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Bali with Baby

Our top tips for travelling to Bali with babies and toddlers...

The Balinese just LOVE babies... they believe the younger the child the closer to God, so your little travellers will be warmly welcomed with open arms, showered with smiles and affection and will literally be treated like little princes or princesses.

By now you might have already booked your flights for your family vacation to Bali, and are now researching where to stay, what to pack, where to eat, what to do, and generally looking for tips and advice about holidaying in Bali with a baby.

My girls are primary school aged now, however the Island of the Gods is our home sweet second home and we have been travelling back and forth to Bali a few times each year since they were just a couple of months old.

Here are some of my personal tips for visiting Bali with baby...

Water:

The most important thing to remember is to never drink the tap water in Bali - only drink bottled water and only use bottled water for cleaning teeth too.

Most villas will include a free water tank and most hotels and resorts will provide small bottles of water in the room each day. You can also top up with bottled water from the mini mart or grocery store.

We never worried too much about bath time.  With little bubbas we would try and keep bath time short and sweet, with minimal splashing and playtime, and would quickly use a wet face-cloth to wash their face and body. And if they do get the odd little drop of water here and there in their mouth, don’t stress!  Chances are they will be totally fine.

Many friends and other travellers swear by Milton anti-bacterial tablets, however we have never used them, and didn’t see the need too.

Food:

If you’re staying in a villa and you have a full kitchen or even a hotel that has a small fridge, head to a local supermarket so you can stock up on easy meals and snacks for your little ones.

We would always fill our fridge with:

  • Fresh tropical fruit - bananas, watermelon, pineapple, mango, dragon-fruit (they will LOVE the bright pink tongue they get after eating this!)
  • Fresh veggies - our little ones used to love to munch on cucumber and carrot sticks
  • Cheese and yoghurt
  • Cereal and milk
  • Rice crackers, chips and biscuits

We would also often buy healthy/organic/ gourmet snack items from Bali Buda, Bali Deli etc.  Eg: hummus and other dips to have with crackers and carrot sticks.

When eating out at restaurants we would order meals that could easily be mashed up for younger babies eg: pasta dishes, spaghetti bolognese, steamed veggies with fish or chicken and rice.

Toddlers will be more than happy with pizza, fish and chips, mini burgers, banana pancakes, fruit salad, toasties, mie goreng (fried noodles), nasi goreng (fried rice), plain rice, steamed fish, chicken satay etc

Most restaurants provide highchairs, however we would always take anti-bacterial wipes with us to give it a quick wipe-down and clean.

Another fantastic and healthy option for baby and toddler meals is Mini Muncher. A lovely Bali based business created by an expat Mamma who makes healthy, organic homemade baby purees, toddler/kids meals as well as healthy snacks that can all be ordered in advance and delivered to your hotel or villa.

You can buy imported baby food jars (eg: Heinz) and pouches (eg: Raffertys Garden) in Bali however they are hideously expensive, so it would be best to bring some from home or make do with other options.

Formula and milk:

Formula is readily available at most supermarkets, however if your little one is used to a particular brand then it might be best to bring that from home too.

You can also order tins of formula from Bali Baby Hire along with microwaves and bottle sterilisers, which can be delivered to your hotel/villa.

If your little one has switched to cow’s milk, cartons of fresh “susu” (milk) are readily available at mini-marts and grocery stores, and is totally fine to drink.

Nappies and wipes:

Nappies are readily available everywhere in Bali including the bigger supermarkets and also the smaller convenience stores and mini-marts.

We used to take with us enough of our nappies from Australia (eg: Huggies or whatever your preferred brand) to use on the plane on the way over, on the way home, and for each night. And we would just buy local nappies to use during the day.

Some of the better local brands include Pampers and Mama Poko.

Many of the wipes in Bali are heavily scented, so we would always take plenty of our own wipes from home.

Swimming nappies can be hard to come by in Bali, so if your little one wears these and you have a preferred brand, then pack them to take with you or invest in a good reusable swimming nappie. 

Bali Baby Hire sell nappies and reusable swimming nappies and will deliver to your hotel or villa.

