we can go inside. We’ll use a basket and you can sit in the child’s seat. Ok first up is salt let’s go to the spice isle. You may get funny looks but it works for us lol. I have two docile children so it may not work for everyone but it’s worth a try

He’s probably bored lol. Distraction is key.

My 2 year old is the same way. Every time I think he might be good he proves me wrong every single time. And he’s so loud too. Screams and I get dirty looks. Last time I just left and went back to the car without checking out. Now I won’t even take him. I can’t handle it. I only to curbside pick up now. It’s not the best answer but that’s how I handle it. Although it’s not really teaching him anything but it helps me not to get so embarrassed. Good luck.

That’s normal. Stores are a lot for kids. There’s so many noises, people, and new things and they don’t get to go where they want or touch what they want so it’s hard for them.(: Patience is important and I’ve actually read that avoiding taking your child to the store can help until they’re older. I’ve also heard just being very honest with them and saying I’m sorry but this behaviour is not allowed in the store so we will stay here until you can be calm. Even teaching a calming song or patience song sometimes helps.
Good luck!


Maybe she is sensitive to that environment. The lighting, the people, the noises…it can be overstimulating her. Try to either ignore the tantrum if you don’t think it’s a sensory thing, or try to go out without her if that’s an option.


Babywear her :heart: if she likes it. We felt like our life was over when our daughter was younger bc she didn’t do good in public places but if I baby wore her it was amazing ! She wanted the comfort of me holding her and she could nap while being worn. I love the Tula. My baby is 5 now and I have the toddler one she loves using it when her little legs are tired and she goes on back. It’s perfect for up to 60lbs.


Breathe momma. All child act out…they have a hard time expressing themselves. It may be a sensor overload for her.
I take an activity and a snack when we go out. My daughter is 5 now and i still have to do this.

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Ugh we went through this I feel like it’s taken years but I used to dread the store and I would get so worked up by my son acting up I would like rush out forget what I was trying to buy it was difficult. My mom gave me the best advice… take him out MORE I used to shun away from doing that and avoid it but I did what she said now he is 5 helps me in the store he learned what was acceptable and actually began enjoying it. Good luck to u I remember those days


I don’t know where you are from, but give it time. The baby carrier is a good idea as mentioned above!
Also, our kids were sooo good in stores before the covid. Then they weren’t allowed or almost for 5 months. When we went back, without giving them snacks (snacks are lifesavers!!!) And after not seeing that many people, toys, lights, things, etc. they were plain awful… 45 min in costco and we were dead for the whole day… give her time to adapt, a little washable toy maybe and if you can a snack :wink:
Also, she is young but try to tell her what you want her to do, instead of “don’t” that we always use so often. Kids get so messed up and don’t know what to do and need to learn. Slowly but surely! You will find how to work as a team pretty soon :slight_smile:

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All kids do it. I stopped it by making my daughter go to the car each time she messed up took twice she stopped. Did the same thing w us going out for dinner. Or hey if your good you can have candy or a small bag of chips or a drink … and it works super quick.


I got my youngest one a cart of his own to push around and let him help pick a few things out to put in it. The relief of having to chase him or fight him was almost immediate.


My son used to do that, or scream he needed the toilet just as we walked in, stopped when I threw a tantrum next to him. If it’s all stores might be a sensory thing but if it’s just one store and normally when they act up you buy them something then that’s all they are wanting

Start by making a relatively short list, 15 items or so. Get him to help you find those items and allow him to place it in the cart. Talk about what you need the item for e.g. the cucumber goes in the salad. The onions goes in the soup, what else do you think we need to make MAC and cheese? Also, before you enter tell him that he is allowed to pick 1 treat for himself and he can have It when he gets home if he is well behaved. It worked well with all 3 of my kids, who are now extremely well behaved on the store.

I’m sure most people would probably talk shit about my advice on this, but…dum dum suckers. I give both of my toddlers one when we go to the store and they are like little angels! I definitely brush their teeth 3 times a day so no cavities here! When mine were 15 months I used ring pops.


when I took my nephews, I told them you can look at ANYTHING but you keep your hands in your pockets… they were so good…they would be nose almost touching but didnt take their hands out!! lol…then I would give them a treat at home for being so good!

