11 Tips to Plan the Perfect Babymoon
If It's your last chance to get away before your newborn arrives. Here's how to arrange a fun babymoon, sans stress.
Whether it's a week in the faraway tropics or a local trip reached by car, planning a babymoon is one of the latest trends in pregnancy. But what is a babymoon exactly? It's a chance for parents to get away and reconnect as a couple before the baby's arrival. "This getaway represents quiet time for adults to rest, relax and rejuvenate before those big life changes that parenthood brings," explains Kyle McCarthy, the cofounder and editor of Family Travel Forum.
As you go about planning one, decide what appeals to you both. Do you want to lounge on the beach and sway in hammocks? Or would you rather hike a wooded trail and read novels? "You can easily find packages on the sites of many small luxury hotels and high-end B&Bs," says McCarthy. But before you go, a word of caution: "Some airlines may restrict air travel during the last month of pregnancy," says Kate Connor, a spokesperson for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
The best time to travel is usually in the middle of pregnancy, between 14 and 28 weeks, as most common complications occur during the first and third trimesters.
To get you started, here are 11 tips for planning the perfect babymoon:
- Check With Your Doctor
Every pregnancy is different, so ask your OB/GYN for her advice when it comes to travel while expecting. What worked for your sister or your best friend may not necessarily apply to your pregnancy.
- Ask About International Travel
The ACOG recommends that if you plan to leave the country for your trip, speak with your physician and check the latest alerts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You may need an extra vaccination for some areas and should avoid countries where there's a risk of malaria.
- Choose the Best Seat
If you're in a plane, try to get a spot on the aisle so you can get up and stretch your legs. The same goes for a car ride -- factor in time to stop along the way so you can get out and take a short stroll.
- Add It Up
"Packages with cute names may not save you any money over the regular full price," points out McCarthy. Make sure that bundled amenities really are a deal. Otherwise, you might be better off booking rooms and services separately.
- Take It Slow
A babymoon probably isn't the time for mountain biking or other strenuous physical activity. Be smart by pacing yourself and building in lots of downtime to nap and read.
- Plan For Everything
Try not to worry in advance, but be prepared for any kind of pregnancy complication by obtaining the name and number of a local OB/GYN. You'll have peace of mind just knowing you can call someone if you have a concern.
- Be Comfortable
Cute vacation clothes are a must, but skip high heels this time (pack flats and sneakers). You also may want to tote along your own body pillow for extra support in the hotel bed.
- Visit the Spa
A massage is just what the doctor ordered! Enjoy a couples' treatment if you can, but check to see that your technician is trained in prenatal massage.
- Eat Right
Don't shun your locale's special cuisine, but do stick to your healthy eating plan. Also, be aware of any advisories regarding mercury levels when it comes to consuming local fish.
- Consider the Packages
Compare offerings as you shop around. Some places offer pickles and ice cream as room service treats, while others include a baby onesie with the hotel's name on it, says McCarthy.
- Document the Journey
Make a photo album or digital slide show of your getaway as a keepsake and to show your baby when she's older.
Don't forget to enjoy this last gasp of freedom before your baby arrives. A babymoon strengthens your bond as a couple and will help prepare you for the adventures of parenthood.
And if you are in need of a house sitter while you vacation, be sure to check out Care.com's list of providers near you.
Jennifer Kelly Geddes is a New York-based writer and editor who specializes in parenting, health and child development. She's a frequent contributor to Care.com and the mom of two teen girls.