In a perfect world... The theater's dark; the baby will fall peacefully asleep, and you can lose yourself in the latest chick flick.
The reality You've heard that a vacuum cleaner can lull your baby into dreamland, but will he sleep through surround sound? Not so much—plus, it could cause real damage. "Any noise that registers 90 decibels or higher can hurt a child's hearing," says Brenda Nixon, author of The Birth to Five Book. In recent years, even children's movies have measured up to 130 decibels. Not to mention the decibel level your baby's crying can reach—and the irritation your fellow moviegoers will feel.
Our advice Wait for the DVD. If you're experiencing serious multiplex withdrawal, see whether a local cinema offers matinees for mothers and kids younger than 2. Often during these screenings, the sound is lowered and the lights remain on. Or hit a flick the next time Grandmom and Grandpop visit. That's what date night is for!