How To Take Your Baby to Ikea

IKEAThe furniture and home store Ikea is one notch above Target in places where you can go and center yourself on a higher plane than is even attainable by the Dalai Lama. A Mecca for WASPy women the world over, it is an excellent place to bring small children who just learned to walk and are heavily entrenched in their oral phase. Taste the goodness of Nordic bargains, Baby! Here are some tips to get the most out of your day.

1. Go it alone. Spouse out of town? Babysitter booked for the day? No worries. Bring your kid all by yourself. It will be fun. Three floors of foondrin and nepsock will be yours at the taking.

2. Recall prior knowledge. When you went to Ikea in college to buy a colander, a bedside table, and curtains, you remembered seeing that Ikea has a daycare. That’s where you plan on depositing your baby during your visit.

3. Read the sign. Apparently, your baby has to be potty trained to be dropped off at the Ikea daycare. Your kid’s diaper is potty trained. Is that good enough? No? Verdict: Ikea hates babies. Screw you too, Scandinavians. Fine.

4. Load the kid up in a shopping cart. Babies don’t take up too much space, so there will certainly still be room for the king size bed you are planning on purchasing. If all else fails, you can balance the kid on your head like you saw those African women do on the National Geographic channel. You are so multicultural for a WASP who drives a Prius.

5. Go get a snack. Ikea is wondrous because it offers low-cost horse meat meals. You head to the cafeteria and start salivating over the offerings of marzipan hot dogs. But once again, the kid ruins everything and knocks your carefully-balanced tray of food onto the nineteen-year-olds shopping for purple polka dot curtains for their dorm rooms.

6. Grin and bear it. Some shopping will be a good distraction. You head to the Kid Section which you hope will look kind of like a toy store and Baby will be none-the-wiser. Instead of fixating on the giant Chuck E. Cheese ball pit-sized bin of stuffed animals, though, your child decides it will be way more fun to shake the kiosk full of tiny sharpened pencils and paper until every last one of them scatter to the floor, along with your idealized vision of Motherhood.

Lies. They're all lies.

Lies. They’re all lies.

7. Take your gloves off. Since you’re a good mom who parents her child even when the going gets rough, you decide that today is going to be a teachable moment. Baby starts wailing whilst you wrench the tiny pencils and picture-hanging sets from her hands, but instead of pacifying her like you normally do, you plop her back into the cart and maneuver her to the shelving area. Her volume increases as her face becomes redder, but you ignore her despite the death glares you receive from childless yuppies who curse you as the reason society is broken.

8. Get the hell out. With all hopes of having a relaxing shopping day with your tot dashed, you make a beeline for the checkout counter. Then you remember that you are on the third floor and checkout is in the basement mere meters from the Earth’s mantle. Thirty minutes later, you arrive at the stacked line. Since it’s Tuesday, only three registers are open and all the people preceding you appear to be buying all the furnishings for a Real World apartment. You abandon your full cart and whisk you screaming, beet-faced toddler out of the furniture emporium before the authorities are called in. You swear to never take her again until she’s off to college herself.


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73 thoughts on “How To Take Your Baby to Ikea

    • I always feel bad when all my attempts to control the baby in Target fail. It’s more of a civilized place. Walmart, on the other hand…. I let her go to town and scream like a banshee.

  1. Emily,
    What a coincidence. We took a trip to IKEA last weekend with the whole family. I told my wife last night how amazed I was that we made it out intact. Of course, everyone got drunk (but me, in case someone is reading this, and prints this because they have nothing better to do), especially my 3-yr old daughter (which is only in jest, again, if someone “stumbles on this post” by pure chance… What was I saying?
    Le Clown

    • So true! However, we have ordered furniture from their online catalog before and the shipping costs were astronomical. It almost makes just biting the bullet and going to the store worth it. Almost.

  2. Emily,

    Thanks for the daycare tip. I had no idea they didn’t take kids in diapers. What a pointless or ingenious daycare idea. I’d like to say this daycare is totally useless, but years later I will probably drop my college age daughter there as I enter the store in search of the cheapest things I can find to place in her dorm. Finding cheap things nobody wants should be no problem at IKEA.

    IKEA really is the ugly step child of the furniture world. A place where one can navigate through a sea of teen moms and college coeds to purchase an impossible to construct particle board desk that will fall apart several days after taking it home. I’m glad to hear you survived.

    • OMG I know. This post is only chapter one of the whole Ikea saga. I didn’t even touch on getting the crap home and assembling it. Some of the most trying times of my marriage were spent constructing Ikea pieces with my husband, and that was before we had a baby. I can’t imagine the trauma we will inflict on her when she witnesses us disassembling our bed when we finally move.