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My biggest thing with my boys was just ignoring them and continue shopping. They did I’m not get anything in return for their bad behavior and I would make them take anything that they picked up prior and make them put it back.


Always get a trolley and brings a snack, drink and maybe a little toy if you feel it’s not a sensory thing stick with it but if she is sensitive to lights noise crowds etc put on a pair of sunnies and some headphones with nice calming music. I’m a loan parent so I know it’s not always possible to leave them home. If you can chat with her prep her before going out, tell her what your doing where your going might be a good idea to give her a picture list of some things you need and ask her for her help x

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We used to take a snack or pick up a toy to keep her occupied and keep her involved in what we’re doing so picking things up explain what we’ve got etc x

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Work on smaller stores for shorter times. Engage her in looking for things and make her part of the process. Dont ignore bad behavior…but guide towards appropriate behavior. Practice at home in play.


My kids don’t act out unless they are very tired or it runs into a meal time.
Bring a bag of snacks for my 4 year old
Toys for my 11 month old
Try to go early in the morning or after nap time
There is always consequences if my 4 year old doesn’t listen

Go without her. Tell her she is too bad to go to the store. If she can behave xyz maybe we can try abc. I used it … It worked. My parents spanked me. That worked too. To each their own.


She’s literally 15 months. They don’t know any better. I have a 15 month old. He’s a no limit savage. Redirect. Redirect and redirect some more. They don’t know how to express themselves. Some of you commenting aren’t realizing this child was an infant three months ago. They turned one three months ago.


I had one child throw a tantrum in the store at about that age. I gave him two warnings that if he didn’t stop we were leaving he didn’t stop I picked him up out of the cart left everything behind and we went home. He never did it again. He was the only one that tried the tantrum thing my other two never did. Also try not to go during meal or nap times. There are lots of ideas on here for you to try… I’m sure you will find something that will help.


Wont be much help for such a young baby but when we were kids my younger sister 3~4 years old at the time took a fit in a store my mom said smarten up or ur going home. She didt, so mom left the cart there, drove home and droped her off with dad and said ur bad u stay home and ur sisters coming with me. Mom said she never did it again :laughing:lol

Try to engage her in the shopping process… ask her questions when picking out the food items, ask her opinion, have her tell you what colors items are, let her smell certain things. I know she might not be able to answer back, or maybe she won’t even understand…but she will feel like she is part of the shopping experience. If she starts to act up, let her know that isn’t acceptable…and don’t react. You are doing the best you know how and other peoples reactions shouldn’t affect you. Just don’t give up…she needs to learn how to act in public at an early age. I feel people don’t teach their kids that anymore. You are doing a great job…don’t doubt yourself! <3

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But you don’t say sorry you say THIS behaviour is not acceptable and before people jump up and down I have raised five kids all adults and as a single parent and people used to say they were a credit to me and I don’t say this as a boasting thing but that it can be done well and truly little tykes know who they can push buttons for and when they read us better than we read them .

When my daughters son started screaming and throwing himself on the floor.
She did exactly the same.
He went silent immediately and never did it again.

Stop the cart Everytime and simply say Sorry I’m not going to have this behavior so untill you stop, we can’t keep going. Works Everytime for me.

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I have 5 adult children but when Randell was 5 he walked up to a mother of a screaming child whom was hitting her because she would not give in to her childs demands. He tugged on the mothers shirt and with a very serious look said to her “my mom would beat my ass if i acted like that, when are you gonna do it” of coarse i was embarrassed but he wasnt wrong. When my children acted up in public all i had to do was to ask them if we needed to go find a restroom. They knew if i had to do that they were going to get a spanking. Funny thing is I can count on one hand how many times i ever had to actually do this. They knew what would happen if they miss behaved and they didnt. Im not saying beat your children but a spanking never hurt anyone. Dont wait till you get home either. They have forgotten about their bad behavior by then. I have great kids today because they knew i wouldnt stand for anything less.

