Thinking of taking your toddler to a festival this year? While it might seem like a daunting task, provided you are well-prepared, festivals can be fab day out for the entire family.
There’s a lot to think about before you go, and it’s important to realize your experience is likely to be a lot different to when you used to go to festivals with friends. However, there are ways to ensure you and your tot enjoy your first festival together with minimal stress and disruption. Here, you’ll discover some of the top tips you can follow when taking your toddler to a festival in order to ensure you both have the best time.
Make Sure You’re Choosing The Right Festival
The first, and most important tip you should follow is to make sure you’re choosing the right festival. Not all festivals are family-friendly and even the ones which say they are don’t always offer the same level of facilities as others do. So, take your time to browse the festivals in your area and check that they offer toddler-friendly facilities.
Many parents actually prefer to take the family to folk music festivals. This is because they tend to offer a lot more daytime kid-friendly entertainment. The crowds also tend to be a little calmer than they would at say, a rock concert. If the festival actually advertises that there will be children’s music too, that’s the type you’ll want to opt for.
Know What To Bring
Once you’ve made sure you’ve chosen the best festival to take your toddler to, it’s time to figure out what to take with you. This will obviously depend upon whether you plan to camp there for a day or two, or whether you’re simply going for the day.
If you plan on taking a buggy with you, ideally, you’ll want to make sure it’s one of those three-wheeled buggies. These are going to be much easier to maneuver and they won’t get stuck in the mud (a common feature you’ll find at festivals!). If you don’t have a three-wheeled buggy and you have no way to borrow one, it could be better to actually use a sling, depending upon how old your toddler is.
You’ll also want to make sure you take an extra pair of clothing than what you think you might need, along with lots of snacks to keep your toddler happy and distracted when needed. Toys and games are also good to take with you as these can also act as a fantastic distraction when needed. Remember, toddlers have a very short attention span, so they’re sure to get bored of things at the festival pretty quickly. Having a selection of toys and games to play with will therefore prevent them from becoming too restless.
Of course, you’ll also need the essentials such as baby wipes, diapers if your toddler isn’t potty trained, and a small first aid kit.
Accept You May Not Get To See Your Favorite Acts
If you’ve chosen a festival purely because it features your favorite acts, you need to be prepared for the chance you won’t actually get to see them. This is because a lot of the best acts at music festivals, perform later on in the evening. This is going to be well past your toddler’s bedtime. So, if you’re only going for one day and you aren’t camping out at the festival, there’s a high chance you won’t get to see the acts later on.
If you are camping there, you could place your tent far enough away from the stage that it won’t wake your toddler up, but close enough so you can still see your favorite acts. This can be tricky, but it isn’t impossible. Ideally, you’ll want to avoid going to a festival which largely kicks off in the evening if you’re travelling with a toddler.
Try And Stick To Your Toddler’s Normal Schedule
Whether you plan on camping out or not, it’s important to make sure you are sticking to your toddler’s schedule as closely as possible. This means, making sure they eat, nap and sleep when they usually do. While a slight change in their routine won’t necessarily cause any issues, it could potentially set them back for weeks, if not months if you aren’t careful.
The more you can stick to your toddler’s routine at the festival, the less problems you’re going to have when you head back home.
Take A Travel Potty
If your toddler is only recently potty trained, it’s a good idea to take a travel potty. This is because the queues for the portable restrooms can be pretty long and your toddler isn’t going to be able to hold it in. So, a travel potty can really help to ensure they don’t have any accidents and you don’t have to face the stress of queuing for the restroom.
Invest In Noise Cancelling Headphones
While festivals can be great fun for the entire family, you don’t always realize just how noisy they are to your toddler; particularly if you’re heading to a music festival. Toddlers have sensitive ears and while some may not be particularly bothered by loud noises, others can find it traumatizing. If the music is particularly loud, it can also potentially damage your toddler’s ears. Therefore, it’s a good idea to invest in a good quality pair of noise cancelling headphones.
You can buy these types of headphones specifically for children and they come at a pretty affordable cost too.
While you obviously don’t want to think that anything could go wrong, there are things you need to prepare for just in case. For example, your toddler could trip up and injure themselves, so it’s always worth carrying a small first aid kit around with you.
Another thing which could easily happen, is you could lose sight of your toddler. Even just a couple of seconds where you aren’t watching them could see them disappear into the crowd. This is every parent’s worst nightmare, but there are ways to make sure if they do get lost, they can quickly be brought back to you. Writing your name and phone number on a band and placing it around their arm is a great idea.
You can also take a picture of your toddler before you head to the festival, so you have a photo of what they are wearing. This will help the authorities to locate your child much faster and it also prevents you from needing to remember what they were wearing while you’re losing your mind with worry!
Of course, the chances your toddler will get lost are pretty slim. However, it is always better to be safe and to prepare for the things which could potentially go wrong.
Taking your toddler to a festival can be a great way to bond together and introduce them to new environments and people. However, it’s important you adequately prepare and follow the tips above to ensure you and your toddler have the best possible festival experience.