**This post is in collaboration with Travelodge**
When it comes to taking very young kids to something as out of their usual routine as a festival, the notion could well strike fear in the hearts of parents! Phil and I certainly had our reservations when, in August 2015, we took a then 13 month old Toby to CarFest South. Oh, I was also 7 weeks’ pregnant with Martha. And Toby didn’t sleep through the night. And he wasn’t particularly keen on new people…
One thing about having a tricky time with your child is that you become far more relaxed about certain other aspects of parenthood; we’d survived the hell of Toby’s reflux and his 6 months of 10 hour-long screaming sessions, so what was a weekend with no sleep? Pah! Easy!
You know what? The gamble paid off!
Toby, us, my parents, my brother, family friends, all had the most amazing weekend of great food, great music, and great company. A family festival miracle even occurred: Toby – our child who didn’t sleep for more than a couple of hours a time and hadn’t successfully transferred from one place of sleep to another in his whole life – slept in the sling, remaining asleep when placed in the pushchair, then the car, then the hotel room, had a nappy change, and slept in the cot for HOURS!
That’s right, oh nervous parents, family festivals are magical in many wonderful and mysterious ways!
Travelodge have devised a nifty #FamilyFestQuiz, designed to find out what your family’s festival personality is, so I tested it while knowing exactly which festival I’d been dreaming of taking the kids to next year. (Spoiler alert: the quiz got it right!)
I’d been researching Camp Bestival only the other week and really hope that we can make it there next year! If you’ve been before then I’d love to hear what you thought of it! I’d also love to take Toby to Download because he’s a right little rocker like his mama, but kids have to be at least 5 to go there – 3 more years to wait as it’s about a fortnight before his birthday usually!
- Relax – If they don’t sleep, eat less healthy as usual, go to bed later; it’s one weekend and things will go back to normal
- Enjoy – It’s your weekend too, so mix it up between the children’s activities and watching the live music you love. Toby saw Take That at 13 months’ whereas my first concert was when I saw them at nearly 10 years old!
- Go with other people – This isn’t necessarily essential, but it’s great to be able to take turns looking after the kids, especially if they’re still quite little
- Camp or hotel – Pick which suits you best. We had planned to camp, but Toby freaked out during a practice run in the garden and then with my early pregnancy sickness kicking in, we gave that idea up and booked a hotel!
- Be flexible – This kind of sums up all of the other points I’ve made! Plan the essentials, make sure you’ve brought things that you can’t get on-site, but otherwise be prepared for plans to change and the festival to work its magic on you all
Have you taken your mini people to any festivals? Are you planning any for this summer? I’d love to know what your experiences have been, and whether the Family Festival Quiz results were accurate for you, too!