At some point, you might be faced with a dilemma: How to bring a baby to the movies.
Do you find a babysitter? Forfeit the theater experience and wait to watch it at home?
I didn’t bring my son to his first movie until he was 3 years old, mostly because he was extra sensitive to loud noises and dark spaces. But a friend of mine — the mom blogger behind Nessa Knows Best — has never been afraid to bring her babies to the movie theater, even with two kids under 2 years old. So I asked her for her best tips on how you can bring your baby to the movies.
1. Plan ahead: Read reviews, watch the trailers, and ask other parents for their opinion before heading to the theater. (Pay special attention to the length.)
2. Time it right: Conflicting nap schedules could be an issue, so it’s important to know their schedule before buying movie tickets. It might be best to choose a time that’s in-between your toddler’s naps, yet during your baby’s nap. (And hopefully your baby will sleep right through it.)
3. Wear a carrier: Vanessa suggests wearing your littlest one in a baby carrier — freeing up your hands to help your toddler with popcorn, and hopefully encouraging your baby to snooze through the movie.
4. Get there early: Find your seats, take any necessary potty breaks, and get everyone situated before the movie actually starts.
5. Avoid 3D movies: Opt for the regular movie screening with the little ones.
6. Bring small cups or bowls for popcorn: Which will make snacking more manageable for your toddler — especially when/if your hands are full with your baby. You should also make sure your snacks are easily recognizable in the dark, which only helps minimize the fumbles and frustrations. (It’s all about the prepping.)
7. Ask for a booster seat: Most movie theaters have booster seats available, which will help prop up the littlest bodies and weigh down the fold-up seat.
8. Don’t go opening weekend: It’ll probably be too chaotic for a little baby.
9. Stick to kids’ movies: Where loud laughing and occasional disruptions are the norm.
10. Sit toward the exit — and be prepared to leave. Not all movie trips will be a success, but it’s certainly not something to avoid altogether.