February 20, 2008,
J.C. asks from Toledo, IA on February 16, 2008
Ready to Take the Next Step
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.
So What Happened?™
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.
M.M. answers from Minneapolis on February 18, 2008
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.
M.K. answers from Sheboygan on February 18, 2008
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.
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B.H. answers from Minneapolis on February 17, 2008
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.
A.L. answers from Madison on February 18, 2008
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!
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J.B. answers from Minneapolis on February 18, 2008
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
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T.S. answers from Minneapolis on February 18, 2008
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.
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S.S. answers from Minneapolis on February 17, 2008
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
C.C. answers from St. Cloud on February 18, 2008
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.
W.F. answers from Minneapolis on February 17, 2008
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.
R.W. answers from Minneapolis on February 20, 2008
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!
J.J. answers from Omaha on February 18, 2008
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.