Travelling to Malaysia with a baby or toddler can seem a daunting task, but it is something that we think you should embrace wholeheartedly.
Malaysia is a beautiful and diverse country that offers a unique blend of cultures, delicious cuisine, and stunning natural landscapes.
Whether you’re traveling with a newborn or a toddler, there are plenty of things to see and do that are baby-friendly.
In this post, we’ll provide some tips and insights on how to make the most of your trip to Malaysia with a baby in tow, including the best places to visit, how to get around, and what to expect.
In this guide to family travel in Malaysia, we will pass on our top tips for travel in Malaysia with a baby or toddler.
So, if you’re planning a trip to Malaysia with your little one, keep reading to find out everything you need to know!
Our Guide to Visiting Malaysia with a Baby and Toddler
Are you thinking about taking your kids on an adventure to Malaysia, but feeling a bit unsure? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! When we were planning our trip, we scoured the internet for information about traveling with young children in Malaysia, but came up short. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you decide whether Malaysia is the perfect destination for your family.
Before diving into the nitty-gritty details of our itinerary and activities, we wanted to be absolutely sure that Malaysia would be a safe and enjoyable place for us to explore as a family.
Here, are some of the questions we wanted to find the answers to before we went
Is Malaysia Baby-Friendly?
Trust us, when you travel to Malaysia with your little bundle of joy, you’re going to feel like a star. The locals simply adore babies and you’ll find yourself getting plenty of attention. Prepare to have people come up to you, asking questions, cooing over your little one, and showering you with compliments.
But don’t worry, it’s not intense or overwhelming at all. It’s all done in a genuinely friendly and welcoming way. So, sit back, relax, and let the Malaysian people show your baby some serious love!
What is it like travelling around Malaysia with a Baby and Toddler?
Our family had an amazing time traveling around Malaysia with our young kids. The country is bursting with color and energy, providing a fantastic travel experience. We saw some truly breathtaking landscapes, visited incredible temples, explored charming towns, and met some truly lovely people.
It was an experience that left a lasting impression on our 3-year-old, who was able to soak up so much new knowledge and develop into a seasoned young traveler. Of course, it wasn’t always a breeze – our youngest was at that age where she was crawling everywhere and putting everything in her mouth.
Navigating dirty floors and keeping her out of trouble wasn’t always easy, but we found ways to manage. We quickly learned that a portable changing mat was an absolute essential for keeping her clean during nappy changes, as formal baby changing facilities were few and far between.
Despite the challenges, we were realistic about what we could achieve and how much we wanted to travel. For medium-distance journeys, we found that taxis were a great value and provided us with the flexibility and comfort we needed to get around Malaysia with toddlers.
So if you’re considering traveling to Malaysia with your little ones, don’t let the challenges hold you back – the experience is well worth it!
Where to go in Malaysia with a Baby and Toddler
Malaysia is a fantastic destination for families with babies and toddlers, and there are so many wonderful places to visit. Here are some of the best destinations in Malaysia that you and your little ones will absolutely love.
The capital city of Malaysia is a bustling metropolis with lots of sights to see. The iconic Petronas Twin Towers are a must-visit and a great place to take family photos. The KL Bird Park and the Aquaria KLCC are perfect for young children who love animals and sea creatures.
Just outside the city, you can visit the famous Hindu shrine at Batu Caves. Climbing the 272 steps to the top of the cave is a great adventure for kids.
Visiting Kuala Lumpur with a baby or toddler is sure to be a highlight of your time in Malaysia.
Langkawi is one of Malaysia’s most popular islands for families. It’s located in the northwest of the country and boasts stunning beaches, clear waters, and lush greenery.
Families can enjoy a range of activities such as taking a relaxing boat ride around the islands, or visiting the Langkawi Cable Car. Here you can take in panoramic views from the top of Mount Mat Cincang, and the chance to walk across the Langkawi Sky Bridge, a curved pedestrian bridge offering panoramic views of the island.
That’s not all though, there’s so much to do here like exploring the mangrove forests, snorkelling, and visiting the Underwater World Langkawi aquarium.
Known as the “Pearl of the Orient,” Penang is a fascinating mix of cultures and traditions. Take a stroll through the UNESCO World Heritage site of George Town, visit the Batu Ferringhi Beach, and take a ride on the Penang Hill Funicular Railway.
