When it comes to gifts for expecting couples, dads-to-be are usually either a) an afterthought or b) forgotten entirely. And we’re not saying they should be first in line, not by a long shot. But, a first Father’s Day is a great time to show some appreciation for a new dad. And what if you were able to show up at a baby shower with a new dad gift for the expecting dad that was both cool and supported him as he began his journey to being an awesome & involved dad?
Now there’s someone to think about.
And, if you’re looking for that perfect Christmas, Hanukkah, or holiday gift for the new dad in your life, you’ve come to the right spot.
But what do you get the guy who’s about to have endless love for and from a bundle of joy, but with a whole lot less time and vanishing amounts of sleep?
There’s nothing quite like the journey of becoming a new dad. It’s exciting, scary, wonderful, terrifying… You get the gist.
And you know what doesn’t help? Gifts that don’t actually do anything. You know what does? Actually useful stuff that an expecting father can use to learn, feel useful, and get support in his journey.
That’s what this guide is about. If you have a new dad in your life, consider one of these gifts before the big day hits, or shortly after for his first Father’s Day as a dad. Each category below is full of helpful, unique, and all-around cool gifts for expectant and new dads.
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New dad gift category 1: Useful baby gear
It’s impossible to start a guide on new dad gifts without considering useful baby gear. Who doesn’t want to feel like MacGyver when the little one has a sneezy nose? Oh yes, we’re going there.
Stuff in this section can be particularly useful for fathers to be who are going to be first time dads.
None of the below options is exclusively for dads. We’ve picked each item because they’re fun, techy, and just a good fit for someone who wants to be helpful in any way possible during those first few months and years.
Nanit Pro baby monitor
Baby monitors are, in many ways, the perfect dad gear. That’s because, as every new dad will likely find out, most of them are terrible. With this gift, you can help the dad to be in your life feel useful in more ways than one.
This is their chance to make an impact. The Nanit Pro comes with clear HD vision and sound, along with in-depth analytics and tips on how to improve baby’s sleep. And let’s face it: gadgets are just cool gifts for expectant dads. Talk about a way for dad to feel useful even as they get to play with a new tech toy.
Shop Nanit Pro, our top baby monitor pick.
An awesome dad bag
Guys love bags. But maybe not that polka dot diaper bag you got for your baby shower. Getting a dad bag as a new dad gift is a great way to give him something that will inspire him to get the little one out of the house and on an adventure … whether that adventure is to the store, the park, or climbing a peak.
One more important thing … notice we said dad bag, not diaper bag. The difference? Diaper bags are built to only be useful during the diapering stage. They might have a built-in changing pad or wipes pocket that makes them kinda useless after, or they may be not be built to last. A great dad bag, on the other hand, is versatile and durable enough to last for years. How do we know all this? Well, after years of using diaper bags ourselves, we decided to build our own. The Fathercraft Bag combines all our learnings to build the bag dad will be excited to use for years and years.
Stuffy noses suck, and they suck even more when they prevent your baby from sleeping. Their little cries sound heartbreaking, and they just won’t stay asleep. Enter the NoseFrida, both the grossest and maybe most ingenious gift in this guide.
What’s a NoseFrida, you ask? Great question. It’s a suction-based bogie-removing tube. That suction comes from your own mouth. But here’s the thing: it works beautifully. The satisfaction of getting those boogers out and the extra sleep you get make you get over that grossness really quickly.
Baby Brezza Formula Pro
If the future dad’s baby will be formula-fed, he’ll probably be involved in feeding it almost from the moment it’s born. That means not just those cuddly moments, but also the responsibility of mixing the formula. Covered in powder and water that’s just a bit too hot, they’ll soon be itching for a better process. There has to be a better way!
There is, and it’s called the Formula Pro. We’ve called it the Keurig of formula bottles, and there really isn’t a better way to describe it. Instead of waiting for what seems like an eternity of making that bottle, you simply fill up the water reservoir and formula container and make the bottle in 30 seconds or less. Works wonders.
The Colugo baby carrier
You can’t just leave babies for a bit while you get some stuff done around the house. Sometimes you just want to have your arms free. That’s why baby carriers are a must for any new family, and a great way for dad to get involved. But you have to get the right one.
