You’ve done it. You’ve bought the tickets, you’ve set your resolve and you’ve ignored the horrified looks of other parents. Whether you’re a festival newbie, a parent newbie, or both, these top tips should keep you sane and ensure your experience is a good one.
The Pregnant Festival
If you’re pregnant and plan on heading out to any of these fab festivals we uncovered last week then there are some things you may need to do to keep yourself comfy. First off, take water or juice with you wherever you go so you don’t get dehydrated. It’s suggested that you drink at least eight glasses of water a day so up this amount a bit if it’s hot and you’re stomping through fields.
Take a portable toilet with you. We recently found a great deal on a luggable loo that will come in handy. Depending on how pregnant you are, there can be few things more annoying than spending your entire festival trudging back and forth to the toilets. Also, you won’t have to struggle in and out of those hideous portaloos.
Pack tons of lush snacks that are full of good nutrients and vitamins. Avoid rubbish snacks that affect your blood sugar and rather get nuts and fruits and wholegrains. Chomping on these will keep your energy levels up and keep you going throughout the festival.
Take a blanket and either a chair or a pillow with you. Place yourself near enough to the music to enjoy yourself, but far enough away that you can sit down and absorb the atmosphere in comfort. There is no point in being bashed about in the crowd. You won’t have any fun and it will exhaust you.
The Baby Festival
Taking a baby to a festival and camping out may require nerves far hardier than mine, especially if the weather isn’t kind. Many mums I spoke to recommended that you consider booking into a nearby hotel or B&B rather than camping out so you always have a safe base to head to.
However, some parents may be festival gurus with tents and equipment that would keep a buffalo dry in the monsoon. If you are one of these, then all you need to do is ensure that you bring enough wipes and baby equipment to keep the little ones warm and fed.
Take ear defenders for young children to protect their ears if you plan on going close to the stage so you don’t affect their hearing. At a young age they will not appreciate the roar of Def Leppard at eight billion decibels. Also consider getting some form of transport that can cope with fields.
A trolley or pram that can handle the inconsistencies of muddy fields and grounds will save you. No matter how much you love your baby sling, you will get tired and fed up and a nice soft place for baby to sleep while you wave your arms in the air is a great idea.
Pack big thick woolly blankets for your tots to snuggle in at night. The temperature does drop, especially if the night is clear after a rainy day, and you don’t want to be forced back to your tent (or kept up all night) because of freezing cold kids. Or have freezing cold kids, of course.
The Kiddie Festival
In addition to ear plugs and trolleys/4x4 prams, the older kids must have some form of identification. Most festivals give you wrist bands that you can write on with permanent marker so your kids can get someone to call you. Ensure that your cell phones are charged at all times (you can either use a device like the Powerfreakz Evolution we reviewed or pay for your phone to be charged while you’re there) so that people can get in touch with you.
Tent flags are also a biggie. If you can stick something on your tent that will catch the attention of every human within a mile radius then it’s pretty much a guarantee that your tots will find it too. This is just another precaution in case they get lost and it will help them to find their way home.
Definitely bring plenty of your own snacks and bottled drinks for you and the kids. Hungry and thirsty children are absolutely no fun at all, and keeping them hydrated and fed with good quality food is a great way of ensuring everybody is happy. Also, the food at festivals is notoriously poor and expensive, and you’d have to wait in long queues.
Having a trolley or pram will give you that extra edge in that you won’t have to cart all this food, water and blankets on your back. Stick them in a handy portable carrier (we will be reviewing the hamster by Philippelara on Friday) on the back of your pram and you’re the most organised human there.
There are loads of great tips that I'm sure I've missed so please feel free to add your own. My personal favourite was given me by a good friend who said, "Take a blow up air tube so you don't have to hover over the loos when you're pregnant."