This city in Perak is famous for its street art, cave temples, and delicious food. Take your little ones for a stroll along the famous Mural Art Trail and snap some fun photos together. Visit the Sam Poh Tong Cave Temple, which has a beautiful garden and a pond filled with turtles. And don’t forget to try some of the local cuisine, such as Ipoh Hor Fun and Tau Fu Fah.
Bukit Merah Orang Utan Island
Located in Perak, this island is home to over 20 orangutans who roam freely in a natural setting. Take a boat ride to the orangutan island and watch these playful primates swing from the trees and interact with each other. It’s a great opportunity for your little ones to learn about wildlife conservation and get up close with some amazing animals.
This charming fishing village in Perak offers a glimpse into the traditional way of life of the local people. Take a river cruise along the mangrove swamps, visit the charcoal factory to see how charcoal is made, and sample some of the fresh seafood.
It’s a peaceful and educational experience for both you and your little ones. It was one of the highlights of our trip and has areal off the beaten path feel about it.
Lost World of Tambun
This theme park in Perak is perfect for families with young children. There are plenty of rides and attractions designed for toddlers and preschoolers, such as the Hippo Valley and Adventure River.
There’s also a petting zoo, a tiger valley, and loads of amazing swimming pools. When we visited we stayed in the hotel for one night which granted us free evening access to certain areas of the park which gave us plenty to do when travelling with toddlers.
Tioman Island is a small island off the east coast of Malaysia. It’s surrounded by crystal-clear waters and is known for its stunning coral reefs, making it a great place for families to go snorkelling. The island is also home to several small villages where you can experience traditional Malaysian life.
The Perhentian Islands are a pair of islands located off the northeast coast of Malaysia. The islands are surrounded by white sandy beaches and clear waters, making them perfect for families to relax and unwind. Families can enjoy snorkelling, diving, and swimming with turtles.
This historic city is filled with charming architecture, museums, and cultural attractions. Take a river cruise along the Malacca River, visit the Malacca Zoo, and explore the lively Jonker Street Night Market.
For an unforgettable adventure with your family, head to the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo. Go on a wildlife safari to see orangutans, pygmy elephants, and proboscis monkeys in their natural habitat, and take a trip to the Kinabalu Park to see the stunning Mount Kinabalu.
Located in Johor Bahru, this theme park is perfect for families with young children. With rides and attractions based on the popular Lego brand, there’s plenty of fun to be had for all ages.
A highland retreat with cool temperatures and stunning scenery. Take a stroll through the tea plantations, visit the butterfly farm, or explore the strawberry farms with your little ones.
Taman Negara National Park
Explore the rainforest and river systems of Malaysia’s oldest national park. Take a boat ride, go jungle trekking or visit the canopy walkway with your toddler.
Pangkor Island is a small island located off the west coast of Malaysia. It’s known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and fresh seafood. Families can enjoy a range of activities such as kayaking, fishing, and exploring the island’s historic sites.
Redang Island is located off the east coast of Malaysia and is famous for its white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. Families can enjoy a range of water sports such as snorkelling and diving, or simply relax on the beach and soak up the sun.
These are just a few of the many wonderful places to visit in Malaysia with a baby or toddler. With its diverse attractions, delicious cuisine, and welcoming people, Malaysia is a great destination for families looking for an unforgettable vacation.
Is it safe to visit Malaysia with a Baby and Toddler?
Top of our list of concerns was the health of our children. Going to new places where the healthcare is unknown, diseases are different and you don’t speak the language can be a little bit daunting.
We are not healthcare professionals and the information on this page is based on our own research and experience.
If you are going to Malaysia (or anywhere else), we recommend that you visit your doctor 2 months before you leave to ensure you have up to date information and have all the necessary immunisations.
Typhoid and Hepatitis A and B can be an issue especially in rural areas so it is worth getting jabs for these. There are others like rabies and Japanese Encephalitis that you may wish to consider depending on your travel plans.
Please discuss this with your doctor and visit this page for some great general health advice.
Not all vaccinations can be given to babies and young children so be sure to check with your doctor about what is available to you and your family.
