Do you find yourself staring suspiciously at shopping carts trying to gauge how many germs are on the surface?
Even though you can’t see them, you know they’re there. And if you or your baby touch them, you could both end up sick.
That’s where shopping cart covers come in handy. They sit on top of those germs and keep them away from your precious baby.
That way, if your little one is tempted to explore that nasty shopping cart handle with their mouth, those germs won’t make their way in.
Quick ComparisonOur Top Shopping Cart Cover Picks of 2019 Read Full Reviews
Do I Really Need a Shopping Cart Cover?
When my first baby was six months old, she caught a bad case of rotavirus. My next few days were spent cleaning up the diarrhea and vomit that were coming out of her tiny little body simultaneously.
So much liquid was coming out of her that her doctor said she was starting to get dehydrated. But every time I tried to feed her milk, it would all come back up a few minutes later. I was terrified she would end up in the hospital hooked up to an IV.
To keep fluids down, her doctor recommended I give her a few drops of water from a medicine dropper every couple of minutes. By taking it slowly and not leaving her side for a day, I was able to replenish her fluids little by little. It was an awful week for both of us, and if there had been some way to prevent it, I would have.
Some illnesses aren’t preventable, especially if you have older children who are in school and bring back strange mystery germs into your household on a daily basis. But if your baby is your only child, you have a much better shot at keeping them away from illness-causing germs if you take some precautions.
Rather Safe Than Sorry
While in the grand scheme of things, a weeklong cold or other illness may not seem like it’s worth too much trouble to prevent, minor illnesses can sometimes lead to horrific complications like Guillain-Barre Syndrome, pneumonia, and myocarditis (source). That’s just one more reason a shopping cart cover is a good idea.
When Should I Start Using One?
Until your baby can sit up on its own, you won’t have a use for shopping cart covers. Until then, they’ll be riding around the shopping cart in their car seat or you’ll be wearing a baby carrier to lug them throughout the store.
When your baby can sit up and support its own weight, which usually happens around the age of six months, that’s when you need a shopping cart cover.
Some babies will meet that milestone a little sooner than others and some will take a bit longer.
Around Five Months
What Features Should I Look For?
Shopping cart covers have soared in popularity in recent years. While you used to have to settle for the one or two covers you could find, you have more choices now. You can afford to be picky and find exactly what you’re looking for.
Here are some factors you’ll want to consider before buying a shopping cart cover.
- Comfort: Sitting in a shopping cart isn’t exactly fun for kids. Sure, there’s a lot to look at to keep them entertained, but those carts are hard and uncomfortable during an extended grocery shopping trip. You might want to find a cover that offers your baby some extra padding so they’ll be more apt to happily sit there until you’ve gathered all the groceries you need.
- Straps: Kids love to climb anywhere and everywhere they can. So you’ll want to find a shopping cart cover with straps. That way you won’t turn around from grabbing a box of oatmeal just in time to see your child about ready to do a swan dive onto the ground because they stood up in the seat and lost their balance. Straps will keep both the cover and your child attached to the cart.
- Durability: Your child will be picking at the cover you choose and it will be scraping against shopping carts every time you use it. You’ll want to ensure the fabric can hold up to heavy use like that.
- Whether you need a gender-neutral color: If you love to surround your daughter with the color pink, that’s your choice. But if you’re on a tight budget and you hope to have more children, you might want to find something that will work for either gender (source). Gender neutral items can also be easier to sell when you no longer need them.
- What you can afford: You don’t have to spend an obscene amount on a shopping cart cover, but some of the more expensive covers will come with more padding. They might also have other extra features you’ll like, like pockets. Besides, if you spend a little more on these covers, you can always use them for other things to get your money’s worth out of them.
- How you take care of it: Moms have enough to keep them busy without having to hand-wash shopping cart covers. Look for one that can go in the washing machine and save yourself some work.
The Best Shopping Cart Covers for 2019
Kids have a truly astonishing talent for getting sick. While it might seem a little paranoid to worry about the germs on a shopping cart, you only need to consider that your alternative might days of dealing with a snotty, unhappy child. When you’re a mom, prevention becomes your middle name, and using shopping cart covers is just one way to stay on top of things.
1. Infantino Compact 2-in-1 Cover
This cover will work whether you’re shopping or if you need a high chair cover while you’re enjoying a lunch out. It will protect your baby from those high chairs that are hastily wiped down in restaurants and could potentially be carrying a lot of germs.
