Taking Your Baby to the Movies!

 

My husband, Bailey and I absolutely love going to the movies! And now our son loves going too! We’ve had great success taking Adam to the big screen. Here are my tips and tricks for how to have an enjoyable viewing experience and how to make sure those around you do as well.

Timing:

If your baby is very young and can fall asleep no matter where you are, then go see a movie that starts right before his nap or bedtime. Chances are he’ll sleep through the whole thing! If your baby is not so flexible then take them right after they wake up from a nap.

If your baby is older take them right after they wake up from their nap to ensure a good mood.  The last thing you want to happen is for baby to have a meltdown in the theater!

As your baby gets older and is harder to predict, it is a good idea to take them earlier in the day because chances are the theater will be filled with other Mom’s and their kids vs. unaccompanied adults and couples. The former tend to be much more forgiving if your baby decides to announce his presence .

Type of Movie:

When your baby is a newborn the sky is the limit. See whatever you want! But as your baby gets older you will notice at some point that they start paying attention to what you are watching–and if it’s not interesting they will let you know. We were able to take Adam to any type of movie until he was about 6 months old and from that point on we have switched exclusively to animated features. Animated features in general are a good idea because the content is more kid appropriate and the crowd is much more accepting of baby.

Where to sit: 

Again, when your baby is very young this does not matter so much. But as they get older I have found that sitting fairly close to the screen is key. If you sit too far back the movie becomes a part of the background and the people sitting around you begin to look much too interesting. My son absolutely loves other babies and kids so we have found that it is a good idea to sit alone or next to adults. It’s also a good idea to sit at the end of an isle close to an exit in case you have to make a quick getaway. Ever noticed how those diaper blowouts ALWAYS come at the most inconvenient times??

What to bring: 

This section is perhaps one of the most important. Without fail at some point during the movie there will be a point when Adam’s attention falters. It is our job as Super Mommies to be armed with “weapons” of distraction. Whether your baby is a newborn or a 10 month old, milk is one of your best assets.  Have your baby’s bottle prepared before you go into the movie and have it close by. I always mix a little more than he typically drinks just to be on the safe side. Hell hath no fury than a baby that has ran out of milk! If breastfeeding, make sure to have your cover handy. If your baby is old enough you may want to skip the milk and substitute it for juice.

Depending on whether or not your baby takes a pacifier, it would be a good idea to bring a few extra as well as a pacifier clip. If applicable, another thing to bring is something to snack on. I usually bring Gerber’s Baby Puffs. They are Adam’s favorite treat and happen to have a serving size of 83 pieces which means they keep my little guy busy for quite a while.

Last, but definitely not least, I bring toys. As soon as Adam was able to hold his toys he was also able to drop them and now that he can throw things…well, let’s just say that Mr. Baldy sitting in front of us makes a perfect target. In order to prevent getting Adam’s toys dirty and disrupting our neighbors one of the best things we’ve done is tie his toys in a row to a string and then either hold the end of it or anchor it to the armrest.  This toy chain gives baby freedom to play to his hearts content and frees you up to watch the movie.

Random Tips:

  • If your baby can grab things, keep your drink on the floor instead of in the cup holder. Keep your food out of reach as well.
  • If no one is sitting besides you and you have ran out of things to distract your little one, moving the arm rest up and down can be incredibly entertaining.
  • Typically people do not expect to see a baby in a movie that is rated PG-13 or R so if you decide to take your baby to one of these showings be prepared for a few savory glances.
  • Keep your expectations low and be prepared to leave the theater if baby won’t cooperate. You don’t want your kiddo to ruin the experience for everyone. We have had to do this once and though it was disappointing we didn’t let it discourage us from trying  again.
  • Try bringing some unconventional “toys” such as a measuring cup, DVD case, or teething necklace in addition to your toy chain.

Alternatives:

  • If the pressure of keeping baby quiet during the whole movie is too much, many AMC theaters have a special “Cry Baby” showing once a month where Mother’s are invited to bring their babies and come enjoy a movie. Typically the showings are during the week and are in the morning. Stroller parking is provided, the lights are slightly turned up, the volume is somewhat turned down, and standard ticketing fees apply.
  • Another option is to go to a drive in movie theater. Since you never have to leave your car, if baby has a bout of colic or gets bored you don’t have to miss the ending!

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