With the festival season on the horizon, the latest edition of Baby London magazine has shared it’s Festival Essentials for families, featuring our PacaPod Almora changing bag. Load up the PacaPod and get ready for a day of trudging through muddy fields without worrying whether you’ve left the nappy cream or wet wipes back at the tent. If you're a parent, you won't need telling that going to a festival with a baby in tow is a rather different experience from going pre-baby. But that doesn't mean it's any less enjoyable. The golden rule when attending a festival with a baby is to remember to take your sense of humour with you - things won't always go to plan and routines won't be adhered to, so instead of trying in vain to maintain your baby's feeding and sleeping patterns, throw caution to the wind and embrace your spirit of adventure! Not all festivals are suited to families and young children, so do your research before buying tickets, and don’t despair if your favourite festival in your pre-baby years doesn’t accommodate for families, choose a family-friendly festival you haven’t explored before and enjoy that your baby is leading you on a new adventure. Family-friendly festivals are popping up all over the UK, here are our top choices:
- Camp Bestival (28-31 July) - The baby sister festival to grown-up version Bestival, it has won the 'Best Family Festival' award for both 2009 and 2010, and it's easy to see why - with a big top, fancy dress parade and house of fairy tales, all hosted in the beautiful Lulworth Castle Estate, you'll be wishing this little gem had been around when you were in nappies.
- Green Man Festival (19-21 August) - Nestled in the Brecon Beacons in Wales, this folky festival has a Boutique Babysitting service so you can bounce around to your favourite band for an hour without buggy in tow, while your little one enjoys their own mini-festival, with fancy-dress, arts and crafts and a chill out zone.
- Glastonbury (22-26 June) - Initially the idea of taking your baby to Britain's biggest festival might not seem like a good plan, but each year more and more parents are doing it. Why? Because Glastonbury has gone to great lengths to become family-friendly; families-only Kidzfield allows mum and dad to kick back with a cup of tea and use the free baby-changing facilities, while the tots can have a go on the Helter Skelter and much more!
Remember when attending a festival with your children, you must change your expectations. There's no point in expecting to do the same things you did before you had your little one. Enjoy it for what it is - precious time to spend enjoying yourself with your baby. And if you're still not convinced about camping with baby in tow, remember you can always stay in a nearby hotel instead! On top of what you’d usually take in your PacaPod bag (click here for packing advice), here’s some suggestions for extra festival-related necessities:
- Warm blankets – you don’t realise how cold it gets at night, even in summer, until you’ve camped under the stars!
- An off-road pram if possible, or a secondhand lightweight buggy (with rain cover) that will do the job but you don’t mind if it gets ruined
- More wet-wipes than you ever imagined you’d need
- Bucket/travel potty - for midnight wees (not necessarily just for the kids!)
- Ear defenders to protect your little one from loud hustle and bustle
- A pen/marker pen - write your mobile number on your child's arm/wristband and point out stewards, police and other parents as the right people for your child to approach should they get separated from you
- Hats and suncream
- Waterproofs - typical festival attire
- Plastic-backed picnic blanket to sit on
- Torch (head torches are great fun for toddlers – plus they are harder to lose)