Surviving a summer festival with your baby or toddler, you can do it! Here’s how.
Life as you know it changes a heck of a lot when your first little one arrives. And possibly even more when number two comes along. Your outgoing nature, ready to go without planning life is officially over. Before leaving the house, you now need to run through a long checklist to see if you got everything; nappies, toys, food, stroller, rain cover, extra set of clothes, soother, bib and the list goes on. Now, in your former life you’d visit one or two of the good summer parties or festivals to enjoy the long summer evenings in Ireland. We have plenty of fabulous festivals all across the country, from Body & Soul to Forbidden Fruit. Now, as a parent you don’t want to only get stuck visiting Bloom or The Big Grill (both awesome festivals in their own right, but they do lack the music side of things). So we have compiled a little overview of how to make sure you and your little enjoy the “real” festivals.
Pack light but smart
Firstly, find out what each festival allows you to bring. Most of them are pretty flexible, especially for kids. Secondly, keep a close eye out on the forecasted weather, as Ireland can change quite quickly. We’ve visited festivals in blistering heat but also experienced the torrential downpours that are more at home in a Central American jungle. The killer though is the drizzle rain that soaks you to the bone. (whatever you do, don’t bring an umbrella, worst thing ever at a festival) Anyways, you can pack for these weather types by bringing some light weights rain gear and some plastic black bags to sit on. Invest in a little microfiber towel. If the forecast is sunny, make sure to bring a little picnic blanket. A great way to keep bums dry/clean but also a superb way to set boundaries for your little one; ‘stay on/near the blanket’. Lastly, make sure to layer up. Pack a t-shirt, cardigan/sweater, light jacket etc. so you can adjust depending on the weather or the setting sun.
Focus on safety, especially ear drums
One essential kit for visiting festivals is eardrum protection. For adults there are brilliant little earplugs, even ticketmaster sells them these days as part of their ticket sales. For the little ones, you can get headphone style ear protectors. Our little one was so comfy with her pink ones that she even fell asleep with them on and was out for are than an hour. She was 4 months when we took her to see some nice Irish music in the open air. Buy one or a few sizes bigger, most of them are adjustable and will last you quite a while.
Many music festivals have more stages and acts than you can ever visit. Even as a somewhat sober adult you can not. So, plan ahead. What are the few things that are absolute winners when it comes to the line-up. Sometimes these are the big acts, but focus on the top-line-up on the smaller stages where it is easier to get closer to the action while keeping an eye on your little one. Create a postcard sized version of the program and laminate it. Trust me, you’ll thank me for it when that drizzle comes.
Focus on them little ones
You will have your best experience if you make sure the little ones have it. So make sure to make some time in your day just for them. Visit a kids friendly area if the festival offers it (many of them do these days) or just relax and sit down with some food, simple (fruit) snacks or little toys. In our experience balloons on a string a definite winner and the best is that you can bring some and inflate them in the presence of your little one.
Above all, make sure to enjoy the festival yourself. A relaxed mummy or daddy will rub off on your kids. they’ll appreciate the difference in pace and surrounding. And if they are anything like ours, then your have the little one singing and dancing in no time!