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I would like to start considering the possibility of taking my 14 month old to some kid- friendly movies with my family. I've never hired a babysitter for my baby, and don't want to consider that as a possibility, simply because I don't think, pathetically, that either my baby or I are ready. Do you think this is a good idea? My family and I are not spending as much time as we used to together. I miss our little outings to the movie theater, but maybe I should just overcome my fear and hire a babysitter? I don't know what to do, will someone please give me their input? Thanks.

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Thank you all for all of your wonderful advice. I am planning to take the family to the local playground for a picnic next weekend.

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Some of the theatres have days and times where kids under 2 can come to the movies with an adult. Everyone who is there has kids with them and if a baby cries then nobody cares because everyone there is in the same situation.

NO way! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends NO TELEVISION for children under the age of 2; that would go for movies too. I know many of us use children's shows to occupy children while we get ready (myself included), but it really should be limited. There is all kinds of research linking increased TV/video viewing with decreased ability to pay attention and complete other play activities. Plus, do you really think a 14 month old will sit still? If I was sitting next to you in the theater with a 14 month old, I would be VERY annoyed, because I go to the theater to enjoy myself and relax, not to listen to restless toddlers! Sorry if I sound harsh, but I feel very strongly about this. My daughter is 3 1/2 years, and she will watch a Disney movie at home, but we are just now considering taking her to the theater, because up until now there was no way she would sit still.

I would NEVER take a 14mo.old to a movie.

Hire a Sitter

I have took my daughter when she was a tiny lil infant in her carseat and could easily be sushed but once she was like 10mos.old I stopped and didn't start again til she was 3 years old and that was with strict instructions on my expectations of her behavior.

As a paying movie goer I get irritated with having my movie interrupted or distracted. A 3 year old understands Sssshhh... a 14mo.old doesn't.

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Hello Hot Mama!

Wow - 5 children, you immediately garner my respect and I am properly in awe of you! I have two beautiful "babies", Sammy is 6 years old and Sienna is almost a year old. I can remember with Sammy not wanting to leave him with ANYONE; after all what if he needed his mama and I wasn't there? I can relate to your dilemma and only you will know when it's right for you to leave your little one with a sitter. You say you have a 12 year old, is he/she ready to babysit yet? If it's only for an hour or two, perhaps that would be a good option.

To ease my worries, I only leave my children with people I of course trust 100%, but also adore my children. I've learned the second time around that it's important to have some time to yourself - or with your hubby - sans kids. That being said, it's OK for you to not be ready to leave your little one and you are in no way "pathetic" for feeling that way.

Lastly, in our area, the movie theaters have something called "Mommy Matinee" where you can take your little ones to the movies and not have to worry about interrupting others. Something to look into anyway.

I wish you all the best!

1 mom found this helpful

We took all our kids to the movies, beginning when they were very young. We also take them to church services, so they get a lot of practice sitting quietly. I always took them to very kid-friendly movies, with treats and quiet toys, bottles, etc. and we tried to sit a little away from others to minimize the distraction. Usually matinees are fine, because other folks bring their kids, too and everyone is "kid-noisy". Go for it! I love to see big families out and about.

SAHM of seven

1 mom found this helpful

Hi Murmer,

Not sure where you live, but Showplace 16 cinema in Coon Rapids does a family friendly show on a certain saturday of each month. I saw another poster mention this, but she mentioned a Tuesday, maybe they've expanded. I've never gone, but I've seen it advertised at the theater. It's specifically for families to bring children that may not be quiet for the whole show, or may need to get up and run around. May be a little crazy, but it's an option. I'm sure if you call the theater you can get information. Or maybe they have a webpage where you can get information.

1 mom found this helpful

I understand if you're just not ready for a sitter, particularly when it's someone you don't know well. We are just now getting to be in a position where we are getting sitters for the kids; when my oldest was a baby the only time we got a sitter was when we saw our niece (3-4x/year). However, quality family time, both with and without the kids, is important. Here's what worked for us:

1) With regard to the movies, many theaters have something called "mommy matinees." Our local Showplace (in CR) calls it "Matinee Movie Magic for Moms and Dads." Basically, they take the first show every Tuesday (for all movies, kids or not), and make it a family-friendly environment. They leave a lights on a little dim, turn down the volume, and set the expectation that anyone who comes will be subject to kids. It's very low-pressure. When my older son was little it was great, because if he needed to stand up and wiggle a little, he could. Or ask for a sip of water, or even sleep in a stroller (if we were with a group). This is a great way to either wean your kids onto movies, or even see fairly innocuous movies while your kids sleep. (This works if you have a good napper.)

