At What Age Can Baby Go to the Movies?

Updated on July 06, 2011
S.T. asks from Denver, CO
27 answers

I'm just wondering at what age you took your little one to a movie for the first time? My brother-in-law invited us to go see Cars 2 with him which I thought was weird, our baby is only 7 months, but he said he took his little ones when they were babies and that they get in free... I was under the impression that they would not let any baby under the age of 2 or so in, but perhaps I am wrong. Seems like his attention span would not be that long. What do you think?

EDIT: Yes, I wouldn't be taking him for his enjoyment, I wouldn't expect a baby to watch a movie for that long! It would of course be more for us to come along, and baby would just come for fun, and I worry he would get bored and fussy and start crying. I was just wondering what the rule of thumb or "proper etiquette" was - I just had visions of the movie theater staff turning me away for showing up with a baby! :)

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answers from Milwaukee on

Saw a NEWBORN at Cars 2. I CRINGED.


We took my son to his first movie (Yogi Bear) when he was 3.5 years old and he was an angel and he doesn't focus on anything so that was a HUGE relief.

We've seen "Cars 2" three times within the first five days. Much different from the first one. Fun but DIFFERENT.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boise on

Where I live people take their babies with them all the time. It is a way the parents can date, without having to have a babysitter. I would go, it would be a lot of fun for you all.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I'm old fashioned too. Didn't take my children to the movies until they were 5. I wouldn't bring a baby simply because the movie theaters are so damn loud! Even with my boys I bring earplugs.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Seattle on

If I went to the movies with my daughter (who is 6 months old) I would not be watching the movies and enjoying it with my other two. I would be jiggling, bouncing, swaying, walking....all in the hopes that my baby wouldn't cry and bother the other people that spent money to go to the movies. If you have older children go ahead and send them with your BIL! That will give them some bonding time and you a "little" break.
I don't think there is an age limit. I just don't think a 7 month old would have any kind of attention span at a movie theater.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Some local theaters offer a Mommy Matinee - where you can bring your kids - baby's and no one will get upset that their kid was talking or crying through the whole movie....

I personally didn't take my kids to a movie until they were 4 and even then I felt it was too young....unless it's the Mommy Matinee - then you aren't stressing over people saying SHHHHH!!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

I wouldnt bring a baby. Sure, he might sleep but he may also fuss, and you'll have to get up and leave or risk disturbing everyone around you. Even small baby fuss noises will be enough to annoy those around you More importantly, though, movie theaters are LOUD! Your baby's developing ears don't need that.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

As long as you can keep the baby quiet and noone else complains about the baby bothering them... baby can go.

I used to take my kids when they were very very tiny infants simply cause I was breastfeeding. We usually timed it where I could nurse and baby would sleep after. 90% of the time, other customers didn't even know i had a baby in my arms. Always had to be careful of our choice of movies though so my "vibes" wouldn't wake baby in middle of the movie, lol. Too scary or too exciting and i'd have a squirmy unhappy baby.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

We plan to take our 3.5 year old daughter to her first movie this weekend....Cars 2. We plan to leave her sister, 14 months old, at home with her grandparents. I think my 3.5 year old will think it is too loud and we may have to leave, anyway. Plus, I want it to be a special time for her and give her my undivided attention.

Leave the baby with a caregiver and go to a movie that YOU want to see with your hubby. If you have an older child, take just him/her with your BIL. That would be fun.

Why put yourself through the hassle of paying for a ticket if you might not get to watch the movie and get the stink eye of other moms that don't think you should have a baby there?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

My son went when he was one. We wanted to go to the movies and felt he would do good and had no babysitter. We discussed beforehand who was leaving with him if he didn't do good with it. He slept through the majority of the movie and it was great.
My daughter on the other hand we took her right after she turned one (again something we wanted to see and no babysitter) and she did not do so well. I think it was too loud for her. So one of us had to hold her at the entrance to the theater where she was happy and we could still hear, see and not disturb anyone.
It really depends on the child. We never took one that young to a movie geared towards them and expected them to watch. She doesn't watch tv at home, so we really didn't know if she would even care and she didn't ~ we do not encourage tv watching at our house. A movie is a long time to expect a child that young to sit still and be quiet, we were lucky with our son that he decided to nap through the movie.
Our theater also lets children 1 and under in for free.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

My son is almost 3 1/2 and I took him to the movies for the first time last Saturday to see Cars 2. There were a lot of babies in carriers in the theatre. I do not think parents are taking their babies to the movies for the baby....all of them had older children with them too and the baby just came along for the ride. I did not allow my baby to watch tv but even if I did, I would not think a 7 month old would have any interest in this movie (or really any movie). Their attention span is not that long. Maybe your BIL just likes to go to movies and thought you (not your baby) may enjoy going too:-)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dayton on

Just my experience...Last summer when Toy Story 3 came out we wanted to all go as a family. DS was in the 2-4 month range (sorry, can't remember exactly).
He was such a good baby and I thought he would be fine.
Lol. It was very stressful.
The theater was packed.
I thought he would just want to nurse and be content. He wasn't.
I forgot how super loud it is in the movie theater-and yet how quiet.
The noise was too much for him I think-and in turn, he got really noisy.
I was embarrassed. Felt like I was bothering ppl. Probably wasn't as bad as I thought, but I get irritated at loud eaters at the theater...
And though at home breastfeeding is relatively quiet, sucking in a theater... Lol. Not so much.
I can only tell you I won't be taking DS in a theater again until he is old enough to watch a movie. ;)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Rapid City on

We took our daughter when she was 12 months and she enjoyed for a bit then fell asleep. She was quiet and well mannered, unlike some older kids and adults.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Muncie on

My daughter is 4 now and saw her first movie this past spring, Tangled.