How Good Is Healthcare In Malaysia?
Malaysia has very good healthcare facilities but you do need to consider where you are going and the distance to healthcare facilities as some remote areas will have very limited healthcare services.
In general, the quality of healthcare in Malaysia is very good but you will need to ensure that you have adequate medical cover in your travel insurance.
Having good travel insurance will at least enable you to do whatever is necessary should you have any unwanted incidents.
Malaysia has an efficient and widespread system of healthcare, operating a two-tier healthcare system with a government based universal healthcare system running alongside a private healthcare system. Both are very good but both are better in the bigger cities.
Nearly all doctors and most nurses speak English.
What are the Biggest Health Concerns in Malaysia?
If you take some sensible precautions in Malaysia you should not experience any major health risks during your visit.
You should avoid drinking tap water in Malaysia and buy bottled water instead.
In most restaurants, ice is made using boiled or bottled water and is generally safe to drink. If the ice is the round, machine-made type you should be fine to drink it.
Sun and Heat
The biggest day-to-day risk is from the sun and heat that you are likely to experience in Malaysia. Sunburn, sunstroke and dehydration are a real risk in Malaysia. It can get very hot and you and your kids should always wear sunscreen with high UV protection all the time.
If you are travelling with a baby or toddler you need to be particularly careful of the sun and heat.
Malaysia can be hot depending on where and when you visit, so you will want to factor that into the types of activities that you do and the places that you visit.
The coast can prove refreshing with a nice breeze, whilst higher areas like the Cameron Highlands will give you the chance to escape the worst of the heat. We always made sure that our accommodation had air con so that we had a cool place for our baby to nap and for us to escape the heat of it all became a bit too much.
It is best to try and avoid doing anything too strenuous during the heat of the day, be sure to keep yourself hydrated and retreat into the shade or air-con if you need.
Tropical Disease in Malaysia
One of our first concerns when choosing a destination was to avoid the risk of catching malaria. You can check the malaria map for Malaysia here.
These maps are updated fairly frequently but are not an absolute guarantee. As you can see from the map peninsular Malaysia has a low risk of Malaria and antimalarials are not usually advised. If you are visiting Malaysian Borneo, there is a higher risk
Dengue fever was our biggest concern before and during our trip. It is a serious disease and can be caught all over Malaysia. There is no vaccine and prevention relies upon the avoidance of being bitten.
To reduce the chance of being bitten we took mosquito repellent that was suitable for young children, a travel cot that was fully enclosed in mosquito mesh, and 2 further mosquito nets for ourselves and our toddler.
As it is spread by mosquitos that are active during the day it is hard to completely eliminate the risk of being bitten.
Food in Malaysia
Malaysian food is famous throughout the world and you can be sure to get some wonderful fresh food during your visit. Restaurants and street vendors provide tasty eats and low prices so you will be able to try all sorts of delicious things.
If you or your kids aren’t too keen on Malaysian food you should be able to find international cuisine in most tourist destinations. We always went with baby-led weaning and encouraged our girls to try all sorts of foods. After all, what do babies eat in Malaysia? Rice and fruit mostly. We were able to get great fresh fruit like dragonfruit, mangos, pineapple and watermelon.
We took a Tot Seat chair harness with us and that proved to be extremely useful when we were in places without highchairs, and we definitely recommend this to anyone travelling with a baby.
Are Malaysian People Friendly?
The Malaysian people we came across were all very friendly. They absolutely love babies so if you are travelling to Malaysia with a baby you can expect to attract lots of attention and have plenty of opportunities to interact with the locals.
It is worth being prepared for the fact that the locals may want to stroke your baby’s skin or hair and they may want to hold your child.
In our experience, this felt friendly and natural and we didn’t have a problem with it but it is something to be aware of and it is a good idea to think about how you will react in these situations.
During our trip, there were a couple of instances where large groups of camera-toting Chinese tourists wanted to snap pictures of our little girls. At first, we didn’t mind, but it became a little overwhelming when the photo-taking continued even after we asked them to stop. It was at those moments that I felt the need to remove the girls from the situation and take a breather.
Now, don’t get us wrong – we don’t mind people taking photos of our daughters if they’re okay with it. However, some tourists can get a little carried away, and it can be difficult to get them to stop, even when we ask politely. In those cases, we’ve learned to take matters into our own hands and move away from the situation.
