I am a Beaches Mom and received a discounted resort rate for the conference and vacation experience.
Beaches Resorts babysitting services offer fun and customized care for all children but are especially good for special needs families.
We are fairly seasoned when it comes to special needs family travel. I flew with my ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder kiddo at almost 4 to a Food Network event and we have been traveling with him ever since. We have found adaptations or work arounds for almost every aspect of traveling with a special needs kid except one- kids’ camps.
Like many special needs kids my son can have trouble in new situations especially when they are exciting or stimulating. He can have trouble learning new routines, stopping new things that are fun, or not getting too rambunctious socially. He’s in a regular first grade class at school and does pretty well but it takes time to adjust to a new routine and rules. Vacations are short and many kids camps and kids clubs are not equipped or trained to deal with a special needs child. I totally get that. There is often not enough time or staff to focus on one child when there is a problem so we often either don’t use the kids clubs at all on vacation or only use them for an hour or so to try to pick him up before there is a problem. I feel like this has him missing out on fun activities and experiences with other kids but let’s be honest it doesn’t give my husband and I a lot of down time on a vacation either. Beaches Resorts is the first destination I’ve visited that offers an answer to all of this.
Beaches Resorts Babysitting Services
I was honored to be selected as a Beaches Mom for the second time and knew this time I wanted to take the kids. I also had a moment of panic when I found out my husband was on a project and was not going to be able to take the time off work to come too. This meant I would be traveling solo to Beaches Resort Negril, Jamaica with a 4 year old and a special needs 6 year old and also depending solely on resort childcare while I was in conference sessions which I’ve never done. What put my mind at ease? Knowing that if my son had problems in the kids camp I could hire a one on one babysitter or nanny for a very reasonable rate using Beaches Resorts babysitting services. He has had babysitters before and does great with them!
We arrived at Beaches Negril the afternoon before the conference was to begin and got checked into the resort and filled out the paperwork to enroll them in kids camp. The resort is so kid focused and the staff is amazing with children I think my kids picked up on that right away so they held their new friend’s hand as she led us to our rooms and mom was left to trail behind. Haha!
There were no reservations needed so the next morning before conference sessions I dropped both kids off at Camp Sesame and went to the sessions for a few hours. I communicated with the staff about my son’s challenges and they assured me they had experience in special needs children. I was nervous but the kids were happy to be in camp and I knew if there were problems we could get the babysitter. The sessions lasted only until lunch and so I went to pick them up. The staff were very honest in answering my questions about how he did. He did not want to stop building sandcastles when it was time and he had become too rowdy with another little boy at one point. I know my child so I felt like this was accurate feedback. We discussed that he was more than able to participate in kids’ camp but they felt like an extra set of eyes and hands to focus solely on him and help him when needed would be best for everyone.
Enter vacation saver Claudia. She became my children’s babysitter for the remaining four days of the trip and became so much more to us in that short amount of time. The babysitting services are open to all children and I had a few other Beaches Moms friends with typical children use the service but here is why I think it is an especially good option for special needs families:
Flexibility With Beaches babysitting services, Claudia was able to give something that can go a long way to a special needs child like Ethan having a successful kids camp experience. Ethan was able to look at the planned activities on for the day on the handout available at the camp (He’s a little reader.) and discuss with Claudia and his sister what activities in camp they wanted to participate in with the rest of the kids and during the time that there were activities that didn’t appeal to them as much, Claudia was able to take them to the kids pool, the splash pad, for smoothies, or to the mini golf course. There are times a special needs kid like my son needs to learn to go with the flow and do what the group is doing but vacation is not one of them. By having the flexibility to do what both kids enjoyed my son was able to give his best self and enjoy both the camp activities and fun with his sister and Claudia.
Support Having a Beaches babysitter does not mean that kids can not participate in all the fun activities offered at Beaches amazing kids camps like Bird Watching with Big Bird and Baking Cookies with Cookie Monster. What it can mean for special needs kids is they have the helper in camp they need to redirect them if the situation calls for it, diffuse a situation, or just give them a few extra minutes on a task for a smoother transition as with my son and the sand castle building. This gives them the support they need without taking away from the staff and the group as a whole. My son had a similar helper his kindergarten year but has transitioned into first grade without one but settling into new situations like kids camp can go much smoother if a helper is available as Beaches offers.
Routine Many special needs kids thrive on routine and being out of their element even with something as fun as vacation can be stressful for them. We are fortunate that Ethan is fairly flexible and it’s okay if he doesn’t do the same thing at the same time every day but if a special needs kid does better with a set routine Beaches babysitting services can accommodate that. The kids camp does not do the same thing every day. There is a wide variety of fun activities and most kids do well with this but if a child isn’t one of them Beaches babysitters can work with the parents on a routine for the child and they can do that routine each day instead of going to camp. Some special needs children also do not do well in noisy situations. Ethan needs his headphones at times, but if a child is especially sensitive to noisy busy situations the Beaches Resorts babysitting services is a great option for the child to be well cared for, have fun in an environment that works for them and for parents to still get respite.
Inclusion As a special needs mom one of the things I want most for my son is for him to be able to have the same experiences as other children and be a part of the group and included with them whatever the situation may be. As I mentioned on most other vacations, we have not been able to fully experience that with other kids clubs. If I didn’t feel the place had the proper set up or training we didn’t go to the kids club at all or there were a few I took a chance on but only for a short amount of time. It’s not just that as parents we would enjoy a quiet date night dinner or afternoon by the pool without looking out for the kids. The kids clubs often do really fun things that I know my son would enjoy and even if his social skills can be a little behind his peers, he loves other children and it made me sad that he was missing out on those things. Claudia and Beaches Resorts babysitting services let him experience that.
If you’re wondering if your children will be in good hands with Beaches Resorts babysitting services I can point you to the fact that these nannies are certified and have over 2000 hours of training but let me share this with you too. On our last night we went to say goodbye to sweet Claudia and we walked into the camp and she was making these for the kids. Jamaican friendship bracelets. She told the kids to wear them and think of her until they can come back to Beaches and play with her again. She cared for and loved on my children as if they were her own family.
Cue the ugly cry for all of us including Claudia and we exchanged email addresses. Beaches resorts babysitting services gave this special needs family something no other vacation has given us. Claudia gave us memories to last a lifetime and a friend in Jamaica we won’t forget. Beaches Resorts babysitting services is wonderful for all children, but fellow special needs mamas, I can vouch for that they “get” us and our kids so don’t hesitate to use them on your next Beaches Resorts stay.