The calm before the labour
ALONG with the Bugaboo, roll-over feed and organic baby clothes, pregnancy is a continual birthplace for new trends. The latest? The babymoon. Just like a honeymoon, the babymoon is all about escaping the day-to-day, fleeing the nest for a lastchance romantic getaway before you’re overtaken with a need to alphabetise the pantry.
Babymoons took off in the US a few years ago and have grown to become a pre-stork must-do. A survey in 2006 by Liberty Travel, and reported by USA Today , notes that 59 per cent of new parents have babymooned.
Australia is following this trend, largely thanks to our own baby boom. With almost 270,000 babies born in Australia last year, hotels and resorts are quickly adding pregnancy comforts to their indulgence menus.
If a honeymoon is for making babies, the babymoon is for making Mummy and Daddy remember just how much they enjoyed their honeymoon: important ballast for when they find themselves playing Baby Chicken at 3am, nine months later (a game that requires each parent to outlast the other in pretending they are asleep while baby cries, forcing the other to get up).
Romance may be your motivation for taking a babymoon, but more realistically for those with a sore back and swollen feet and ankles, your babymoon could well be all about ordering room service and having a good lie down.
That said, once you’ve eaten most of what’s available on the room-service menu for lunch and had a nap, you may be up for a spa treatment or seven. Most five-star hotels, such as the Observatory in Sydney, Grand Hyatt Melbourne and the Sheraton Noosa, cater for mums-to-be with specialised prenatal spa treatments.
As you would when booking an adventure holiday in Kakadu or a cooking school in Tuscany, you need to pick the right place for a babymoon, making sure it offers all those little extras such as a pillow menu, king-sized bed, spa and (perhaps) close proximity to your maternity hospital.
Usually booked for the third trimester, babymoons can also be taken just after baby has been born, but that requires a whole different checklist.
Babymoon escapes are available at Peppers Guest House in the NSW Hunter Valley, which has midweek and weekend babymoon indulgence packages; both include French champagne, dinner for two at Robert’s restaurant and a one-hour massage or facial at the Endota spa for both Mum and Dad. www.peppers.com.au.
Palazzo Versace on the Gold Coast offers a babymoon deal (valid to September 30) that includes buffet breakfast for two, rejuvenating pedi-spa, two picks from the in-room dining ‘‘ cravings menu’’ and access to Salus per Aquum spa. Baby treats include a Versace Baby Rose soap, Palazzo Versace bathrobe, baby towel and Palazzo Versace teddy bear. www.palazzoversace.com.au.
Sofitel MyBed means you can forget bedspreads and blankets; here we have a feathered cocoon that offers a plush hotel sleep. MyBed means a lot more than just a mattress on a box spring; its secret is an extra layer of comfort (a feathered sink-into topper rests on the mattress under the fitted sheet). Sofitel is also rolling out an updated version, the Paris MyBed, made from natural materials, at its Australian properties, starting with the upgraded Sofitel Wentworth Sydney in September. www.sofitelsydney.com.au. Sarah Bryden-Brown is the editor of www.kidspot.com.au. Her family memoir DadandMe (HarperCollins, $24.95) has just been released.