Father’s Day is a time to honor, admire, and praise the men in our lives who have served as fathers – whether by birth or choice. While it’s easy to wear a nametag that reads “Dad,” it’s not always so easy to live up to the title. As author Kent Nerburn said, “It is much easier to become a father than to be one.”
And for many, this Father’s Day is extra special. Some men, like my own sweet husband, are celebrating Father’s Day for the very first time as a new or expectant dad. Whether there is a baby to snuggle with, or one growing safely in Mom’s tummy, a first-time Father’s Day is meant to be celebrated. If you’re looking to surprise your first-timer with a memorable gift, take a look at the ideas below!
For the Techie: Durable Smartphone Case
If the new dad wasn’t careful with his phone before baby arrived, he’s going to need a wake-up call. From dirt to mashed up green beans, plenty of substances will end up all over dad – and his belongings. Plus, a shiny phone makes a great target for little hands to accidentally drop. Investing in a durable smartphone case can help save expensive devices from damage. And, in the rare event you don’t already have a Netflix subscription, this could be the gift of all gifts. During those sleepless nights, Netflix or Hulu can offer a much needed binge-watching getaway.
For the Traveler: His Own Diaper Bag
Is your man embarrassed to be seen carrying your frilly, flowery, chevron, designer diaper bag? Chances are, he wants to help carry some of the load. He just doesn’t want to turn so many heads doing it. Make him feel more comfortable by gifting him his very own man bag. Backpacks and messenger bags are a good choice since they’re both functional and easy to carry. With a little searching, you can even find ones to fit the hobbies, sports team, or movies the new father loves.
For the Cuddler: Baby Carrier
Sure, you love your Moby Wrap. You’ve got the art of keeping your new baby snuggly secured down to a science. But, your other half may not be so lucky. Wraps can be intimidating and not as convenient for a new dad to use, so you may consider giving him a baby carrier of his own. A hands-free carrier that allows him to strap his new favorite toy (a.k.a. your baby) to his back or chest can make any new dad feel like a superhero. Yes, he may look like that character out of The Hangover, but that only makes it even cooler for him.
For the Hipster: Mustache Pacifier
This may seem like a present better suited for your new baby rather than the new dad, but the smile on your significant other’s face when he sees this gift in action will prove otherwise. Perfect for the dad who appreciates the finer things in life, mustache pacifiers make a statement while also looking pretty darn cute. You can find your very own mini-staches (in cowboy, gentleman, or ladies man styles) at Mustachifier.com. This gift is guaranteed to get some laughs!
For the Reader: Books
Children’s books are great gifts because they allow the new dad to read to his child. If you know his favorite childhood books, you can even search for them on sites like eBay or Amazon. Guide books for new fathers are also great ideas. Because, let’s face it, babies don’t come with instructions. Consider Dad’s Playbook: Wisdom for Father’s From the Greatest Coaches of All Time or Pacify Me: A Handbook for the Freaked-Out New Dad. If the baby isn’t here yet, you can pick up the book your man has been wanting for the hospital stay.
For the Adventurist: Road Map Shirt
If the new dad in your life wants to take hands-on parenting to the extreme, look into getting him this fun children’s activity he can actually wear. A shirt designed to look like a road map on the back, this gift doubles as a way to declare his fatherhood to the world as well as a distraction to keep his little one entertained. All it takes is dad laying down (bonus if he can sneak a nap in) for this easy playtime to begin. You can find the car play mat shirt on Etsy.
For the Gentleman: Matching Outfits
If you’re crafty, you won’t have to look far for this unique gift. A plain infant onesie with an eye-catching, fun bow tie for baby can be perfectly paired with a neck tie made from matching fabric for dad. This simple addition to both guys’ wardrobes can instantly turn Father’s Day into a formal affair. If you’d rather not try your hand at sewing, don’t worry – you can find the gift online too. Just search for artisan or craft shops online, or beg a crafty friend to help you.
For the Sentimentalist: Custom Photobook
If the new dad in your life enjoys a stroll down memory lane, you can head over to sites like Shutterfly to create your very own photo book. You can choose the size and finish of the book and load up as many photos as you’d like. If your baby is already here, consider a book full of the first pictures of baby and dad. Or, if you’re still waiting to hold your little one, try documenting all of the baby preparations or bump pictures you’ve taken on the journey to parenthood.
For the Handyman: Daddy Tool Belt
With a new baby around, his time in the garage or backyard may be limited. Help the new father who’s pining for manual labor by packing a tool belt with daddy essentials. Consider adding diapers, burp cloths, small toys, pacifiers, and wipes to the belt. For a humorous touch, add safety goggles, tongs, and a breathing mask for those especially painful diaper changes. If you’re feeling crafty, try embellishing the belt with patches, pins, or paint. This makes a great gift for daddies-to-be at baby showers, or as a present to bring to the hospital after delivery.
Of course, there’s no greater gift than the new baby. But, you can make a first-time Father’s Day even more memorable with these fun surprises. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there – especially those, like my husband Byron, who are experiencing this holiday in a whole new way.