A babymoon is the perfect way to relax and reconnect with your partner before having to tackle sleepless nights, diaper changes and bottles. While there is no one right way to babymoon, there are some things every mom-to-be should consider when planning a pre-baby getaway. Read on for tips on how to choose when and where to go and what to pack. Can’t travel? We have you covered with great ideas for babymoon staycations.

photo: iStock

1. Choose the Right Time
Timing is key when it comes to planning a fun and relaxing babymoon. Most obstetricians think the best time to travel is between 14 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. This is the ideal time to plan a babymoon because the fatigue and nausea of the first trimester will have passed but the discomfort many moms-to-be experience in the third trimester will not have set in yet. Added bonus: Planning a trip for the second trimester will also give you something to look forward to when you're struggling through the worst of those early pregnancy symptoms. 

2. Find the Perfect Destination
With months of sleepless nights ahead, you'll want a destination that offers plenty of opportunities to relax. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has plenty of advice about how to stay safe on cruise ships, airplanes and during international travel, so nearly everything is on the table for expectant moms. If you have any concerns about your health and your baby's, select a destination that is not more than a few hours from your doctor or a large hospital capable of handling pregnancy complications. Consider your pregnancy symptoms as well. Even if you loved cruising before becoming pregnant, if you tend to get nauseated on the water, you may want to avoid any activity that could cause sea sickness.

3. Set Your Budget
Babies are expensive! Before getting carried away with your vacation, think about how much you can realistically spend. If the answer you come up with is "not a lot," don't worry. You can have an amazing babymoon on a budget. Consider a babymoon staycation! Look for mid-week hotel specials in your town or find a spa that gives prenatal massages and book a couple's day there. Or, look to nearby towns that are an easy drive from where you live to keep costs down. If you already have a lot of baby necessities from an older sibling or can snag hand-me-downs, consider asking family and friends for donations toward a babymoon rather than creating a baby registry. Instead of receiving baby gear you don't need, you can request gift certificates for dinner at a restaurant on the beach, a night at a hotel or a prenatal massage in the on-site spa.

4. Get Your Doctor's Okay
Before any babymoon plans are booked, check with your OB or midwife to make sure your trip is medically approved. Then schedule a pre-trip checkup to make sure you and the baby are in good health before jetting off. Since this appointment will be close to your departure date, most of your vacation plans will be set. That means it's a good opportunity to ask any questions you have about your destination, such as whether certain local foods are safe to eat or how to avoid Zika virus. Get the okay for any location-specific activities, like rock climbing or long hikes. This appointment is also a good time to ask travel-related questions, such as how often you should get up to walk during a flight or where to place your seatbelt for a long car ride. Pro tip: Some airlines and cruise ships have restrictions on when pregnant women can travel, so you can ask your doctor for a letter confirming your week of pregnancy at this appointment. 

photo: iStock

5. Pack Wisely
Stick to the essentials when packing so you won't have a mountain of laundry to do when you get home. You also want to be comfortable and cute! A babymoon is the perfect opportunity to refresh your wardrobe and get some basics to take you through the rest of your pregnancy and postpartum. A cute pair of Allbirds slip-ons will help ensure you are able to walk around in comfort on your babymoon. As a bonus, you will have a great pair of shoes you can put on hands-free once your bebe arrives. You can also justify picking up some new clothes to fit your growing belly, like a lounge dress or stretchy leggings from KyteBaby.

6. Plan Some Quality Couples Time
A babymoon is a great chance to strengthen your relationship with your partner. Remember what brought you together and enjoy each other's company as a couple before life changes. Take some time to talk about what you are looking forward to and what you are worrying about. If you need some ideas, The Adventure Challenge: Couples Edition is a fun scratch-off book full of ideas to make sure you don't always have the same old date night while on your babymoon.  

7. Babymoon at Home
Whether you have to stay close to home because you are on bed rest or because every extra penny is going to the baby, you can still have a great at-home babymoon. Treat your babymoon at home the same as you would if you were going out of town. Set an out-of-office auto-response for email and turn your ringer off. Plan to spend a long weekend (or more) doing nothing but pampering yourself, hanging with your main squeeze, eating all your favorite foods and binge-watching whatever you like. A long bath with candles and a weekend of lounging around can do wonders to help you reset and get ready for the next phase of pregnancy—and your baby!

—Jamie Davis Smith

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