Whether you’re expecting your first baby (or your second or third) your life is about to be flipped upside down — in a good way! You and your partner are preparing to tag-team diaper duties, late-night feedings, and maybe day care drop-offs.
So between the excitement and nervousness of a new arrival — and mentally preparing for the chaos soon to occur — a pre-baby vacation (aka babymoon) might be just what the doctor ordered.
Never heard of a babymoon? Here’s what you need to know about enjoying a little bit of calmness before the birth of a new baby.
A babymoon is similar to a honeymoon, in that it’s a celebratory vacation. But instead of spending alone time with your spouse after getting married, you’re enjoying quality time together before the birth of a new baby. This trend has grown in popularity. Because let’s be honest, once a baby arrives, there are often few opportunities to enjoy a getaway.
The months following the birth of a new baby are a roller coaster. The point of a babymoon is to enjoy one last hurrah or adventure before giving birth.
Some couples plan a babymoon before the birth of their first child, to have one last vacation as a couple. But, of course, there’s no rule that says you can “only” take a babymoon with your first baby — or only if you’re part of a couple. You can do it for each pregnancy, or totally on your own, if you like.
You can plan a week’s vacation or go shorter with a weekend getaway. Or if you don’t feel like traveling far, plan a staycation at home. The idea is to enjoy a romantic, relaxing time with your partner, or a refreshing, fulfilling moment alone, no matter where you are.
There are no hard and fast rules regarding when to take a babymoon. Truthfully, you can plan this trip or time whenever you want, even in your third trimester. However, you also want to enjoy your babymoon, so in some ways, timing is everything.
For the most memorable experience, try to plan a babymoon when you feel your best, which for many women is during their second trimester. Morning sickness can be a beast during the first trimester, and the last thing you want is to spend a vacation sick.
It’s also a good idea to plan a babymoon before the third trimester, when you’re likely to feel more tired and uncomfortable. Plus, there’s always the risk of an early delivery or restricted travel, which can throw a wrench in any third-trimester vacation plans.
The good thing about a babymoon is that the trip can be simple or elaborate. Maybe you and your partner have always talked about going to Europe. You might feel that it’s now or never.
For most expecting parents it’s perfectly okay to visit another country while pregnant, just be prepared and make sure you consult your doctor first to get advice on how to stay healthy.
Depending on your health and whether you have a high-risk pregnancy, your doctor might recommend staying closer to home.
If you’re thinking about an international trip, ask your doctor about how to prepare for long flights and whether it’s safe to travel to certain parts of the world — before making your reservations. You’ll want to avoid any country with a Zika virus outbreak. This is a mosquito-borne virus, and if contracted while pregnant, your baby could be born with developmental delays and abnormalities in head structure.
The Zika virus has been reported in many countries throughout the world, including the United States. Before making travel plans, check with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure there isn’t a current Zika outbreak in the country you’re interested in visiting.
Also, avoid traveling to areas where there’s a high risk of malaria. Getting malaria while pregnant can result in miscarriage, premature birth, and even stillbirth. Malaria is a life-threatening disease that spreads via an infected mosquito. Malaria mosquitoes can be found in many parts of the world, including Brazil, Cameroon, Haiti, Honduras, and other countries.
If you’re concerned about getting sick or other complications while away, look into a staycation instead. Book a hotel room near your home and be a tourist in your own city. Do you live near a beach town? If so, see if you can get a room with an ocean view. Or, reserve a spot at a local bed and breakfast or resort.
Getting a hotel near home might be cheaper than traveling to another area. Staying close to home means you don’t have to worry about airfare, car rental, and other expenses.
Even cheaper? Staying at home. The key is to make it special, so instead of taking on your usual chores at home, take steps to make your own room vacation worthy. Toss a chocolate on your pillow, lounge around in your robe, and let your calls go to voicemail.
Staycations are a huge money saver, allowing you to prepare financially for your new arrival, yet still enjoy quality time with your partner.
Not to put a negative light on having a baby, but once your bundle of joy arrives, it might be a while before you’re able to spend quality alone time with your partner again. And let’s be honest, the cost of a new baby can eat into your disposable income, making it harder to plan getaways — hence the importance of a babymoon.
This is an excellent time to not only reconnect with your partner, but also clear your mind and relax. Use this time to focus on each other without work or other distractions.
If you’re entering parenthood on your own, there are going to be serious demands on you when your baby arrives. This is a great opportunity to celebrate the new adventures on the way while taking care of yourself and your own needs — an important skill for new mothers.
There’s no right or wrong way to enjoy a babymoon. To reiterate, some couples keep it simple and play tourist in their own town. In all likelihood, there are several attractions within an hour’s drive of your home that you can explore.
- Check out a state park and enjoy an easy nature trail.
- Visit a museum or gallery.
- Rent a cabin at a lake.
- Get a couple’s massage.
- Make reservations at a restaurant you’ve heard good things about, or discover the charm of a nearby city.
Whatever you do, though, make sure there’s an opportunity to relax. If you’re planning a staycation because you’re more comfortable in your own space, find ways to enjoy a relaxing, romantic time at home.
- Lie around with the remote control or a good book.
- Binge watch a new series.
- Go over baby names with your partner.
- Shop for baby gear.
- Decorate your nursery.
- Cook and meal prep if you’re getting closer to your due date.
- Get a jump-start on babyproofing your house.
There isn’t a wrong way to babymoon. It’s about finding the right option for you.
Once you’re committed to a babymoon, here are a few tips to make traveling while pregnant a fun experience.
- If you’re traveling by air, book a nonstop flight and consider destinations with short flight times. Pregnancy can be uncomfortable and exhausting, especially in later months, so the less time you spend in the air, the better.
- If you’re traveling domestically, check your health insurance to see what sort of out-of-state coverage you have. It wouldn’t hurt to find out where the nearest urgent care or hospital is at your destination and if there are any in-network providers — just in case you encounter any emergencies.
- If you’re traveling abroad, your health insurance might not provide coverage outside the United States. So consider purchasing travel insurance, in case you have to see a doctor while in a foreign country.
- Take it easy. Spread out major activities over several days, and schedule frequent breaks to avoid exhaustion.
- Be realistic about your budget. Understandably, you want to have a great time, but this probably isn’t the best time to rack up debt. Plan a babymoon that you can afford.
A babymoon is an excellent time for expecting parents to reconnect and relax before a new baby arrives. So whether you’re able to get away for a few days or longer, check your budget to see what kind pre-baby vacation happen before your due date.