How to Survive a Festival with Toddlers, Babies or Pregnant

How to Survive a Festival with Toddlers, Babies or Pregnant

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Me a Bertie and a bump.

I wouldn’t have considered myself to be one of those Mums brave enough to take kids to festivals. But last year I went to Wilderness with an 18 month old and a bump. This year we did Latitude with a toddler and a baby.

It’s exhausting and grubby. But  REALLY REALLY fun. Like all things with kiddies it takes  planning and guts, but it’s SO worth it.

Here’s ‘How to Survive a Festival with Toddlers, a Baby or a Bump’…


  • Baby wipes. ‘Once you go baby wipe you never go back’. Minimum 4 packs for a weekend. 

  • Arrive in good time. Trying to set up a camp with overtired children is a miserable experience.

  • If you can get your hands on a roofbox. Do it. There is no such thing as too much gear.

  • Console yourself with the fact that even if you are only getting 5 hours sleep a night that’s still WAY more sleep than the majority of festival goers will be getting.

  • Layers. You forget how cold it gets at night. Really cold. (Yet somehow men still manage to sleep in just their pants).

  • Gro-bags. You can get 18-36 month old, they are pretty big and better than a duvet.

  • Silcone ear-plugs. As important as mascara and clean knickers.

  • Porridge in a pot. Breakfast for everyone and no washing up. 

  • Forget the swimwear. Embracing your mumchub is most tricky when surrounded waify 20 somethings who don’t even realise how wonderful they look.

  • A washbag you can hang-up. Nothing luxurious about the floor of a temporary shower.

  • Old-school toothbrush. Yes electric is better. But not when they run out of juice 24 hours in.

  • Dead phone. Enjoy it. It’s really liberating. (Or invest in one of those charging packs).

  • Food? Dry snacks (obvs). Eggs. Smash potato and cocktail sausages. Baked beans. Avocado. Posh pot-noodle (Itsu ones). Fresh tortellini. Ellas. Cream cheese sandwiches. 

  • Apples. A welcome break from beige carbs.

  • Proper mugs. That morning cuppa is a life line. Drinking from a plastic beaker doesn’t cut it.

  • Brioche – why the hell doesn’t it go stale?! Can’t be good for you. Useful though.

  • Voddy and Apple juice. After extensive research. This is the alcoholic beverage that is most drinkable at warm temperature (apart from red wine). This is a clear winner.

  • First aid kit. What’s worse than a teething child? A teething child that wakes a whole field of hungover people up at 4 AM. DO NOT FORGET THE CALPOL. 

  • Street urchin chic. There will come a point when the kids become laughably dirty. You may feel horrified. But chances are they will (literally) be as happy as pigs in shit.

  • Hooded towelling poncho things.  Avoid post al-fresco bath time pneumonia.

  • Let the routine go out the window, but not entirely. We headed back to the tent at 5ish for tea, ‘bath’ and PJ’s. Then back out in buggys at bedtime.

  • (Controversial but) Buggy not cart. Those festie carts look cool. But they are heavy and unfamiliar. And kids can climb out. They’re more likely to chill in their usual mode of transport.

  • The best blow-up bed you can afford. 

  • The biggest tent you can afford.

  • Both the above are investments. The more kids you have the more likely your are to resort to camping holidays.

  • Large bucket = washing up bowl. And child-washing bowl.

  • Cut everyones nails short beforehand. Dirt under the fingernails is inevitable

  • Lighters. Remember the days when everyone had a clipper? Not any more. Your stove is redundant without.

  • Manage expectations. Getting kids out the house is hard. Getting them across a field is also challenge. You will not get to see the music you want to – but hearing amazing bands play is almost the same as seeing them?!

  • Face painting and singing nursery rhymes is almost as much fun as losing your mind in the dance tent.

  • DO NOT WEAR DUNGAREES. Those Straps + porta-loos = hideous on so many levels.

  • It’s ok for cereal to be dinner sometimes.

  • Roll of blackbags: duvet carrying device. Laundry basket. Potential jacket – even a rubbish bag.

  • Travel cot. Or in our case 2 travel cots. Yes actually. 

  • Pen. To scrawl your mobile number on your offsprings arm.

  • Nothing beats a post festie shower. A part from from a post child-birth shower.

  • And getting back to having a TV to entertain your kids.

  • Do it. Yes there will be times when you ask yourself ‘why the hell are we doing this?’ But as soon as you are home, you will know why you did:

  • A break from real life.

  • A chance to feel a little bit like the old you.  

  • And when you look back at the summer it will 100% be THE thing you remember.

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