Special Parking for Families with Small Children


Hello Everybody!

  As a mother of only one child, I was curious to see what parents of two or more children thought about the idea of having special parking places for themselves and their children for safety reasons.  As we all know, just because people are in a parking lot doesn't mean they automatically drive better.  Therefore, what we're voting for or against is parking spaces close to the store, etc. so that parents can get their children in the establishment as quickly as possible.

This ought to be a fun discussion!



I drive a suburban full of kids all the time. Most of the passengers aren’t even my kids. I teach the kids how to stay with me. The big ones help the little ones. I think the kids need to listen and follow the rules.


I think it’s unnecessary as are most special parking spaces for people selected on the basis of perceived needs (other than handicapped spots). I’ve seen special parking for all sorts of people and I usually ignore the signs and park wherever there is a space open.

Everybody has a reason at one time or another that makes it a hassle to park far from the front door. The best way to handle it is to plan ahead and in the case of someone with small children, to teach them to hold hands, follow safety rules and stay out of the way of traffic. I don’t recall EVER reading of a case of a child being hit by a car in parking lot while walking with Mom.

Just my opinion.


I voted yes to special parking spots to parents with small children. These weren’t even thought of when my oldest kids were small but I wish they had been. My baby just turned 2 and I gotta say I love it. Kids do need to learn rules but, come on, have a heart for moms who have to deal with pushing a cartfull of groceries or whatever and toddler temper tantrums and trying to get home before feedings/meals and naptimes.
Babies R Us stores have special spots for pregnant moms too. :thumbsup:


Theres a few places in my area with “Stork parking” for moms with very small children or that are very pregnant. I can totally see having special spots for moms close to their due dates…I’ve never been pregnant and in all probability never will be but some of the expectants moms I’ve seen and talked to can use all the help they can get as their due date approaches. As for parents with small children…eh not so much, the kids need to learn to stay close to mom/dad/whoever they’re with.


One of our shopping centres has already done this. They reserved 6 spots closest to the entrance specifically for people with children who have to get prams and the like out of the car. There is no limit on the number of children, it doesn’t matter if you only have one. They are slightly smaller than the Disabled Parking spots. They don’t, however, have the authority of the law behind them and no one can get a ticket for illegally parking in a Family spot.


I’ve seen some of those at some stores around here. I’ve also seen “pharmacy only” signs for stores like Target or grocery stores that have pharmacies.

I’ve been known to park there for a quick trip inside, because they are not legally enforceable. Usually it’s raining really hard, all slots are available, and I only need a few things.:shrug:


From my perspective, I’ve been pregnant 7 times and honestly I’d rather have special parking with a toddler or baby than when I was pregnant. Juggling a toddler is more demanding for me than walking thru a parking lot 9 months pregnant. (not knocking the pregnant moms spots :smiley: )
Just my opinion :wink:


Yes, with reservations. I had one pregnancy in which I had sciatica and one in which I a lot of pain in my pubic bone joint. In both cases, walking was very painful. But, in regard to my pregnancies without these symptoms, I would definitely agree with you. It’s esp. hard when you have a baby and a toddler or multiple toddlers. :slight_smile:

In our local shopping centers, the spots are marked for pregnant or accompanied by toddlers parents. So both are honored.

It’s okay with me–esp in the winter when there is so much snow and ice.


Every “special” parking space makes everyone else walk further.

The elderly who are just, well, older but not handicapped
People juggling a lot of packages.
People with older kids.
Inclement weather

Just a slight rant - most of these reserved spaces aren’t even used. There would just be more empty spaces for the rest of us to walk by.


I think it should be up to the store to decide. If they make it easier and more pleasant for families to go shopping, they will get more of their business :thumbsup: I have seen signs that say the space is reserved for expectant moms and those families with small children. It doesn’t specify how many or what age, but generally speaking people police themselves and leave it open for the intended occupants. :slight_smile: I think just two to four such spaces per lot are a good amount. I don’t really see families with three or more kids shopping that often. The moms usually go when the older kids are in school. Come to think of it, I usually don’t see that many families towing 2 little kids (I mean little) to the store either. :shrug:


Personally, I’d rather see more cart corrals because I usually try to park next to one of those. I can usually get a cart right away (unless the store is super about bringing their carts inside) and I can take the cart back without going too far away from my car (where my older kids are usually buckling themselves in).


