Taking your toddler to the movies for the first time can be a scary event. Many parents avoid this all together because they’d rather not be that parent who brought a screaming kid to a movie, animated or not. If you’re a dare devil like me but want to avoid the stares at the same time, here are some helpful tips! Please do be for warned that I understand a great deal of moms don’t want their children to have screen time at all and some of these suggestions will make you cringe depending on your parenting type, but this is blog is all about me being honest about how I mother and what works for my style. So take what you will!
Know your kids schedule!
I know that not all toddlers are on a strict schedule and even if they are every day they are changing but if you can plan the movie time when your kid is usually calm. (Easier said then done I know!) for example, we took Audrey to a 1:00pm movie, knowing that she goes down for naps at 3:00-3:30, I wanted her to be getting tired so she is in a calm mood but not to the point she is cranky because it is nap time!
What interests your toddler?
Making sure the movie is entertaining to your toddler is very important! We were planning on taking Audrey to see “Finding Dory”, I decided to test out “Finding Nemo” before hand just to make sure its characters would hold her interest. It was a flop! She liked the fish for about 5 minutes and walked away! So testing out similar characters, if you can, with them before hand is definitely helpful! We decided to pass on Dory and waited for “The secret life of pets,” she loves animals, especially cats and dogs so we had a good feeling about it, and we were right, she loved the animals! Something helpful might be to watch the preview a bunch to get a feel for their response and even YouTube the movie you can sometimes find extra clips of characters that might help you guage the situation.
Does your little one have a special toy,doll, or security blanket? Bring it! It may be just what they need to keep calm!
Movie treats, hit that concession stand!
I don’t know about you but my toddler loves popcorn! So, we got a small bag and a large Sprite for us all to share, and I also splurged for some candy as a safety net. Having something to give them is a known distraction device for mothers. Plus they can’t talk much if they have full mouths, right? Do what you’re comfortable with or even bring some healthy snacks they are known to love(big purses come in handy at the movies as well!)
Ok don’t miss the movie! But I know I love watching previews, but in all reality kids can only pay attention for so long so skipping the previews is usually a good idea to cut down on the amount of time your little one has to sit still.
Let your kid be NOT still!
I’m not saying let them run around the theater or walk up and down the row but do let them step off the seat, stand in the chair, telling them no just makes them want to do it more so letting them do it to an extent will hopefully help them get it out of their system.
Along with that…
Day is best!
Try the matinee, there is no need to be front and center opening night of an animated film. Matinees are less crowded and usually filled with parents and young ones anyway so you won’t be too much of a distraction no matter how it ends up going down!
Do be prepared to leave!
Make sure you understand that even with these tips, kids are kids,some days are better than others and sometimes they just are not ready. If they are getting antsy, don’t wait till you ruin the movie for everyone else, not only will this just set other kids off hearing another loud peer but will teach your little one that’s it’s ok to do what they want, wherever they want. Give them a break in the lobby or just leave and try again another time!
So remember these things when you think the time is right to take your little one to the movies! Timing is everything, find loveable characters, security is everything, don’t talk with your mouth full, the early bird doesn’t always catch the worm, let them be, don’t expect to see the ending! Good luck mamas! We always need it when it comes to toddlers!