How to Put Car Seat in Shopping Cart Properly & Safely? 2022 Guide

Grocery shopping with your baby can be a challenging task. To learn how to put car seat in shopping cart, you first need to know all the risks of improper use of shopping carts.

Shopping carts are not designed to hold car seats. However, parents often have no choice but to put the car seat in the shopping cart.

We will show you a safe way to successfully shop in the supermarket with your baby by your side, but also reflect on why shopping cars and car seats are not a good combination.


Car Seats in Shopping Cars: Yes or No?

how to put baby car seat in shopping cart

Infant car seats are often used in places other than the vehicle. Unfortunately, most parents use the infant car seat for at-home naps and supermarket trips, unaware of the safety risk. You should not try to balance the shopping cart by clicking a car seat on top.

A shopping cart has a narrow wheel base, in contrast to the top of the cart; when the car seat is attached to the grocery carts, the entire balance system of the cart changes due to the heavier load.

A baby carrier or an infant car seat is only safe when appropriately installed in the vehicle seat or a stroller frame. In a 2006 study journal by the American Academy of Pediatrics, results show that over 24.000 children younger than 15 in the US are medically treated due to shopping cart-related injuries.

Precisely 85% of the study were children younger than five years old, while 92% were infants and babies younger than one-year-old. The most common injuries among the young audience were around the head and neck region. Tip-over shopping cart accidents cause 38% of injuries in kids younger than two years old.

Before you attempt to put car seat on a shopping cart, read the car seat manual. Most car seat manufacturers will specify that the car seat is not allowed to be placed in a shopping cart or other elevated surfaces.

Risks of Putting a Car Seat on the Shopping Cart

Putting an infant car seat on shopping carts comes with a significant number of risks, such as:

  • Improper installation: car seats are not designed to click on the grocery cart. An audible click that you may hear does not indicate the car seat-grocery cart compatibility. A shopping cart has no locking mechanism or safety belt that can safely install child seats.
  • Unintentional run-ins: How many times did someone bump into your grocery cart? Now imagine the same scenario, but you installed a baby carrier on top this time. Unintentional run-ins with the shopping cart can put your baby in danger. Since the car seat is not attached firmly, the seat can fall out of the grocery cart under minimal force!
  • Mischievous toddler: If you put a toddler in the front of the shopping cart and the infant carrier in the back, you are putting both kids in danger! A toddler can easily kick the cart or knock over the infant carrier with one swift motion!

Do Shopping Carts Have a Weight Limit?

how to put car seat in walmart shopping cart

Most shopping carts now have a printed weight limit to increase safety measures against improper use. The weight limit of a shopping cart declares the amount of heavy load a cart can safely hold without tipping over or falling apart.

A baby's car seat is often too heavy by itself to be carried by a shopping cart. The combination of a baby car seat and the baby can be dangerous for the grocery cart's weight limit. Grocery carts carrying this heavyweight cannot often predict hazardous situations such as bumps on the road and swift turns around the aisles.

Alternatives of Mounting a Car Seat on the Shopping Cart

Car seats do not necessarily have to be mounted on top of the grocery shopping carts for you to have a successful supermarket trip. Try these convenient alternatives instead.

Online shopping for the win

Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit, online shopping has become a favorite and inevitable option for many shoppers! Online grocery services such as Fresh Direct allow you to order fresh produce and have them by your doorstep the next day!

Online grocery shopping is great for those days when you don't have a caregiver to leave your baby with.

Use a baby carrier

can you put a car seat in a shopping cart

If you must take your baby with you for grocery shopping, it's safer to carry them in a sling. Instead of mounting a seat on the shopping cart seat, your baby will be much safer attached to you in a carrier.

Tag team shopping

Bring your partner, mom, or friend to the shopping trip! They can help you push the cart while carrying the baby or the stroller. In this way, the baby has your undivided attention while you optimize safety in the supermarket store!

Built-in child seats

Your local supermarket might include a modern built-in seat in a shopping cart. The child seat in a shopping cart has a harness and a safety belt that properly buckle-up your little one.

