Pregnancy is a time filled with joy and endless love. However, one thing it’s not, typically, is very relaxing. While your body is busy growing a tiny human, there’s no doubt you are carefully preparing everything for their arrival, connecting with family, and organizing your home.
On top of all of that human-growing and nesting, you have to keep up with the demands of your everyday life, work and responsibilities. A joyful time in life for sure, but today I want to encourage you to find time to relax, connect with your partner, and be present with your unborn baby.
Let’s talk babymoons.
What is a babymoon?
Great question! A more recent trend, a babymoon is a play on “honeymoon”. It is a trip you take with your partner before baby arrives. A babymoon can be taken at any point while pregnant, and can come in variety of lengths and destinations.
The idea is that you and your partner getaway from the stresses of life and preparing for baby, enjoy a child-free, adult vacation, and spend time being present with each other before the birth.
5 Reasons to plan a babymoon before birth
1. Connect with your partner
One of the most important things you can do before your baby comes is make sure your relationship is well-prepared. Parenting is a team sport after all, so communication and respect are going to be more important than ever. A babymoon offers such a perfect opportunity to really connect and work on this.
2. De-stress and relax
Planning and preparing for your baby’s arrival is a lot of work! From setting up the nursery, to making sure your home is totally ready for bringing baby home, on top of everyday responsibilities, it is a busy time.
Taking the time to get away from your own house will help you recharge, not feel pressured to always be preparing, and to get some much needed sleep and downtime.
3. Because travel is going to change. A lot.
If you are a first-time mom, I highly recommend taking a babymoon simply because you can! Traveling with a baby, then toddler, and kids, is completely different. Rewarding in its own way of course, but relaxing? Hardly.
If you aren’t a first time mom, I still recommend doing this. If you are fortunate enough to have a trusted loved one who can take care of your other kids for even one night, it will be so rejuvenating to be away, as an adult, with just your partner. If not, bring your other kids along. Trina did a mini-babymoon with her toddler and loved having a chance to be really present and connect with L before baby arrives. Just being out of your own home will still feel relaxing.
4. A time to reflect
With the business of life responsibilities, planning your baby shower, and doing all of the other necessary preparations before baby, it can be hard to find time to really focus on this amazing thing your body is doing.
Getting away for even a short time is a great change to reflect on how you are feeling about birth, how you can prepare for birth, and what your thoughts are on this coming change in identity to mother.
5. Beginning of family memories
Patrick and I took a short babymoon up to Maine a few weeks before N arrived, and the whole time we acted like N was on her first family vacation. I love all of the pictures we took and the way it gave us a chance to get super excited about her arrival together. Think of your babymoon as your first family vacation and let those family memories begin now.
When to go on a babymoon?
There’s really no right or wrong answer to this question, but you should be strategic about it. The second trimester is a wonderful time for a babymoon because for most women it is a time in pregnancy with the least uncomfortable symptoms and most energy. You will also have a cute bump to show-off in all of your trip photos.
The third trimester could also be a good time to go if you are planning a very relaxing babymoon. Just don’t plan it for too late, because after about 35 weeks, you really shouldn’t go on an airplane. As your pregnancy progresses sitting in a car for too long will also get more and more uncomfortable.
The turning point from second to third trimester feels like a sweet spot to me. But then again, I did mine at about 36 weeks and had a great time.
Decide on the ‘feel’ you want your Babymoon to have
In other words, are you looking for an adventure? Do you want to experience a lot of new food and culture? Are you thinking of incorporating nature and outdoor experiences, or maybe you just want to lay on a beach and be waited on? It’s totally up to you!
Some Babymoon ideas by theme
Nature and Adventure
If you are the active, adventurous type, plan a babymoon in your second trimester when you are feeling good. As long as you were also active before you were pregnant, and your provider has no concerns, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy some hiking and adventuring while pregnant.
Consider paddle boarding, hiking, yoga and destinations with beautiful walking trails for you and your partner to enjoy.
Like I mentioned above, a babymoon is the perfect opportunity to really connect with your husband. Are you looking to up the romance factor? Choose a luxurious hotel with a well-reviewed spa that does prenatal massages. Usually, you can do a couples massage when pregnant if you just make special arrangements ahead of time. You’ll also want to check proximity to nice restaurants, or that the hotel or resort has good eating options too.
