Traveling with a toddler can be both a pleasure and a pain. (C'mon, admit it -- tantrums, nap schedules, spills and messes resulting in multiple clothing changes.) But some resorts are making it easier to travel with a toddler with amenities like babysitting, childcare, kids' group programs and toddler-specific room amenities. Here's a list of our top resorts for infants and toddlers.

Written by Whitney Rife
Proving that the state of Vermont is a good look for families, another toddler-friendly resort has made our list. Smuggler's Notch's Treasures All-Day Childcare caters to young children from 6 weeks to 7 years old. The daily program is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with lunches included in the package. Kids are split into three groups by age: 6 weeks to 16 months; 17 months to 3 years; and 3 to 7 years. Toddler's age 3 and up have a separate kids' program that offers more active pastimes. At Discovery Dynamos children spend time building sandcastles, catching bugs, doing crafts and splashing in the kiddie pool. Each day, the activities center on a theme, making it easy for kids' to get excited. Story time and snack time are standard each day. A kids' lunch program is available for a small fee. As the program is very active, it's a good idea to send a water bottle, a swimsuit and a towel with your child. Hourly babysitting is also offered between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. for $15 per hour up to 3 hours. Full day rates are also available. It's necessary to make advanced reservations for one-on-one babysitting.

Read our review of the Smuggler's Notch Resort.

Loews Coronado Bay plans a variety of free family activities, built for kids and parents to spend time together, such as Family Bingo, marshmallow roasts and educational classes where kids learn how to do things like cook. Kids also receive a variety of gifts ranging from free song downloads to small toys. They're also given a scavenger map which earns them a special treat if completed! Toddlers can attend the Kids' Club that caters to children starting at age 4 with one counselor for every four kids. The program runs GPS scavenger hunts, giant bubble-making, rocket experiments and Harry Potter magic trick shows. In the summer, the club schedules beach time and pool games in one of the three pools on the property. Half-day sessions are from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m.

Keeping with the theme of family togetherness, Loews offers parent-child playgrounds where parents accompany kids to playgroups. These groups are broken into age groups of 6 to 18 months and 19 to 36 months. Kids' dress up in castle-themed fairytales, take infant movement sessions or pick from a large number of baby toys.

Read our review of the Loews Coronado Bay Resort.

If your children like the Flintstones, Melia Puerto Vallarta is the place to stay. Everything "kids" has a Flintstones theme at the resort. Baby Rock Club is for young children ages 4 months to 4 years. The childcare center displays Flintstones wall paintings of dinosaurs, cave lairs and favorite characters on the show. Childcare specialists watch over children at the club, planning group games and organizing naptime. Families can also request babysitters for private services (surcharge). Outside, a large onsite pool has a shallow kids' section where pool games, inner tubes and laughing children are frequently witnessed.

Read our review of the Melia Puerto Vallarta Resort.

Young children are treated like royalty at Crown Paradise. The Baby Paradise Program is offered for children from 18 months to 3 years. The program is as good as its name suggests offering infants balanced time of playing and napping throughout the day. A colorful children's center has many games, toys, and child-sized mats and tables. Staff members spend one-on-one time with children, assuring that your little one receives personalized attention. The evening presents nightly theme shows from 9 to 10 p.m. for kids, featuring their favorite characters: Barney, The Little Mermaid and Shrek. The property also has a pool and a water park area where young kids can splash and play. Even better, for every paid adult, one kid under 12 stays free.

Read our review of the Crown Paradise Resort.

