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Let’s be real, the best gift you can give a new dad is a full, uninterrupted night of sleep. But unless you’re adept in the artistry of night nursing, you’ll have to settle for some strong runner-up options that’ll help ease and celebrate his transition into parenthood. For those not yet acquainted with the act, bringing a new human into the world changes your life in pretty much every way possible—the good, the challenging, the depleting. And while wearing the badge of “new dad” will indeed mean less sleep, there are innumerable positives to outweigh those tiring first few months. This is where you and your thoughtful holiday present come into the picture.
When finding a gift idea for the new dad in your life, you could settle with some socks or a grilling kit if you wanted to go the predictable route, but this is your chance to make a real difference in how his day-to-day unfolds. Lingering on the theme of sleep a bit longer, there are several gifts for new dads that elevate the snoozing experience—think: customized pillows, high-tech alarm clocks with built-in sound machines and so forth. For those waking hours when it feels like a feat to keep your eyes open, a luxury espresso machine or temperature-controlled smart mug might make it easier to stay awake, no? What we’re getting at here is: Opt for gifts that not only make his life less stressful, but also add a bit of elegance to his newfound journey into fatherhood. Ahead, 21 ideas to kickstart your search.
Best Overall Gift
The Tom Brady, the Muhammad Ali, the GOAT of strollers is Bugaboo’s Donkey. Just ask the toast of Tinseltown or the English royal family, many of whom have been snapped pushing their babies in this choice item. It’s a stroller that not only has an incredibly polished design, but it’s one of the safest and highest-rated in the market—a fabulous gift for any new dad.
Best Gift for Sneakerheads
The ultimate signifier of fatherhood—even over a stroller and diaper bag—is a pair of New Balance sneakers. The brand is essentially the be-all and end-all of “dad shoes,” footwear denoted for a silhouette that features a whole lot of paneling. The most notable of New Balance’s lot is the 990, a style first introduced in 1982 that has since been revived to much fanfare. Other labels are now following in NB’s footsteps, but the real deal is this pair right here.
Best Gift for Running Errands
Crafted from hard-wearing cotton canvas, leather lining and a water-resistant recycled inner lining, this backpack-meets-diaper-bag is an essential. Aside from the slew of strategically-placed compartments for diapers, baby bottles and keys, our favorite part is the changing mat pocket that can easily be removed with a single hand.
Best Gift for Stiff Necks
Every minute of sleep counts when you’re a new dad, and a pillow that’s been handcrafted based on sleep style and preferences is a great way to make sure he snoozes luxuriously. When you gift a pillow from Pluto, the brand will ask questions like if your head gets hot while you’re sleeping or what position you fall asleep in, making the process easy and, dare we say, fun?
Evelyn was born with a life-threatening heart condition called Brugada Syndrome. But thanks to groundbreaking research, she’s now been fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)—a tiny gift that’s helping to keep her alive today. Find out how you could help power the next lifesaving breakthrough.
Best Gift for Javaphiles
The correlation between new dad and caffeine doesn’t need to be explained. Make his coffee experience a work of art with this advanced automatic espresso machine. He can even program it to memorize custom drinks, so whipping up “dad’s latte” is as simple as pushing a button.
Best Gift for Self-Care
Taking care of a newborn is bound to cause a wrinkle or two, so why not encourage self-care with Brad Pitt’s new much-buzzed-about skin care line? The serum is made from patented active compounds that are intended to slow down the signs of aging.
Best Gift for Documenting Memories
Give him something to document the early days of fatherhood with this cult favorite camera. It fits perfectly in your pocket, but also packs a punch with its large sensor design and versatile lens.
Best Gift for Outdoor Enthusiasts
One of the best parts of raising a kid is introducing them to new experiences. So if the new dad in your life loved biking pre-parenthood, this attachment will feel especially meaningful.
Best Gift for Going Hands-Free
Here’s an adjustable baby carrier that can work with newborns to toddlers. It’ll also match perfectly with his favorite pair of 501 jeans.
Best Gift for iPhone Addicts
This tech-savvy alarm clock eliminates the need for keeping your phone beside his bed with its two-phase alarm. It also has a built-in sound machine that lets him choose between nature sounds, white noise, breath work and sound baths.
