Husband surprised booked us tickets to Latitude Festival next weekend! Yay! Woohoo! Amazing! But shitting hell! Do you know how much stuff we have to take?! And how much we have to buy? We don’t even have a bloody tent! And it is less than a week away. And we have a wedding the day before. And we have two children. TWO. 

I love a list. I’m not going to lie. I’m also rather partial to a spreadsheet. I don’t use spreadsheets properly, I can’t even use half the functionality, but I love them for a list with panache, numerically ordered and peppered with the odd calculation. The list for Latitude Festival has little artistic flair, but it is epic in its purpose. To get a family of four, including an 8-month old and a 2-year old to survive in the middle of a field for four days. The list has sections, headings and locations. It’s a list to be proud of. It doesn’t compare with my wedding spreadsheet, that was on a whole other level. We got married in Italy so it had multiple tabs – address books, project plans, budgets, as well as currency conversion rates and automated guest counters. I’ve sent it on to other people to use since, I am that proud of it. Anyway, I digress. Latitude has been sprung on me as a result of drunken harassment from the Northerner. Husband responded by giving in, I think just to avoid the inevitable hours of badgering that would fill the rest of their three-day visit. I was momentarily floored and have struggled to sleep since with all the things that need to be done. I don’t normally stress over such things, I was a project manager many moons ago (still am now according to my brother) but this was a festival. With two children. Something we vowed we would never do! So I did what I do best and went into list-making overdrive. I have been dreaming of reams of paper, ballpoint and biro pens and different styles of bullet points. 

A list is for me a way of controlling my life. I like to be organised and have what I need. Mostly because I suffer with such horrific FOMO (that’s text speak for Fear Of Missing Out for those not in the know) and if I am prepared for most situations then I can indulge my desires. These days though, it’s more about the one thing I have learnt since having children and that is that organisation is the key. It’s the difference between driving home with two satisfied, sleepy children and gently transferring them to bed with a tender kiss on the forehead; versus veering round country roads at breakneck speed shouting “in a minute”, then force feeding cheese on toast to a sobbing toddler whilst the baby screams in her car seat, then all the way through nappy and pjs and then pauses every few suckles of her bottle just to remind you how bad a mother you are. Having a bag (ha! I see that too); having bags with enough nappies, drinks, snacks, calpol (never leave without it), bonjela, wet wipes, clothes, bibs, muslins and a couple of toys, is key to my sanity. I have no shame about going away for one night with my 4×4 car packed to the rafters with every piece of baby crap imaginable. I’ve even started to enjoy the increasingly shocked look on people’s faces as we make our fifth trip back to the car for yet more stuff. I’ll happily come back home with half a suitcase of clean clothes as a result of my over-packing and if anyone dares utter “are you sure you need all this?” they will be met not only with a death stare but also a “stay-out-of-this” hand. Because when your child is crying, you will do absolutely anything to stop it. Really it’s a selfish thing, if they’re happy you’re happy. And my way of keeping them happy is with all of the things. All of the things in the world that they might need. “Travel light” does not feature in this household. 

For a festival this is a lot of things. I should confess at this point that not only have we never taken either child camping, I also don’t really like staying in a tent. Last time I went to a festival, we stayed in a little wooden house with a bed off of the floor. It was called a PodPad. It was actually OK. And a great hide out in the rain. But it’s one thing spending 3 days at a festival completely shit-faced and passing out at silly-o-clock in the morning having jumped up and down for 6 hours; it’s quite another to look after an 8-month old and a 2-year old in a wet field surrounded by canvas walls (are tents even made of canvas anymore?). I am dreading it more because a couple of months back we stayed at Sister’s Boyf’s house (Beardy), all in the same room. It was horrendous. We had a lovely time, of course, but the sleeping part was horrendous. The two travel cots were jammed next to each other alongside the bed. We put Girly no2 to bed first and when she was fast asleep, we put Girly no1 in bed. There were multiple visits back into the room. On the first visit, she was throwing her toy at no2’s head, retrieving it (roughly), then doing it again. For the second she had found a candle and was picking out wax with her little stubby finger and smearing it on the window. Maybe she didn’t enjoy the view of Dalston. By the third visit, she had found some earphones from somewhere and was wrapping them around her wrists making her hands go white. I was shocked as I thought I had successfully removed all potential murder weapons. All of this was of course to the backing music that was the Wheels on the Bus and If You’re Happy and You Know It. After she eventually passed out two hours later and we had finished our take away form the restaurant we were supposed to have eaten in, we crept into bed as silently as possible. Four hours later, at 4.30, we were all awake. No2 had woken no1, who had in turn woken us. It was a long weekend and not one that my Lists could have saved me from. Unless of course it had said “Find 4-bedroom place on Air BnB”, which will definitely be the plan next time. 

You see why I am nervous about us all being in a tent together for three nights. I originally opted for a 3-room tent thinking there might be some quiet. Then I read some blogs from some far nicer Mums than me that said imagine how terrified your babies would be waking up in the night in completely strange surroundings following full days of new sights and sounds and not being able to see you. Dammit nice mums! Because of this, we’ve had to buy an enormous open tent with no rooms. There is the added advantage that it’s big enough for our elevated double bed of course but really I did it for the girlies…..! From the looks of my list, an 8-man tent is completely necessary. We will need all of this space to accommodate the suitcases, the wet weather gear, the toys, the pop up sun tent, the baby paddling pool, the milk and food pouches, the cool box of milk, the cross-country pram and all the other things on my list. I’ve opted not to take a cooking stove in the interest of saving space (!), we will take baby food and ready made milk, and some snacks but everything else we’ll eat out. It’s going to be even more expensive but we’ve already had to rent a roof box and I really do draw the line at a trailer. 