Great childcare can also be found closer to home at The Breakers in Palm Beach. At this resort, a children's camp caters to toddlers ages 3 to 5. Kids are far from neglected, as the camp has one counselor for every five children. Club activities include group games, playground time and plenty of new toys to try out. Full- and half-day options are available between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. A toddler's playroom showcases dolls, stuffed animals, blocks, toy trucks, train sets and books. Sometimes it's hard to leave our kids, in fact, most of the time it is! Glass windows allow parents to gaze on as their kids play at the Italian Restaurant. Deemed "Monitored Free Play," families can take advantage of this program any time between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Kids from age 3 and up can have an evening dinner with their new friends, followed by indoor and outdoor activities like turtle walks, sports, shell collecting and lawn games. The Coconut Crew Night Camp is nightly from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. It is mandatory that kids be potty-trained. Want to develop a future tennis star? Enroll kids as young as age 6 in The Breakers' Tennis Academy. Offered during the summer months, the Junior Tennis Camp uses lower nets and softer balls to allow young kids more control.

Private babysitting services are available 24 hours a day for kids of all ages. Babysitters are experienced with infants and toddlers. The Breakers recommends booking a babysitter in advance at least 24 hours.

Read our review of The Breakers Palm Beach.

Much further north, the beautiful island of Martha's Vineyard hosts the family-friendly Winnetu Oceanside Resort. A complimentary children's program starts for toddlers as young as 3 years old from 9 a.m. to noon. The program employs one counselor for every five children. Counselors take kids to the beach, to visit working farms or to the pond in search of turtles. Katama Farm Institute plans a day of hay rides, meeting animals and farm fun for kids. At Winnetu, fun activities are offered each day, like tie dye painting or scavenger hunts.

A Parent/Toddler Activity program is offered during the summer for infants and pre-schoolers. The free club gives parents and kids access to the play room, chock-full of toys and games for you to enjoy together. Make sure to sign up at the front desk for this program. A baby pool is onsite and dive-in movies are provided. In the morning, Monday through Friday, between 8 and 8:50 a.m., toddlers can also take a Pee-Wee Tennis Clinic.

Read our review of Winnetu Oceanside Resort.

At Tyler Place, there are -- count them -- nine programs for children from 2.5 years and up, and additional morning and full-time childcare services for infants to younger toddlers. Groups are split by ages of only one year difference, negating the discomfort of a 3-year-old trying to play amid 10-year-olds present at some other resorts. Toddlers can participate in programs for 2.5 to 3 or 4 to 5 year olds. The small groups also allow for a more personalize experience. A play center in McGlynn Cottage is chock-full of kids' toys, book, games and play equipment, and Parents' Helpers are available from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the evenings for additional babysitting at the Playhouse. Parents' Helpers are also available to work in the morning from 8:30 a.m. to noon and again during standard evening hours. Families pay Parents' Helpers directly, negotiating a rate between $7.75 and $10.50 per hour. In the summertime, when signed up for the Morning Program, evening Parents' Helpers are covered by the resort.

Read our review of the Tyler Place Family Resort.

With children's programs that start kids at only 4 months old, the Club Med Sandpiper is a winner for families with small children. Petit Club Med operates for kids between 2 and 3 years old, providing outdoor walks, stimulating play and creative activities. Outside, kids can play in an onsite water park or playground. Zumbatomic lessons are provided for kids' ages 4 and up. Mini Club talent shows are often put on and an arts studio is open all day. A toddler club room features toys, mats and art tables. Naps and quiet time are in the program, too. Afternoon snacks and full, balanced lunches are also provided. After feeding the kids, parents can drop them off at the evening program starting at 6 p.m. Parents can have a romantic dinner while kids get together for a quiet evening to wind down. Late-night childcare is also provided for kids at the Pyjamas Club.

Read our review of the Club Med Sandpiper Bay.

Just east of Ocho Rios, Beaches Ocho Rios Resort offers families a camp for toddlers up to age 5. Certified nannies run this camp, open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., offering supervised games, pool time, shell collecting, facepainting, treasure hunts and costume parties. This isn't your average kids' camp with games and crafts. Children watch magic and puppet shows. The only requirement is that kids be potty-trained. Themed activities are also put on by the characters of Sesame Street. Kids are tucked in by Abby Cadabby, read stories by Elmo, eat cookies with Cookie Monster or dancing with Zoe. Character breakfasts, parades and stage shows are entertain children in the evenings.