2) I do a date-night swap with one of my best friends. Once a month, I go to her house at 8pm. The kids are in bed, so I don't have to deal with that whole nighttime routine, and they get a night out knowing that the kids are home with a responsible adult (a mom even!) who knows how to handle an emergency. They don't have to worry about a young sitter's curfew, or driving someone home. The best part, it's free. Then one other night that month, she does the same for me, and my hubby and I enjoy a night out. It's usually enough time to catch a late dinner and movie, or bowling, or even Christmas shopping. The husbands don't mind the women being gone on a Saturday night because they know they will be repaid with quality one-on-one time (and they usually find something "guy friendly" to do with their night home alone). And when I sit, I consider it "me" time where I can bring a book, watch some TV, or whatever. I would encourage this arrangement for anyone!!

1 mom found this helpful

We used to take both our kids to the movies often when they were that age. The secret is to go to the matinee that falls around their naptime. If still on a bottle, bring one with but ultimately, be willing to leave or at least able to go out to the hallway if your baby gets fussy. Every child is different - mine could sleep anywhere! Hope this helps.

Definately get your little one a baby sitter. You are not doing justice to anyone in bringing your 14 month old to a movie. First of all, the people there paid good money to watch a movie. A 14 month old is not ready to sit and watch a movie. I can't imagine bringing one of my kids to a movie at that young age. I have a 4 and 6 year old and last year we took our then 3 year old to Charlotte's Web which was a disaster. Good thing we were the only one in the theater because she didn't sit still to save her soul. If other people would have been in the theater I would have left with her.

It's very frustrating to me when I go to the movies and I hear babies or very young children crying just because mom or dad didn't want to get a sitter.

J.,

I completely understand your concerns or hesitations about leaving your little one with a baby sitter. I've suffered from the same thing. I live just miles away from both my parents and my in-laws, and have never needed a baby sitter that wasn't part of the family. I would take my son to movies when he was still small. I think it depends on your child as to whether or not it's a good idea, though. My son has always been very patient, quiet, and has always followed direction very well, so taking him to movies at a young age was never really a problem. If however, your little one is more active, very talkative and things along those lines, it may be better to just bite the bullet and hire that baby sitter. It would take away from your enjoyment of what should be fun family time if you're having to constantly restrain or shush your child...and of course you want to be respectful for the other movie goers who aren't there to listen to your little one talk loudly, cry, or hear your scolding. So I think you're the only one who can make the decision if it'll be something that would work for you and your family. If you're not sure, try an afternoon movie when there aren't as many people in the theater and give it a shot!

Good luck!

Do you have a friend that you trust enough? My daughter was over a year the first time I thought about having an adult night out. I was afraid to leave her with a sitter, but we had a close friend who didn't mind sitting for us. We even offered to sit for her one night as a trade, so we would both save money! That was a lot easer than a person we could hire. We had been to her house a lot, knew how she interacted with her kids and with ours. It's a lot easer to trust someone you have been around befor than someone a friend tells you they use. Hope it helps.

First off I am going to say, that whenever you think your child is able to sit through a good portion of a movie, go for it. I know they say children under 2 or whatever should not watch tv, but an occasionally movie, really don't think that will do any harm at all. Especially if it is a big family outing, how exciting. I think my son was 1 1/2 when we went to cars. We watched half of it and then spend the last half walking around out in the lobby, so make sure your husband is there too.

I was also going to suggest getting a passport to the children's museum in St Paul if you live close enough. http://www.mcm.org/membership.shtml
If you have 5 children and then add the two of you, it more then pays for itself if you use it even twice. It's $80 and gives you and your family unlimited passes to the children's museum for a full year. We bought ours last month and have already used it twice. You could make it a once a 4 - 6 wk outing or something. They have so much to do, you don't have to hit all of them because you can say you are saving some for next time we normally do 3 or 4 rooms and at one point your husband and you could split up and you could take the little one(s) to the Habitot for children 4 and younger. It's my favorite room to bring my little ones to roam!

