Notting Hill Carnival, a Fun Day for my Toddler Boy


safe carnival display

For the first time my toddler boy experienced the Notting Hill carnival in London. At 21 months, it surely still young to really appreciate what is going on but we wanted him to still discover something new and have fun.


The Notting Hill carnival, in London, United Kingdom is celebrated the last weekend of August every year.
On Sunday, there is a parade specially designed for children. Of course, it was our intention to go that day. However, the sun was absent.
It was quite rainy and we decided not to go as it wouldn’t have been very fun for none of us.
Therefore, we went on Monday which is surely for adults but we thought that he could still enjoy it.

First impression: Not really impressed

sleeping at carnival

Shortly upon arrival to Notting Hill, My son fell asleep.
I thought, anyway, he would wake up as soon we will be there because of the noisy crowd and the loud music.
Not at all…He was sleeping deeply! Apparently he was not very impressed so far.
Half an hour later, we started doubting that he would ever wake up any time soon.
After all, we came here for him to see something different.
So, we had to wake him up.
Josh watching parade_Notting Hill_00000

Quite intrigued

At first, he looked a bit puzzled to see that he he was in the street. Then, he looked around and seemed astonished to be surrounded by so many people.
Then, his dad took him from the buggy to place him on the top of his own shoulder. So that Joshua could better see the action. There were 3 people dancing on stilts. Two of them wore red and white feathers costumes. And the other dancer had no top. They were quite entertaining and very lively.
My son looked very intrigued. He was silent, not even a word. In other circumstances he would point his little finger and saying: “Aa”. This is his way to say ‘what is it?’.
But, he just looked amazed by the the dancers’ performance.

Freedom of playing in the street

However, we had to move away a bit from the crowd because we didn’t want to expose him too long to the loud music.
Then, while we were walking toward a quieter street., my son discovered little piece of paper left on the floor. He was attracted by pieces of confetti and it became the central point of attraction for him.
It seemed that the attraction from the parade was already something from the past.
He loved to picked up each of these little colorful pieces of paper and put them in hole that only him could find in the street.
When came lunchtime, we had to move in the direction of the food area, my son was not interested in moving.
He started crying. It’s not all the time he has the opportunity to walk and play in the middle of the street.

Didn’t want to leave

After a reasonable 3 hours spent in Notting Hill, we thought it was time to go home. Already, we never thought we would have stayed that long because of our son.
But, one more time, the little one showed his dissatisfaction by crying and screaming louder and louder. He didn’t want to stop playing in the street.

Impossible to sleep…too excited?

Nothing really prepared us for that night.
Later on, I prepared my son for the night with the usual routine. He went to bed at the usual time, around 10 pm (I know it’s quite late for a baby).
All a sudden, in the middle of the night, we’ve been woke up by cry and screaming. I went to see him in his bedroom. I couldn’t figure out what was the problem. A few minutes later, he pulled my t-shirt trying to latch on but the rule is no breastfeeding during the night. He knows that but he always tries.
Of course, I refused him to latch on.
Gosh! Big drama! The screaming was worse, louder and louder.
Impossible to stop him that night. Everything I’ve suggested (that usually work) to calm him down didn’t help. He became very difficult. Then, he wanted to go downstairs and I lifted him to go. He wasn’t happy. And, he found any reason to cry.
The whole crisis lasted a good hour!
The day after, I spoke to one of my neighbors who heard my son crying the night before.
Till today, I am still clueless about the reason of his screaming!
In conclusion, even though the night was not perfect. we still enjoyed bringing our toddler son that day at the Notting Hill carnival. He seemed to be impressed by the colorful costumes and the conviviality of that day.


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