Traveling to Bali with a Baby – How to Prepare!
Bali has such a special place in my heart. My husband and I have been to Bali many times together, having lived there for a few years in our twenties (it’s where I first moved to to grow this blog after quitting my full-time job in marketing, and it’s where my husband Kenny founded Kenny Flowers – Bali is where we manufacture our resort wear (and ship from the USA, to everywhere around the world!). Not only that, it’s also where we got engaged, making it an even more special spot for us. But it’s not just us! Bali is so special to so many people. Some say this is because of the spiritual energy that emanates there. There’s a reason they call it the “Island of the Gods”, after all. Bali is magical.
I’ve been dreaming about taking my baby boy to Bali since before I was even pregnant with him. We have been so excited to show Harrison this special island, and to watch him experience it through his own eyes! We have toyed with what the right age to bring a baby to Bali is, and what all we’d need to prepare to bring a baby to Bali, and, after researching allllllll the ins and outs of traveling with a baby to Bali so much, I wanted to be sure I shared everything we’re doing to prepare to make the (LONG) flight from the US to Bali with a baby, and all the precautions and things we’re doing to stay safe while traveling with a baby once we’re there. These tips go for many other destinations around the world, as well, so I hope they’re helpful!
What age is best for traveling with a baby to Bali?
You can absolutely travel with a baby of any age to Bali!!! Bali, for most of the world, is a very accessible tourism destination, which makes it really baby friendly!! You will see no shortage of “Bali babies”, both expats and tourists, on the island. And lots of families! However, if you’re traveling from the USA like we are, it is a very long travel day of about 20 hours (or more). The long flight tends to be what scares people away from it when traveling with kids (because, yes, babies get jet-lagged, too!) But we’re doing everything we can to prepare to fight the jet lag, which leads me to:
Time zone training for babies!
We are “inching” our way to Bali time zone by first traveling to California, getting Harrison on that time zone (and ourselves), then Hawaii, which will be a full 6 hours different than our home on the east coast. On Hawaii time, we are ‘inching’ him even more toward Bali time by attempting to move our bedtimes and awake times by 20 minutes per day the week leading up to the trip. This should get us pretty close to Bali time, or at least a heck of a lot closer than we would be if we just went from the East Coast straight there without any time zone training or anything!
What we’re packing the baby for Bali:
I chatted with a few expat friends in Bali who have babies and they told me the three things they always bring from the US or Europe are sunscreen, medicine and clothes! Sunscreen and medicine are just better coming from the US and Europe, and you won’t find as good of products available in Bali. And, surprisingly, there are not a lot of cute baby clothing stores in Bali, so make sure you have what you need for the trip!
Lots of sunscreen – now that Harrison is over 6 months old, he can wear sunscreen! Which is great because it’s definitely sunny in Bali! This is the sunscreen that came highly recommended to us for babies. We’ll also pack his favorite lightweight bucket hats to protect him extra from the sun, of course!
Medications – We plan on bringing infant Tylenol with us in case of any illness he may get while we’re there. If your baby is a year or older, or you’re traveling with kids, also consider bringing some Pedialyte, which was a recommendation of our pediatrician just in case a baby has any travelers’ diarrhea or anything like that, since babies can dehydrate fast.
A LOT of toys – we packed a bunch of Harrison’s favorite toys so he feels at home while we’re over there. I really think having as many of his favorite things as we can when we’re away helps him to feel more at home, and thus more adaptable to new places. Here is everything we usually travel with including some of his favorite toys!
A play mat – since Harrison isn’t mobile yet, but loves to play on the ground, we have a play mat packed – I like this one because it’s easy and light to transport, and it’s quilted so provides him a little support while he’s playing. We also plan on using yoga mats while we’re there to create a soft floor for him to play on.
Solid food pouches / snacks – Harrison will be 8 months old while we are there and he’s still breastfeeding, but has been starting to eat solids every day, so I am packing these organic baby food pouches for him to eat while we’re there.
Mosquito net for the pack n’ play – Mosquitoes were one of my main concerns when deciding to travel with the baby to Bali.
Mosquito net for the stroller – gotta keep him protected! We use it at home in Charleston during the buggy summer months, too!
Mosquito repellent – mosquitoes were one of my main concerns with bringing the baby to Bali. While I knew I could protect him at night with the net, I wanted to make sure if we were in the jungle he was protected from mosquitoes (and mosquito-borne diseases). As adults, we usually wear bug spray while traveling to Bali. But the tricky thing is that babies eat everything and put everything in their mouths – which makes applying bug spray on them super tricky! (You can’t put it anywhere that they might end up getting in their mouth). But you CAN put DEET on a baby – as long as it doesn’t get in their mouths. And it’s best to wash it off as soon as possible after you need it. I bought these towlettes because they’re easy to wipe on his legs or back, and my own feet/legs/etc. I also got these DEET-free natural repellent stickers that you can stick on your carrier / his clothes / etc. So cool!
Stroller fan – to keep him cool in the hot tropical weather! We travel with this any time we’re going somewhere warm!
Elvie travel pump – I love this pump and travel with it!
Breast milk storage bags – I use these ones.
Extra bottles – we love these ones by Nanobebe so much!
Power adapter / converter – to make sure the Elvie stays charged! And all of our other things!
Diapers – We use Coterie diapers, which are so much better than average diapers (he never has diaper rash, they are SO absorbent so he sleeps better, etc!) so we travel with them!
Changing wipes – while we can find wipes more easily than diapers abroad, we do pack a lot of them since we go through so many of them, and you can never have too many wipes!
Sanitizing wipes – to make sure baby’s hands and feet are clean, I use these ones!
What about the water? Will babies get sick from the water in Bali?
I worry about the water in Bali a lot (most tourists get “Bali belly” at least once from Bali water!), so we want to completely avoid any foods that may have been washed in Bali water for him. We are doing everything we can to protect Harrison from the water in Bali, but, that’s also the reason we wanted to take him for the first time while he’s still breast-feeding and isn’t reliant on the food/water there.
If you are formula feeding, make sure you bring your baby’s favorite formula from home, then go to a store and stock up on gallons and gallons of purified water to mix your formula with (and clean bottles, etc. with!) I also bought these sterilizing tablets to clean with, as well as sanitizing bags to bring with us.
To be extra cautious, we also use bottled water to boil any water needed for his bottles and washing up his spoons too. You can never be too safe when it comes to water in a third world country! You can also rent a sterilizer from Baby Service Bali – we rented a high chair and play center from them too!.
How do you fly to Bali with a baby?
We chose to fly with him in lap to save the extra flight cost. And it went well!! It was an overnight flight, so he was sleepy anyway and slept on me most of the time. When he wasn’t sleeping, we played with his toys and kept him entertained. You can also request a bassinet for your baby on the plane ahead of time if your baby is under the weight limit for the bassinets for your airline!
What travel stroller do we bring with us to Bali?
We use the MINU V2 travel stroller and we brought it with us! It’s great because you can attach the car seat to it, but can also use it as a regular stroller, giving us options for once we’re there.
What car seat do we use while we travel?
Do you need any special vaccinations as a baby going to Bali?
We took Harrison to a vaccine clinic and the doctors did not recommend any special vaccines for him at this age beyond his normal vaccinations that he’s been doing with his pediatrician! We did keep that in mind when waiting until after 6 months of age to bring him to Bali, since he had had most of his first year vaccines by then.
How did you pack everything?
We checked SO MANY BAGS. Traveling with a baby means you’re not traveling light, and we’ve accepted that at this point.