Bali & the Gili’s: Guide to travel with baby

By Nomad Mum

Bali with baby: Tropical jungle, volcanoes, beaches, rise fields and save travels with your baby. Find it all in Bali and the Gili islands!

You will enjoy the whole beauty of Indonesia’s rich islands if you follow one important rule: stay away from tourist centers! Bali changes very quickly and became a great tourist hub within just a few years. The good thing is, that it is now cheap to fly to Bali but for the cost of crowded places. Fortunately, there is still lots of space and a lot unspoiled pretty spots left – if you know where to go.

For beach bums
You will find the best beaches on Gili Air and Gili Meno. Gili Air has the perfect balance between being a remote island without proper streets and cars and offering convenient infrastructure like low-key restaurants, trip agencies and horse-drawn carriage at the same time. You can walk around Gili Air within 1 hour. This will definitely make you feel being on an island! The beaches on the whole island have bright white sand and turquoise clear water. On the west side you have a bit more waves and there are also some great snorkeling spots where you can spot turtles. The east side has shallow water making it appear almost unnaturally beautiful. This side is also a bit more convenient for baby swimming. Throughout the whole island you will find restaurants with covered beach beds which makes your beach day with baby just perfect!


Gilt Meno is similar to Gili Air with less restaurant and hotel selection. But it is just a few minutes boat ride from Gili Air. So just visit the island for a day.
Gli Trawangan is known as the Party Island. It is much more crowded than the other islands and therefore less suited for baby travelers.
The Gili’s are just 1 hour fast boat ride away from Bali. The boats are safe to travel with your baby. Their prices vary due to different level of service and organization. The more expensive, the better the organization – it’s actually worth to pay a little extra.

Bali has a lot of black sand beaches which may look dirty sometimes, especially when crowded. However, Bingin beach in Uluwatu is quite nice with white / yellow sand and a few low-key hotels and restaurants, as well as relaxed surfer vibes. Bingin is surrounded by stunning rocks with amazing view from the top. Be prepared to climb a few stairs.

If you prefer a resort, the Candi Beach Resort & Spa is perfect for families. It is located at a beautiful clean small beach in Candidasa with a big lawn surrounded by palm trees, as well as two pools.

 

For hippies or low-key lovers
Amed is a cute little town offering some Yoga classes and hippie vibes. You don’t have any traffic or crowds around here. It is surrounded by beautiful jungle and a clean black sand beach with a few easy going restaurants and a reggae bar – Sun is Shining 😉

As written above Bingin Beach is a great spot for low-key hotels, restaurants and surfer vibes. It all goes perfectly well with traveling with baby.

Ubud is listed everywhere as THE hippie town but instead it became a tourist trap unfortunately. However, the jungle and rice fields around Ubud are still very beautiful. There are also a lot of great accommodation options around if you fancy staying around.

 

For happy hipsters
Canggu (pronounced as „Changgu) is the Mecca for hipsters! There are so many funky and unique shops, cafes and restaurants, which are also very baby friendly. It is simply impossible to visit them all. There is also a hipster-surfer-beach which is not the prettiest but has a nice atmosphere. Moreover, it is a great place to rent a private villa with your own pool.

 

For entertainment addicts
There are a lot of trips that you do with baby easily. There are three volcanoes in Bali and the Agung is the highest of all. You will enjoy beautiful views hiking around it. There is a great hike on a mountain at the opposite of the Agung. It is actually a trail leading through different temples (Pura Lempuyang) with incredible views on the volcano.
There are also many more temples around Bali. The Balinese temples are not just made of stones – they are made of some kind of magic. If you are lucky and there is an evening celebration, you may just visit it wearing a sarong. Witnessing the Balinese dance throughout a real celebration, rather than some tourist show, is truly special. If you bring your kids along, you will be even more welcomed.

Bali also offers a whole range of stunning waterfalls. Moreover, they are accessible with baby. The Git Git Waterfall in north Bali is a short and very easy 15 minute walk from the parking place with a paved road. Surprisingly, it is still rarely crowded. The Sekumpul Waterfall is great for views from above. Just leave out the last part which leads through a river and not necessary to walk as you already saw the greatest part from above.
Bali has so many picturesque green rice fields and rice terraces, even above waterfalls. It is possible just to stroll around them taking the little paths in between the fields.