Because babies have roving hands, it’s best to find covers that guard your baby from all surfaces of the cart they can reach. This one gives complete coverage so fewer germs will find their way into your baby’s mouth.
It also has two loops for toys and a teether. That way your baby can stay entertained and happy during your shopping trip.
When you’re done using it, you can fold it and store it in a tote in your trunk so it’s ready to go next time you need it.
- Has a strap for your child’s sippy cup.
- Comes with a safety harness.
- It’s pretty affordable.
- Machine washable.
- It doesn’t contain much padding.
- The jungle theme seems a bit boyish, but it will work for a girl too.
2. Boppy Cart and Chair Cover
This cover is big enough to even handle the oversized carts you’ll find at some stores. It’ll give you 360-degree protection for your baby. Whether they reach in front, off to the sides, or behind them, they won’t be able to pick up any germs. Every inch of that cart will be covered.
This comes with a slide line system meant to stop your baby’s toys from hitting the ground, and it even comes with a crinkly toy that should keep them busy for a few minutes during your trip.
The safety straps will stop your baby from crashing to the hard ground in the store. That means you’ll have a little more time to concentrate on what you’re grabbing so you don’t miss any items off your shopping list.
If your baby gets the cover filthy after repeated uses, you’ll be glad to know you can toss it in the washing machine and it’ll be just fine.
- It comes in three different patterns and colors.
- It should fit any large-sized cart.
- It’ll give your baby total protection from germy surfaces.
- While this is supposed to work for high chairs as well, some moms said it wasn’t great for that purpose.
- There’s no elastic on the edges to hold this in place so it can slide a bit.
3. Skip Hop Compact 2-in-1 Cover
This compact cart cover also doubles as a high chair cover, and it will fit most sizes of shopping carts and high chairs. It will work well for smaller carts and it only takes a minute to attach it. It has a strap to anchor it to the cart and a strap to keep your baby attached to the cover.
When you’re done shopping, it will fold up into the stretchy pouch that’s built-in to the cover. The pouch has a little loop on it so you can hang it on your wrist as you’re walking out of the store carrying a lot of bags.
It does have some padding to keep your baby more comfortable. It also has a machine-washable liner so you won’t spend all your time cleaning this between uses.
- It has two front loops to hold toys.
- The fabric is really soft.
- It has a padded seat and leg holes for extra comfort.
- The fabric is a bit slippery.
- Doesn’t fit on big carts like the ones at Target.
4. Lakeson & Co. 4-in-1 Cover
This stretchy grocery cart cover can also be used for three other purposes. It can double as a car seat cover, a nursing cover, and stroller cover. You can also wear it around as an infinity scarf until it’s time to put it into action.
It works for twins while covering shopping carts because it doesn’t have any designated leg holes in it. It leaves the leg area free while protecting all the bars your kids would be grabbing. As long as your children can fit side-by-side in the child seat, this cover will work for both of them.
This company also does a good deed for each product it sells. They’ll either plant a tree to help keep the air clean or plant a packet of wildflower seeds to promote the health of bees.
- Extremely versatile.
- Really affordable, especially considering how many uses it has.
- It stays snugly on shopping carts.
- This only comes in a girly floral pattern.
- There are no safety belts on this cover.
5. Kids N’ Such 4-in-1 Cover
This is another highly versatile cover. It can also be used as a high chair cover, a scarf, nursing cover, car seat cover, changing pad, or blanket.
While it won’t have any padding to protect your baby’s bottom or legs from the hard surface of the shopping cart, the fabric is soft so it will feel comfortable against their skin.
You won’t even have to pack this cover in the diaper bag to take it into the store with you. You can wear it around your neck as a scarf. It’ll be one less thing you have to carry in your arms.
Because the fabric stretches so well, it can fit a number of different-sized carts. No matter whether your cart is big or small, you should be able to protect your baby.
- It has a lot of uses.
- This cover is affordable.
- It’s an eye-catching, pretty cover.
- It also only comes in a floral print, which isn’t great for boys.
- It won’t offer your child any padding.
While the Infantino Compact 2-in-1 cover is a little light on padding, it’s still one of the best shopping cart covers.
It gives your baby a lot of protection from all the germs that surround them and it doubles as a high chair cover, too. That means you’ll get double the protection for the price of one cover.
It’ll also keep your baby’s toys from picking up germs because they won’t hit the ground if you use the loops that come with the cover. Plus, the safety harness will keep your child from getting hurt, and it’s always a great day for a mom when they can prevent injury and illness.
Which is your favorite? Tell us in the comments.