While everyone loves Netflix聽and DIY creative聽popcorn recipes, it鈥檚 nice to get out to the movies every now and then. But that might mean hiring a babysitter for your little one 鈥 unless he or she is ready to head to the theater with you themselves. We spoke with one expert on how to know if your child is ready for a聽big-screen outing. Scroll on to read her tips before you load up on popcorn.

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1. There鈥檚 no 鈥渞ight鈥 age. 鈥淚t鈥檚 more when your child seems ready,鈥 says Dr. Jen Trachtenberg, Assistant Clinical Professor at the Ichahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai, and co-founder of the Baby Bundle app. 鈥淢ovies are about two hours,鈥 she continues, and your child 鈥渘eeds to be able to sit still and focus, and be able to whisper without yelling out and disturb others around them.鈥

2. Do a test run. Tractenberg suggests renting or watching a movie at home with your child to see if it鈥檚 something they鈥檙e into, and observing 鈥渉ow long they remain engaged with the movie.鈥 She tells us, 鈥淚f your child is scared of loud noises or doesn鈥檛 like the dark, you might need to hold off longer.鈥

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3. Have a routine. 鈥淎lways make sure they use the bathroom prior to entering the theater,鈥 she advises. She also suggests dressing the child in layers just as you would yourself 鈥 movie theaters are notoriously cold. 鈥淏ring your own snacks 鈥 they鈥檙e healthier 鈥 and if a child naps, go after naptime so that he or she is less cranky.鈥 Try to always grab an aisle seat so you and your little one can make a swift exit if need be.

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4. Be understanding. 鈥淚f your child wants to leave early, that鈥檚 fine,鈥 she says. 鈥淒on鈥檛 try to force them to stay or make them feel badly about leaving.鈥 Build on each experience and try again when you feel that your child is ready.

Tweet us any of your movie theater parenting tips @BritandCo!

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