 

Safe travels with baby?
Quite a few tropical destinations are Malaria or Yellow Fever risk areas. You want to avoid Malaria destinations with kids of any age and Yellow fever with babies due to minimum age of vaccination. Although Bali is a tropical destination, you don’t need to fear Malaria or Yellow Fever on Bali and on the Gili Islands. Unfortunately, there is still a risk of Dengue. It is higher in rain season but still below the risk of having a car accident. Moreover, in case you need medical treatment, there are several good rated hospitals in Bali. Most Balinese speak good English, so that shouldn’t be a barrier in your treatment. Finally, that means safe travel with your baby!

 

Baby Food, Milk and Diapers/Nappies

Baby food is not available in the supermarkets. However, you can feed your baby with Avocados, Bananas and other fruits or order some cooked mashed vegetables etc. in the restaurant.

Formula milk is widely available. We use S-26 which is tolerated well by our peanut. This is a photo of the typical brands:

Diapers or Nappies are also everywhere available. Some supermarkets also have Pampers.

 

Not-To-Do List

You should avoid some parts of Bali, such as:

  • Kuta – overcrowded
  • Lovina – disappointing beach, annoying sellers at the beach
  • Ubud – crowded, very touristy
  • Gili Trawangan – much more crowded than the other Gili Islands

 

About us

When our first daughter was seven weeks old, we started traveling the world. That was almost two years ago. Today we have visited more than 14 countries, had one more baby and started our own little family enterprise. Read our story.

23 thoughts on “Bali & the Gili’s: Guide to travel with baby

  • Supriya November 14, 2017 at 6:56 pm Reply

    How was the speed boat ride from Bali to gili? Scared to take my 8 months old baby as they suggested not safe for kids below 2 years

    • Nomad Mum November 25, 2017 at 6:36 pm Reply

      That wasn’t a problem at all! We also met another mum with a baby who even went by herself while her hubby was diving in Bali 😉
      I just would make sure to go with a company that is managed well. Some are very bad organised which can be a stress factor – but my feeling was that they had all safe boats really!
      To be honest there is one ‘but’: if the weather is bad the boats do not run. So if you go during rain season, be aware of that. In the dry season that is unlikely. Also, Lombock is just around the corner.

  • Pavlo December 30, 2017 at 6:28 am Reply

    Hi,
    we are going to Bali with our 2 month newborn baby.
    Just tell me that it is fine and it will be enough for me to calm down 🙂
    Thanks for your article.

    • Nomad Mum December 30, 2017 at 8:55 pm Reply

      Haha, unfortunately, no one can take over that responsibility for you 😉
      To be honest, I would be concerned due to the current activity of the Agung volcano. Even if you stay at places outside the danger zone, flights might get canceled for days or even weeks (due to ash clouds) and cut down important supplies such as formula milk, baby food and food & water in general etc. I am not into the latest news, but be aware of these possible consequences.
      Sorry for not really cheering you up but this is just my honest view :-/

  • Hafsah January 8, 2018 at 1:52 pm Reply

    Hiya,

    Great read, very helpful!

    My husband and I want to take our little one when he’s 9 months old. Was wondering what kind of clothing/baby carrier you might suggest is most suitable?

    Thank you!

    • Nomad Mum January 10, 2018 at 9:58 am Reply

      Hiya!
      Many thanks 🙂
      Especially in tropical places, I found very light linen or cotton baby playsuits very useful. Jersey is a bit too hot. Also, I would advise taking one pair of very light trousers for the baby. Especially, when you take your baby in the baby carrier, it’s handy to protect the legs from the sun with those trousers.

      Regarding the baby carrier: You will definitely need a light one. I found the Ergo Baby too padded and too hot. We found light Mei Tai type of carriers best.
      Actually, we are now producing one ourselves! Check out:

      rookie.baby.com

      Or on Instagram: rookie.baby

      It is a very light carrier made of a linen-cotton blend.

      Cheers
      Nomad Mum

  • Amelia Oxley February 5, 2018 at 4:00 am Reply

    Hi there which island did you stay at in the Gili’s and what hotel? Am heading over in March and just wondering about accommodation. My husband wants to do the free dive course on Gili T but I don’t really want to stay there

    • Nomad Mum February 17, 2018 at 12:33 pm Reply

      Definitely don’t stay on Gili Trawangan – way too busy! We stayed on Gili Air but Gili Meno is fine, too.

  • Steph March 2, 2018 at 5:17 am Reply

    We also stayed on Gili Air with our 10 month old! We did Gili T for a couple of days but it wasn’t as nice.

