Jaxon’s first jet-setting experience was to Bali Indonesia at the tender age of 4.5 months. In fact, he turned 5 months halfway through the holiday. So what is travelling to Bali with an infant really like?
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This trip was planned before he was even born. We travelled overseas with the whole family for my brother-in-law’s wedding. We found out about the wedding and the potential for it to be overseas, and seemingly by fate, I was pregnant 5 minutes later.
I dreaded the experience my whole pregnancy, it was my first baby afterall, and I was terrified about being sent home with this living, relying on me 24/7, vulnerable little soul… let alone taking him overseas to a country you can’t (shouldn’t) drink the water in!!!
But alas my love for my bestie who I was determined to see become my sister, made me put on a brave face to all those who questioned the trip.
Then 4 months flew by and I realized I was not as clumsy with Jaxon as I had imagined and in fact, was pretty confident about our get-away. OK, OK, I was HANGING to go!!
Finally, the day arrived and we were SO organized. Packed to the rafters in 2 massive suitcases
(which we had to pack and re-pack the night before – someone read the tickets wrong and we had to dump 10kgs last minute! … it was me #mumbrain).
The flight went off without much of a hiccup and in fact the whole trip was a delight. I wish that I had been confident enough to go for longer as 7 days is just not enough in tropical paradise.
Safely back home I am here to share my wisdom with you about what I found useful and what I packed and never used so you can have a great experience as well.
Flying to Bali With an Infant
Clothes: For the airplane ride pop baby in a short sleeve onesie and a long sleeve on top so you can simply take the long sleeve off when you reach your warm destination. I also packed a warm vest in my carry on so I could put this on him when we arrived back home to freezing cold Melbourne.
Seating: You are unlikely to get a separate seat for your baby and usually (airline dependent) there are only 2 seats on each plane with a bassinet so prepare for having baby on your lap the entire flight. We also make an effort to book seats closest to the lavatories so if we need to change a nappy we don’t have to walk the length of the plane with bubs. There’s also a bit more space for you to walk around and rock baby if they become unsettled.
Sleeping: You will be given a baby seat-belt which attaches to yours. Strap bubs in and get comfy. A neck pillow for you and one for your infant and you can totally have a cat nap while baby sleeps too.
Nappy changes: Most airplanes do not have change tables in every lavatory so you will have to figure out where your nearest one is when you find your seat. I recommend changing baby’s nappy before you board as the space on-board is limited.
Tummy Time: They get restless just like us. Depending on your baby’s weight you can pull down the tray and place them on there for some tummy time. Or just do this on your lap.
Feeding: At the time we travelled we were breastfeeding so it was easy enough to do this with a swaddle for privacy. Most of the other passengers were sleeping around me and so I wasn’t too concerned.
Formula: The flight attendants were super helpful and made sure I knew at the start of the flight that if I needed anything including water to just buzz them and they could assist.
Accommodation in Seminyak With a Baby
We stayed at The Club Villas with my mother in law and Alan’s aunty.
The location was fantastic with plenty of restaurants, beauty salons (hello pedicure) and shopping centers very close by.
Sleeping: The villa staff were all too helpful in supplying a bassinet for Jax to sleep in. Although it was very brightly colored and so when he woke up, he would have a hard time falling back asleep. Usually when he woke in the night, I would bring him into bed with me and nurse him back to sleep. This is what worked for us.
Pool: We opted for a pool villa knowing that Jax is not mobile and so there was no safety concern with having an unfenced pool. We plan on hiring a pool fence next time we go to Bali as Jax will be walking by then.
Food/Milk Options In Bali With a Baby
At the time Jax was breastfed and I had packed both my electric and manual breast pumps, microwave sterilizer and several bottles and teats. All of which I used a total of ZERO times.
The heat made Jax eat twice as often as he was thirsty and I didn’t want to give him too much water as he was so young.
We had packed formula which he had drank in Australia a few times but in Bali he flat out refused it, screaming until I caved and breastfed him.
There was nothing left to pump at all so I didn’t bother trying.
If I had needed, our villa had a microwave (usually you can get these on request if not standard) and a hot/cold water dispenser so no need to use the kettle provided.