It was ironic to see a fully-robed Buddhist monk visiting Langkawi and wanting to photograph our children, as he was exactly the kind of person we would have wanted to capture on camera during our previous travels. Life is full of surprises, isn’t it?
Can You Get Baby Supplies in Malaysia?
You can find most of what you need in Malaysia. We always like to leave home prepared so we take a decent supply of nappies, wipes, and food with us. That lasts the first few weeks and means you don’t need to worry when you first arrive. Then you can just stock up as you go along.
We also take a first aid kit that covers all the basics. But medical supplies are easily available in pharmacies and supermarkets that you will find all over the place. We just think it is best to have them in advance so you have them when they are needed.
Are Nappies or Diapers available in Malaysia?
Finding nappies/diapers and wet wipes is easy as they are stocked in convenience stores and supermarkets should have what you need. Mamy-Poko is the most expensive and best brand of nappies, they are a Japanese brand and are of similar quality to the Pampers we get in the UK.
If you are heading to remote locations or smaller towns it is well worth stocking up with nappies before you leave the city.
We always travel with a decent supply of nappies from home so that we are not under pressure to hunt some down in the first few days of our trip.
Is it ok to breastfeed in Malaysia?
Breastfeeding babies in public is acceptable in Malaysia but should be done discreetly, it is a good idea to use a scarf or muslin for added privacy. The more touristy the area, the more acceptable it will be but we would say to err on the side of caution and try and be as discreet as possible wherever you are so as not to cause offence.
Formula milk and pre-packaged milk are available if required. Finding facilities to sterilize your bottles may not always be easy.
Finding Baby Food in Malaysia
We highly suggest packing a good supply of packaged baby food before traveling to Malaysia with your little one. It can be a real lifesaver to have a few pouches of healthy baby food or nutritious snack bars on hand when your baby or toddler gets hungry while you’re out and about.
When you’re exploring a temple or hiking up a mountain, you don’t want to be caught off guard and scrambling to find a place to eat. While ready-made baby foods are available in Malaysia, they can be difficult to find outside of the major cities and supermarkets.
They also tend to have different ideas of what babies should eat and some of the products that are available and aimed at babies are really sugary and possibly not what your child is used to.
By bringing your own supply of packaged baby food, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your baby is getting the nourishment they need while enjoying your travels in Malaysia.
When to Go to Malaysia with Toddler or Baby
Malaysia is a country with a tropical monsoon climate.
That means that while the weather is hot and humid throughout the year, there is always a chance of a downpour of rain here and there.
So, it’s always a good idea to carry an umbrella or waterproof with you. The best time to visit Malaysia is typically between December to April, when there are shorter spells of rain and the weather is more pleasant.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that seasons can differ depending on where you are going, so the ideal time to visit can vary.
January and February are great months to visit, as they offer a chance to experience unique celebrations such as the Chinese New Year and Thaipusam.
Once the rains subside, the country becomes even more beautiful, with pleasant temperatures and majestic waterfalls.
Don’t miss the Sabah fest in May, a week-long celebration of Sabahan culture that is worth experiencing. And in June, the Gawai Festival is a must-see, as it opens the doors of longhouses for rice-harvest celebrations with dance, food, drinks, and lots of music.
What Should You Pack for a Baby and Toddler in Malaysia
Packing in this way means that we are able to transport all of our luggage plus the girls in their baby carriers (these are absolutely essential) when we need to travel about between hotels and various different forms of transport.
It is always difficult to decide what to pack for a baby or toddler when you travel abroad. You don’t want to take too much but you also don’t want to be without something that is essential. It is a tough balance to get right.
Top 5 things to take (that you might not have thought of):
- Kids Water Bottle and Plastic food tubs (these ones are great)
- Pop up travel cot (check out our travel cot reviews here)
- Totseat chair harness for those times when the restaurant doesn’t have a high chair
- UV protective swimsuits to protect your little ones from the sun and slightly reduce the amount of suncream you nee to slap on.
- Travel changing mat (we took this one and it was perfect). It was a last-minute buy and was the most useful thing ever!
