Gift ideas for a dad-to-be
December 12, 2017 5:57 PM   Subscribe

I'm currently pregnant and I'd like to get my husband something for Christmas to celebrate becoming a dad. He's super enthusiastic about Project Baby, but he has almost no experience with actual babies. I think it would be nice to give him something that is either instructive (a book?) or some kind of baby gear he can look forward to using. I'm also pretty new to baby stuff, so I don't have the best sense of what would be helpful myself.
posted by bookish to Shopping (15 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
"The Baby Owner's Manual: Operating Instructions, Trouble-Shooting Tips, and Advice on First-Year Maintenance" is well done and amusing.

I also loved "The Happiest Baby On The Block" by Dr. Karp; it gave me as a new dad the confidence to get our kids to sleep.

Hardware wise, the two items I think most fondly of are our temporal thermometer, and our baby diaper bag. Both have been handy and useful.
posted by nickggully at 6:03 PM on December 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

Some lovely books that feature a child and their father. My partner does books every night and he loves it.

Maybe a masculine sling? So many can be very girly but babies love being close to dad as well as mum.
posted by kadia_a at 6:10 PM on December 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

A diaper bag that suits your husband's style. Mr. Disaster rocks an L.L. Bean day hiking pack; other dad friends of mine have used nice messenger bags or Diaper Dudes. Stick in a travel changing pad, travel wipes, a cute toy, and a board book or two ("Just Like Daddy" or something in that vein).
posted by ann_disaster at 6:17 PM on December 12, 2017

Bluetooth headphones! Chores, work, exercise, watching TV on your phone while holding a half asleep baby- it's all easier when you're not getting tangled up in wires.
posted by noloveforned at 6:18 PM on December 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Start a library. With both of my kids, I'm the one who reads to them each night. Well, not the 14 year old anymore, but I still read to my 8 year old. It's always been father-son time (and possibly mom-gets-a-break time). So a few starter books (Boynton's great for this, but there have been lots of recommendation threads) could start that tradition for you.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 6:36 PM on December 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

Maybe a onesie or something for the baby with his favorite team or thing he is into.
posted by k8t at 6:48 PM on December 12, 2017

I love the book The Science of Parenting! It tells you all about what's happening in your baby's lil brain at different ages. It is an excellent guide to early development.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 7:32 PM on December 12, 2017

Etsy has adorable matching father/child tee-shirt-and-onesie combos. Really fun and original.

For the practical/useful side of things, the sling is a great idea (with a gift receipt, in case the fit isn't right).
posted by onecircleaday at 8:27 PM on December 12, 2017

Every parent ought to have Penelope Leach on hand, in my opinion.
posted by maniabug at 10:22 PM on December 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

An Ergo carrier is gender neutral in appearance and has been a great way for my husband to bond with the baby.
posted by jojobobo at 11:26 PM on December 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

I second Happiest Baby On The Block. Part of the appeal is that it is about one specific parenting technique that you can master and that really seems to work for most babies.

If you get him any one book about general parenting techniques, I would encourage you to get him several such books. If you read only one parenting book, you risk believing that it's gospel. If you read several, you start to realize that there are a few universal truths, and everything else is just stuff that worked for one author's particular family.
posted by yankeefog at 4:19 AM on December 13, 2017

We realy enjoyed the Mother's Almanac and the Father's Almanac. Out-of-print, so used only. The local Red Cross should have Baby 1st Aid/ CP classes, good idea.
posted by theora55 at 5:14 AM on December 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Happiest Baby on the Block is a good recommendation; as a new dad I didn't have much experience around babies, and being able to competently swaddle and diaper change (and earn kudos from the attending nurse on my technique) was a big confidence-booster on Day 1.

If he likes having hard facts about things, we got a lot of use out of the APA's book Caring for your Infant and Young Child. We took to calling it "Dr. Book" because we saw it as an authoritative answer to questions like "how high of a fever is too high?" or "should we worry about lots of hiccups?" It saved us a lot of crazymaking internet searches.

On the diaper bag front, we use this thing all the time; it effectively turns any bag into a diaper bag, so dad can use his current backpack/messenger bag/etc.

I also enjoyed having a carrier, since it allowed for close baby/dad time.
posted by craven_morhead at 7:58 AM on December 13, 2017

We got a DadGear diaper bag because my husband is fussy about bags, and it saw the two of us admirably through two kids over 6 years before the interior lining began to disintegrate. Little features like the easy to access wipe dispenser, diaper sized interior pockets, and waterproof bottle pockets made it worth having a dedicated diaper bag rather than repurposing an existing bag.

Ergo carrier is not terribly useful until around 6 months old but it is a rock star for the three years after that. Agreed that it's pretty gender neutral and a great dad gift.

Also, when I was pregnant, before we were convinced we would make it through the dreaded first trimester, we bought one little onesie and bib set (on a hanger). We sat it on the couch, and occasionally moved it to various funny places in the living room. And whenever one of us traveled, we'd take the bib. It was a fun little shared joke, and our son wore it home from the hospital.

Finally, this is maybe way over the top, but since my husband and I were trying for baby #1 for a long time before it actually happened, I sewed a tiny little uniform for my husband's martial art, and presented it to him when I told him I was pregnant. He appreciated that very much. So, if your husband has some sort of hobby, perhaps you could present him with an amusingly tiny piece of gear.
posted by telepanda at 8:24 AM on December 13, 2017

Baby Owner's Manual (which is both adorable and useful!) and a dad diaper bag, which you can stock with some necessities in the travel toiletries aisle at Target (Tide stain pen, diaper rash cream, sunblock, small first aid kit, vaseline, wipes, tissues, etc.).

My favorite baby book that isn't an instruction manual is The Philosophical Baby, which is about advances in neuroscience and how it helps us answer philosophical questions like "how do we learn things?" and "how do we discover truth?" and "what is consciousness?" and "what is love?" and so on. It's an awesome book for the thinking parent, full of interesting ideas to chew on intellectually but also specific things you can observe your actual child doing. ("Ah, that's lantern-mind!" we say all the time in my house.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:19 PM on December 13, 2017

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