Parents Who Bring Babies to Movies Ruin It for Everyone

Rant 97

theater seatsDate nights are a precious thing once you have kids. Ask any parent. It's not just about having the energy to do it. A lot of planning is involved. If you both have busy careers, it's about coordinating schedules and -- more importantly -- booking that babysitter well in advance.

My husband and I were long overdue for some one-on-one time. So I was super excited that I was able to get a sitter for both Friday and Saturday nights. We didn't have anything crazy planned. We were looking forward to checking out two hot, new restaurants and catching a couple flicks that everyone else but us had seen.

Both nights, the food was fantastic. The wine was great. The movies, well, not so much. And it wasn't because of the actors, directors, or storylines. Nope, our rare double-header was ruined by kids -- somebody else's kids.

At both movies (Hunger Games the first night, The Avengers the next) there were babies and toddlers in the theater. Crying babies and singing toddlers to be exact. Everyone was beyond annoyed.

More from The Stir: A Movie Theater Is No Place for a Baby

It's not like we were watching a Disney film or some other animated flick you'd expect a whole family to attend. No, these were violent, action packed scenes. But to be honest, the inappropriate subject matter is not what I take issue with. (I remember being horrified when I saw a dad come into a screening of Precious with three kids under 10 and these movies were nowhere near as sexually explicit).

I have a problem with the fact that some parents don't care if they ruin the film for everybody else. There was crying, whining, and at some point I swear I heard a verse if a Barney song. I kept trying to will them to get up and leave. They didn't.

Now as a parent I sympathize with the desperate need to get out of the house and engage in some kind of activity that has nothing to do with Play-Doh or The Fresh Beat Band. And babysitters are expensive. But is it fair to spoil the film for other patrons?

When I can't find a sitter (which is often), I stay at home and rent a movie from cable or Netflix. Why can't everyone offer the same consideration? At the very least, they should exit when the wailing starts. These parents threw out a couple of "shhhs" but otherwise seemed relatively unconcerned, just staring at the screen as if it wasn't bothersome.

I've read message boards where parents have discussed the best time to take their tot to a movie, trying to sync it up with the sleeping schedule. But come on. Does that ever really work? What baby is going to stay asleep while the Hulk screams and pounds his way through a two-hour film?

Should parents bring babies into movies that are not for children? Is it rude to other moviegoers?


Image via Max Wolfe/Flickr

child care, a mom's life


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emmas... emmasmama2007

I agree, my husband and I were gonna go to the movies this weekend, but when we got there you could see the lines and a lot of children. I'm not gonna spend 15 for a ticket each, to have it ruined by someone's kid.

That's not to say I haven't taken my children to the movies, I'll take my older dd, to age appropriate movies, because she can sit through it and behave. Even the few times I have, it's been to morning showings. 

I understand some people might find it hard to find sitters and all that, but they can ruin it for the rest of us, considering they let their kids cry, and take them to R rated movies, so inconsiderate, it's like there's no escaping it. 

paren... parentalrights1

I'm always of the opinion that children are part of society and people shouldn't be able to just kick them out, but movie theaters require people to be quiet for everyone to enjoy the movie and children just are not quiet. I've never had the desire to take my young children to the movies and I can't imagine why anyone would. Most normal people are embarrassed by the thought of their kid disrupting people, at least I think.

nonmember avatar dani

i took my 1 1/2 yr old to see the avenngers along with my 6 yr old who is obsessed with marvel heros. This was my daughter's first trip to the theatre. She amazingly did well. (and yes, i got the dirty looks from a few people when i walked in with my 2 kids) i don't blame them for the looks... I do it too. Suprisingly, my daughter fell asleep 10 mins into it and slept until it was over! My son (who has ADHD) sat quietly and laughed at appropriate times and was fascinated because it was 3D. I won't make a habit out of taking my kids to the movies but at least i had a pleasant experience and they didn't bother anyone.

ghost... ghostbaby

I hate when people do that! Especially at late or midnight showings! Paying for movie tickets are expensive and i hate to walk into a theater at an 11pm showing, and seeing someone holding a baby or toddler. Because as sokn as the movie gets good, the kid is crying,talking, playing or screaming. Lets not forget the bathroom breaks. Just stay home if you cant get a sitter!

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

Most areas have baby pictures where the cinema shows a current movie at one showing that welcomes babies. I used to go every week when my son was little. They turn the sound down a bit and the lights up a bit, have diaper changing stations and stroller parking and other helpful little things. My favorite thing was the concession cart that they brought in before every show which was stocked with not only stuff like popcorn and soda but also breakfast treats like coffee and fresh baked coffee cake since the show started at 10am. Why go to a busy evening show and get crammed in when you can stretch out with fresh baked goods and a cuppa while your baby snoozes next to you? Mine used to watch a little bit of movie then nurse and conk out for the duration, it was like time off without needing someone to watch the baby!

As for the bringing kids to non-kid movies thing, I don't care what the movie is. Unless it is very specifically a kid showing like a baby picture or kidtoons program then your kids need to obey the same rules as everyone else. If they can't sit down and shut up for the duration I don't care if we're watching a G movie or a R movie, they need to leave until they can behave. I have no issue taking my kid to any movie he wants to see because he knows how to behave. He hates it when people talk in the movies too. If someone is talking and bugging him it doesn't matter how old they are, he will shush them.

linzemae linzemae

We went to a movie 2 weeks ago and a couple brought their baby. Didn't hear a peep out of it.

cmjaz cmjaz

Unfortunately, you pretty much have to go to 'r' rated movie if you want to be to watch something without other peoples children ruining it for you. Actually, not the kids fault, but its the parents

butte... butterflyfreak

I think if I were to walk into a "grown-up" movie and saw a bunch of kids, I'd turn right back around and demand my money back! I know that there are some children who know proper movie theater etiquette but those kids are severely outnumbered by the kids who DON'T know how to behave and parents that refuse to DEAL with their kid. If I'm at the theater to see a kiddie movie with my daughter, then I don't care so much. But I'll be damned if I'm going to pay an arm and a leg to watch a movie that is going to be spoiled by other people's kids!

Melis... Melissa042807

I believe that if people are going to take their small children to a movie, they should be prepared to leave if the child becomes disruptive. Nobody else in the theater paid an arm and a leg to listen to your child scream, sing, talk, or to have the back of their chair kicked the entire time. We could do that at home with our own children, thankyouverymuch. My 2-year-old is quite good at kicking and screaming. I get my fill of that all week. 

JenJen84 JenJen84

I took my 6 month old to see Hunger Games and we went during his nap time.  He fell asleep right as the movie started and didn't wake up until I had to put him back in his carseat when the movie was over.  It was great but I was also sitting right next to the door and at the first noise I would have left. 

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