Shop with a stroller basket

Many strollers on the market are designed for convenient shopping trips to the store or the mall. With the all-terrain wheels, you can push the stroller around the aisles. In addition, the large storage basket underneath the seat allows you to pack your groceries easily!

However, be careful not to overload the groceries in the shopping basket. Check the basket weight limit before you go to the store.

How to Put Car Seat in a Shopping Cart?

If you are determined to put an infant car seat in a shopping cart, there are ways of doing it safely.

  • Use grocery cart hammocks: a grocery cart hammock offers a cradle for a car seat inside the shopping carts. While you still have room for groceries, ensure the hammock is latched on the shopping carts safely.
    Usually, hammocks can hold up to 50 lbs, so check the infant car seat's weight before you install it. Consult the car seat manual to see whether the car seat is compatible and safe to use with a grocery hammock. Aftermarket products are often not safe, but a hammock is a safer alternative than attaching only infant car seats on shopping carts.
  • Keep the meat produce away: If you put car seat on the shopping cart, keep the meat and other raw produce away from the children. 
  • Never shop alone: Installing car seats on a shopping cart is a significant risk, but it's even bigger if you shop alone! Instead, bring your partner or friend to watch the baby while you shop. You can easily switch places anytime without compromising the baby's safety!

Can a Toddler Sit in a Shopping Cart Seat?

how to safely put car seat in shopping cart

For most babies, independent sitting occurs between 6-9 months. In this period, parents are often tempted to allow their baby to sit in the shopping cart while they do their daily grocery shopping.

If you allow your kids to ride in the shopping cart, prioritize safety. A shopping cart may include a safety strap. Use the safety strap to secure the child inside the shopping cart seat. Once the child is securely strapped in the seat, never leave the cart unattended.

Finding a shopping cart with a built-in child seat is best so you don't risk the child falling over. An accident like this can be easily avoided if you follow the guidelines on safe shopping.

Shopping Cart Safety Tips

Shopping carts can be hazardous whether you are shopping with infant car seats or simply taking your toddler with you. So consider these few shopping cart safety tips before your next store run.

  • Use safety straps: Always use the safety straps on grocery carts if possible. Strap the child to secure them in the cart and prevent accidents.
  • Explain shopping cart safety: never let your toddler or children play with the shopping cart. Explain to the children that grocery carts are not toys for them to climb on or play with.
  • Be in charge of the shopping cart: Kids would want to take turns pushing the shopping cart. However, you should not allow a child to take control of the cart as they can't navigate safely.


Can you put a baby in a shopping cart?

A baby should not be riding in the shopping cart.

Babies should be secured in their car seats attached to the vehicle seat or the stroller. Shopping carts have a narrow wheelbase, and the balance gets easily disrupted with a heavier load.

How do you go grocery shopping with a newborn?

The best way for grocery shopping with a newborn is to carry the baby in a sling or a baby carrier.

When can babies sit in grocery carts?

Babies can sit in the grocery carts once they can sit independently between 6-9 months of their life. However, when using grocery carts as baby seats, ensure you strap the baby with the safety belts and never leave the cart unattended.

Can I use my stroller as a shopping cart?

You can use the stroller's basket as a shopping cart but only for smaller loads. Each stroller's basket has an individual weight limit that must be respected. Do not pack heavy groceries in the stroller basket, as you can compromise the stroller's safety and balance.

Is it safe to bring an infant to the grocery store?

Yes, it's safe to bring an infant to the grocery store if the baby is carried in a sling or pushed in a stroller.

Final Words

We hope you found valuable information on shopping with a baby car seat. However, whether or not you decide to put car seat on the shopping cart, you must be aware of the risk and possible outcomes of doing so.

As a parent, your primary concern should be your baby's safety. Consider the alternative shopping solutions we listed above, and remember to prioritize safety in a store.

Avatar of Kathy Warner

Kathy Warner

Kathy is a busy mother of two and a CPS technician for more than eight years. Her mission is to awaken parents to the importance of child passenger safety and show them the right practice. You can read more about her here

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