Have fun!
J.

I've been there. I'm a mom of three with a fairly big gap between the last two. There is no way a 14 month old is going to sit still and be quiet for 20 minutes (unless asleep) let alone for two hours. It isn't fair to to the rest of your family or the other people in the theater to take the baby in with you. Why pay all that money to see a film when you won't be able to enjoy it? As I see it, you have several choices.
A)Come up with a different outing for the whole family to enjoy. What did you do when your oldest were babies?
B)You and your husband take turns taking the older kids on outings and the other stays with the baby.
C)Hire a sitter! Ask around for references from some other parents. Did you ever have a babysitter for your other kids? My son was a TOTAL mama's boy as a baby and toddler. He would go by NO ONE but me. His sisters would do in a pinch, but he wouldn't even go to his dad! Well, when he was 18 months old I went back to school--I HAD to leave him with other people. The first two weeks were very rough, but I credit the wonderful teachers at the school day care with helping turn him into the outgoing, sociable boy he's become.
Start slow, have the sitter come over a few times beforehand just to get to know the baby. Then leave for 20 min, 1/2 an hour etc...You can do it!

I would NEVER take a 14mo.old to a movie.

Hire a Sitter

I have took my daughter when she was a tiny lil infant in her carseat and could easily be sushed but once she was like 10mos.old I stopped and didn't start again til she was 3 years old and that was with strict instructions on my expectations of her behavior.

As a paying movie goer I get irritated with having my movie interrupted or distracted. A 3 year old understands Sssshhh... a 14mo.old doesn't.

There has been recent studies from Cornell University showing a strong correlation between television viewing in children under three years of age and autism and ADD. The AMA reccomends no television for children under two years of age, and the authors of the recent study suggest three years as a more realistic time point. Get a sitter and go to the movies with your hot husband! If you need a sitter, a good place to look is your local medical school, as the students are extremely well qualified and many love kids and are on a path to pediatrics. All of our babysitters are medical students. I feel pretty safe leaving our little guy with them for three hours to watch a movie. Good luck.

Something to think about with your 12 year old, alot of schools offer a babysitting class for 11 year olds, if you don't want to hire a sitter get your 12 year old into one of those classes and then pay them to watch the younger ones. I would also ask your Soccer Mom friends if they have any reliable sitters

So what you're saying is that you don't want to leave your baby with a babysitter? I don't think that's such a bad thing. Maybe you could bring the baby with, and hire the babysitter to com to the movies with you as an extra hand for the other kids, and so you can take the baby out if she gets noisy. I've taken my baby to many non-kid friendly places, and have had little problems- we remove ourselves if she becomes vocal so that we're not disturbing others.

In fact, this is how my husband and I go on dates when my babies are young, and we're able to do this for the first 3-4 months, and then we go date free until the baby is much older. At that point, I don't hire a babysitter. I only trust my kids with other moms who know my child well, or family, but I guess I'm really picky that way. A 14 month old is a little different because she wants to roam, but the kid-friendly matinees should be fine.

Also, maybe you could consider attending other family events? In our hometown, we had larger family events like monthly community carnivals (like a school carnival, but open to the community), music/plays/other events in the park during the warmer months, museums for kids, etc. that we could take the kids to. Most of these events were either cheap or free, and were great places to bring kids. I have such fond memories of attending music events with my family, and they are perfect for kids because they offer cultural experience as well as the ability to roam and be kids. Our library branches usually held puppet shows, lap sits, and other events. Some of these were only for a specific age group, and they obviously wouldn't be appropriate for an older child or teenager- but those members of your family could find a book to read, browse the music or movie section (many libraries have dvds and tapes to check out for free- usually some new releases). Why not have a movie night at home? Check out your community website for more ideas. http://www.toledo-iowa.com/ There are probably other options that I hadn't thought of.

