A few weeks ago Andrew and I decided to take Ava to her first festival! Last year we got tickets for ‘Common People’- a festival held on Southampton Common. Organised by DJ Rob da Bank (who brought us ‘Bestival’), last year was it’s first year. We totally loved the vibe last year- it was chilled and had a really lovely, relaxed atmosphere. There were great acts, a family area, a stage playing local acts and it was clean, too. Unknown to our friends and family,last year we had just made the decision to try for a baby, and we imagined what it would be like if we could bring our baby next year. So it was really important to me that we attended this year, with all of our friends, and Ava of course. It was like coming full circle.
We packed fairly light, and didn’t take our pram. I decided to carry Ava in her sling- The Close Caboo. These slings are brilliant for first timers, really cosy and perfect for babies from newborn until around two years old. The only downside is that they can be a bit warm so I definitely had to think ‘layers’ when it came to dressing Ava. We took one rucksack, and another bag with some drinks and a picnic blanket.
In the Rucksack we packed:
Our normal Packapods from my baby-change bag- this is why I LOVE the packapod system. You can simply take them out of your normal bag into any other and everything stays nice and organised. (If you know me, you’ll know I love a bit of organisation. Almost as much as I love a list) – In one I have the usual nappies, cream, nappy bags and wipes and in the other I usually keep a spare vest, spare babygrow, and almost a spare bottle of formula and emergency bottle. I rarely use these (I think maybe once in the whole five months!) But it gives me comfort to know that if there was any reason that I couldn’t feed Ava we/she wouldn’t be stuck somewhere without food.
- Extra Formula instant bottles-I planned to breastfeed up until early evening and do the last bottle as formula so that Andrew and I could have a cider or two at the end of the festival.
- Suncream- factor 50
- Plasters- mainly for my blistered feed!
- Comfort blanket for ‘bedtime’
- Calpol sachets
- Extra muslins
- Umbrella for sunshade
- Sun hats
- Ear shields
We walked! The festival was just a couple of miles away from our house- although this was probably the hardest bit for me- I had Ava and the rucksack (too small for Andrew!) and Andrew took the extra bags. It was BOILING HOT on festival day so I was pretty sweaty by the time we arrived.
We arrived at the festival around lunchtime and spent a little time wandering around and seeing what there was. We saw and chatted to lots of people we knew, and met up with our close group of friends. Once everyone had arrived we set up a little ‘camp’ for the day where everyone could sit and chill. It was a little too hot for Ava so we stripped her down to her vest and sat her under our umbrella with plenty of suncream on, and her hat. She was quite chatty, but definitely a little bewildered by the whole experience. When it got a little too warm we all moved over to the family area where there was nicer toilets and plenty of lovely shade! We spent the rest of the afternoon here, with all of our friends, dancing away to the music and having a drink. Ava was either sat with one of us or in her sling and walking around with me (Don’t worry, I only had one drink!).
We wanted to stay to see some of the later acts, but didn’t want Ava to be tired or sleep badly. We decided that we would do the same ‘bedtime routine’ that we do at home, without the bath! We would hopefully then be able to see a few last acts, although we would definitely have to leave before the headline act (Craig David!) as I was worried other people would be a little drunk and it would be quite crowded. I definitely didn’t want to get knocked over with a sleeping baby in a sling.
Andrew spent some time walking Ava around the quieter family area to ‘wind down’ before bedtime. At 7pm, when Ava would usually be going to bed with her last feed, we changed her from her daytime vest into a babygrow. I took Ava, her normal comfort blanket and a bottle and went to a quiet area to give her the bedtime feed. After this, I put her in the sling, noise protectors in place and rocked a little. She was asleep immediately, and didn’t wake until we got home to transfer her into the cot!
We had such a lovely day, and I think it was pretty brave of us to go to an all day event and not take a pram loaded with belongings! It definitely taught me that you can carry light with a baby if needed, and I love carrying Ava in a sling.
Until next time,