Should you take your toddler/infant to the theater?
I understand. Parenting is hard. Sometimes it’s even more difficult to get away for even one movie without bringing the kids along. But sometimes, you just want to go to a movie! Sometimes you just want to get out of your house.
Others will understand
The question is… Should you take your infant/toddler to the theater? Some people believe that others will understand if their kid cries and so they don’t worry about it and take their kids everywhere. True. Some people don’t mind.
Others want to watch the movie in peace
Others believe that it’s rude to bring infants/toddlers. They pay for the movie and want to watch it in peace. Some might not have kids and don’t understand. Others might understand, but may be annoyed that they payed for a babysitter for the night and still have to listen to someone else’s kids crying.
Maybe you’ll get lucky
On the other hand, you could get lucky. Maybe your child will sleep through the movie. Or maybe you have one of those rare babies that just sit quietly for hours.
While considering whether to take your child to a movie theater, here are a few things to think about:
- Consider going to the dollar movie or checking into whether your theater participates in the Summer dollar movies. During these showings, the theater is usually packed with noisy kids.
- During the summer, go to the free outdoor movies. You can easily leave if your child starts screaming. They’re also free and not a big loss if you do leave.
- Unless your child is an infant (who doesn’t know what’s going on yet), only go to cartoons or movies that might hold your child’s interest (for a few minutes at least).
- Go to a less crowded matinee and don’t go to movies right when they come out.
- Sit on the end of the row, close to the door so that you can leave easily if needed.
- Go to a Drive-in movie. This way you’ll have some privacy and it’s easy for your kids to fall asleep in their car seat if they’re tired.
- Make sure you have a lot of snacks and possibly even small (quiet) toys to keep kids distracted.
- For an infant, be aware of extremely loud movies that might hurt your babies ears or scare them. Bring a blanket to cover them when necessary.
- Be aware that some theaters don’t allow car seats in theaters due to fire regulations.
- Find a theater with a cry room, which is a small soundproof room within the theater with windows so you can still see the movie.
- If you have several children of varying ages, try to find a friend or family member to go with. This way, if the baby/toddler cries, you can take them out into the hall and someone will still be there to supervise your other kids.
- If you do decide to take your child with you, be prepared to leave immediately if they disrupt others. You’ll also need to determine whether it’s worth your time when you might actually miss half of the movie.
- If you do need to leave the movie, talk to an employee about possibly getting a refund. Many theaters are willing to reimburse you before the movie’s over.
- If you go, know that you may have to leave so that you’re not too disappointed if you miss the movie.
- Another options is to check out Redbox, Netflix, etc. instead and save the big theater for when your child is older. You’ll save money and be able to watch the movie from the comfort of your own couch.
If you do decide to take your baby/toddler to the movie theater, make sure you are always respectful of others. Be prepared to leave if your child is distracting others. No one in the theater paid for the movie (+ possibly a babysitter for their own kids) so they could listen to your child cry over the movie.
You should also remember that they’re not little for long. If you miss out on some good movies, you can always catch them later. Good luck!
Do you take your infant/toddler to the movie theater? What do you think of others taking their young children?
Thank you for #3! With my 5-month-old, I won’t even take her to something if I don’t think she’ll have any remote interest in it. I’ve had so much grief from others about why I haven’t taken to her to one of my husband’s live music gigs or July 4th fireworks. I’m thinking “hello! she’s not going to enjoy that and it may even upset the crap out of her!”