We love the Colugo carrier because it’s extremely easy to operate, and actually looks pretty good in the process. It also has pockets so that when you go to the store or work on those dishes, you always have a bottle, wipes, hand sanitizer, and other must-haves closeby.
Gifts for expecting dads Category 2: Helping a new dad with that sleeping baby
Sometimes, mom just wants to sleep. Other times, dad does too. What good is the advice to sleep when the baby sleeps when that just never seems to happen? Items that help baby (and, by extension, the parents) sleep tend to make for great new dad gifts.
It’s a robotic bassinet that automatically rocks your baby to sleep. It’s designed for those first six months that tend to be especially tough. Tech, plus the added contribution of helping baby sleep–what could be better for first-time dads?
According to its designers, the Snoo increases your baby’s sleep by 1-2 hours every night. It’s a bit expensive, but those extra hours of sleep will become absolutely priceless once the joys of fatherhood start.
Baby experts tell you to swaddle your baby. Anyone who’s tried it will realize it’s just about as easy as becoming an origami master. Good luck. But what if the dad to be in your life doesn’t have to even try, and still get a good, tight wrap on the baby?
With a sleep sack, you can get the same effects as swaddling without all the wrapping. Our favorite is the Sleepea, made by the same company as the Snoo. Try to buy a couple for the inevitable dirtiness. An added benefit: you won’t have to worry about even trying to give your baby a blanket (a big no-no) because a sleep sack will keep her nice and warm.
5s’s Happiest Baby on the Block streaming video
Dr. Harvey Karp is an expert that just keeps being proven right when it comes to sleeping babies. This video, available in streaming form (or, DVDs, if you still know what those are) on the Happiest Baby website, teaches the new dad (and mom) crucial tricks about getting and keeping the baby calm.
It’s one of those videos that seems both obvious and incredibly helpful. There is no magic formula–just valuable information that will be useful for all of the baby’s first few months of inevitable sleeplessness.
Baby shower gifts for dad category 3: Books that help with fatherhood
Any list of dad to be gifts has to include a category on books. That’s no different here, but these options are something special. They’re among the best books for new dads because they’re helpful, different, and sometimes just fun. You can find our full list of the best books for expecting dads here.
Caring for Your Baby and Young Child by the American Academy of Pediatrics
It’s close to impossible to find a new family advice book as comprehensive as this one. In just under 1,000 pages, the AAP goes through just about every possible scenario, every little ailment, and every question expecting parents might have.
The book is not written specifically for dads, but it’s a great option to read through together before and during those hectic first few months. It’s as good as and typically better than Google because you know you can trust the information here.
Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood by Michael Lewis
The future dad in your life might already know books and movies like Moneyball and The Big Short. What if we told you that the same author, Michael Lewis, also wrote a seminal book on advice for new parents?
Okay, maybe it’s not quite that. Lewis never pretends to write an encyclopedia like the AAP has. Instead, this is a first-hand account of the chaos of new dad hood, full of honesty and humor. If nothing else, it’s incredibly comforting to know that the craziness with a baby in your life is perfectly normal
Cribsheet by Emily Oyster
Is your gift recipient into sports analytics? Or do they just like to play with some data? Maybe they aren’t afraid to challenge conventional wisdom. In each of these cases, Cribsheet is the perfect answer. It’s full of data, but it manages to make that data fun and approachable.
Most importantly, though, the book is full of great writing. Oyster manages to combine writing and data into a book that takes a closer look at conventional wisdom and confirms or debunks everything a new dad might hear from others. Before you know it, the future dad will quote studies and evidence non-stop.
The Going-to-Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
Sometimes, the best father to be gifts are actually for their little ones. With this book, Boynton manages to write a few boards full of content that’s as fun to hear for dads as it is for their little ones.
As its name suggests, this is a book about animals going to bed. But it’s also about subtle puns, clean adult humor, and just plain silliness. How would you like giggling along with your baby and toddler as you read it? That’s what this board book does.
Category 4: Fun and funny Father’s Day, and baby shower & gifts for dads
We’ve covered books, sleep, and baby gear. All those typical soon to be dad gifts make sense, but what if you want to go outside the box? We can almost guarantee that you’ll be the only one thinking of some of these options. They’ll be as unexpected as they are welcome.
The gift of education. This one’s for the dads who loves learning, those who want to learn a bit more about what it takes to become a father, and… well, pretty much everything baby related. That’s what makes Father’s Ed such a good gift.