Best Gift for a Close Watch
Sure, most of us were raised without the aid of baby cams, but once a parent integrates this into their daily routine, it’s hard to go back. This parent-favorite pick from Wyze makes it easy to check in on your little one while they nap and has two-way audio if you need to talk to them.
Best Gift for Sore Muscles
It doesn’t matter how in shape he is, because holding a baby for hours on end works a different set of muscles that are bound to feel sore. The solution? This satisfying therapy tool, which stimulates muscle recovery and releases tension.
Best Gift for Readers
Here’s a well-designed guide to everything from cultivating a morning routine to prioritizing his mental health. Aside from looking stylish in a stack, this book is a nice reminder to a new dad that taking care of oneself is also important.
Best Gift for Lounging
There is perhaps no better time in life to justify a pair of luxury sweatpants than when he becomes a new parent, because he’ll unavoidably be living in sweatpants for the foreseeable future. And this lightweight pair, made from 100 percent cotton in Italy, is the best of the best.
Best Gift for Cozy Feedings
A pair of slippers inevitably lands on just about every gift guide for men every year, but in the case of the new dad, this cozy footwear staple especially makes sense. Make those 2 a.m. wakeup calls slightly less jarring with a pair of soft Australian shearling-lined slippers.
Best Gift for Multitaskers
As mentioned earlier, devices that make day-to-day life easier will always be a good pick for new dads, which means this sleek wireless charger is a natural fit. It has two charging stations, so both parents can charge at the same time. Or he can pop in his phone and AirPods on for a battery re-up.
Best Gift for a Quick Laugh
If you need a cheap and cheerful gift, this book by Jimmy Fallon is a favorite. Good for laughs and great for the bookshelf, it will quickly become a story time staple.
Best Gift for Coffee Lovers
This coffee mug is perfect for new dads who pour a cup of coffee with the intention of finishing it in a timely fashion, but get swept up in fatherly duties. Ensure they’ll never have a cup of lukewarm coffee again with this innovative pick.
Best Gift for a Clean House
There’s little time for cleaning the house when you’re a parent—that’s a given. Help him stay on top of chores with this powerful Roomba that vacuums and mops simultaneously, while also avoiding carpeted surfaces entirely.
Best Gift for Aesthetes
For the first few months, new parents will spend more time in the house than usual. This low-effort, high-yielding plant is the perfect way to bring a bit of outdoors inside—without giving them something else to take care of.
Best Gift for Newly-Minted Handymen
Not to feed into gender stereotypes here, but there is something about becoming a new dad that encourages developing some handy skills. Plus, with bassinets, cradles and strollers in need of assembly, this drill will go to good use.
Best Gift for R&R
Babies aren’t the only ones that need some cradling. A proactive new dad should take breaks, unwind and clear his thoughts for a moment or two. And if he’s lucky enough to have a backyard, we can think of no better way to get some R&R than reclining on a hammock, rocking side to side under the summer sun. And this sizable, mildew- and rust-resistant option from L.L.Bean is one of the best around.
Best Gift for Gamers
When it comes to relaxing, some like to recline on a hammock (see above), while others like to take leisurely strolls. But for gamers, nothing beats holding a controller, putting on a headset and playing Firewatch, Call of Duty or whatever strikes his fancy. Admittedly, giving a game console is a highly contentious gift; new dads are supposed to face reality and escape to a virtual one. But, as mentioned, taking a moment to do something for oneself should be practiced. And if you’re, well, game, consider yourself the wife, friend or relative of the year, because you’re basically allowing him to act like a child for an hour or two. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Best Gift for Staying Healthy
Yes, a whisky subscription would be more fun here. But new dads need to stay healthy and alert, so go for this box of fresh produce, seeds, spices and baked goods instead. You can buy it once or, if he lives in Los Angeles, sign them up for a subscription.
Best Gift for Stylish Sleepers
The best gifts are often the things you wouldn’t buy for yourself, which is why a coordinated pair of pajamas is the perfect pick for a new dad. He’s got other things to worry about, like diapers and onesies, so give him a luxe pair of PJs to make getting into bed feel extra enjoyable.