Culture and Food
Once you have kids, going out to eat and exploring shops and museums just isn’t the same. If you’re looking for culture and good food, consider spending your babymoon in a never-visited city or country. Get a hotel or to save some money, rent an AirBnb in a trendy part of the city where you’ll be able to easily get to awesome restaurants, parks and museums. Enjoy leisurely exploring a new place. Just be sure to pack comfy shoes!
Maybe you want to have a babymoon where you literally don’t have to lift a finger. And I definitely don’t blame you! For this, I recommend a resort where everything is taken care of and you don’t have to leave the grounds. Relaxation awaits you.
What better chance to go to a dream destination then for your babymoon? Have somewhere you’re dying to go? Let that be the inspiration for your babymoon and plan from there.
How far do you want to travel for your babymoon?
Once you’ve decide on the ‘feel’ you’re looking for in your babymoon, you’re ready to nail down a place. Your next question is budget and how you want to travel. Are you looking for something driving distance or is a plane ride something you are open to? How much time can you take off work or were you envisioning your trip to be?
Make sure your destination is pregnancy safe
Next, as you continue planning, make sure you choose a destination that is safe to travel to during pregnancy. According to the CDC, there have been no reported cases of mosquito-transferred Zika virus in the continental US, so you are safe to travel anywhere domestic.
World-wide you do need to be more careful. Parts of Africa, Southeast Asia, The Caribbean, Central America, South America and Mexico have had reported cases. Always check with your provider first before booking a trip, and don’t take any unnecessary risks while pregnant.
Find more information about Zika and pregnancy from the CDC by heading here.
Look into resorts and destinations with babymoon packages
One way to take all of the guesswork out of planning the ultimate babymoon is by choosing a destination that offers babymoon packages. More and more places are starting to offer these, and I can’t wait to book on for my next pregnancy. You also aren’t limited to giant resorts, even smaller bed and breakfast-type places are getting in on the babymoon packages.
Of course, choosing what activities to do on your babymoon will depend on the feel you are looking for and the destination you choose. No matter what you decide on, plan for lots of one on one time with your partner. Try to use your babymoon as a chance to disconnect from the stresses of life and technology. Being present will change forever once baby comes.
Some activities that will work in a variety of destinations:
Leisurely walk in nature
No matter what destination you decide on, you can undoubtedly find a great spot for a walk. I find walking with my husband to be a time when we have our most connective and meaningful conversations. Somehow the rhythm of walking and not having to make eye contact takes the pressure off and allows us to really open up.
Even on a budget, I recommend finding a nice restaurant for at least one night of your babymoon. Go somewhere you would never imagine bringing your kids. Indulge in a slow and drawn out meal.
Prenatal Yoga Class
Often, you can find prenatal yoga classes at any studio in any city. Consider taking one on your babymoon and having your partner come along. I have found supportive partners to always be welcome.
Local craft or other fair
See what local events are going on in the destination you choose. Take it at your own pace and enjoy what the locals have to offer.
See a live performance
Get tickets to a show or concert and place your babymoon around that. Patrick and I went to two different concerts while I was pregnant. I will never forget the way N danced around in my belly during the Jerry Garcia tribute concert we attended. It was hilarious.
If you can find a spa that does prenatal massages, you can most definitely arrange a couples massage that includes a prenatal massage for you. Just be sure to schedule this ahead of time.
Book a Photoshoot
What better place for a maternity photoshoot than your babymoon destination! Looking to save money? Do it yourself and find inspiration by following us on Pinterest.
Babymoon ideas on a budget
Being pregnant definitely makes you more aware of spending and saving. In fact, it’s a great time to start budgeting if you haven’t. You might also want to start learning ways that staying home with your baby might be possible if you can make a little extra money at home.
But all of that is to say, I know that splurging on a fancy babymoon might not be in the cards. But that doesn’t mean you can’t plan a special time to connect with your partner!
No reason to travel by airplane if you don’t want to. Find a cute town within an hour of your home and book an Airbnb or hotel there. You’ll enjoy a shorter travel time and save money on gas. Just being away from your own home, even for a night or two will feel so refreshing.
I’m a big fan of the staycation. Being a tourist in your own area is a ton of fun! Schedule time off work, say no to big projects and stresses. Prep for your staycation by having the house clean and organized. Pre-prep food or take the money you saved by staying home and spend it on take out or eating out to avoid having to clean.