What to pack:

This was what my packing list used to look like when my girls were bubs:

  • Nappies
  • Swimming nappies
  • Wipes, wipes and more wipes
  • Sleeping Bag (Merino Kids - summer style)
  • Pyjamas
  • Clothes (when they were little they would be little nudie-rudies at the villa for most of the day or would just wear a nappie, and then the little Coco and Ginger frilly pants worn over the nappy and a little cotton sundress when we went out.
  • Muslin wraps (we also use sarongs and they are SO handy to uses as a wrap, makeshift towel or blanket, or drape over the stroller for shade)
  • Baby Bjorn
  • Stroller
  • Water bottle
  • Thermos container for food (sometimes I would make my own food at the villa eg: pasta or rice with veggies and take it out with us)
  • Snacks (it's good to have a few familiar snacks from home on hand)
  • Bibs
  • Disenfectant wipes... to give the highchairs at restaurants a quick wipe down
  • Bathers
  • Sun-hat
  • Floaties for the pool
  • Baby sunscreen
  • Baby toiletries
  • Baby panadol

Don’t worry about packing a porta-cot or any big equipment, as you can hire it along with everything else you might need from Bali Baby Hire - highchairs, cots, prams, baby monitors, carseats, baby carriers and more.

Mozzies:

Keep bedrooms shut up during the day, spray the room each evening, and if possible use a mozzie net over the cots and beds.

Bring your fave mozzie spray from home that you know is safe to use on little ones, or pick-up a nice natural spray when you arrive in Bali. We like the Begone bug spray by Utama Spice, which you can buy at a number of shops on the island including the Utama Spice stores, the Bali Buda stores and the Guardian pharmacists.

Many people also swear by the mosquito repellant wristbands, however we have never actually tried them or needed to try them.

Hotel vs Villa:

When the girls were younger we preferred the option of staying in a private villa, we found it much easier with cooking and preparing baby food and snacks, and also easier to manage nap times. Bubs can be sleeping in the bedroom right next to you while you are lying poolside, soaking up the sunshine and finishing your latest trashy novel - now that is a holiday! Beats being stuck inside a hotel room while your little one sleeps.

Most villas include a maid and cook, and generally breakfast is included.  It is SO nice to wake up to the smell of a fresh pot of coffee brewing and pancakes cooking, without having to lift a finger. And then for someone else to do the brekkie dishes, make the beds etc.  

The villa staff will often also help with the kids and assist with other little jobs eg: dropping off laundry and collecting groceries so that you can focus on relaxing and enjoying family time. Just remember to show your gratitude to them with a lovely, generous tip at the end. 

It is important to note that many villas with swimming pools do not have pool fences. As we all know, safety around pools is SO important and an absolute necessity with little ones, so we recommend hiring a temporary pool fence from a reputable company like Bali Villa Pool Fence, whose pool fences meet Australian safety requirements. Email them in advance and they will liaise with the villa on your behalf to install the fence and have it set-up and ready upon your arrival.

We used to hire a playpen too when the girls were little (6 - 9 months) instead of a full pool fence, as we found this a handy option for a small and safe space for them to play.  We would just lay some towels and sarongs on the ground, and pop in some books and toys and they would love their little “cage” - he he! 🙂

Another option that is popular with families and combines the best of both worlds is a villa within a resort setting.  You have your own space and your own pool but also get to enjoy the additional resort-style services and amenities - room service, onsite restaurant and bar, spa, main pool, kids club and often the option to enjoy breakfast either in your villa or at the restaurant.

Now that my girls are a little older a resort is the way to go for us. Two words - buffet breakfast! 🙂  We all love people watching, chatting to to other families and meeting new friends.  The girls love enjoying an hour or two of down-time in the Kids Club each afternoon crafting, drawing, or chilling out watching a movie. And Mum and Dad especially love happy hour!

Getting around:

We used to use the Baby Bjorn a lot when the girls were really little when out and about walking and exploring, and also found it super handy at the airport.

We would also take our own stroller with us instead of hiring one as we would always need it at the airport (a great place to store all the hand luggage too!).

Alternatively you can hire both Baby Carriers (Baby Bjorn and other brands) and strollers and prams from Bali Baby Hire.

No taxi’s in Bali’s have carseats, so we would just hold the girls on our laps when catching taxis, and it was generally only for quick trips out for dinner or to the shops etc.

However when we would hire a private driver, most would be able to arrange carseats for us too, and this was a great option for longer trips as well as airport pick-ups and drop-offs.

We have complied a list of all our preferred family drivers here.

Babysitters and nannies:

You’re on holidays after all, so why not book in a babysitter for a date night and head out to try one of the island’s hot sunset cocktails spots followed by a fancy dinner out?  Or even sneak off to enjoy a massage, lunch and some shopping during the day on your own?

We have only ever used a babysitter on casual occasions like that, however many families will book a nanny for the whole day (or even every day for the whole holiday) and have them with them wherever they go.  This is not for everyone and certainly not for us, however many families find an extra pair of hands super helpful and a must for a relaxing family holiday.  Nannies will often accompany families on outings and day-trips, to waterparks and out for dinner.  It is up to you how you want to manage it, however if they do head out and about with your family, you will need to pay for their meals, transport and entry fees etc too.

