While babies don't make ideal shopping companions — they've got iffy motor skills and poor color sense, not to mention how cumbersome they are to cart around — they do benefit from the retail experience, according to an Oxford University study.
"The interaction between child and parent while shopping helps young people develop social skills and promotes happiness — even if a bawling toddler shows few signs of it at the time," the study says.
Researchers found that "shopping trips are just as beneficial for the child’s development as painting or drawing activities." So when your infant's friends are all headed to fancy art camp, hold your head high knowing that his ride-along at Forever 21 will prove equally enriching in an emotional and developmental sense. Just don't let him chew on your purchases.