I say GO FOR IT :o) I have 4 kids ages 5, 4 1/2, 4 and 2 and we are awaiting the arrival of #5 through another adoption, she's 7. I have taken my babies to the movies before and they loved it. I would just bring the stroller and leave her in there and bring her some snacks to much on and a juice/milk cup. That way she can recline and watch the movie, drink her drink and fall asleep if she wants to. My babies were always VERY fascinated with the big screen.
The theaters with stadium seating have big handicapped sections where you can park your stroller and sit next to her (as long as there aren't any handicapped people that need it). Baby should get in free so if it's a bust you can always leave your husband there with the other kids and come back when it's over.
Have fun,
J.

NO way! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends NO TELEVISION for children under the age of 2; that would go for movies too. I know many of us use children's shows to occupy children while we get ready (myself included), but it really should be limited. There is all kinds of research linking increased TV/video viewing with decreased ability to pay attention and complete other play activities. Plus, do you really think a 14 month old will sit still? If I was sitting next to you in the theater with a 14 month old, I would be VERY annoyed, because I go to the theater to enjoy myself and relax, not to listen to restless toddlers! Sorry if I sound harsh, but I feel very strongly about this. My daughter is 3 1/2 years, and she will watch a Disney movie at home, but we are just now considering taking her to the theater, because up until now there was no way she would sit still.

Take the baby with. You will know when you are ready to have a babysitter.

I know when I have gone to any movie with my children or with the children from work (womens shelter) people become very irritated when there is a baby crying or running around making them not able to hear the movie. Some people have patients and some people just have none. If you think that your child can sit through a whole movie thats great. Babysitters are actually good for a child. The tricky thing is to find someone you trust with your loved ones.

Hiring a babysitter isnt a bad thing it gives you and your hubby time alone together even if its just a movie. I have had several babysitters over the past 6 yrs and we only went out once a month which for us was great. But taking your 14 mo old might not be a good idea, here are some factors to think about. Noise level of the movie would it be to loud for their ears and scare them. Would the baby not settle down during the movie and make it difficult for you to enjoy. Alot of movie goers get very upset when you bring a baby to the movies as they feel its going to ruin the experience for them. And last dont you just want a couple of hrs to snuggle with the hubby in the dark corner while you know your kids ae being well taken care of by a licenced babysitter. So talk to your hubby about a babysitter and then call the county for a list of licenced babysitters in your area then do some interviews with the few you feel have the most experience. Also remember most babysitters make minimum wage or a tad higher. Good luck and you know what ever desicion you make is best for your family.

Mom of 2 lil girls

Hi Murmur-
You'd be better to hire a sitter until your child can enjoy the movie. We used to go to the Roseville cheapo theatre and the parents who did that - ended up missing many parts of the movie when the babies got fussie because they would have to leave so others watching can enjoy the show.
We started taking our twins to movies at 3 - no problems with the family shows- for the rest- sitters or we just started renting them later and having movie nights at home- cheaper and just as fun and you can pause the movie when you need to.
Sometimes we have to give up our adult life and find new ways to enjoy things- it's hard. I used to go to a movie once a week- now unless it's with the kids, my husband and I watch them at home or if we're lucky - attend one alone at theatres once every 4 mo.. Parenting changes things.
me- mom of 6yo twins, business woman, med. professional, wellness coach, wife and all around happy 47 yo gal.
B. Jarmoluk
http://www.mydietshop.org
____@____.com

Getting a sitter may be the best thing you do for yourself and your family. Make sure you trust her/him by doing whatever you need to do to feel secure with that person. The babysitting site on this website seems very good. Sometimes letting go is hard but worth it. Movies with babies are always a bust. Another option: Rent a movie and call it movie night at home. Complete with Popcorn, candy and special chairs set up in front of the T.V. to create a theatre like event. Good Luck.

Hi Murmer, my advice would be not to take a 14 month old to a movie. I have a 15 month old and he doesnt sit to watch TV at all and he isnt quite. I know that when I use to get to go to movies many people didnt like when people would take there babies who would cry and then they wouldnt bother taking them out so it ruins the moive for the rest of the people who paid to come watch it. I cant wait to take my son but it will be a couple years at least. I have a daycare and a 3 year old she still only sits to watch a movie for like maybe 20 minutes so all kids attention spans are different but I know for a 1 year old the attention span isnt very long plus keeping them quite is a whole other issue. I would wait until your child can sit through a movie first then find one that is kid friendly.
For the time being I would get a babysitter or a family member to watch any of your kids, its a good idea to have one on hand for any time you and your husband go out without the kids.