Are we biased? Maybe a little (it’s our course). But we wouldn’t offer this course if we didn’t think it would be relevant for dads-to-be. 35 short, well-organized videos are organized into nine modules will help future fathers prep for the new addition, prepare their house, learn what beard oils to avoid… Basically anything you might need to become a great dad. Because studies have shown you learn better when you’re engaged, we built Father’s Ed as a video course that’s actually entertaining to watch—so long as you’re up for a good dad joke (or dozens of them). The video course is accompanied by an 82-page workbook that’s full of supplemental info, checklists, charts, and more, which ships free (within the U.S.) along with the course.
A Fore Fathers Polo
Our friends over at For Fathers specialize in one thing: freakin’ sweet polos for dads. And, owning a number of these ourselves we can tell you first hand: they’re as comfortable as they are stylish. It’s hard to go wrong with any of their designs, but for dad’s first Father’s Day, check out their brand new He Got Kids polo, or choose a hobby-based design like the classic Turf Dad or the Pizza Night, which is a great consolation gift for the guy who’s had his eye on that $5,000 home pizza oven that just isn’t going to happen anytime soon.
A Molekule air purifier
Give dad (and the whole family, including new baby) the gift of clean air. Unfortunately, our world is becoming increasingly polluted—things like pandemics and wildfires that can deposit dirty air across continents and other pollutants can have a real impact on you indoor air quality.
That’s where Molekule comes in. Its FDA-cleared PECO filter technology destroys pollutants instead of just trapping them, which has earned them on of Time Magazine’s Inventions of the Year awards.
With that kind of power, everyone in the family can breathe a little easier. And the company’s Air Mini+ is the perfect size (and aesthetic—it looks great too) for your new nursery.
A cryotherapy gift card
Is that a support group where dads get together and cry about how hard parenting is? Nope.
Is that where … we’ll stop before this gets too morbid.
In reality, cryotherapy is where the body is exposed to extreme cold (-300 degrees Celsius). It’s designed to rejuvenate cells and speed recovery.
Even with the best of tips, let’s be honest – new parents still suffer from a lack of sleep. This gift will help to recover faster from that, giving new dads a boost of energy for work and play. Plus it only takes about 3 minutes, so it’s perfect for the dad who’s short on time.
A session typically costs $60 to $100, so that’s a good sweet spot for a gift card. Just google ‘cryotherapy near me’ to find a studio that’s close by for this gift.
DIY babysitting gift cards
If you’ve gone through the joys and worries of new fatherhood, you might have your own opinion on many of the above options. Here’s an alternative: put your own experience and expertise to good use with a DIY babysitting gift card.
With a newborn, everything revolves around the baby. But every now and then, the new parents also just want to get out and enjoy some time to themselves. If you have baby skills, give them the gift of a night full of joy, distraction, and reassurance that their little one is well taken care of.
Category 5: A hospital bag for dad
The final category is a simple idea all by itself: a hospital bag for dad gift. Just like mom will pack some of her favorites, the new dad might want their own bag full of goodies. Some ideas on what to include:
- Healthy snacks that keep up dad’s energy in staying by his significant other’s side during and after labor.
- A source of caffeine. Hospital coffee is bad. A frappuccino, energy drink, or other caffeine sources can help with the sleepiness.
- Reading material, whether that’s the newest Sports Illustrated or the newest in nonfiction. May we suggest Shea Serrano’s Movies (and Other Things)?
- Something to destress. A stress ball works, or it might be a Rubik’s cube. Anything to keep the new dad calm so he can help during labor.
- Mouthwash. The last thing anyone wants after 24 hours awake is terrible breath.
- Some loose change. It never fails to surprise how well acquainted new dads become with the vending machine in the waiting area.
Well, there you have it: our ultimate guide to cool gifts for expecting dads. Whether you’re attending a baby shower or a slightly nervous expecting grandparent, a great gift for a dad to be can go a long way toward making a couple’s journey into parenthood a lot more smooth, and a lot more of a team effort.
Ultimately, you’ll have to decide what works best. Every new father is unique – some worry more, others just get crazed with excitement. Depending on personalities, each of these gifts works well. And of course, the greatest gift is that little bundle of joy… And the countless sleepless nights that follow.