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20 Vintage Photos Of Dads Meeting Babies & *Becoming* Dads

A vintage photo of a new father passing out when he meets his triplets recently went viral, and it seemed like the perfect time to look through other vintage photos of dads welcoming babies. I mean, is there anything better than a photo capturing a dad becoming a dad?

Not only are vintage photos just full of charm, but it's so fun to see how things change. Like, thank goodness the baby nurseries in hospitals have gotten an upgrade. And it's also humorous to see how dressed up a lot of the dads were when they met their child. (Let's bring back suits and fedoras.) The moms, of course, looked dolled up as well. My husband was wearing a disheveled metal T-shirt and pajama pants when my son was born since he spent the night before either holding my hand or trying to sleep on the tiny couch. In most of these photos, it's pretty obvious Dad was just hanging out in the waiting room, waiting to receive word of his brand new baby. (In some instances, they were even wearing military uniforms.)

But no matter what kind of shape the nursery, hospital, or new dad is in, there's one thing they all have in common: looks of elation. There's a whole lot of admiration, pride, and sometimes fear that goes into that first look at your baby, and these photos prove that those feelings are timeless.

1
Proud Papa
Lambert/Archive Photos/Getty Images

This photo was created in 1950, and thankfully, it looks like hospital nurseries — and nurse's uniforms — have come quite a long way. But look how happy that dad is!

2
Pure Delight
Dennis Rowe/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

This picture right here is of a man who is completely elated about having a brand new baby. Unfortunately, that baby crib kind of looks like a barbed wire fence?

3
Celebrating In An Incubator
Bettmann/Bettmann/Getty Images

Notice the cigars in this photo of the couple in the hospital watching their newborn twins in an incubator. It's also pretty neat that the father in the photo is wearing a Navy uniform. That incubator makes me very glad that we've moved on from a device that looks like an actual toaster oven, and I love how happy he looks behind the mask, holding onto his wife.

4
Dwight D. Eisenhower Meeting His Grandson
Bettmann/Bettmann/Getty Images

This classic-looking photo is a shot of Dwight D. Eisenhower meeting his new grandson in 1948 in West Point, New York. It's pretty adorable how formal Eisenhower is shaking his new grandson's hand.

5
An Heir
Keystone/Hulton Royals Collection/Getty Images

This 1946 photo captures Prince Franz Josef II of Liechtenstein holding his brand new son. The caption notes it shows the baby "whilst his mother the ex-Countess von Wilczek recovers from her ordeal." Ordeal is definitely one way to put it. She still looks great, though.

6
Audrey Hepburn Showing Off Her Son Sean
Bettmann/Bettmann/Getty Images

Look at sweet baby Sean's smile in this photo taken in 1969. His beautiful mom is none other than Audrey Hepburn and his proud dad is fellow actor Mel Ferrer.

7
Such A Tender Moment
Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

The story behind this 1978 photo is tragic. Colin Brown is pictured here holding his new baby, Louise Brown. She was born via emergency C-section after her mother died in a bicycle accident. You can see the mixed emotions on Colin Brown's face in this photo, and it's both heartbreaking and lovely.

8
Time To Meet Your Daddy
H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Boy have nurses outfits come a long way since the 1950s, but what hasn't changed is the sweet look of a new daddy gazing at his brand new baby.

9
A Quiet Moment
Denver Post/Denver Post/Getty Images

I wasn't aware the early '80s were now considered "vintage," but now I feel old as an '80s baby. This photo depicting a father and mother admiring their brand new baby is made even more special by the fact that the father apparently "assisted" in the birth somehow.

10
When Your Dad Is Elvis
Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images

This may not be the exact moment the King met Lisa-Marie, but this photo-op picture of a proud dad and his insanely gorgeous wife (especially after giving birth) is priceless. Here they're pictured leaving the Baptist Hospital in Memphis back in 1968.

11
Judi Dench And Michael Williams With Their New Baby
Hulton Deutsch/Corbis Historical/Getty Images

Even if she just gave birth to a baby, Judi Dench always looks just lovely and too cool. And the look of awe and adoration coming from her husband, Michael Williams, in 1972 is a perfect and sweet first family photo.

12
The Donnelly Family
Steve Wood/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

I love all the hair in this photo, and especially the glasses — which have made a comeback, thank you very much. This is such a sweet photo and you can tell how proud actor Donal Donnelly is in this 1971 photo of Donnelly, his wife, Patsy Porter, and their son Jonathan.

13
Briers And Family
Douglas Miller/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Actor Richard Briers and his wife, actress Ann Davies, look like they're trying to force a happy face in this 1963 photo, all while their newborn daughter Katie is trying to make it known that she, in fact, is not ready for her close-up.

14
De Havilland And Newborn Daughter
Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Olivia de Havilland, a British-American actress, and her husband, Pierre Galante, look calm, cool, and collected in this 1956 family photo. I'm surprised her husband was able to attend the birth, much less be part of a photo op as a journalist.

15
Ronald Reagan And Family
Bettmann/Bettmann/Getty Images

The original caption reads, "The Littlest Reagan. Hollywood: Maureen Elizabeth Reagan, daughter of film stars Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman, makes her first appearance before a camera in their home," per Getty Images. Doesn't the family look so young, beautiful, and picture perfect? Look at Reagan's happy face.

16
A Proud Father Holding His Twins
H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Archive Photos/Getty Images

This photo from 1938 may be more staged than most photos, but the cuteness of the two babies and how tiny they are — enough that they can each fit into either one of dad's arms — makes up for it.

17
A Sweet Daddy Gaze
Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

I know the focus is on the dads, but that baby is Benedict Cumberbatch, y'all. Benedict's parents, Wanda Ventham and Tim Carlton, were both actors, so you can see that Benedict Cumberbatch followed in his parent's footsteps quite well. I love how his father is looking down at him so sweetly.

18
A Sweet Smile From Dad
Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone/Getty Images

Félix Gaillard d'Aimé was a French Radical politician who also served as prime minister from 1957 to 1958. Here he looks like just a regular proud father admiring his new daughter, Isabelle.

19
A Proud Photo
University of Southern California/Corbis Historical/Getty Images

This baby was born at Queen of Angels Hospital on New Year's Day back in 1956, but what's even cooler is that he shares a birthday with his old man, per the Getty Images description. Maybe that's why Dad's doing an extra celebration.

20
Johnny Cash Loving His Babe
Bettmann/Bettmann/Getty Images

Johnny Cash is one of my most favorite musicians of all time, so I was super excited to find this vintage photo of him holding his son John in 1970. (At least they didn't name him Sue, right?) That is one genuine and elated smile on Cash's face, and I love that he's still dressed in the mask and scrubs.