Halle Berry recently lived every parent's nightmare -- she lost her daughter, Nahla, 2, in a major department store.
That's one of those heart-stopping moments where a million scenarios flash so quickly through your mind that you can't even breathe. And as she described to Ellen DeGeneres, Berry busted through her cool, calm demeanor and reacted just like many of us would -- she panicked!
Every mom can relate when you lose your kid in the department store. Talk about sweating. And you just freak out for about 30 seconds. I came undone. I think my head projected off my body...
She was standing there and I had her hand and then all of a sudden, I looked down at a price tag or something and she toddled off for what seemed like two seconds and then the next thing I know, I looked back around and it was like whoosh. Gone. I said,"‘Nahla? Nahla? Nahla?" And my heart just started … and I’m like, "Close the store! Shut the door! My daughter’s gone!"
Turns out Nahla was right there, hiding in a rack of clothing right under Halle's nose.
Phew, but the toll those brief moments of fear take on a parent are severe.
So how do you try to eliminate them?
Shopping with a toddler can be a nightmare in itself, but here are a few tips to try and minimize them before they become your scary reality.
The Stroller -- Most toddlers don't like to be confined to a stroller when there are oh so many lovely items in a store to explore. But if you come prepared with some toys and books to keep them occupied, the stroller is a great way to contain them.
The Child Leash -- Ah the dreaded child leash of contention. You may say you would NEVER use one, but after a major scare like Berry's, you may change your mind. Wonder if Halle will? Perhaps if Chanel made one?
Gripping Items -- There are leash alternatives that give children something to hold onto, like Gripsterz, which give your child a toy to hold onto to keep them close to you. There's a wrist strap too if they need a little more, uh, encouragement without a full-on leash.
Brightly Colored Clothing -- Having your child wear the brightest, most noticeable color you can find can help you find them among the crowds or in the midst of a clothing rack more quickly than if they're in a neutral color.
Handholding -- You can try, but it's pretty hard to maintain it 100 percent of the shopping expedition, and the minute you need two hands to examine that bag that's on sale can be the minute he makes a break for it.
How do you keep your toddlers from wandering off while out shopping?
Image via brava_67/Flickr