Read our review of the Beaches Ocho Rios Resort.

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9 Best Resorts for Toddlers
Smugglers' Notch Reviews
4EqltyMom - Aug 25th, 2011

I read about Smuggler's Notch extensively online before booking our vacation. We had 3 14yo boys we were traveling with, so it was really important they stay occupied and engaged. All of the reviews and information I read claimed Smuggs to be the #1 ... read more
preisig - Nov 4th, 2009

This is our 2nd summer taking a vacation at Smuggs. We love the fact that the kids camp is included in the price. Our kids loved the camp and we parents loved having time to ourselves to explore the area. The pools are amazing. After camp we ... read more
Smugglers' Notch reviews
Loews Coronado Bay Resort Reviews
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Melia Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive Beach Resort Reviews
adriennea - May 1st, 2011

Our 2nd stay at the Melia Puerto Vallarta. family of 5 (3 kids), loved it once again. The entertainment people were lots of fun. lots to do for all ages. Grounds were well kept, and hotel was in good shape. Nice that a family of 5 can stay in ... read more
lyeagher - May 27th, 2010

We went on a trip last March just after I was diagnosed with cancer. We were hesitant to go on our trip because we were not sure we would be able to focus on having a good time. We were so glad we did go because the resort was fantastic and the kids ... read more
Melia Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive Beach Resort reviews
Crown Paradise Club Cancun Reviews
mjl - Apr 30th, 2013

The water slides are awesome for the kids!! There is a kids club with a small water park for the younger kids and an indoor pool for when it is too hot outside. The infinity pool outside is also awesome. The location is close to everything we ... read more
johnsang16 - Apr 18th, 2013

This all-inclusive resort is high on value. We traveled in January 2013 for a 7-night trip with 2 adults and 2 children (ages 4 ½ and 6 ½). Upon arrival, we were greeted with beer in the lobby while we waited to check in. ... read more
Crown Paradise Club Cancun reviews
The Breakers Palm Beach Reviews
cardbucfan - Sep 30th, 2009

Overall: We go to the Breakers in Palm Beach every summer and it gets better each year! The staff is excellent and I feel they go out of their way to make certain we are having a good time. My kids are too old for the organized kids program but we ... read more
The Breakers Palm Beach reviews
Winnetu Oceanside Resort Reviews
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The Tyler Place Family Resort Reviews
mowright71 - Jun 11th, 2013

Our favorite family vacation (and we've taken several great family trips too) was Tyler Place in upstate Vermont. I've recommended this all-inclusive family vacation to several friends and co-workers and we are planning on going back in 2014. Kids ... read more
kjchronister - Jul 1st, 2012

Everything you've read is true... and then some. This is by order of magnitude the best vacation and favorite place of ours ever. The staff - amazing. The food - amazing. The activities - amazing. The accomodations - amazing. I have never, ever, ... read more
The Tyler Place Family Resort reviews
Club Med Sandpiper Bay Reviews
dwo1023 - Sep 8th, 2011

Our positive experience started with our warm and welcoming arrival. Greeters with cool menthol wipes and ice water welcomed our four families. The check in process was organized and pleasant. We were assigned a GO that was available to us for ... read more
Club Med Sandpiper Bay reviews
Beaches Ochos Rios Resort & Golf Club Reviews
MrsStremdog06 - Sep 27th, 2012

Arrived August 26, 2012, carseat for child was broken and filthy. Keep in mind 1.45 hour drive to hotel. Room was not what we paid for, food was horrible at all 5 eateries. Construction going on everyday. Because the day we left September 1, ... read more
alicat - Aug 6th, 2012

I know there was some recent construction but this is the kind of review I was looking for to confirm my choice, I hate that those had to be so negative, but like my title, this is not the Ritz, it is a great family resort with a private small beach ... read more
Beaches Ochos Rios Resort & Golf Club reviews


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