The staff shouldn't turn you away, but bring a pacifier and a bottle (of you aren't breast feeding). Also be aware that movies are LOUD, some times a little too much for little ears. Be ready to leave without seeing all the movie.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pocatello on

I always took my babies to the movies when they were really little, a 0-4 month old will just nurse and sleep through the whole movie! But by 7 months he will probably want to leave halfway through. If you go at naptime (when he's already asleep or alomst asleep) you may have better luck. I have heard of some theators (none in my area, darn it) that show kids films and have certain show times jsut for parents and little kids, the audience is all moms, dads, and tots so they are forgiving of a little noise. You could just give it a shot and hope for the best! Just be prepared to miss some or most of the movie.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

If you think him will be fussy don't bring him.
I took my older son when he was an infant, but he didn't make a peep. I would have taken him to the lobby or left if I thought he was bothering anyone.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

For my son's enjoyment... he went for the first time at about 2ish or 3.

As far as bringing infants, several of our local theatres have 'parent viewing rooms' where a parent can bring a fussy baby and still see the movie (regardless of rating). Others have 10am matinees of all differently rated movies. But children of all ages are allowed in all the local theatres (save one, which serves alcohol).

We always got babysitting for movies, but took him with us to concerts. Super easy. We just brought ear protection for him, and he was great. Since then, I've loaned out our gun range ear protection out MANY times to parents taking an infant to the theatre. They typically sleep right through.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I didn't do it, but my friends said their babies slept through movies. It was a good way for them to get out.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

I'm still iffy about taking my 3 year old!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

"Zero screen time" is the AAP recommendation for children under the age of two. TV or movies, still screen time.

I never took my son to the movies as a baby. I felt (and still feel) that the theater was just too loud. Most movies are blasted out at full volume, and this wasn't what I wanted for him. I also feel that he's a kid, and shouldn't have to sit still for anything other than a meal or something absolutely necessary (ie preschool, meals). Movies don't fit that criteria for me.

I also think plunking a wee one in front of a screen isn't the best idea. Teaching them to develop the ability to passively stare at a screen isn't the same as developing an actual attention span we equate to 'being able to keep themselves busy'. If you do decide to go, be prepared that you might need to leave early. Babies might be welcome; crying babies, less so.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Honestly? 4 or 5 years old, MAYBE 3, depending on the maturity level. If they can stay mostly quiet, sit still through the movie, and handle the darkness & loudness of a movie theater, then they are ready.

I don't really see the point of bringing JUST a baby to the movies, but to each his own. Unless they are sleeping it seems like more trouble than it's worth.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

My husband and I just had this debate. My son is 2 1/2 and he thought it was too young. Our son is really well behaved and can sit for long periods of time, so I thought it was OK. Since I was going and my husband was not, I took my son to see Cars II (he LOVES the first movie). It really depends on your child and you would know best if he can sit through this very long movie (remember all the ads in the beginning also).

Now, that being said: If you are OK with spending the money knowing you may not get to watch the movie yourself (either attending to your child or you may have to walk out if), then I say go.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I took my daughter to see Rio a month ago... she is 3 years old. However she's a mature 3 year old as she loves plays/shows/movies and will sit and watch them without getting bored/run around/talk or be disruptive. She sat through the entire movie eating her popcorn and drinking her water. The only time she said anything was when she had to go to the bathroom.

I think it depends on the interest of your child and his/her maturity level =)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

I know people who take babies along to movies, but not for their babies to see the movies. Babies don't yet have the capability for that. Sometimes toddlers are also scared by the big-screen aspect and the loud volumes. So if you all go to see the film, it's to see it yourself - and that could be fun.

Back in medieval times when I was a child, my parents used to pack us into the car and go to the drive-in movie. I remember getting bored because the films were way over my head, but it was fun going out with my mom and dad.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

I took my daughter with me when I went to see "The Doors" when she was 9 months old. She slept through it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

they let them in, and he's right, under 2 is free. We took our 2 week old to see Ghost Rider, knowing full well she would sleep through the whole thing. She didnt go to another movie until last year when Toy Story 3 came out. I wouldn't want to take a 7 month old, because they would be all over the place and no one would have a good time.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

I am old fashioned. I didn't take my kids to movies until they were old enough to enjoy them, and probably even later. I think they were 5.

Especially when they were babies, going to a movie with my husband was a time to get away from the kids. My kids were not ones to sit still for more than 10 minutes, and were very sensitive to the loud noises one will find in a movie theater (I think it's not very nice to a baby expose them to that). I just thought it was better for everyone involved to find a sitter and leave them home. There's plenty of other ways to spend time as a family.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Provo on

movies are loud. 3 years old is appropriate.

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