Should You Take Your Baby to the Movies?

What to Know Before You Go

Family watching TV together
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Unfortunately as parents, we can't indulge in the things we used to. Spontaneous trips to the mall or movies, which were once relatively ho-hum activities, suddenly become luxuries. Parents of newborns especially who have been holed up in the house for weeks might find themselves going stir crazy, desperate to get outside and do something like go to the movies, but what happens when you've got a newborn baby in tow?

Is it safe to take your weeks-old baby to the movies?

It is safe to take your baby to the movies, and it'll be good for you! I hear parents complain all the time about missing new movies they want to see. Sure, it's cheaper to wait until everything comes out on DVD or Netflix, but now is the best time to take your baby to the theater. Think about it: your baby is content to be in your lap, sling or carrier for these few precious months. In a few more, they will be struggling to get down, crawl and run the aisles.

Before You Go:

As is the case with any public place, a movie theater acts like an incubator for germs. Keep your baby away from strangers' hands, coughs, sneezes, etc. Everyone gravitates towards babies. They want to touch and hold and hover, but that's how babies, who are particularly susceptible to germs, get sick. Don't allow this to happen and don't feel bad about protecting your baby from illness.

Bring hand sanitizer and wipes to clean hands, wipe down arm rests.

Consider what kind of move you're going to see. Some theaters and films are noisier than others. Although it's not likely that a theater will be loud enough to cause physical damage, some might be loud enough to spook your child. Use your judgment.

How sensitive is your baby to noise? If they're very sensitive, you might end up spending more time outside the theater soothing a crying child instead of watching the movie.

What to Bring

Be sure to bring lots of "soothers," like a pacifier, a bottle, a blanket, etc. If you're nursing, try to plan your movie so that it's time for a feeding and nap about 15 to 30 minutes into the show. That gives you time to get settled in and allows for plenty of time to relax and enjoy the movie while your baby eats and sleeps.

While You're There

Keep in mind that some people become very irritated when parents bring babies into movie theaters. You could be in for some pretty nasty looks should your baby make even the slightest peep. Taking a baby into a theater is kind of like taking a baby onto an airplane. People are already expecting the worst.

If you're worried about this or just want to be among other parents with kids, try checking your area for theaters that cater to parents. Call your local movie theater and ask if they have special showings or any parent programs like this setup.

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