What you should look for
Since it’s less common for Mom to stay at home past maternity leave, Dad is more likely to co-parent alongside her to ensure that everyone is happy and healthy. That means gone are the days of simply handing dad a drink and a cigar once the baby is born.
Needless to say, Dad, too, wants to be prepared and make sure everything is ready when the baby comes.
That’s not to say he won’t be the guy you can laugh with and join for the occasional beer or cocktail. However, becoming a dad is serious business. As humorous as they are, ag gifts may not be the ideal choice for a new dad, as they’re likely to end up as clutter and in the trash: cheesy baby shower outfits, silly baby shower decorations, or any cheap novelty item that comes to mind. He’s likely just as excited and nervous as Mom to meet their new bundle of joy, and support from his friends will go a long way.
The top 7 best gifts for dads
And here are some ideas of thoughtful childbirth gifts for Dad.
1. His own diaper bag
- Overview: This tote’s unique buckle design lets parents hang it from a stroller and wear it over their shoulders. Thoughtful storage options inside and out allow for packing and finding everything that a baby needs super convenient. The Herschel Strand Tote Sprout also includes a portable diaper mat that’s easy to wipe and take on the go.
- Price: $109.99
- Where to buy it: You can order it directly from Herschel’s website in a variety of colors.
- Why we love it: Dad will likely want to carry different items than Mom while he’s out with the baby. While this bag is perfect for any parent, it’s also likely that someone will gift Mom a bag that suits her style, and Dad may want one more akin to his. Herschel’s bags are practical and come in various colors and patterns to match either or both parents.
2. Functional baby carrier
- Overview: Once a parent can no longer get away with carrying their baby in a newborn carrier or wrap, the Ergobaby is the perfect solution for infants between 12 and 45 pounds. This carrier encourages curiosity but also accommodates naps, with four ways to babywear. It provides wearers lumbar support and is machine washable when needed.
- Price: $139.00
- Where to buy it: Check out Ergobaby’s website to find this carrier in various colors.
- Why we love it: This gift will keep Dad’s hands-free, so he can easily take Baby with him on the go, whether he’s shopping or doing chores around the house. Babies require a lot of holding, and juggling them with one hand may not be the safest or the most practical. Even if Dad is hanging out with friends, he can keep the baby close.
3. Custom gift basket
- Overview: Pick up a laundry basket and fill it with items for the baby to help limit Dad’s trips to the store after it’s born, such as diapers, wipes, soaps, powder, moisturizer, and other small things that will come in handy like cleaning and baby-friendly laundry supplies. Remember to include some pick-me-ups for Dad, like some of his favorite drinks, snacks, or self-care items. With the amount of laundry that will need cleaning, he’ll be glad to own another basket.
- Price: For the basket, a Rubbermaid Hip Hugger goes for around $30. The total price of the basket filled with gifts will depend on the goodies you decide to include. Pro tip: Skip the decorative plastic wraps, bows, and cards and use the money you save to add another valuable item to the basket.
- Where to buy it: You can view a list of retailers for the basket here. As for the baby items and small gifts for Dad, you can order them right to your door with Gopuff.
- Why we love it: We love it because it’s completely custom, and it’s adjustable based on your budget. Typically when you buy a pre-made gift basket, the gifts are more general, and some may go unused. This way, you’re not paying for an impractical basket and decorations, and you know the dad-to-be will use every gift. Creating your own gives you the chance to make so
4. Frozen meals
- Overview: Help Dad stock his freezer with frozen meals like the ones made by Stouffer’s. They offer comfort food dishes like macaroni and cheese, lasagna, chicken pot pie, and more veggie-forward options like power bowls, all of which are delectable. Most importantly, they’re quick and easy to prepare in the oven or microwave.
- Price: $4.49-$7.49
- Where to buy it: Order them right to your door with Gopuff.
- Why we love it: Spending time in the kitchen may be tricky as Mom and Dad get used to caring for their bundle of joy. On top of that, takeout adds up quickly. With these frozen meals on hand, Dad can conveniently handle dinner without the fuss of cooking something from scratch.
5. Gift cards
- Overview: While it may seem impersonal to some, gift cards are one of the best gifts. Perhaps you know nothing about babies or everything else on the expectant couple's wish list is covered. Get him a gift card, and he'll be thankful. The top ideas for a new dad are cards for a drugstore, department store, takeout, or groceries.
- Price: Varies depending on your budget.
- Where to buy it: Be it a store or a restaurant, retailers usually sell gift cards directly on their websites. You may also be able to find a display in your local drug, department, or grocery store. With Gopuff, you can purchase a digital gift card so that the dad-to-be can order baby items or groceries right to his door. Additionally, you can skip putting this gift in a greeting card and use a children's book in its place.
6. Portable diaper changing pad
- Overview: This compact mat offers a clean surface for Dad to change his baby, with convenient storage options. It’s easily stored in a diaper bag, stroller, or hung from a stroller. It’s a breeze to clean and padded for comfort.
- Price: $34.99
- Where to buy it: This change mat is available in many colors on Herschel’s website.
- Why we like it: Unfortunately, you’re less likely to find a changing table in a men’s room than you are in a ladies room, and not all buildings offer a family restroom. Sometimes, Dad needs to find a space on the bathroom floor or his car to swap diapers. A change mat gives him a clean, padded surface to set the baby down and everything he needs is in reach.
- Overview: Of course, the dad-to-be may enjoy reading his baby some classics like “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See?,” “Goodnight Moon,” and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” But he’ll likely get a kick out of popular entertainer Jimmy Fallon’s book, “Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada.” It features animals who try to show their young how to say “dada,” and in turn, he’ll be teaching his little one to say it, too.
- Price: $7.99
- Where to buy it: You can get it from Barnes and Noble.
- Why we like it: It’s a whole lot of fun for both Dad and baby. The super-expressive cartoon animals are likely to get some laughs too.
Show your support
Choosing the right gift for a dad-to-be is a lot easier than you may think. Anything you can do to help make things easier for him is going to be greatly appreciated. Additionally, a thoughtful pick-me-up just for him could go a long way.
Keep in mind that when purchasing diapers, plenty of folks will gift new parents newborn sizes, but babies only need those for three to five weeks. If you want to be super helpful, grab some of the following sizes up, too - here’s an article about diaper sizes if you’re feeling lost.