My husband and I just spent three days and four nights on the fabulous Caribbean island of St. John without our six-month-old baby. We stayed at the ultra-luxe Caneel Bay resort for a wedding while he stayed home in NYC with my parents.
The main reason why we didn’t bring him was because of the babysitting factor: we didn’t feel comfortable leaving such a young baby with a hotel-appointed babysitter we didn’t know while we attended the wedding festivities. Yet we still agonized over whether or not to bring the baby with us to St. John.
While we missed the baby terribly while we were away, it was clear that we made the right decision. Here’s why we’re glad we didn’t bring the baby with us on vacation:
1. The baby was happy, healthy and safe with my parents. I trust my parents 110%, but I was so worried that something would happen beyond their control. For example, what if the baby got sick from a germ he had encountered a few days before I left. Or some freak accident had occurred. Or the baby just missed us so much he would be miserable and crying constantly. But nope, everything went wonderfully and both he and my parents had a great 3 nights/4 days.
2. My parents were happy, healthy and safe with the baby. I was worried that the baby would completely exhaust my parents since he completely exhausts my husband and I on a regular basis. I always knew my parents were very hearty and energetic, but now I know that they are far more hearty and energetic than my husband and me. Forget that condescending saying: “I hope I have their energy when I’m their age.” No, I wish I had their energy right now!
3. St. John was way hotter and more humid than I had expected. Yes, I knew the Caribbean would be hot and humid in June. It’s the off season for a reason! The humidity was so intense that both of my cameras had problems with the lenses fogging up. I rarely burn, but I ended up with a very burnt back after applying (apparently not enough) SPF 50. This was no weather for a six-month-old; it was barely weather for a thirty-something-year-old. I would have insisted the baby hang out in the air-conditioned hotel room, and either I or my husband or both of us would have been stuck right there with him.
4. It’s also the Off TM season. The mosquitoes and no-see-ums (aka sand fleas or midges) were out in full force, especially in the shade and at night. I don’t really like bug spray, so it took quite a few bites before I used the complimentary bottle of Off that the hotel provided us. Noseeums are just the worst because those tiny red bites keep flaring up and itch for days. I’m sure the insects would have devoured our baby because he is just so sweet!
5. It was so nice to spend a few days alone with my husband. OK, we weren’t completely alone, as we were there to attend a destination wedding. But we got to spend more time alone in the four days/3 nights than we had in the past six months. Plus we were in the most beautiful setting. We were married for more than six years before we had the baby, and
6. St. John reminded my husband and I why we love to travel. The unspoiled beauty of St. John is reason enough to visit, but it’s the incredible off-shore snorkeling that truly sets it apart. On multiple occasions at Scott’s Beach at Caneel Bay, my husband and I swam with sea turtles, which was really neat. They were just swimming around, so we would follow them as long as we could.
Right now, we’re very focused on the day-to-day with the baby, and there are so many exciting moments as we see the world through the baby’s eyes (e.g. “The baby liked feeling the grass! He tried to pull some out of the ground! It was amazing!). But this trip reminded us how much we enjoy breaking free of our usual routines and experiencing things that amaze us, too, like sea turtles and starfish.