So the title's probably a bit misleading as we didn't actually camp (the joy of living 20 minutes away and working at the festival) but we still tried to made the most of all the child and baby friendly things on offer.
Friday evening we went into the festival about 5pm and took Lily in her little rucksack. Her changing bag was actually a large 35L rucksack which went on my back and contained everything she needed plus extra clothes for both of us. We went and sat on the hill overlooking the Pyramid Stage (along from 'that tree' for anyone who knows the site) and spread out the picnic blanket my dad had brought - we then had a sit-down welly-free area to ourselves :-)
I did buy Lily a pair of ear defenders (mainly so she wouldn't get too distracted whilst feeding) but I don't think she was too keen on wearing them! She stayed awake for Jess Glynne, bits of ZZ Top and Foals and then slept through 90% of Muse.
Having assessed the mud situation on Friday, we decided to take the pushchair in on Saturday, stripping it back to just the frame, car seat and the pushchair organiser (I have this one which is very good). We went in about 2pm and headed straight to the Kidzfield.
The NCT tent was our first stop, where they provide pretty much everything you could possibly need: space for feeding; high chairs; tea, coffee and biscuits for the adults; baby food; changing tables, wipes and nappies; sun cream; cheap wellies and sunhats and probably lots more I didn't notice. They also do baby bathtime every evening (which we took part in) and they provide the water, bath, bubble bath, sponges and towels and on top of all that, just like most of the Kidzfield tents, the place is a 'no welly' zone.
Next stop was the Baby Zone tent while my sister-in-law (Lily's Auntie J) went off to watch Madness. Lily had a jolly good mess around and I watched the older children play in the massive sandpit - which we will definitely be visiting next year.
We also joined in with a baby and toddler rhymetime (which Lily napped through half of) and had a go with some soft play equipment before taking a wander round the rest of the field.
There was lots of other things to do - face painting, making stuff, storytelling, theatre, fairground rides, live performances and a huge fairytale adventure castle - but that'll all be on next year's itinerary when she's almost 18 months!
The Kidzfield is only open from 9am to 7pm but outside these times there's an absolutely brilliant Rest 'n' Recuperation tent near the Acoustic tent which does the same sort of thing as the NCT tent but overnight - and all staffed by volunteers! Just before Adele played we stopped off there to change Lily, add extra layers, have a cuppa and sit in what seemed like the comfiest sofa ever to give her a feed.
On Sunday, we stayed home and had a rest!
So, what did we learn? Any top tips?
- A picnic blanket is incredibly useful.
- Make the most of all the free stuff from the NCT and Rest 'n' Recuperation tent.
- I'd recommend our pram - an ABC Design Cobra - as it did brilliantly against the mud.
- If it's very muddy and the baby's in a sling or rucksack, I reckon one of those ski pole/walking thingies would be useful.
- The toilets in the Kidzfield are much nicer (and sweeter-smelling) than the rest of the site.
- You don't look out of place whatsoever whipping a boob out to feed.
- Babies really will sleep through anything.
- Can I be a kid again just so I can play in the Kidzfield?
All in all, a very good weekend and one that hopefully will be even better (albeit more of a handful) next year when we've got a toddler running around!