We have put together a list of al the babysitters and nannies we recommend, you can find it here.

Just in case:

Take your own First Aid Kit with you with all your preferred brands from home including Baby Panadol and any other medications your little ones need. etc.

DO NOT leave home without Travel Insurance. I repeat DO NOT leave home without travel insurance.

If you are concerned or worried about anything health-related, ask the villa/ hotel staff to contact the local Doctor... better to check it out ASAP and have peace of mind.  Many resorts also have an in-house Doctor on-site.

If you are very worried about something, head straight to the 24 hour BIMC hospital in Kuta or Nusa Dua. It is better to be safe than sorry.

If you are going to rent a motorbike and simply must take your little one with you, get them a little helmet, get yourself one too and please drive safe.

 

Most of all, just relax and enjoy! Family holidays are about enjoying precious time together, experiencing a new and different culture, and making memories that you can cherish for years to come.

I hope you and your little ones love Bali as much as we do.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to email me at: hello@littlebalilove.com

Jem xx

Creator/ Founder of Little Bali Love

Pics via our Instagram friends and their cute little Bali lovers @mumspassport @indigokids @thatmumlady @raisingthefree @tribeonaquest @elinevnhoof @traveltalesofus @shannonjeanscelebrant

Greek Islands with Kids – Naxos

Last summer we visited the beautiful Greek island of Naxos...

First stop Athens, then on to stunning Santorini via Aegean Air, then from Santorini we caught a ferry to Naxos which took approx 2 hours. However Naxos does also have an airport so a short flight from Athens is also an option.

Agios Prokopios...

We stayed in the lovely little seaside village of Agios Prokopios, which is about a 10 - 15 min drive from the port and the old town, and has a stunning soft sandy beach with clear safe water so it is a wonderful option for little ones.

We had everything we needed and more in Agios Prokopios and all within walking distance - the beautiful beach, supermarket, bakery, mini-marts, chemist, and a great selection of little local cafes and taverns for snacks, treats and nightly dinners.

Stay...

We stayed in a small family run hotel called Agios Prokopios Hotel which was just a few minutes walk to the main street and the beach.

We stayed in a 2 bedroom room which is a great set-up for families and had a small kitchenette so we were able to buy and store our own breakfast items, snacks, drinks and more importantly wine! They provided plenty of pool toys, balls, buckets and spades for the kids to use and there is a gorgeous little garden area with lush green grapevines, a BBQ and a small playground with swings and slide and also a tennis court out the back. But the main attraction for our girls was the lovely pet donkey Bibilo who lives on site, along with goats and chickens too.

The hotel location was perfect as everything was within a 5 minute walk so there was no need to hire a car or worry about taxis and buses. We wanted to just chill out for a week, enjoy lots of time at the beach, swim, eat, drink and just soak up that laidback style of Greek island life!

This is the perfect option if you want to just relax and be able to walk to everything, there is no need to hire a car. However of course you could if you wanted to explore further afield.

See...

On a couple of occasions we chose to catch a taxi 10 minutes into the main town for an afternoon explore around the winding little streets of the old town, followed by dinner, an ice-cream and a stroll along the port.

The main attractions on Naxos are the Old Town, including the Archealogical Museum and castle, the famous Portara gates/ temple that was built for Apollo, and of course the stunning beaches!

Eat...

There are a number of restaurants along the little main street in Agios Prokopios and along the beach-front. We tried a few however Colosseo was our pick for many of our dinners. Very affordable and fresh, with a great selection of traditional Greek dishes as well as pizza, pasta, burgers etc for the kids. The staff were super friendly and welcoming and always bought out complimentary ice-creams for dessert.

We would usually rent our deck chairs on the beach from Colosseo too - just 7 euro for two sun-loungers, a small table, beach umbrella, and table service - well sunlounger service! Most mornings we would order a frappe for Mum and Dad and a fresh watermelon juice for the girls and combined with a donut from the hilarious Donut seller who walks up and down the beach, it was the perfect mid-morning beach snack. Plus cold water and drinks throughout the day, and toasties for the kids for lunch.

We also loved the family that ran the local bakery and would pop in the there most days to pick up a loaf of fresh bread or buy the girls an afternoon treat or ice-cream. They were so friendly, welcoming and generous and even gave us a bag of home grown tomatoes and cucumbers from their garden one day. So those homegrown veggies combined with our freshly baked loaf of bread, meant we were set for a simple island style picnic lunch!

We love you Naxos - see you again Summer 2018!

Jem & the Little Bali Love family xx

Follow our Greek Island Adventures on Instagram here: 

https://www.instagram.com/greekislandswithkids/

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