Mom Brings Toddler, 14 Months, to Back-to-Back Coachella Weekends — and Shares Their Experience (Exclusive)

The mom says her little one is already a seasoned concertgoer

<p>Maddie Prahm/tiktok</p> Hani dancing with friends (left), Hani sleeping during another set

Maddie Prahm/tiktok

Hani dancing with friends (left), Hani sleeping during another set

A couple with a shared love of the live music experience has made a little concertgoer out of their toddler daughter.

Maddie Bannister, who goes by @regularmaddie on TikTok, recently shared her experience taking her daughter to the highly anticipated music festival, Coachella.

"My husband and I met during the pandemic. We had a lot of music love in common, and I worked in that industry for a long time. As soon as we could start going back to festivals and concerts and things, we did," she tells PEOPLE.

Maddie, who worked at a company related to the production of festivals like Coachella, was thrilled when she was asked to work on-site for the event, which she notes "made it quite a bit easier to travel around on-site with a baby."

But the idea of bringing daughter Hannelore (Hani) to Coachella really came from the little one's own love of music.

"We've been taking Hani to shows since she was a couple of months old. She's always loved it," she shares, noting the toddler had been to both "one-off shows" and festivals such as Power Trip.

"So she saw Metallica and Guns N' Roses and Tool at a few months old. We've taken her to see Phish and a few day festivals in our hometown. She's definitely had her fair share of concert days."

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Related: A Guide to All the Coachella 2024 Parties and Events

Maddie and her husband Brandon, who was also attending the festival for the first time, put a lot of thought into getting ready for the three-day event.

"We didn't really know what to expect, day one. Luckily, like I said, because of my job I'm able to have decent parking and we were able to have golf carts to drive us and pick us up when when we really needed it," she explains. "But when we had the stroller, obviously, you can't use a golf cart."

The family of three spent the first day exploring, with "lots of trial and error."

"We brought everything that we thought we might need. By day two, we could leave a few extra things at home because we had our rhythm a bit better. The things we always have are her diaper bag, bottle, headphones for all the music — she has to have them on every set — and snacks on snacks on snacks."

She continues, "We had goggles for the golf cart, a hat since she's a little red-headed baby, so she definitely couldn't sit in the sun too long. We made sure to bring layers and run through all the possibilities, like how it could drop 40 degrees by night."

Hani wasn't the only kid, with many of them congregating in "a little Kidchella merch area that popped up on Saturday."

"There definitely weren't a ton, but we had our fair share of high fives as we walked by families with strollers. A few people stopped us and said, 'We've thought about bringing our kids. How does it feel?' We definitely said, 'Don't bring so many kids that you're outnumbered,' " she laughs.

"It's hard, especially when they're little because you're kind of chasing them around, and you want them to be able to have a little freedom to walk around and dance and do their thing. But it's also a lot of people, you have to navigate carefully and have your wits about you. It definitely changes your experience. So navigating the conditions was also challenging, making sure she was comfortable."

Still, Maddie feels like, "There weren’t enough families there! I can understand wanting a weekend to yourself but it’s so fun to include your family."

The mom also notes that for her, the event was work, so there were "work tasks to do here and there that I was balancing with enjoying the show.

"What surprised me was how many people loved seeing a baby dance around," she laughs. "We had the best time during Khruangbin. Some of the girls on my team came and danced with us, and then people around us came over and danced with Hani for a second. They were so excited."

"We got lots of positive feedback, which isn't always the case when you bring your kids to a concert, but Coachella people were definitely stoked for us and said, 'You're doing a good job. I want to do this with my kids when I have kids.' So it's nice to have that support. It was very community-oriented," Maddie says. "This time was really great. It was really fun. And we're going to do weekend two!"

This time, they will do things a little bit differently. "We might go in a bit later and catch some different sets," she shares. We were spending 8 hours out there starting relatively early, between 2 and 3, so by the time that the headliners went on, we were struggling and too tired. This weekend, I'm hoping that we can shift our schedule a little bit and go in a little bit later so that we can enjoy some of those later headlining sets.

For other parents who are considering festivals with little ones, Maddie suggests the best mindset.

"You have to take it as it comes. You can't have a plan that you feel like you're going to stick to. You have to roll with it. There's going to be sets you're going to miss. There will be different ones that you're going to be like, 'Well, let's just sit and watch this one.' You really gotta roll with the punches when you have the dynamic of one more little personality to factor in. It's important that you're flexible and have a positive attitude about it."

"Start ‘em young!! Kids exposed to this kind of thing become more comfortable in these environments and will enjoy it!"

Maddie also says she couldn't have done it without some "really good teamwork" with Brandon. "He is amazing and so attentive and always aware of us. If I wear her and she's strapped to me, he's taking care of everything. He's walking through crowds and making space for her. So teamwork is definitely a big part of it, too."

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