I used to just hand mine my phone or tablet to play games. Kept her entertained and kept me moving at a steady pace.

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My child done the same, i no its hard but try to ignore her and others, she will get use 2 going, good luck x

Make her a goody bag thats only for the store. Put different little toys in it.

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Bring in their favorite toy maybe let her hold something and make funny faces an dance around or this may not sound nice but its not bad show her people’s hair or clothes like point it out like I take my son in the store and we’ll see someone wearing something cool green an orange shoes a nice dress an I’ll say look sky isn’t that cool and then when he sees something cool he’s like momma look its actually a good attention getter

15 months is too young for shopping. Too much going-on

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Dont take baby with u anymore, father does all the errands… mine is 3 now, n i repeat to her if she wants to go shopping she must behave

Bring snacks for her or toys to play with

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Go at quiet times.
Some shop have time allocated when lights are dimmed, soft gentle music.

I let mine have a special snack while in the store, whether it’s a juice box or a special snack like goldfish. Whatever works

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I weep for our future. I can’t believe how many parents allow their kids to be boss! You are the parent!

I play little games with her with things on the shelf and show her to put them back… Now she’ll grab something off the shelf but she’ll return it after a little bit of shopping.

Let them participate I pass all non delicate items to my boy’s to drop in the trolley, where possible wheel them in the trolley up to the shelf & ask them to pick up the required item etc

I feed them healthy stuff like fruit to occupy them.

Play games were we need to find something or peeka boo

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My LG did it once when she was 18months old screaming shouting through herself on the floor in Tesco I just lent on trolley ignored her after about 10mins I sat on floor and said have you done because it’s still no and she said yes mummy it’s never happened since.

I like how everyone pist the cool calm collect approach… :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:


At 15 months they really don’t understand. I have twin boys. I tried to redirect my boys, but ultimately, if they were in full meltdown mode at that age, we left the store or my husband took them to the car and let me finish getting what we need.

I always take my to do something physically before I take them to do something boring. Park etc. Seems to keep them from acting crazy, bc they’re tired and just chill in car afterwards

Tell her or them…they can have 1 toy after your. shopping is done if they are good…

Meh mines screams and cries and I just ignore her, she usually stops after a little bit

I always made sure mine had a doll and blanket. It kept her busy and kept her mind off of what was going on around her.

Leave the cart and walk out. Will show you mean business! Might take a couple times, but it works!

Well sit them down and explain if you don’t get to go to the store because of them they won’t or have clothes.


Bring fruit snacks and a drink so they aren’t hungry. Avoid meal and nap times. I like to go either an hour after we wake up and have breakfast or an hour after nap and snack time. She never has meltdowns in the store if I keep to that schedule. She does have a problem sitting in the cart for too long but I don’t blame her they aren’t comfortable and the belts don’t go tight enough

You bring her home right away, everytime they soon get it, its what I did with my son

Bribe her… nothing major if we go through the store and your extra good you get a sugar free sucker. Or 5 mins extra of special time with mom.

What do you mean by acting up? Won’t sit in cart? Screaming/crying? Flopping around like a fish outta water? Grabbing random items?

First of all - never take a kid to the store during their naptime. Tell her if she misbehaves in the store you will leave and go right home.

Soon as they act up leave. Carry them out kicking and screaming and go home. Tell them they can stay home until they learn to be polite in public.

Spank them in front of everyone. The embarrassment alone should make them stop. You can not go anywhere with kids. They do not know how to act or they do and they just don’t want to. They want to ruin everything that is not about them.

Take a small toy with u…make sure they r not hungry or tired. Make it a game, " Can u find the bananas, can u find the milk???"

Here’s what saved me:
I practiced time outside at home. Our time out was sitting silently on the floor with their arms crossed. They earned immediate consequences if they spoke, got up or opened their arms.
Also: I used the word puff to teach them to puff up their cheeks with air and blow it out of their mouth. It helped calm them. Usually they needed a few puffs to start calming down.

