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SURVIVING IKEA WITH CHILDREN HACKS

14 August 2017

Ikea is the place of dreams. Cheap, cheerful and child friendly furniture what more could parents want? Well to shop in peace without children would be a start right? Ikea have tried, they really have, there are so many nooks and crannies for little ones to get a similar enjoyment from the store as we do as adults, but it just doesn't cut the mustard. I could lose hours in Ikea, much to my other half's dismay. Just recently after attempting and failing to palm the children off on my parents, we did the unthinkable and headed there with both children in tow. Now it wouldn't be such a big deal if our local Ikea was actually local but it's about an hour away on a good day - this trip had to be worthwhile.

We managed to survive the trip and not actually kill each other or our children in the process which I think is quite some achievement given the fact we made the wise choice to visit on a Saturday afternoon. During the whole saga, I learnt some precious tips that I wanted to pass on.

#1. Play area - Ikea has a FREE soft play area, genius right? Obviously Ikea have cottoned onto the fact every Mum and her husband wants to whack the kids in there for the day and be done with it, so your child is only allowed a single one hour session, meaning get as much shit done in that hour as possible. I'm a bit neurotic, so I wouldn't leave either of my boys in there yet. But if I was going to I'd make sure as hell I did as much as I could with the children and then pop them in perhaps as I headed into the Marketplace. That means you'll be able to navigate the warehouse, checkouts and loading the car, sans children - which if you've bought huge items will prove to be a god send.

#2 Let them sit in the trolley - If you're like us and made the foolish choice to take more than one child with you to Ikea, especially in peak times. Let the older child sit in the trolley whilst the youngest takes the seat. We did debate a sling for Patrick but if you're collecting big items of furniture it probably isn't wise having a baby strapped to your chest when trying to lift huge boxes. Having Noah sit in the trolley meant one of us had our hands free, and I didn't have to worry about losing him in the crowds.

#3. Plan ahead - Ikea again have you covered in that you can check stock availability at your local store from the comfort of your own home. Their website is super easy to navigate and it'll even tell you what aisle it's situated on in the warehouse, it helps if you don't want to overspend by dredging through the Marketplace and can head straight to the end.

#4. Take pictures. Those pesky pencils and paper always get lost, or you end up writing a number wrong and it's generally a bit of a pain in the bum. Whenever we're purchasing something that needs collecting from the warehouse, we just take a snap of the tag on our phone and that way we know exactly what and where we need to be looking for when we reach the exit.

#5. Use food. Food is your friend, more so when you're in Ikea with children. Grab them a hotdog or some other swedish delight before you start and it'll buy you a good 20 minutes or so of quiet time.


13 comments:

  1. Definitely take snacks 😂 the play areas are fantastic and Erin always loves exploring the children's area!

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  2. Great tips, we always use a trip to the cafe as a bit of bribery and corruption on our trips x

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  3. Ah what a brilliant tips! We haven't been to Ikea with D just yet, I'm waiting for him to learn sitting more steady so I can put him in the trolley :D

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  4. Great tips - we always take photos of the tags too, makes it so much easier! Alfie won't sit in the trolley any more, so it's a nightmare stopping him from climbing on the beds, sofas, basically anything he can! We always try and go on a day off in the week when it's quieter - IKEA on a weekend with kids is hell!

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  5. There's a huge ikea about half hours drive away from us, people are always saying how mega busy it is and how the car park doesn't always let you out (!) so we stay right away! Great tips in this post.

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  6. We love ikea and have never used the soft play as the boys have always seen the whole store as one big playhouse x

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  7. We love our days out in ikea. We head down really early, to grab brekkie or brunch, then a little watch on the tv of a movie, then by that time, my little one is ready to sleep in the trolley on top of the new blanket i've just bought.

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  8. Our Ikea is about an hour away too and can be a bit of a mission with the kids in tow! Haven't tried the play area yet either

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  9. Yes, I always take pictures of the tags, much easier than writing them down.

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  10. I have never been to IKEA! I know , I'm missing out big time :)

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  11. I'm the same I won't let Jack in the soft play area yet. Food always ALWAYS helps xx

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  12. I've only ever been to IKEA twice before, never with the children. I take my hat off to you taking your two on a Saturday afternoon. Some good tips here for anyone else bringing kids along 😊

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  13. We went on Sunday morning, and it was hell, as Isla didn't want to sit in the trolley, and she didn't want snacks, and she's too young to go in the play area. She just wanted to walk, or cuddle mummy (who forgot the sling!) I don't think it helped we were all tired, and she was ill.

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