Bali with Baby / Marriot Nusa Dua Review

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Looking back at the photos from this trip, I miss Bali already!
This is Kayla's first vacation, she was about 11mths old then and I'm so glad we went through with it even though the idea of travelling with a baby was honestly daunting. 

We picked Bali because it's somewhere we've been before and the flight was short haha. The idea was to go somewhere relaxing and in the worst case scenario just hide in a nice resort for the entire trip loll. But it turned out so much better than we'd expected and even though it was insanely tiring, we became a lot closer after this trip! 

We stayed at the Courtyard by Marriot in Nusa Dua, reason being we've never been to Nusa Dua (only Seminyak where I was proposed to! hehehe) and also because I read that Nusa Dua is a gated community - very safe :) Safety and comfort were our top priorities since we were travelling with a baby under 1. (Did a mini review of the hotel at the end of this post)

Kayla was more or less laughing throughout the entire trip hahaha, maybe it's the holiday mood that made her so happy? She refused to eat all the baby food I brought along though! Only wanted to eat whatever we were eating so we ended up sharing pastas and pizzas with her (I can sense the disapproval from all the moms reading this already hehh). Through this trip we realised that Kayla is a foodie in the making haha. Bad tasting foods were immediately spat out and every time the room service came she'd perk up and sit next to me hahaha. 

Swimming and bathing were her two favourite activities! No matter how long she's spent in the pool or tub it's never enough loll. After playing in the pool it was time to play in the tub haa. Such a water baby! 

First time on the beach :)))

I guess the trip was really tiring for us mainly because Kayla wanted to play with us all the time. The only breaks we get are when she's napping/sleeping, didn't help that she was too excited to nap on the first day so we were super exhausted. We usually have to take turns to eat while one person looks after her cos now she's strong enough to grab at our plates and cups. And since she couldn't walk yet, we basically had to keep carrying her everywhere and even when we leave her on the bed one person needs to be with her to make sure she doesn't roll off the bed and hurt herself.

But despite all the "tiredness", she made the trip a lot more fun than if D and I were to go alone! At this moment, I feel like I'd want to bring her along for all our future trips because she makes us so happy?! Every little thing is amusing to her and that amuses us hahaha. 

Anyway, below is a short review of our hotel and also some tips for travelling with a small baby! 

Mini Review of Courtyard by Marriot:
(Please skip this if you are not interested hehh)

1. Rooms
We had to top up for an upgrade because we found out upon arrival that the room we booked had no bathtub. The "upgraded" room was supposedly exactly the same as the standard one just with an additional tub. Honestly felt a little mehh about the situation since 5-star hotels usually have tubs for all rooms :/ In any case, we really needed the tub because it was much easier to bathe Kayla in one.

Other than that, I was happy with the room especially the bed haha. I liked that there were enough pillows and the comforter was pretty thick and good sized so we could all snuggle in it comfortably :) We requested for a baby crib as well and they provided us with a Graco pack-n-play one that was perfect for us! I would put Kayla in it with some toys to play with whenever I needed a quick break hehe

2. Room Service
D and I have this weird obsession with room service hahaha. One of the things we'd look forward to on trips was to order room service, and it really makes us very happy when we find a hotel that serves  yummy food! To be honest, we found the food here average and frankly quite limited. Maybe we were expecting more since it's a big hotel chain? Kayla and I enjoyed the mac'n'cheese though haha, ended up ordering that twice! Hence the picture :D

3. The Pool
The pool was lovely, big and clean! Most importantly, it made Kayla so very happy haha. There's a small bar where you can order finger foods and drinks from, tried the strawberry smoothie and it was delicious!

4. Private Beach
Okay this was really disappointing loll. The private beach is located a distance away from the hotel so you'd have to take a shuttle there (it's very convenient), but it is not exactly private haha. The beach area "allocated" to Courtyard is rather small. There were locals selling wares along the street just a few steps away from the bar area. And while we were there, a few locals came into the "private" area asking the guests to try their water sports services. 

5. Security
The security here was great! There's two rounds of security checks, one at the main gate and the second one at the reception area. The second one even had metal gate detectors and bag scanners! Felt really safe at this hotel haha

Some tips for travelling with small babies:

1. Use the boiling water kettle as a steriliser 
I actually brought some steriliser tablets thinking I could use the basin as a place to soak the parts in. But... it wasn't ideal especially after you've used the basin to brush your teeth and spit in? So we ended up boiling hot water in the kettle and sterilising the parts in it hehh

2. Bring lots of extra clothing for the baby

3. Bring a light stroller
We were so glad we brought her stroller along even though we were quite tempted to just bring the baby carrier. She ended up falling asleep in the stroller a few times, and it can double up as an emergency diaper changing station as well! 

4. Bring more bottles
I regretted only bringing 2 milk bottles because that meant I had to continuously wash and sterilise the bottles throughout the day sighs. I think 3 or 4 would be so much better then I'd have spare bottles in the morning since she uses 2 at night heh, 1 just before sleeping and 1 in the middle of the night

5. Pre pack all the milk powder into tiny sachets
We packed all her feeds into full feed and half feed portions and it was soo helpful!

