My Thoughts on Parent Toddler Parking Spaces

Aria in pebble newborn seat

My Thoughts on Parent Toddler Parking Spaces

Before I had children, parent and toddler spaces used to drive me mad. They’re huge, they take up all the spaces closest to the supermarket, which often meant I got wet even when the spaces were empty and I never really saw the point of them.

Two children later and never fear I have realised the folly of my ways. But I also think said supermarkets are kind of getting it wrong too.

Let’s start with the point of parent and toddler spaces:

  • Children are in car seats a lot longer than they used to be, you need space to get children in and out of car seats and to safely strap them in.
  • When children are in newborn car seat carriers, you regularly take the whole car seat in and out of the car, if you cannot open your car door fully this is impossible.
  • With one child, you can work around this by leaving more space on one side than the other. With two children in car seats you cannot do this, so you need a nice amount of space on both sides. Even more so I imagine if you have newborn twins, with two newborn car seats to get in and out of the car.

As a Mum of two small children I’ve got myself in a couple of tricky situations due to lack of space. Once having to leave my baby on the pavement while I pulled the car out of the parking space so I could actually get her car seat into the car. This has happened more than once. There was also the time I was heavily pregnant and someone hadn’t left enough space on my driver’s side and I had to climb through the passenger side, but that’s another story.

It completely drives me mad when people who do not need them park in them. People that have posh cars that don’t want them to get scratched, tradesmen in their vans, or perhaps the one that annoys me the most – parents with older children whose children can jump in and out and strap themselves in of their own accord – where’s the solidarity?

But I also think that supermarkets are getting it slightly wrong. Why do all of the spaces have to be closest to the shop? I can understand why with disabled places. But for me parent and toddler spaces are about the space, not the location. Yes, perhaps when my baby was tiny, closest to the shop is handy, particularly when I was sore or I didn’t want my newborn pelted with rain. But now my children are slightly older, as long is there is a safe path for us to get through the car park to the shop, neither me or my children mind a bit of a walk as long as we can easily get in and out of the car. I bet less people that don’t need them would park in them that didn’t need to then!

What do you think?


You Baby Me Mummy

32 thoughts on “My Thoughts on Parent Toddler Parking Spaces”

  1. Yes yes yesssss all of this. I get so mad when people park in there for no reason. They never even look apologetic when they spot you watching them. I did get slightly obsessed though and was even tempted once to look into the window of someone’s car to check if they had a car seat. Drives me so crazy though, it’s so tough to get a baby car seat out of a narrow space!

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  2. I agree with you – but unfortunately almost every supermarket I use with parent child spaces does NOT have a safe path through the car park! If this could be resolved I am sure it would major everyone’s life easier…
    #TheList

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  3. I completely agree, the spaces don’t need to be near the entrance as long as they have a trolley park with easy access. With three little ones the larger spaces are brilliant but we can’t trek for miles trying to find a trolley.
    The worst offenders at our local supermarket seem to be elderly people constantly stealing the parent and child spaces, if the spaces were slightly further away I wonder if they would be tempted…

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  4. Agreed – us parents need the space not to be near to the shop (though it is appreciated in the pouring rain!) Our local supermarkets have barely any parent & toddler spaces and too often we’ve seen older members of the community parking in them. I find it ironic when people who don’t need the spaces park in them because they’d be the first to complain if their car got damaged by a parent trying carefully to get their child out of the car in a ‘normal’ car park space. #TheList

    Helen x

    http://treasureeverymoment01.blogspot.co.uk/

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  5. Totally agree Laura, I have got
    myself into some very odd positions to get my grandchildren strapped safely into the car. Our multi car park in Aulesbury has One parent and child space on each floor!! One! It’s a joke, of course you never get it! I could also rant on about very able people who park in disabled places but I will leave it there.

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    • Oh I think the people that park in disabled spaces are worse, but it is really tricky to get small children in and out of ordinary spaces especially in some small car parks.

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  6. I absolutely agree with you that the parent and child spaces do not need to be so close to the stores. Obviously disabled spaces need and should be. Far fewer people would use them if they were a little further away. I think a lot of the time people just use them out of laziness rather than concerns over getting their cars scratched etc. We were at a supermarket recently where the parent and child spaces were closer to the entrance and exit than the disabled spaces!

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    • Disabled spaces should of course be close to the store as you say and I agree so many people park in them that shouldn’t and it’s often laziness or not wanting to get their car scratched

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  7. I couldn’t agree more!! I always struggle to park in a parent and child space as half the time they’re all being used by either people who don’t have kiddies in the car or older kids who can get in and out themselves. With a toddler and tiny tot this drives me nuts! I agree as well about the closeness to the shop, I’m quite happy to walk, I just need the space to open the car doors 🙂 I usually end up parking far away so I can park in a space with no cars either side!

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  8. I agree Laura. At our local supermarket the parent child parks are at the front and the disabled parks go sideways all the way down the car park meaning disabled people have a lot further to walk than parent parks. It does not make sense. Parks should be used as designated and placed with common sense! Some people are clearly a little dopey!

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  9. Such a hot topic, it drives me crazy when I can’t open the doors properly. I also get really anxious that I’m going to scratch the next car, when Ava jumps out and swings the door open too far. What really winds up is when the person in the car in front of me takes the last parent car space, and nonchalantly wanders to the shop with no kids. I think they should get fines! ARGH! xx

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    • Oh yes that drives me mad and I hate it when you’ve left enough space, come back and someone has parked really close and you have no idea how you’re going to get your child back in.

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  10. I think you make a really good point here. I am grateful for the parent and child spaces when I take my toddler with me to the supermarket, because it’s easier to get her out of her seat with the extra space, and they do feel a bit safer as there’s the space around them, rather than getting her out straight into the open car park full of moving vehicles. I would happily park in one further away from the shop as long as there was a safe route from there to the shop entrance.

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  11. Oh man getting the twins in their car seats into and out of the car was such a mission! (shudder at the memory!) I’ve always thought the same as you. The important thing is the space not the location so they don’t need to be right next to the supermarket. The only thing that I would personally need is for the baby, twin, car seat holder type trolleys to be somewhere nearby. There were times when my boys where little when I had to play hunt the twin trolley (supermarkets don’t tend to have many and they are a bit elusive!)

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  12. You have brought up a point which I have not thought of before – yes, you are right. It doesn’t have to be about being closest to the shops, just big enough space and a safe path to the shops. And there have been times when I had to park in a normal lot and the other driver had parked too close and how do you strap a baby/child in then?

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  13. Oh i remember this well! Thankfully my two are older so i don’t need them anymore. That is a good point though about having child spaces further away, it would probably stop a lot of people who don’t need the spaces from using them.

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  14. I agree!! I get so infuriated when people Park in them who don’t need to, it’s just plain laziness! I don’t see why child spaces can’t be further away, it’s about needing more room to open doors, etc rather than the need to be close to the front of the store

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    • This has definitely hit a nerve with people, we should load the people that steal the spaces two children in car seats for the day and then see if they steal them!

      Reply

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