Festival season is here once again and we all want to let loose and have a great time, but things seem a little trickier with small people in tow and we are more aware than ever of the environmental impact we are having. But it is doable.
We've put together a few tips to help take the stress out of festival going, so you can put all your energy into have fun with your babies and enjoying yourself.
Do a bit of research beforehand and pick family friendly events. Find out if there's a creche tent. The lovely ladies from Mortimer Nannies will be providing creche tents at several UK festivals this year. Pitch your tent away from the crowds and stages or look for the family friendly section.
Take ear protectors your young ones. Festival sound systems can be very loud.
It's worth investing in a baby sun pod. They can nap or play in there during the day, protected from the sun and biting insects, and it can be a cosy sleeping pod at night. I'm a big fan of the FITNATE Baby pod. It has mesh sides and black out covers, so you can decide exactly which configuration is needed for each nap or sleep time.
Take your babies' and toddler's own bowl, spoon, cup or water bottle, and ones for yourself too. Babies and toddlers are notoriously picky about which cups or utensils they will use. And bringing ones for yourself, just makes good sense.
If you do forget your reusable cups and bottles, don't worry, re-use the first disposables you are given and return them to the bar tent before you go. Many of the bars now have take-back schemes.
If they are using compostable cups such as Vegware, do be sure to put them in the right bin before you leave.
Borrow a tent or invest in a compostable one. 1 in 5 tents at festivals are abandoned and will end up in landfill. Some festivals now have a borrow-a-tent-scheme. You can pick up a tent when you arrive and, regardless of the state it is in, hand it back in at the end. If that isn't an option, there are now compostable tents available from companies likeComp-a-tent, which will last for the weekend and breakdown within 120 days.
In addition to your rucksack of clothes and essentials, pack a small day bag with a spare babygro or t-shirt and soft shorts, plus nappies, wipes, and nappy bags, and a fold up change mat, and take it everywhere with you. For some reason, it's always when you're in the middle of a field that the little one needs a full change from head to toe!
If you are a cloth nappy user, consider using eco-disposables for the weekend. It will quickly become unpleasant in your tent storing used nappies and wipes. Eco-disposables, like Mama Bamboo's, use sustainable, plant based resources and practise carbon positive manufacture.
Pack a small first aid kit. This is one occasion when being a boy scout will be handy - be prepared.
Use biodegradable glitter from reputable companies like BioGlitter. Traditional glitter is essentially teeny, tiny bits of plastic and foil which never breaks down and gets washed into the sea and digested by all living organisms. However, shop carefully, this is a case of not all "bioglitters" that glisten are gold. Look for the TUV Freshwater certification.
Take wipes. Lots of wipes. Washing facilities may not be as accessible as you'd like, and let's face it, babies and toddlers need a lot of washing on a daily basis. Sticky hands. Messy faces. Spit-up. Add in a bit of mud and festival grime, and you've got yourself a lovely mess. We highly recommend our 100% compostable bamboo baby wipes.
And finally, clean up after yourself. All festivals now have extensive recycling and composting bins available.