This week was our first adventure to the movie theater with both boys. Charlie went once with me when about 2 years ago. He did pretty well then, but that was just the two of us. This time we had Owen!
If you’re thinking about taking your baby and toddler to the movies, these tips are for you!
1. Don’t Go Alone
If this is your first trip with both a baby and a toddler, don’t go alone. If you can grab a friend, the hubby, anyone really, do it! You’ll need extra hands to help wrangle the kids, carry snacks, or go for a potty break or diaper change. I nursed Owen twice while in the movie theater this week. If Charlie had started to get up and want to go somewhere else, I was going to be struggling to get myself together and grab Charlie quickly.
2. Appropriate Movie
You’ve decided to take your kids to a movie. Is this an appropriate movie for them? If you’re taking them to a movie I’m assuming you’ve asked your toddler if he’s interested. If you don’t get his interest before you get there, you might not make it very long in the movie if he decides he doesn’t want to watch it. We saw the Lego Movie and I knew this would be a hit because Charlie has been Lego obsessed lately.
3. Go Early
Check your theater for matinee times. Not only will it be cheaper, the kids are usually better behaved in the mornings. Another plus to going early is the theater will usually have other small children and parents during this time. Other parents are usually more understanding of small children, especially if their children are there too. If you can buy your tickets ahead of time, do that. It will eliminate waiting in line and we all know how well toddlers can wait in line.
4. Lots of Snacks
Movie theaters sell snacks. They sell crazy high priced snacks that small children don’t want or need anyway. I know you’re not supposed to bring your own food and drink in, but I’ve never had anyone say anything to me. I’m pretty sure this should be an exception for toddlers anyway. Think goldfish, juice boxes, cheese crackers, teddy grahams, grapes, and anything else they might like. If the baby is old enough for snacks, bring them too: puffs & yogurt melts are our favorites! Extra Tip: Don’t give them all the snacks at once, they’ll just eat them all and want more. Ration those bad boys out!
5. Be Prepared for Everything
Like I said in #1, I nursed Owen twice during the same movie. This was my first time nursing in public and without a cover. If you’re more comfortable with a cover, be sure to pack it. Bring toys for baby (ones that don’t make too much noise preferably) and a blanket to keep warm since theaters are always cold. Toddlers have a rough time sitting through anything, no matter how much they want to watch the movie. It’s a long time to keep your butt in a seat. Oh, and if you’re potty training- be prepared to make a run for the potty with everything in tow. See how taking someone with you can be super helpful? Charlie got a little restless about half way through, so we went for a short walk to the concession stand to get a kid’s snack pack (fruit snacks, drink, popcorn). Even though we brought snacks, I sprung for this for him (and I may have shared the popcorn). And if all else fails: Be prepared to leave early. Sometimes they just can’t do it- the toddler is tired of sitting, having a meltdown or the baby won’t stop crying. Try again another day.
If you’re interested in trying a movie this summer, check out the Summer Movie Express for $1 movies! It’s the perfect time to test it out!