So as promised here is my post on surviving festivals with a baby – I am chuckling to myself as whether I survived is up for debate (see photos below – as you can see the weather was not on our side ) and I still feel like I am recovering!
1 – My first and most important tip would be – make sure the person you are going with is a festival person – we can safely say my other half is not and this made the first part of the festival stressful to say the least. By the end he had settled down a bit but really? One baby is enough to worry about! (Hopefully he won’t read this as he now thinks he had an amazing time and is a convert) In all seriousness he did enjoy himself after the first day or so and embraced the muddiness – we love camping and always have. Leave the precious people behind – even if you are glamping there WILL be mud, and limited showers!
2 – Pack for all weathers – even if it is boiling hot in the day chances are you will freeze at night, I bought a long sleeved sleeping bag from JoJomamanbebe (bought off eBay – bargain) – it has detachable sleeves and also has a hole between the legs so baby can wear it in the car seat/pram when travelling.
3 – I don’t know if this is a tip or not as Sonny just wouldn’t settle in his (completely my fault as I left it to the last minute so he didn’t get chance to get used to it – he seemed to think it was a play tent and went bonkers / wide awake as soon as we put him in it!) Buy a pop up travel cot – koo di make a good one – again I got mine from Ebay – it has incorporated black out blinds although these don’t make it very dark!
4 – Take a bucket/tub – for baths – you meanwhile can expect to stink!
5- If you are bottle feeding take a large Tupperware pot and some Milton tablets for easy sterilising on the go. The bottles are sterile in the solution for 24 hours so you can just pop them in and out as you wish. Even if you are not bottle feeding this is handy for bowls/spoons/dummies etc.
6- Expect to chuck the routine out the window if you have one. A festival is not for the Gina Ford disciple – you can however maintain a loose routine – keep feeds, naps and baths within a half hour each side time scale and things shouldn’t go too far off kilter. If they do – don’t beat yourself up – this is one weekend out of 52 – what fun is life if you don’t have some spontaneity?!. You can always get things back on track when you get home!
7 – Expect noise – no escaping it I’m afraid – festivals are noisy places. Even if you bag a quiet spot there will be other babies crying and it will be noisier than home. Again try to go with it, if you were there without children chances are you would have broken sleep anyway! Sonny didn’t sleep so well – he was fine for the first part of the night and would sleep in his pushchair like a dream , no matter how noisy it was out and about– it was when we transferred him to bed that things got difficult. I ended up with him sleeping on me (my Nanny self would have been horrified) but you know what? It worked and since we have been home he has gone back to his own bed no problems.
8 – Buy some kids ear defenders – if you are planning to spend a lot of time by the main stage (even if you are set back a bit) there will be lots of bass which can affect small ears
9 – Expect to be converted! However daunting it sounds – when you get to the festival wherever it may be you will see all manner of families out and about enjoying themselves. From huge big families to couples with teeny weeny week old babies and they all survive and have a great time. When Sonny didn’t sleep too well at night and I was thinking to myself that the day would be hellish, he really surprised me and was on top form. He absolutely loved all the things going on, staring at the flags and bunting, listening to the music and watching the other children. Since we have been home I think he is actually quite bored of my company!
10) Enjoy! There are so many things for kids at festivals these days and lots of it is free. Really embrace it and let your little one get into the festival spirit, trying things they wouldn’t necessarily do at home. I got so many ‘tuts’ from disapproving people when I would mention we were going, but you know best and if you think your family will enjoy the experience then go for it!!
Have fun – I would love to hear your stories – good or bad!