Dad may be one of the toughest guys to shop for, but when it comes to baby gear, many dads just have one request—gear that is more masculine and that supports and champions dad’s role in his new baby’s life. That means gear that helps tote baby’s stuff, stroll with baby, change and feed baby, and play with baby. And all with a sense of timeless style that supports dad’s overall role in his family’s and new baby’s life.

With her first pregnancy, Sleeping Should Be Easy blogger and mom-of-three who goes just by Nina recalls, “My husband took one glance at the baby wrap I bought for us and looked at me like I’d lost my mind. He was on board with baby wearing, but he clearly had a preference for color, something he’d feel good wearing outside. So, it was no surprise that when we had twins a few years later (and would need two wraps), he immediately ordered another one for himself—in black.”

We’ve come a long way from expecting mom to do it all, to products that work for both moms and dads to a whole new wave of parent products that take into account the personal preferences, lifestyles and fashion choices of moms and dads alike. This progress feels—and looks—good!

Most of all, almost every dad will tell you they were surprised by the amount of “stuff” needed to care for a new baby.

There’s a lot of stuff needed

Certified Life Coach Wayne Parker, author of Power Dads, says he was amazed at the number of products and support seemingly required for normal newborn care when he first became a dad.

“When our first son was born, from the moment we left the hospital, I was overwhelmed with all the “stuff.” The baby items that the child needed. Other than how much I hated changing dirty diapers, the number of things that the baby required was my biggest surprise upon becoming a dad. I remember how often we would leave our little apartment with the baby and it took nearly 30 minutes to get him and his “stuff” ready to leave,” he says on

On his short list of must-haves for new dads in no particular order:

  • Car seat
  • Baby monitor
  • Mobile
  • Digital camera
  • Diaper bag
  • Video camera
  • Birth cloths
  • Baby book
  • Stroller
  • Baby swing

“Many of the things a baby needs are also needs for her parents,” Parker says of this not-all-inclusive top 10. “They make life with baby a little easier, safer and more convenient. This list is designed to help an expectant father understand the essential items that help the baby be secure and help dad enjoy those first months of parenting.”

Gear dads won’t live without

The editors at Fatherly, asked readers, friends and family to share what is the essential baby gear they “couldn’t live without.” No surprise a swaddle blanket including the Halo SleepSack Swaddle tops the list as well as a baby-wearing wrap like the Solly Baby Wrap, “Because a baby sleeping tightly held to your chest is a beautiful thing,” said Tyghe Trimble, father of two from New York.

A few additional standouts include the popular WubbaNub pacifier, which is both a pacifier and a plushie in one. Nursing pillows also rock the list, with Boppy cited as a popular brand that remains a popular family pillow long after baby finishes nursing. Any diaper bag that instantly transforms into a convenient changing station is also a winner.

Carlos Mejia, father of one in Connecticut called the NoseFrida SnotSucker a “game changer” because it “prevents you from swallowing snot rockets.” Sometimes it’s really the little things in life that matter most.

What New Dads Need

Last but not least, our friends over at the popular Pregnant Chicken blog topped their essential gear list for new dads with the timeless classic, You Made Me a Dad, by author Laurenne Sala, who explores the joys, fears and responsibilities of being a dad.

Want to keep those earliest daddy memories forever? A popular first Father’s Day gift is a personalized photo book of dad and baby featuring images from their earliest moments. Most photobook makers have many options to choose from; Pinhole Press actually offers a chunky board book baby can chew on to enhance the relived experiences of those precious memories.

Also recommended for any new dad who hasn’t yet experienced how babies obliterate your short-term memory is the Tile Pro tracker, which comes to dad’s aid with a loud beeping noise during those times dad can’t remember where he dropped his keys, the diaper bag or even the stroller! And don’t forget to stock dad up with universal charging stations to keep all of baby’s and dad’s devices juiced up for their next big adventure together.

Further reading:

Create and Maintain Healthy Relationships

Dad and Baby Time

New Dads Can Have Postpartum Depression, Too

10 Actions Towards Deeper Relationships


Carolyn Davis Cockey, MLS, LCCE, is founding editor of Healthy Mom&Baby, Senior Director of Partnerships & Publications at AWHONN, and a Lamaze-certified childbirth educator in Sarasota, FL.

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