      • I know what you mean. I had an Ikea desk that was accompanied by a hard to read copy of some scandinavian cave painting. It was hardly a blue print for the complicated piece of furniture I was about to assemble and a portion of the desk broke apart almost immediately. When I finally moved several friends and I karate chopped the hell out of it in the parking lot. It was the most satisfying move I have ever done.

  3. Woof. Thank you, I think. I had forgotten all of those happy times 28 years ago when, in order to avoid the constabulary being summoned, I simply potato-sacked the screaming, kicking, head-butting little darling out of the store, leaving the loaded shopping cart behind, and headed for the auto, where I concentrated on threading the flailing limbs through the car seat straps without causing injury (this was the only place I ever found Lamaze Breathing helpful), sliding myself serenely into the driver’s seat, and pulling out of the parking lot, upon which the screams stopped and the little monster became a slumbering angel. Go figure.

    • Your comment is so vivid and real! “Potato-sacked the screaming, kicking, head-butting little darling out of the store” – you cannot make up this stuff. The war wounds of motherhood leave a mark.

  4. Oh yes. We once went to the bathroom in IKEA and ended up losing a precious stuffy as he was forgotten perched on the dryer while my husband helped my daughter. We realized “Baby Jack” — that’s the stuffy — was missing about 20 min later. We screamed back to the bathroom only to have him gone and ended up with a wailing toddler our entire trip. The Scandinavian Customer Service did nothing to distract, entertain, support, or babysit our daughter. Not even a meal of horse meat helped.

    • Who would steal or throw away a child’s stuffed toy that was obviously left by mistake???? That is truly horrible. I am working on a modern version of Dante’s circles of hell and I may have to add that one in.

      • I called Customer Service three times in the days after. Not a sign. Like think people: did you really think that this was a disposable stuffy?
        I have my chapter in Dante’s storybook for sure.

  5. Oh goodness, this brought back memories of looking for a missing child in shopping malls (she was here a moment ago!) and dealing with my girls playing hide and seek in a clothes shop, whilst patiently waiting for my friend to try on the umpteenth dress! Aargh. I am so glad they are bigger (my kids, that is). Nowadays I can just leave them at home and shake my head at the screaming toddlers whilst sighing in relief!

  6. Just took my 3 month-er there last weekend! Started in the stroller…moved on to the bjorn. He didn’t like either because I wasn’t moving fast enough and had the nerve to want to actually look at things 🙂 Funny post!

    • My girl does the exact same thing when we are going on walks together! She loves being in her stroller as long as we are moving at a brisk pace, but then the instant I stop at a crosswalk or to show her a bird, she gets feisty.

  7. Haha! Funny post, Em. Ikea and I don’t get along, unless I’m buying small gadgets. I’ve gotten in actual fights with the employees there. Lol! Now that I know they have horse meat in their meatballs I’m afraid it’s over — since the meatballs were really the only reason I ever went.

    • The employees there are extremely hit or miss. I almost feel like when you need assistance, they are nowhere to be found, but when you’re trying to decide between salad spinners, you cannot shrug them off. It is always an adventure.

  8. Luckily, I have never been to Ikea – it’s 90 minutes from my house. It sounds worse than Costco (always Price Club to me)… I had a complete mental & emotional breakdown there in my 8th month of whaledom, I mean pregnancy… I suspect a trip to Ikea, after 90 minutes on I-10, would render me completely insane – and no one wants to see that on the 2nd floor. Can I continue to buy my ‘danish modern’ particle board from Target and slap an Ikea sticker on it? Will you tell on me?

  9. We’re getting an Ikea here next year. Thanks for the heads up. I’ve only been once, in Minnesota, and even I was a little overwhelmed and rambunctious. I will not be taking Squatch.

      • I remember the Ikea trip being rather stressful and not ending well. I don’t remember much else in terms of specifics. Probably a psychological self-preservation type of response.

  10. You have Ikeas with daycares? What store has a daycare? Oh, right, I live in the boonies. Damn. Ah, well, people here are can-do types and make their own daycares by just dumping their kids in the middle of the store and not noticing that junior has crawled over and knocked down half the store. Also, in a pinch, you can always changed your baby on the floor right next to the exercise clothing (I saw this the other day at Kohls). And the Wasp-y woman looked at me like, what, I’m entitled to put poo on the floor here if I want to – I DRIVE A PRIUS.

  11. This entire site makes me happy. I love knowing others practice the art of sarcasm.

    However, I do take offense to one thing: their meatballs truly are delicious! Healthy? No. Grade A meat? Of course not. But delicious? Absolutely!

  12. Pingback: Super Sweet Blogger Award | Fan by Association

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