We have an 11-month-old boy who is very mobile (has been walking since 9 months) and now loves to play, run around, and climb on things. One problem we have is that when we're in the grocery store, he'll usually sit calmly in the cart at first but his state eventually deteriorates and he desperately wants to be unbuckled so that he can run around. We've tried to keep him preoccupied with food or toys, and it helps, but it usually doesn't last long.
We've started (perhaps mistakenly) to let him out and push the cart around in the store. (He also loves pushing his stroller around at the park or anything that has wheels really). It works for a while in terms of us being able to continue shopping, but eventually he gets bored and wants to run all over the store. This, of course, is not conducive to shopping, and he doesn't follow us around much; he just wants to run (i.e. top speed/max distance run). He really resists being put back into the cart (e.g., screams, flails, etc... an early tantrum maybe?).
Before taking him to the store we've tried making sure he
- is not hungry
- has recently woken up from a nap
- yet has had some time to run around at home for a bit
- and has access to toys and things to distract him.
He shows similar behavior after being in his high chair for a while. Once he is done eating, he tries to get out of the seat, flails, and screams. We've tried teaching him some sign language (e.g., "all done") but he doesn't understand that this will get him out of his high chair much easier than screaming. Generally, it seems like he doesn't like to be restrained. He will sit in a stroller calmly for a while, but it's obvious that he really just wants to walk. Other than this problem, he is mostly very happy (e.g., smiles and laughs a lot, loves to play with us, be around other kids, etc.).
It seems like most questions and other internet resources on tantrums are geared toward toddlers, specifically 2-3 year olds. There's not much on one year olds, and the issues seems to be different. E.g., our son isn't upset that we're not buying him a toy or a candy bar, he just wants to walk around.
TLDR; How do we deal with a one year old who wants to walk/run around but needs to sit in a shopping cart?