Oh yes!!! :thumbsup: Also what annoys me about our local Target is that those employees must be watching the cart corrals like hawks because there are hardly ever any carts in them! :mad: I don’t like it when they get full to overflowing, but they should leave a couple of carts in there for moms with little kids who ride in the cart!!


I will stipulate this post saying that I have taken advantage of “special” parking when I was pregnant… only because it was there.

But overall I disagree with the concept.

Even when I was 9 months pregnant, the BEST thing for me to do would be WALK! So overall it doesn’t serve my best interests to get special parking.

I think special parking upsets others and opens the opportunity for others who are annoyed to just park there anyway since there are no laws against it (as oppossed to true handicapped parking, which requires laws to preserve those spots).

With kids I prefer to park towards the back of a lot. There’s less opportunity for immediate danger where there are fewer cars… and walking never hurt anyone! Sometimes I have to carry my youngest, and to be honest, I could use the exercise anyway!

Just my thoughts…


I was going to post something like this as this was me, without the suburban. I used to shop all the time with my own and my friend’s children.

I still try to park near a cart return. Suggest to your local Target that they leave one or two carts in the cart returns and give your reason, you might find that they will listen and even if they don’t at least you tried:D

Brenda V.


While I definitely don’t want to see tons of parking spaces reserved for families with small children, it would be okay if say two or three spots were reserved. My mother had me and my twin sisters to struggle with. While I think its important for parents to teach children how to behave, honestly no kid or parent is perfect. Having spaces up front help them protect their kids and to make it easier to juggle bags and kids is worth. I am able bodied and if I have to walk ten more feet to get to the door it doesn’t matter to me.



Oh yes! My kids are all older now but especially when they were infants there was nothing worse than trying to lug a baby carrier and one or two more little ones up to the front of the store to get a cart. And then when it was time to get back in the car you don’t want to have to walk far to return the cart. And since people who just leave carts sitting around in parking lots has long been one of my pet peeves I just HAD to put the cart back in a proper place.)

(There’s nothing worse than thinking you’ve spotted the ideal parking space only to find that someone has left a cart in the middle of it! Or even worse, there are two spaces end to end and you think, "Wow! I can drive through so I can get out easier, but NO! There’s a stupid cart on the dividing line that someone thought they were so generous as to have moved it out of the parking space itself! And sometimes the cart return was just two spaces away!)

(Sorry. :o Off topic rant.)


Typically I only use Stork Parking while pregnant or with infant when I am late for Dr.'s appt. They ahd them on our last base near the front of the clinic and that WAS convenient. So in time constraint I use them.

I will park kinda far from a store just to get the exercise of the walk. I’m a dork though. :thumbsup:


I’ll use the expectant mom parking when I’m in my last trimester and I’m maneuvering my toddler myself. If my big kids are there to help me, it’s not such a issue and I’m happy to park farther away.
As a rule I park far out in a lot, not for exercise purposes, but because I know there are plenty of people who really could use a closer spot. I think all able bodied people should make a practice of parking farther out so (as previously mentioned) the elderly, sick or otherwise more deserving person can have the closer spot.


I appreciate everyone’s responses. It looks like y’all are having fun!

I picked the “three or more” children option. I only have one 3-year-old daughter, but I figured with one or two kids, a mom or dad is likely to be able to manage. Of course, since I only have one, I may not know any better.

I park pretty far out near the cart corrals like some others have said. I do this for two reasons: One, walking is great and fortunately it doesn’t bother my dear Emily either, and Two, I honestly cannot stand to look for good parking spaces. I would much rather park way out of the way, get out, and go! rather than spend 15 minutes or more trying to find something better. What kills me are the people who sit there and wait like sharks for a space as someone is leaving. I’m like, “What is the deal?”

Like some of you moms, too, if a cart is available I’ll put Emily in the cart and push her up to the store. I always thought I looked a little silly doing this, so I’m glad I’m not the only one who does it. :stuck_out_tongue:


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