I know that white bear township theatre does a family friendly show in the morning time once a week. Maybe if that is not close, you could check with your local theatre to see if they do it, or talk to the manager and see if they would consider it a possibility to start for all of us mom's who miss the smell of popcorn and sticky shoes! :)

Mumer,
I'd say go to the movies with your family, but, leave the 14 month old child with a babysitter, a relative, a neighbor or trusted friend. The chances of the baby making it thru a movie are slim at 14 months -- it would disrupt your family's enjoyment and the rest of the audience, too.

PS Who babysat your older children? Does your 12 y.o. know older students at school or church who could sit?

Some of the theatres have days and times where kids under 2 can come to the movies with an adult. Everyone who is there has kids with them and if a baby cries then nobody cares because everyone there is in the same situation.

I say try it out. :) You may end up spending some time with your baby in the lobby, but it's worth trying. If it doesn't work, for the next time, hire a sitter.

I have 2 boys (there are days when it feels like I have 5 though!) and with my oldest, waited until he was over 3 to bring him to a movie. With my youngest, we started bringing him to movies when he was little so we all could go as a family. It didn't always work out great; there were times my husband and I took turns letting him wander the hallways, but for the most part, it's been a fun experience for everyone.

Hire a babysitter. You deserve some time with your other children and husband. They will appreciate the fact that you want to spend time with them too. Your 14 mon. old would not enjoy the movie and neither would you. Surely there is someone you would trust to watch the little one for a couple of hours. Honestly, it will do you both good to be apart.
A.
Happily married, SAHM of two girls ages 10 and 9.

We trained our children to behave in the movies by taking them to the summer morning matinees that are free. If we have to take them out or take them home, no financial loss. Those movies are also "kid crowds" and people are much more tolerant of a little noise.

On a separate note, the longer you wait to leave your child with a sitter, the harder it will be. You need a chance to be alone with your husband - go out on a date once in a while.

When I left my little one at first, I hired a teenager and had her watch my baby with her mom at their house (and cleared it with the mom, of course.) Then I moved on to leaving my babies when they were asleep. Example: We saw Spiderwick Chronicles with the big kids during the little kids naptime. My baby slept until 2 minutes before we got home. We also go out for a late date after the little kids are in bed. Then, as they get a little older we have sitters when they are awake.

Good luck,
S.

We started taking our two to the movies when they were little. We would go around nap time and they would usually fall asleep for a little while. If you go to a childs movie people aren't as upset if your little one makes some noise. In our area they have a movie morning for babies where moms and babies can go see a movie and everyone knows there will be little ones.

Hi if you feel more comfortable and that it's safer for your baby to be with you . you go for it . but as the baby gets older try to find a trust worthy person to watch the baby .
Chris N

I don't do the movie theatre much if I can help it. I can't keep the youngest (18mth) quiet enough so hubby takes him and stands in the walkway on the side. So, we do movies at home and make it a fun time. We use Netflix and my hubby makes popcorn. We curl up on the couch and the kids pile on the floor with blankets and pillows. We can say something if we'd like without worrying about making others mad. I also don't have to pay such INCREDIBLE prices for a ticket and popcorn and I don't worry about the kids begging for candy. It's a win win for me! There will be a time when they are all older that we can do the movie theatre thing but now's not the time for us. The theatres will always be there. I think that staying home can be as great an experience as going out if you do it right. Our kids aren't looking to go out - they're looking to be with us. What about putting on a show for the family with the kids? or, encouraging them to put it on? You could video tape the performance and maybe teach some acting skills. or, a dramatic reading. AND - there is NOTHING pathetic about not wanting or being ready to use a sitter. You are the most important thing in your child's life and you should be proud of that! You and your child will seperate when you are ready and please don't let ANYONE tell you you're pathetic because you're not ready in their time frame. Listen to yourself and your child because that's what matters!!!!!!

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