6. Bring more pull-up diapers
Am glad we brought mainly pull-up type of diapers because there was once we had to change her on the plane seat and was feeling really stressed about it. We ended up quickly pulling the soiled one down, did a few quick wipes, and swiftly pulled-up a new diaper on her. We surprised ourselves by doing this in record time hehehe! 

This post turned out to be so much longer than expected hahaha

Guess that's about it for Kayla's first trip! Hope the review and tips were useful :)


  1. Your Kayla is real cute... yeah, holiday mood lol


  2. Oh... She is so happy!!!!


  3. That is our favorite place for vacation too!!!

    Happy for your family trip in Bali!!


  4. Yes, all my babies liked to play with water.

    Every experience for baby is a new one and filled with amazing opportunities to learn about how things work, cause and effect, relationships between people and objects and what things can do. This is why babies investigate their whole new world using their senses as their main tool for discovery, as just about everything needs to be touched and tasted to be truly understood!

    August 24, 2012 by Anna Ranson

    Every experience for baby is a new one and filled with amazing opportunities to learn about how things work, cause and effect, relationships between people and objects and what things can do. This is why babies investigate their whole new world using their senses as their main tool for discovery, as just about everything needs to be touched and tasted to be truly understood!

    Babies and toddlers are particularly drawn to water, not only because of the familiarity of their womb environment, but also because of the calming effects it can have, as well as being one of the most exciting materials to explore on the face of the planet!

    Enjoy more of the water experiences, lovely Kayla!

  5. Hahaha, water, water everywhere, your baby is definately a water baby lol....

    Just think about how incredible WATER is as a play substance. It can be held, thrown, sprayed, dripped, trickled, poured, swooshed, soaked, absorbed, sprinkled, coloured, scented, funnelled, spun, frozen, melted evaporated and, best of all, SPLASHED! It’s a great way for discovering about temperatures, capacity, gravity, water ways, dams, filling and emptying and more.

    For a baby who is newly discovering their amazing world, this is the most incredible thing ever!

    Let her enjoys and plays with water as much as possible while she is young.


  6. EXPLORING THE WONDERFUL, LIMITLESS POSSIBILITIES OF WATER PLAY! Hi, I would like to share Some of the water tips for babies and toddles with your readers here:

    When baby is in the bath, try using either a reclining chair or a fixed upright bath seat so that they can safely splash (and be splashed!) with their head way above the water. Use funnels, colanders, bottles and cups to pour water on and around your baby, trickling water up and down their arms to increase awareness of their own body and to encourage visual co-ordination as they track the stream with their eyes. Use a sponge to gently squeeze water onto their face and on top of their head, so that it trickles down across their eyes (no soap in this water, of course!) It is important for young children to get used to having water near their faces and not to panic when it happens, as this helps them later when learning to swim and stay safe in water.

    When baby is old enough to sit in high chair, offer them a shallow tray of warm water to simply investigate with their hands! My bay Bean absolutely loved this coloured water we gave her to explore the other day and the looks of curiosity and amazement on her face as she played were priceless. She babbled, laughed and happily played for a sustained amount of time, increasing her concentration and learning a lot of new things about the world as she did so!


  7. We definitely have two water babies! If ever in doubt, add water! :) Swimming and water safety is so ingrained in us Aussies, maybe because of all our lovely warm weather. Gently tipping water over our babies’ faces is one of the first lessons we are encouraged to do with our babies. LOVE playing with water :)


  8. Unbelievable how quickly your little one is growing up!!!!


  9. A playful baby shall become an excellent child.

    I once went on a training course where they shared this information, and it was sobering to hear. A child’s brain develops more rapidly in the first 5 years of life than it ever does again, forming so many connections between the left and right side of the brain and essentially establishing its “ability” to learn new information in the future. A child left with no stimulation or enriching playful experiences is going to learn more poorly after the age of 5 than a child who has been played with, talked to, read to and stimulated on a regular basis. They need to interact with toys, materials, books, multi-sensory experiences and nature in order to develop real building blocks for learning.

    Too much screen time limits the sensory interaction, crushes creative, imaginative development and limits time spent communicating with others. Of course some TV and computer time is fine, as balance is so important, but some children’s activities tend to be top-heavy in this area.

    “There is nothing that human beings do, know, think, hope and fear that has not been attempted, experienced, practised or at least anticipated in children’s play” Heidi Britz-Crecelius

    “Play is the royal road to childhood happiness and adult brilliance.” Joseph Chiltern Pearce

  10. I like the part that you as a family enjoy to look for or Creating cosy spots for snuggling up together! "... so we could all snuggle in it comfortably :) "

    Playful childhoods create happy, independent, creative and imaginative children. Albert Einstein said “Imagination is more important than knowledge” which is a pretty mind-blowing statement if you take the time to think about it! We are the most important people in our children’s lives during these early, formative years and if we take the time out of our busy schedules to sit down and play with them, talk to them, make up stories and sing together we will be offering them the best scaffolding on which to build their later life experiences. We just need a range of good quality, toys, blocks and imaginary play items, cardboard boxes, recycled materials, art supplies, books and…most importantly…time!

    And to sum up, perhaps my favourite play quote of all by George Bernard Shaw:
    “You don’t stop playing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop playing.”

    So, let’s keep playing and stay young!



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