Jax was also eating solids at breakfast (mainly fruit purees). I opted to bring these from home around 1 pouch every 2 days. Refrigerating in between.
Breakfast was included in our package and included a fruit platter so a few times I did give him some banana, making sure to cut around the area that they had cut for fear of contaminated utensils.
We had quite a nice, clean villa so I was comfortable doing this. He was absolutely fine, do what feels comfortable for you.
Transportation in Bali with a 5 Month Old
Car seats: We arranged our airport transfers before arriving in Bali through Bali Baby Hire. This included a baby seat. To be honest the seat was probably for an older child and was not anchored to the car properly (held in place by seat-belt) but I was grateful to have anything at all for the 20-minute drive to our accommodation.
Taxis: Do not have baby seats and so when travelling short distances, we tended to hold Jaxon on our laps with lower part of the seatbelt across his hips. This was after sighting multiple mothers holding their babies unrestrained on motorcycles and scooters. At first, I was scared to do this but by the end of the trip we were much more comfortable with this. And to be fair he was probably safer like this than in the aforementioned car seat.
Pram: No need to take your bulky pram from home! We wore Jax in the Baby Bjorn through airports and then had a hired pram (Bali Baby Hire again) waiting for us at our villa. It was a basic three-wheeler Phil & Teds pram and it was great when negotiating the uneven footpaths of Seminyak.
Alan would walk ahead and assess the path as we walked, assisting with lifting the pram up and over curbs as required.
We also found that when crossing the roads, the locals were all too happy to assist in stopping traffic so we could cross safely.
The pram we got also dropped down into a bassinet so when out for dinner Jax was able to sleep comfortably flat instead of propped up all the time.
Nappies/Wipes – Take From Home or BYO?
Nappies: I BYO’d nappies. I accounted for 5 each day and then tacked an extra 10 on top of that number. It worked out well. I was expecting nappies to weigh quite a bit but once I realized we didn’t need 200 for 7 days the luggage got lighter!
Plus, I bargained that this would leave room in the suitcase for my shopping so all worked well in this department.
Wipes: We didn’t take enough wipes (Alan limited me to 1 packet). With all the sweat and dirt, I was constantly wiping both Jaxon and myself down all day. We ran out and I had to buy some from the local mart. They were very cheap but of course, I don’t read Indonesian and it was difficult to explain to the cashier that I was after unscented wipes. I ended up with very strong-smelling wipes that I reserved for nappy changes, hanging onto the last few from home for wiping our faces and hands (and boobs). I was just happy that Jax with his sensitive skin didn’t have a breakout and we were able to keep using them.
Definitely take your own nappies and wipes, or research brands and products before you get there.
Bali Bath Time
Bali has a reputation for the dreaded ‘Bali belly’ – Alan has been on the other end of this during a previous trip and bearing witness was enough for me to be really cautious about this in particular.
I had purchased sterilizing tablets and taken these with us but we had not hired a baby bath (which you can do so from Bali Baby Hire as well). We didn’t realize that we were in a villa with a massive spa-bath so filling it with sterilized water would have used up most of my tablets in only 1 or 2 baths.
We decided to shower Jax instead. Sitting on the edge of the bath with Jax on my lap we used the shower hose to wash Jax. I definitely needed Alan’s help with this as he is a slippery sucker and I wanted to make sure that he didn’t put his hands in this mouth under any circumstances.
Between this and dunking him in the pool a couple of times he was clean as a whistle. I just made sure to moisturize him heaps so the chlorine wouldn’t dry out his skin.
Overall the trip was great. It did help that we had a lot of family members there to help us out when needed and we even managed to sneak off for lunch and a couple of massages while my MIL watched Jaxon during his nap times.
If you are going without extended family you can always look into babysitting. This is something we will definitely be doing when we go to Bali next. I have heard you can have someone come with you to restaurants, the beach, salons etc. and they will sit and hold your bubs while you rest your shoulders and enjoy your holiday. The extra set of hands definitely helps!
Overall, I really do recommend you consider Bali, Indonesia as a place to take your infant. I even think that the next trip when Jax will be walking and talking may even be more difficult than when he was just 5 months old.
Have you travelled with an infant overseas? How did you go?
I’d love to hear from you!