We have done loads of travelling with our girls and this is what we think works. For long trips, we do washing as we go along, for a couple of weeks you could probably get by without needing to do this.
If you are spending a lot of time on the beach your little one will end up spending a lot of time in their swimsuit, so this is one of the most important items to take.
We like the ones that cover arms and legs as it protects them from the sun without having to worry quite so much about when you last put sun cream on.
Malaysia Baby Packing List – Clothes
- 6 short-sleeved onesies or cotton rompers
- 2 full-length onesies
- Washable swim nappy
- 1 UV protective swimsuit with long sleeves and trousers
- 2 small muslins – depending on how sicky your baby is!
- 1 sunhat and 1 swimming sunhat
- 1 large muslin for sleeping under
- Favourite small comforter/ teddy
Other Essential items for a Baby in Malaysia
Changing mat/bag: This is probably the most useful item that we packed. A compact place to keep your nappies, wipes, and creams which folds out into a handy changing mat. Proper changing tables are a rarity in Portugal so this gets used all the time.
Nappies/diapers: We always had a decent supply of nappies with us in the bag but they are easy to get hold of in most places.
Baby wipes: These are much more expensive than in England so it is worth bringing a supply from home.
Teething necklace: Good for keeping your little one entertained and quiet whilst travelling or in the baby carrier.
Nappy cream: Just in case of any sore bottoms you will want this on hand.
What to Pack for a Toddler in Malaysia
For our toddler/pre-school age daughter we took the following which worked out just right for a long trip where you expect to do some washing as you go along. If you are happy to pay for more frequent clothes washing, you could get by with less than we had.
Toddler Packing List
- 4 cotton/linen summer dresses. This is what our daughter wore most of the time. For a boy (or a girl who doesn’t like dresses), you will probably need shorts and a t-shirt most of the time so bring more of those.
- 4 t-shirts
- 2 shorts
- 2 pairs of lightweight trousers (good for covering up if there are mosquitos about and for buses and planes)
- 1 long-sleeved top
- 4 pairs of underpants
- 2 pairs of socks.
- Pyjamas (not that essential in summer – pants or light shorts will do)
- 1 long UV protective swimsuit and 1 normal swimming costume. Our girls spent most of the time in their swimsuits when staying on the coast.
- Trainers (you could probably leave these at home if you don’t plan to walk through any jungle/ forests),
- Sandals (necessity),
- Beach shoes (our daughter like to climb the rocks on the beach & kayak so these came in really handy).
- 1 sunhat and 1 swimming sunhat
Other useful items to take:
Beach tent: If you are planning to spend a lot of time on the beach, it’s well worth taking a beach tent to provide you with some shade and privacy. This makes it an ideal spot for your baby to feed and sleep.
Blackout blinds: These travel blackout blinds are great to make your room dark at night times
Totseat chair harness: This baby totseat is a great backup to have when eating out with a baby. Baby high chairs are quite widely available but not every restaurant has them and often they only have 1 or 2 chairs for loads of tiny diners.
Drinking bottle: This is essential. Find a kids bottle that your child can easily drink from and that you can take anywhere.
Suncream: This is available in Portugal, but we always take some so we are prepared.
Hand sanitiser: Very handy for keeping hands clean on the move.
Disinfectant wipes: We used these to clean high chairs and the floors in hotel rooms.
First Aid Kit: There are bound to be times when you need a plaster or bandage so we always take a first aid kit along ours contains Calpol, Benadryl, antibiotics for mastitis, children’s inhaler in case of croop, mosquito repellent for kids and adults, Bonjela, plasters, paracetamol.
Kids tablet: Basically a lifesaver on the plane or when you need a bit of quiet time. We like the Amazon Fire kids tablets but there are loads of great options covered in our best toddler tablets post.
You will probably need fewer toys than you think to keep your kids entertained whilst away. But it is definitely worth taking a few things to keep them occupied on journeys and if you want some quiet time in the hotel.
The toys we liked the best include stacking cups which are compact and brilliant, you can use them to make sandcastles on the beach, to pour water in the pool or even to stack on the floor. A few Duplo bricks, toy cars, and colouring/activity books also come in handy, especially at mealtimes.