If you can master the calm down puffs and the floor (because there is always a floor but not a time out corner, step or stool) time out at home, then you can take them shopping.

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Also depends on what times you go.Kids get overloaded too.

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Throw yourself on the floor and carry on like she does. Im sure she will stop lol

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Yeah I send my kids out with their dad if they act up

Bring her favorite toy …

Paddle her little hinney… learn as you grow…:thinking::blush:

That is the right way to do it jen

Go back to your car…tell em…we will stay here till you calm down

She’s old enough she should listen

Pack of snax and fly around as fast as possible

Could be that you even asking that question, IS the sign of the problem.

Mine did the same. Its new to them, I think it’s a phase because he doesnt do it anymore. (20m now)

Mine tried that crap once… I whispered in her ear ‘You keep this up and I will pull you out if that cart, pull your pants down in front of everyone and spank your butt’ she stopped :joy: I never had a problem with her again out in public… I would also remind her of the rules just before walking into the store


Kids screaming in stores are annoying. I leave because I don’t want to hear it. It’s ridiculous for anyone to let it just happen and ignore them. Mines not there at age, but when he does, these ideas are helpful. Thank y’all.

How can a 15 month old act out???


what is the reason shes having a melt down? Is she hungry- does she want to look around? I would take her to the store and let her walk atound with you and have 0 need to go into the store other than just have a look. I use to let my Lo hold onto the first thing they wanted and hold it till i was done shopping then switch it for something i neede then have them help me put it on the belt. distraction from the holding of the item. It worked for one and the other one doesnt care about really anything in the store.

A 15 month old is not going to know what is expected of them. You need to bring a distraction for them to do while they sit in the cart.

I’m a firm believer on spanking asses and it works

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Skippy peanut butter balls

Umm dont have kids :woman_shrugging:t4::joy:

Ignoring. Safe and very effective


It will pass. I would leave sometimes when this happened to me and if I was feeling up to it and really needed the items I would endure the trip. I found that if I didn’t make eye contact with kid and didn’t acknowledge the meltdown he would simmer down. Don’t ever feel embarrassed about them melting down because most people especially moms understand. Hang in there!

If you can, try to go when she isn’t hungry or tired. Talk about how “we act in a store.” “We use our quiet voices” “we sit still in the cart” etc. if you want to give positive reinforcement, do it after for good behavior.

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The Kroger where I live offers free cookies to kids from the bakery, so when my 2 year old starts acting up we always swing by the bakery and that seems to settle him.

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Make sure it isn’t sensory. Maybe it’s the lights or sudden change in temptature or noise. Sometimes sunglasses or a light jacket help. Also may let bring a small toy that she favors mad use it only at the store.

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Just leave… If there’s something she’s been wanting she won’t get till she quits acting out


You leave the store or simply dont take her.

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I dunno post something racist and it should clear up

Leave. Sit her in her car seat till she settles. Tell her you expect her not to yell or whatever it is she’s doing. Don’t be vague and say “be good”, she doesn’t really know what that is. Go back in. Repeat till she gets the jist.


My daughter only ever once tried to pitch a fit in a shop and it was quite simply because she seen another kid doing it. She was probably around about the same age maybe a month or two older as had not long started letting her walk short distances. She walked in seen this kid throwing himself all over screaming and his mother trying to stop him watched for a couple of seconds with interest then decided to join in. I basicallly just stood there. I even got a snyde comment about lazy parenting from another customer as I was completely ignoring her pitching a fit in public. After about 5 minutes she just looked at me and I asked if she was done yet? Course that just started round 2… another couple of minutes and she gave in. Shes 4 years 3 months now and never done it since. Not saying will work that way with all children as some do have real issues with processing the lights and noises and just generally find it stressful but if you’re sure that’s not the issue then just ignore them x

Yep, good snack on the ass never hurt any kid and actually makes them into adults who aren’t assholes

At about 2, you teach them what it means to be invited to the restroom with mom. At 15 months, you can try distraction…snack, small toy from home, etc.