As a new mum, you cling to your previous life like a Love Islander’s butt clings to bikini nylon. Any remnants of your less sleep-deprived personality get dredged up on steroids, and times in your life when you were “happy” [you know, the definition of “happy” before milky-breathed angel baby winking at you at 4am meant “happy”], are going to seem Very Very Far Away.
So having spent the last two decades raving in fields, I wasn’t going to give up festival season just cus i’d had a baby. The first couple of times away from my daughter Iyra were spent wisely at day festivals, where rock hard udders and an emotional pelvic floor made moshing like a teenager a little bit complicated.
But I wanted her to experience this sweaty, sketchy utopia for herself too. She deserves the best after all — and what’s better than queuing, pissing and jumping up and down with a load of hairy strangers. So the next time I bought a ticket, I got her a (free) ticket too.
After spending time in the field (boom) researching, here’s 5 smart ways you can nail festival season with your raver baby.
- Leave Sophie Le Giraffe at home. She’ll only get wasted and make a fool of herself anyway. Why weigh yourself down with plastic toys that you’ll leave behind, when real entertainment is everywhere? Iyra’s first official festival was free, but most importantly, a few metres down the road. This was a sweet practise ground to figure out what we needed and how she would react to all the hairy strangers. And she bloody loved it. She was in awe of the hairy strangers. She stared, flirted and shouted at the hairy strangers. Festivals are like baby sensory, nursery rhymes and messy play all in one. Sorry, Sophie.
- Don’t buy anything for yourself. At every festival we have taken Iyra to, she has mugged us of the muggy rip-off products we had just been mugged for. We bought ice cream, and after one lick we were trapped in a more-licks-or-tantrum vortex, until that FOUR QUID was recycled into her nappy. Spend a tenner on a veggie burger and a can and it’ll be mashed into a beautiful modern art piece in minutes, mesmerising flies and tripped out hippies. Smuggle in your own muggy munchies instead.
- Bring your OG mum picnic blanket. I don’t know why this professional luxury festi-hack didn’t make it into my life 15 years ago. It’s like when I realised blow up mattresses made camping at festivals comfier than my bed of nails mattress at home. Creating the illusion of a bubble to protect your baby from festival plague will make you feel like punk mum of the year. Just don’t think too hard about anything else they touch or breath in.
- Make ear defenders as sexy as your credit cards/phone/baby wipes/whatever they’re into for a few hours before you get inside the festival gates. If they’re digging something, it’s going to be less of a battle to stick on their head. Glow sticks also make a rad distraction when you’re slapping the brain compressing defenders on. Their face when you take them off after is also next level. </3!
- Check the website. Like, obviously. But if you bring your fold-up buggy with the tiny wheels and the festival site isn’t accessible cus paths are made of apocalyptic mud, then you’re left carrying a folded up buggy AND a baby around. If you can, take one with SUV wheels — with room for a sling underneath. Plus a group of at least 5 friends lined up ready to carry your baby for 2-hour time slots. Actually, next time I’m leaving the wheels at home and relying on the sling completely. Because raving is made for getting babies in slings to sleep. Orbital at Blue Dot festival this year left Iyra passed out in a cloud of euphoric techno dreams. Like mothership, like daughter. 👽
Have you been to any festivals with your baby ravers yet? We want to see your pics, hairy strangers! Tag #WokeMamas on Instagram or contact us. Peace.
Like what you see? Follow us on the gram. Sick of boring baby blogs? Join our awesome AF collective & raise a kinder world. Oh, and subscribe rn to get new posts to your inbox by hitting “follow” below. We love you 4 reals.