Plan some fun activities or places to check out in your area. Have some special expecting date nights in your own hometown. Most of all bond with each other and get excited about baby.
Other Budget Babymoon Tips
- Utilize Groupon for booking your hotel, choosing restaurants, spa packages and more
- Plan early in your pregnancy to score deals
- Or book at the very last minute, while risking unavailability, this is also when deals show up
- Travel during off-peak seasons, or mid-week
- Book an Airbnb and skip eating out completely. This will save room in your budget for activities and spa visits. Instead, cook in your rental and make a fun event out of planning dinner and cooking together each night.
- Or pack lunches and eat breakfast at your rental each day and only splurge on one or two dinners
- Book a hotel that includes breakfast
Babymoon Travel Tips
What to pack
I know you want to look cute on your babymoon and show off the bump. But please prioritize comfort, especially if you are opting for a babymoon that involves more exploring. I lived in my BOBS while pregnant. Great arch support and a wide shoe with a cute look were perfect while pregnant.
How to stay comfortable flying
Stay hydrated! I know that whenever I fly, pregnant or not, I get super de-hydrated. Embrace the fact that you are going to have to pee a lot and over compensate. You will feel so much better and energized by upping your water intake while traveling.
Book an aisle seat if possible. You will need to take walking and stretching breaks about every hour while flying. It’s also likely that you will need to take some additional trips to the bathroom. Having the aisle seat will make getting up a lot less of a hassle.
See if you can board early or upgrade to priority seating. Many airlines don’t explicitly state special arrangements for pregnant passengers, but if you say something at the desk when you arrive at your gate I’m willing to bet some perks are coming your way.
They may be able to change your seat if there is availability, you can board early to ensure overhead storage space and room to navigate the tiny plane, and some extra waters and snacks 🙂
Road trips while pregnant
At a certain point in pregnancy, sitting in a car for long periods just isn’t going to be comfortable. So if a road trip is on your bucket list, I recommend the second trimester. I did a super fun road trip on the California coast at about 25 weeks pregnant. Other than needing more bathroom stops than I would have normally taken, it was a great getaway.
Keep your provider in the loop
Before any travel, at any point in pregnancy it is best to check in with your provider. They will be able to give you tips and advice for staying comfortable. But they will also be able to talk you through when to call and what to do if anything happens. You just never know what can happen in pregnancy, so it’s always best to communicate changes to your normal routine.
Don’t over-plan and take breaks
With all of that baby-growing happening, you will get more tired than usual, no matter your point in pregnancy. Don’t plan too many big outings and make sure to have a good mix of more active events and down-time. Take naps and be sure to put your feet up to avoid swelling.
Ask for help
Of course your partner will be there to help you day-to-day, but in general during your babymoon play the pregnancy card! Seriously. I’m not one who wants extra attention all the time but this is your big trip and you should be comfortable.
Don’t be shy about asking for a seat on the train instead of standing, seeing if airlines can make extra accommodations or if you can get a table a little sooner at that crowded restaurant. I actually just read an Instagram post about someone who was traveling in Italy for her babymoon. She got to skip all of the lines everywhere she went to tour. Pretty sweet if you ask me.
Stop day-dreaming and start planning that babymoon
No matter your time frame or budget, you should definitely find some time in your pregnancy for a babymoon. You will be able to take a break from the craziness and planning involved in pregnancy and connect with your partner.
To help alleviate the stress of baby prep and put your mind at ease so that you can actually enjoy the babymoon, check out our Nesting Planner. You’ll know everything possible is being taken care of and allow yourself to completely relax when you get away.
So where are you thinking of heading for your babymoon? Leave a comment below, I love to hear from readers 🙂
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Alli Wittbold is a wife, mama, blogger, and online teacher. She feels passionate about connecting expectant mothers with childbirth class educators, and supporting them to achieve the birth they desire. After having her first baby delivered by a Certified Nurse Midwife, Alli is an advocate for midwifery prenatal care. She has learned so much about labor and delivery by attending and reviewing dozens of birth classes to help mothers learn and explore options. Alli co-authored the Week-by-Week Bump Smart Course, the Nesting Planner and the Breastfeeding Handbook, resources she is proud to share with as many expectant and new mothers as possible. Read more about Alli.