Hopefully, this gives you a guide for what you should be packing with you when you take a toddler or an infant to Portugal. For more comprehensive information, check out our post on the best baby and toddler travel gear, and this baby and toddler packing list.
Getting to Malaysia with a Baby and Toddler
Flying to Malaysia is a convenient and comfortable way to travel to this beautiful Southeast Asian country. Malaysia is served by several international airports, with Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) being the main gateway.
Other major airports include Langkawi International Airport, Penang International Airport, and Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Many major airlines offer direct flights to Malaysia from various countries around the world.
When flying to Malaysia, it is important to check the visa requirements for your country of origin. Some visitors may require a visa before arrival, while others may be eligible for a visa on arrival. It is recommended to check the visa requirements well in advance of your travel dates to avoid any issues.
Upon arrival in Malaysia, visitors will go through immigration and customs before being able to explore the country. The airports are equipped with modern facilities and amenities such as currency exchange, duty-free shopping, restaurants, and lounges.
Overall, flying to Malaysia is a convenient and efficient way to travel, with many airlines and airports providing excellent services to make your journey comfortable and enjoyable.
Once you are in the country you may like to take some internal flights to cut down your journey times. Air Asia is great for low-cost flights but there are a number of other cheap carriers in operation so it’s always worth checking in Skyscanner.
Flying with a baby is always something that people worry about, we have written posts with our top tips for getting through the flight. Don’t worry, the flights are never as bad as you think they will be.
Flying to Malaysia isn’t your only option, we actually came from Thailand by boat from Koh Lipe to Langkawi. There are also overland options from Thailand and Singapore.
How to Travel Around Malaysia with a Baby
Malaysia is a big country and distances between the main sights can be quite long. For this reason, you may want to consider taking some internal flights to cut down on the journey times with kids in tow.
We relied on a combination of public transport and taxis (via the Grab app) to get around Malaysia. We looked into renting a car and it seemed affordable but we didn’t actually try it.
Public transport in Malaysia is generally reliable, safe, and affordable. The major cities are well-connected by various modes of transportation, including buses, trains, and taxis. The most common form of public transportation in Malaysia is buses, which are operated by both government and private companies. They are usually air-conditioned, comfortable, and have regular schedules, making them a popular choice for locals and tourists alike.
Trains are also a popular mode of transportation, especially for longer distances. The intercity rail network in Malaysia connects major cities and towns, and is operated by Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM). The trains are comfortable and air-conditioned, making them a good option for those looking for a more relaxed way to travel.
The easiest way to arrange public transport is by using 12go.com which will show you all your travel options by ferry, bus, train, plane etc and which is cheapest, quickest and most recommended. It is great to have all this information in one place and makes travel between destinations so much easier.
Taxis are widely available in Malaysia, and are usually metered. However, it is always a good idea to negotiate the fare before starting the journey to avoid any surprises.
Ride-sharing services like Grab are also available in Malaysia and can be a cheaper and more convenient option, especially for short trips.
We use this amazing Mifold travel booster seat for our toddler and used it on our second long trip to South East Asia. It is a brilliant booster seat for traveling, it’s tiny so it doesn’t take up much space in your luggage, check out our review of using it in Thailand and Malaysia.
In addition to these modes of transportation, Malaysia also has a modern light rail transit system (LRT) in Kuala Lumpur and some other major cities. This makes it easy to get around the city without having to worry about traffic.
Overall, public transportation in Malaysia is a great way to get around the country. It is affordable, efficient, and offers a convenient way to explore the various cities and attractions.
Final Thoughts on Travelling to Malaysia with Baby or Toddler
We hope that you have enjoyed reading our guide to visiting Malaysia with a toddler or baby.
Malaysia is a fantastic destination for families with babies and toddlers. With its beautiful landscapes, exciting cities, and rich cultural heritage, Malaysia offers endless opportunities for family fun and adventure.
By following the tips we have shared, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip for you and your little ones. Whether you’re exploring the bustling streets of Kuala Lumpur, relaxing on a pristine beach, or immersing yourselves in the country’s diverse cultural experiences, Malaysia has something for everyone.
So pack your bags, grab your passports, and get ready for an unforgettable family vacation in Malaysia. We hope that our tips have been helpful and that your family has an amazing time making memories that will last a lifetime.