When a woman becomes a mother, the list of birthday and holiday gifts instantly expands to include all the products that celebrate her new role and support her through the often-difficult journey. (Coffee and wine are usually involved.) But we can't forget all those awesome fathers out there, either. Happily, there are enough weird products for dads on the market that will make his life easier and tickle his funny bone at the same time.
Even in this equality-aware generation, there are still some areas of parenthood that are traditionally reserved for women; breastfeeding and mom-centric jewelry are just a few that come to mind. Then there are the areas that dads stereotypically claim as part of the job: piggyback rides, creative (read: goofy) feeding techniques, fix-it rescue work. But thanks to modern technology and some extremely creative inventors, we now have devices that allow fathers to take on some "motherly" experiences, as well as enhancing the classic dad tasks.
If you're looking for a congratulatory gift for a new dad, a Father's Day present that goes beyond a tie or whiskey bottle, or a treat for the dad in your life who has a good sense of humor (and you really need one to take on this job), take a look at these brilliant finds. He may cock an eyebrow or laugh when he first opens one of these gifts, but just wait and see how quickly he puts them to use.
Dads' tender moments — babywearing, playing catch, wrestling on the rug — can put his tenderest body part at risk if a stray foot or missed baseball catches him unprotected. Enter this clever underwear, which is lined with a (removable) foam cup "designed to protect both your [Frida]Balls and your lineage." In other words, if you're hoping for more babies, this is a smart investment.
For every dad who ever wondered what it would be like to breastfeed (and every mom who needs a break from being a milk machine), there's this parent-designed "wearable baby bottle." Fill the BPA-free bottle with breast milk or formula, strap on the harness, insert the bottle, and voila — Daddy's ready for the bonding experience.
How have dads survived all these centuries without this brilliant device? Since Dad is probably going to play horsey at some point in his life, he might as well make it easier with a ready-made saddle that lets kiddo hang on safely while commanding him to do a circuit of the playroom. (Pirate gear not included... sorry.)
As long as you're buying the pony saddle for hours of giddy-up (and totally Instagrammable) fun, you might as well throw in these accessories to save Dad's knees from rug burn and his sweatpants from going holey before their time. Also useful for those block-building sessions on the rug and for crawling under beds and tables trying to retrieve that favorite stuffed animal or pacifier.
Dad Fanny Pack
Embrace the dad bod! For the man who's proud of his fatherly figure, there's this clever take on the classic fanny pack. Not only will it elicit smiles and double-takes everywhere he goes, it's also handy for toting a pack of wipes, a small snack, or even a can of adult beverage.
Not very impressive-looking, you say? Picture this: Christmas morning. Birthday party. Piles of gifts. All sealed in those indestructible plastic cases and thick twist ties. Excited children shrieking for Dad to open them NOW, PLEASE PLEASE. Looking a lot more impressive now, isn't it?
When Dad is installing the baby gate or doing the DIY around the house, the last thing he wants is to have little nails and screws dropping into the rug or under the furniture. Because you just *know* that your kid is going to be the one to find them and insert them into the nearest orifice. That's why he needs a wristband that holds the metal doodads securely in place. Hellooo, peace of mind.
By *no* means are we saying that dads are the only absent-minded parents who might forget that their child is in the car seat when they make a stop at Target or 7-11. But the father in your life will still appreciate having this high-tech reminder, which attaches to the seat, seat belt, diaper bag, or pretty much anywhere. Connected to the downloadable app, the monitor will signal Dad's phone if he happens to leave the car without his little one. The monitor also keeps track of the temperature inside the car while you drive, letting you know if it's time to crank the a/c or heat.
Baby Wearing Shirt
Between piggyback rides, "carry me, Daddy" moments, and lifting the kids up for a better view of parades, zoo animals, and fireworks, the average dad hoists a hernia-sized amount of weight in his lifetime. Enter this helpful booster, which gives kids the lift they need without the back strain their father doesn't. It's lightweight and carries up to 50 pounds (or more, depending on Dad's endurance level); for an extra $26, you can buy an attachable hip belt for added comfort and support.
Snot Absorbing Gloves
Unlike mothers, who carry a CVS-worthy supply of emergency products in their purses and pockets, guys don't tend to tote extra tissues — leaving them with few options if their kids go into Snot Monster mode when they're at the playground. To the rescue come these absorbent hand coverings, which are designed to sop up nearly 30 times their weight in bodily fluids. If he's ever come home with kid-goo on his coat or shirt sleeves, he'll appreciate having these gloves handy.
Adult Coloring Book
After a day with a teething infant, a whiny preschooler or a dramatic tween, a quiet de-stressing session is in order for Dad. Coloring books are a surprisingly effective way for grownups to chill, but if unicorns, cats, and mandalas aren't your guy's cup of tea, then let him get creative with a book that more accurately reflects his state of mind. (Mom might even want to borrow a page on occasion.)
Here's *the* baby product for the dad who lives by apps. The Acubel sensor (available in three colors) attaches to your little one's diaper, then alerts your smartphone when the humidity level indicates activity. Organized fathers will also appreciate being able to track their baby's soiled diaper patterns, making it easier to predict the times they're most likely to need the nearest public family restroom.
Like peanut butter and chocolate, hot glue guns and cheese were a combination that was meant to be. Dad can fill the chamber with the cheese of his choice, heat up the unit, and squirt gooey dairy goodness onto the kids' broccoli and brussels sprouts...or his plate of nachos...or directly into his mouth. (Who are we to judge?)