I continue to add items to my list. And I enjoy adding little green ticks against my items once I have bought the things I need to buy. When I pack these into the bag and then the car they’ll get a double tick. Oh the joy of ticking off! In some sick way, I am enjoying the process. I feel far less stressed now I have some control back over this wild situation. I shouldn’t even be stressed. It doesn’t compare to the things I have had to do for work. But for some reason I am. We leave in seven days, six if you don’t include the wedding of the wonderful Paramedic and her lovely SAS Paramedic the day before. Six days to put stuff in a corner, then in a bag, then in a roof box (assuming it turns up). I’m sure it will be fine. I’m sure I won’t forget anything major. And if I do, it will probably be Husbands. Poor him. I wonder if I should take my hairdryer…

My list is below. Do let me know if I’ve forgotten anything or anything you think I might find useful. The car gets locked at 8am on Friday! Thanks for stopping by, please like and share on Facebook if you have enjoyed. And feel free to tag your friends!

LATITUDE FESTIVAL, first time family festival, packing lists, shopping lists

The dress rehearsal went well

The Latitude List

Girly no1: 

  • Toys
  • Minions backpack
  • Bubbles 
  • Pen for writing mob number on arm
  • Potty
  • Duvet
  • Pillow
  • Sleep sack
  • Dressing gown
  • PJs
  • Shorts & t’s x6
  • Sun dresses x6
  • Leggings x3
  • Pants x10
  • Hoodies & jumpers x3
  • Socks
  • Wet weather suit (at nursery)
  • Raincoat
  • Wellies, Crocs & flip flops
  • Night Nappies
  • Ear defenders 
  • Towel and swimming costume
  • Bed teddies
  • Hats (sun and warm)

Girly no2:

  • Travel cot & sheep skin
  • Sheets x3
  • Ewan Sheep
  • Sleep sacks (thick and thin)
  • Wipes 
  • Nappies and sacks 
  • Calpol, nurofen & antihistamine
  • Bum cream
  • Clothes (pjs, vests, day stuff)
  • Blankets x3
  • Ear defenders
  • Hats (sun and warm)


  • Outfits (white jean shorts & black vest, green dress, shorts and drapey top)
  • Green festival coat
  • Ponchos (???)
  • Jeans x2
  • Jumpers (all saints x2, weird fish hoody, blue cardi)
  • Pants & bra
  • Toiletries
  • Medicine
  • Make up
  • Towel
  • Wellies & welly socks
  • Flip flops & Trainers
  • Swimming costume & towel
  • Hat
  • Eye mask (bedside table)


  • Clothes
  • Toiletries
  • Inhaler
  • Swim shorts

Food & drink – Sainsbury’s order coming at 8am on Wednesday:

  • Ella’s pouches x8 ✅
  • Ready made aptamils (16) ✅
  • Cider✅
  • Beer✅
  • Pimms ✅
  • Water✅
  • Crisps✅
  • Brioche✅
  • Rice cakes✅
  • Raisins ✅
  • Banana bread bars✅
  • Apples & bananas✅
  • Smoothies✅
  • Cereal bars ✅
  • Milk ✅

General Stuff

  • Towels (shower & swim)
  • Feeding seat with tray
  • iPad 
  • Chargers & charging block
  • Blankets (outside)
  • Blankets to snuggle 
  • Umbrella 
  • Camping chairs (x3 in shed)
  • Bottles, cups, plates, bowls & spoons
  • Tea towels
  • Baby carrier (garage)
  • Plastic pint holder 
  • Torches – handbag and kitchen box
  • Girly cups & bowls
  • Little cutlery
  • Medicine box
  • Playing cards
  • Speaker & music phone 
  • Magazines
  • Ear phones
  • Dirty washing pop up thing 
  • Carrier bags for muddy boots
  • Toilet rolls
  • Sun shade tent 
  • Pop up pool
  • Ice packs & cool box
  • Gruffalo ready bed
  • Our bedding, sleeping bag and sheet

Things to order, borrow or buy:

  • Roof box – rental on Thurs (brief Beardy)
  • Tent – Amazon ✅
  • Air bed (ours) – eBay ✅
  • Lanterns for in tent – amazon/eBay
  • Pram – Shizzle ✅
  • Glow sticks – Amazon & £land ✅
  • Body paint – Amazon ✅
  • Cool Box – Amazon ✅
  • Washing up bucket/No2 bath – Amazon ✅
  • Pen knife – Dad or Mum
  • Pump – Dad ✅
  • Tarpaulin – £land ✅
  • Camping table – Mum
  • Sponges – Sainsbury’s shop
  • Anti bac handwash ✅
  • Black bags & clear bags – Sainsbury’s shop 
  • Kitchen roll – Sainsbury’s shop
  • Colouring for No1 ✅
  • Ear plugs – Boots ✅
  • Gaffer tape – £land ✅

To do:

  • Freeze ice blocks
  • Charge charging unit
  • Pack cases
  • Confirm roof box
  • Wet weather stuff from nursery 
  • Washing 
  • Washers for Pram wheel
  • Pick up prescriptions
  • PACK!!!!

LATITUDE FESTIVAL, first time family festival, packing lists, shopping lists

Have you seen my baseball?