We recently went on a trip to Bali with our 8 month old baby. Here are our 10 essentials that made our holiday as comfortable and safe as we could, while not missing out on all the fun and adventure!
10 Essentials – for traveling with an 8 month old baby to an island beach resort!
1. Baby Food
We took Ella’s Kitchen and Happy Baby organic baby food retort pouches, which we bought on iHerb.com. This was excellent as we could mix it in with rice ordered from the hotel restaurant, and our baby also learned to eat it straight from the packet which was handy. We also ordered baby food from our hotel restaurant – it wasn’t on the menu, but the chef kindly blended together some steamed vegetables (carrots, broccoli, pumpkin), chicken and rice. Our baby really loved this as I think he missed having home-cooked meals! In addition to this, we also received jars of baby food on the plane – we flew Garuda Airlines and they provided 2 jars of Japanese Kewpie baby food on the way to Bali, and 2 jars of Australian Heinz baby food on the way back.
We took both baby Speedos (swimming nappy bought in Australia), and a full-length swimming suit (from Dad-Way in Daikanyama) to protect our baby from the sun. We also applied SunSense roll-on baby sunscreen (from Australia) and a hat with a nice wide brim and neck strap (also from Australia). For pool safety, we took floaties and a blow-up seat (from Australia) that he could sit in – this ensured he was safe and kept his head out of the water. This was important not only for safety in terms of swimming, but also in terms of water quality – we were paranoid about our baby drinking the water from the tap or pool while we were in Bali, so we were extra careful to make sure this was avoided!
We took a HUGE pack of Pampers L size nappies (76 nappies) for our 5 day trip. We knew this was probably too many, but we were traveling to Bali and we weren’t sure if we could buy nappies while we were there, and didn’t want to run out on the last day or on the plane home! In the end we only used a little over half the pack, so about 8 nappy changes per day.
It is well known to take your baby’s favourite toys with you on any travel expedition, including some new ones to keep him interested. This was so true – our baby was absolutely delighted to see his familiar teddy, rattle and teething ring. He didn’t even look at the new ones we had bought! The new ones were literally thrown aside – he only had eyes for his good old buddies:)
As you all know, I can’t go anywhere without the pram! And traveling to Bali was no exception:) Our baby sleeps so well in it, which really made our trip much easier as he could sleep all the way to and from the airport (even up to the boarding gate), as well as on the beach and at the restaurant while we were eating. I also found the pram an essential item as it provided a clean surface for changing nappies – we couldn’t find any baby change tables in Bali, so were relieved that we could recline the Bugaboo flat and do a quick nappy change there. In terms of walking around the shopping streets of Bali the pram wasn’t very pratical though, as the paths were very narrow and the road was uneven with lots of pot-holes. The temples also had a lot of stairs and some of the beaches were difficult to access with a pram.
6. Baby Carrier
I found it essential to have the Ergo with us in addition to the pram. The Ergo was fantastic as we could use it in the hire car and taxis, which gave us some small piece of mind that our baby was at least strapped to one of us, instead of just sitting on the back seat with no seat belt! We also used the Ergo for sightseeing around the temples and walking down to some amazing beaches, which certainly made these activities more accessible and a lot more fun.
7. Baby-friendly Hotel
We stayed at The Elysian, a divine boutique hotel with 27 private villas in Seminyak. We decided to stay here as we thought it might be the last chance to stay at this kind of luxury resort before our baby grew big enough to run around and want to splash in the pool and make lots of noise! We found The Elysian to be perfect for what we were looking for – a quite romantic getaway that was also baby-friendly. The hotel provided a travel cot as well as high-chairs, and as I mentioned above, even the restaurant chef was so accommodating and made some wonderful baby food for us. To top it all off, the staff were extremely friendly and were always playing cute games with our baby and making us feel welcome. Thank you The Elysian!
8. Bath options
This we felt was another important thing to consider when traveling to an island destination such as Bali where it is not safe to drink the tap water. When we first arrived at the hotel after our long flight, we tried to go under the shower while holding our baby, however the shower nozzle was fixed in a downward position, so we couldn’t get our baby’s body under the water without him getting his head wet. We wanted to avoid this, as our baby tends to drink the water from the shower. So we decided the only other option was to give him a bath in the sink, which worked perfectly! Our baby enjoyed it immensely and we were happy as we had more control over the water and ensured none of it entered his mouth. After his bath, we rinsed his face and hands with fresh drinking water from the bottle, and then dried with a towel.
9. Love and Patience
As you can imagine, babies can get extra tired while traveling and tend to be more clingy. We tried to make our baby as comfortable as possible, and tried to stick with our normal routine of sleeping, eating and playing. He tended to nap more frequently during the day than usual and also wanted more cuddles:)
10. Sense of Adventure
Although we tried to maintain our normal routine with our baby as much as possible, we also made an effort not to forget that we were on holiday! We swam, ate, drank wine, went out for dinner, watched the sun set over the beautiful ocean, and experienced the amazing Kecak dance on the clifftop temple in Uluwatu. It was truly a wonderful holiday!!!
Also see previous posts on 10 Essentials for Flying with a Baby and Tips for Flying with a Baby – I’d like to mention that we also used our baby’s Aden & Anais muslin wraps and my nursing cover ALL THE TIME! These are absolutely fantastic for traveling, and are featured throughout the video and our photos:-)
If you are traveling to Bali with your baby, also check out Bali Baby for equipment hire such as travel cots, prams and car seats. We also borrowed from our friend Jennifer the Little Luxe Bali edition for traveling to Bali with kids – this was a fantastic resource not only for baby-friendly restaurants but also for advice about where to stay and what to see and do with a baby/children in Bali. Unfortunately I don’t think the Luxe City Guides are available in Japan, but if you spot them while you are overseas I recommend grabbing one:)!
Happy travels everyone!