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noun [countable]

a special holiday taken by parents-to-be before their first baby is born


verb [intransitive]


noun [countable]

'Getting in one last jaunt for two before baby makes three has become a hot trend among expecting couples. It's been called a babymoon.'

ABC News 18th February 2006

'Babymooning seemed like a last chance for romance, to enjoy uninterrupted hours in art galleries, to linger over a foreign-brewed coffee, to see a movie, to finally read "A Tale of Two Cities".'

globeandmail.com 13th August 2005

'… babymooners are looking for special gifts and tokens that will remind them of their trip.'

Seattle Post Intelligencer 24th April 2006

You're a twosome about to become a threesome. Before the cycle of round-the-clock feeding and endless nappy changing begins, why not have a special holiday, your last chance to have a romantic, carefree, just-the-two-of-you vacation? There are so many expectant couples doing just this, that we now have a new term for it – the babymoon. Parents-to-be who love to travel, see a babymoon as the final opportunity to relax in far-flung locations before adjusting to the new reality of pushchairs, baby food and sleepless nights!

travel companies have seized on the babymoon concept as a marketing opportunity, putting together special packages for babymooners

In the past few years the babymoon has grown in popularity, partly because people are travelling further and more frequently, and also because it is now considered perfectly safe for pregnant women to fly up to their 36th week of pregnancy, providing there are no other complications. A very appealing prospect for mums-to-be, travel companies have seized on the babymoon concept as a marketing opportunity, putting together special packages for babymooners. These might include pamper sessions for the mother, special menus (anyone fancy pickles and ice cream?), cigars for Dad, and a babymoon suite with chocolates and … not champagne, but sparkling non-alcoholic cider. There are even special websites which have sprung up to meet the demand, like babymoonfinder.com.

Background – babymoon

The term babymoon is, of course, a blend of baby and honeymoon, a mid 16th-century compound word where honey referred to a marriage's 'sweetness' and moon to how long it would last, like the changing aspect of the moon. The expression babymoon was coined in the early 1990s by pregnancy and childbirth author Sheila Kitzinger, who described it as a calm, uninterrupted period of time needed by parents after the birth of a baby so that they could spend time bonding with their new arrival. However, Kitzinger's original meaning seems to have been eclipsed by the more recent 'last fling before the baby arrives' sense.

A related neologism is the term familymoon, which refers to a honeymoon where the bride and groom are accompanied by children from previous marriages or relationships.

You can read a longer version of this article called New words on vacation: holidays with a difference in the July 2006 edition of the award-winning MED Magazine.

by Kerry Maxwell, author of Brave New Words

This article was first published on 17th July 2006.

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

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