  • Restiana tobing April 12, 2018 at 8:14 am Reply

    Hello, it’s a nice article u have
    we’re planning travelling to bali with my 1.5yo kids
    we really want to go to waterfalls, and i see on your pic, there’s a waterfall in bali that suitable to visit even if u bring a baby
    do you have any suggestion?
    thank you 🙂

    • Nomad Mum April 12, 2018 at 12:26 pm Reply

      Hi there & many thanks for your kind feedback 🙂
      The Git Git waterfall is super easy to reach with all kids and babies – definitely recommended. And it’s a real beauty, too!
      The Sekumpul waterfall is difficult to reach with small kids, BUT you can easily get to the outlook where I took the photo from above. Also, the little hike to that outlook is stunning and the little village where the hike it starts is cute and the people there are so friendly 🙂
      Enjoy!!

  • millimarg April 13, 2018 at 4:13 am Reply

    Hi,

    Thanks for your helpful post! We’re planning a trip to Bali for July/August with our son who will be 8 mos and our 4 yr-old daughter. Where in Bali did you leave from when you took the boat to the Gili Air? And was it a bother to travel with all of your luggage? We won’t be returning to the same place in Bali, so we’ll want to bring it all with us. We’re also hoping to continue on to Lombok. Did you travel to Lombok as well? If so, where in Lombok did you stay?

    Thanks!

    • Nomad Mum April 13, 2018 at 8:14 pm Reply

      Hey there! We left from Amed. There is no proper pier, so you might need to take off your shoes 😉 The guys from the boat company will take care of your luggage. We only had one bag and a car seat. It’s always better to have one big bag than several small ones.
      We did not travel to Lombok for an important reason: Malaria. Lombok is quite rural. The infrastructure is much different than on Bali. And they have cases of Malaria. I would advise getting more information on the current Malaria status there before traveling with an 8-month old! Also, because it’s quite rural I am not sure how well Malaria cases are reported. However, it’s not worth the risk, as it’s a very tough disease.

  • Dove July 4, 2018 at 6:02 am Reply

    Hi:) I was wondering whether you booked your accomodation for whole periode prior arrival? Is it a good idea to look for accomodation once we are already in Bali? We are planning to stay there for 3 months and don’t want to overpay 🙂 thanks for your comment 🙂

    • Nomad Mum July 4, 2018 at 7:19 am Reply

      Hi there! Well, obviously it depends on the season you traveling. If it is high season I would definately book everything prior to arrival! However, often you get really good monthly discounts on Airbnb. Also, I often got discounts from house owners when I was aiming to book a longer period. Just go to the flat you like on Airbnb and click the “contact owner” button and write them a friendly message 😉
      After your 3-month-stay on Bali you are welcome to provide us your Bali expert info 😀 Enjoy it!

  • Tareq July 8, 2018 at 7:56 am Reply

    hi, thanks a lot for your very useful suggestions. do you suggest to travel in fast boat from lombok to gili with my 1 year old boy?

    • Nomad Mum July 8, 2018 at 9:06 am Reply

      Hi there! Yes, I would 🙂 We went with our 8 month old and it was fine. But make sure to go with one of the big, reliable companies.

      • Tareq July 8, 2018 at 12:11 pm Reply

        thanks a lot again. take care.

  • Tiz July 23, 2018 at 5:54 am Reply

    Hello! My hubby and I are planning to go to Bali and Gili at the beginning of September. We are a little bit worried because this would be our first trip with our baby (2 month old). What do you suggest to bring with us? Do you have any suggestion about how travel to Gili? TIA

    • Nomad Mum July 23, 2018 at 7:09 am Reply

      Hi Tia, congrats to your little bub!
      Most importantly: I would first call a local hospital and ask about Dengue, as September will be end of rain season and there might be an outbreak. Just tell them you are coming with a small baby and how many cases they had the last weeks.

      Actually, you don’t really need to bring anything. They have diapers and formula milk (in case you are not breastfeeding) and baby bottles. A baby hat for the sun would be helpful 😉
      We have an article on our packing list here

  • Mia August 18, 2018 at 7:04 pm Reply

    Hello and thanks for really good tips for traveling with small ones.
    We are going now in november with our 4 months old and a bigger one on 2 years.
    How did you protect the little from mosquitos? natural mosquito repellent? did you think it was a lot of them around?

    thanks a lot.
    Best regards Mia

    • Nomad Mum August 19, 2018 at 10:48 am Reply

      Hey Mia,
      we found a nice repellent from Johnsson&Johnsson particularly for babies – available in Thailand and Indonesia. It was without DEET but we had the feeling that it worked quite well.
      Cheers
      Val

      • Mia August 19, 2018 at 6:31 pm Reply

        Thats great!! Thanks a lot 🙂

        Cheers

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