Traveling with tiny tots can be exciting... and exhausting. While an essential part of your vacation might be spending quality time with your significant other or relaxing with a good book on the beach, these simple luxuries can be impossible with little ones in tow. Luckily, many resorts make this fantasy a reality, offering personal nannies, nanny services or childcare programs specifically geared for babies. Many resorts also offer special amenities for infants, such as baby necessities or after-hour babysitting services. Read on to see our top picks for resort nannies and infant amenities.
1. Franklyn D. Resort, Jamaica
Frankyln D. Resort in Jamaica rises above the others for one clear reason: Each family receives a complimentary, personal "Vacation Nanny" for the entire length of their stay. These nannies have the best training--they are mothers themselves--and they are professionally trained and CPR-certified. Many guests readily trust them and include them in family activities. Nannies can accompany you on excursions or babysit the kids anywhere on the intimate resort, including the beach. Nannies typically work from 9 a.m. to 4:40 p.m., providing all manner of help from diaper changes to babysitting. After hours, families can hire their nanny for evening childcare at only $7 per hour. It doesn't hurt that the FDR is an all-inclusive property, covering everything from meals to beverages (including alcohol) to airport transfers.
2. Club Med Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic's Club Med Punta Cana welcomes all children, especially infants and toddlers. The resort offers a program called Baby Club Med for children between four and 23 months. Babies receive a personal welcome and gift package at check-in, and after a family breakfast together, they enjoy activities and meals at the nursery. You'll also find special baby amenities in your room, such as baby beds, baths, changing tables, high chairs, bottle warmers and strollers. A 24-hour Baby Feeding Room is also available to families, with mixers, sterilizers, a microwave and a refrigerator. For dinner, families can eat at the Baby Corner, which offers meals for both parents and infants in a calm, casual atmosphere. For after-hours babysitting services, a list of local babysitters is provided. Baby Club Med is available for an extra fee.
3. Tyler Place, Vermont
Tyler Place in Vermont is a great resort for infants, offering programs for babies from newborn to 30 months. Caregivers and Parents' Helpers support families and help kids experience indoor and outdoor activities. Morning and evening programs for little ones, from newborn to 12 months, 12 to 18 months and 18 to 30 months, take place at the Infant Center. This center is chock-full of music, singing, dancing, storytelling, puppets, tumbling mats and coloring. The fun continues outside with strolls around the resort, playing imaginary games with water cans, pots and cardboard boxes. During most summer weeks, families are provided with a Parents' Helper for the duration of their stay. Parents' Helpers are trained in basic First Aid, safety procedures and child development issues, and assist on a one-on-one basis with in-room babysitting and companionship, so parents can enjoy an evening out.
4. Cotton Bay Village, St. Lucia
Set on a St. Lucia beach, Cotton Bay provides Montessori-certified nannies for two hours a day -- free! Additional nanny services are available upon request for an extra charge. The Hummingbird Kids' Club is also open daily for children ages six months to three years. Summer activities are planned in their "Going Bananas Fun" program. Family packages are typically offered, allowing children to eat for free, and providing educational tours to area attractions. One of the nicest draws of Cotton Bay is its luxurious villas, complete with separate rooms for parents and children, not to mention living rooms, dining rooms and kitchens. Private butlers are even available (for a fee).
5. Almond Casuarina Beach Resort, Barbados
At Almond Casuarina, a full-service nursery is open from morning to late afternoon daily. Nannies care for newborns and babies up to 23 months at the nursery. Planned activities, both indoor and outside, are designed for infants and toddlers. Be sure to bring your own baby formula and diapers, as they are not provided. Evening babysitting is also available after 5 p.m. through a local service for a fee. Another plus: Two-bedroom Family Suites are available, offering two adjoining rooms with an interconnecting door for both privacy and worry-free separation. These accommodations are reserved for families with at least two children.
6. Carlisle Bay, Antigua
Carlisle Bay is a Caribbean sister resort to the well-known One Aldwych luxury resort in London. The resort offers a daycare program for kids ages six months to three years. The childcare takes place in a kids' center with a shaded terrace, jungle gym, sandpit, paddling pool and peaceful gardens. Professional nannies watch and play with children from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and after lunch from 1:15 to 4:15 p.m. Typical activities include finger painting, water play, treasure hunts and beach games. Because babies require more personalized attention than older children, babysitting rates are $15 per hour in the daycare program, and also for evening one-on-one babysitting. Families with children under age 5 stay in one-bedroom Beach Terrace Suites on the shoreline. Fruit is often delivered to guests' rooms and 24-hour room service is available. An onsite library has a nice collection for family story time.
7. Windjammer Landing, St. Lucia
Another winner in St. Lucia, Windjammer Landing has a handful of nannies on staff, all of whom are certified in Early Childhood Development, First Aid and CPR. These nannies have children of their own, so they know all the ins and outs of parenting on a personal basis. It's necessary to make reservations for a nanny at the front desk. Nanny services are available for $7 per hour. Windjammer's property includes two children's pools and a playground. Luxury villas offer sumptuous accommodations, many with private pools and terraces on the flowering hillside by Labrelotte Bay. Two of the five onsite restaurants offer healthy, kid-friendly options.
Also see our 9 Best Resorts for Toddlers article. For more tips on traveling with young children, read our Traveling with Infants article, or share with others in our Traveling with Infants and Toddlers forum. Not quite what you're looking for? Try a cruise! Disney Cruise Line and Norwegian Epic Cruise both offer nanny services.