I asked my partner Dave what gift he would have liked as a first time Dad and what helped him in those early newborn days. He said he didn’t expect anything from me. I had just given birth and was deep in the throes of working out what to do, recovering from my birth and not sleeping much. Good response Dave. Instead, he said receiving any of the following gifts from family or friends are at the top of his list for new dads.
Dave recalls his mum asking him for New Dad gift ideas. He doesn't remember what he said but she got him a family size bag of M&Ms and a bag of lolly Snakes. It’s what he must have asked for! He remembers feeling sick at 7am stuffing coloured little pellets in his gob whilst walking our baby around the streets at dawn.
He said that whilst every Dad is different, unless men grow up around babies like many cultures where extended families live in the same household, new Dads aren't really taught what to do to support a new Mum and baby. They figure it out in their own time and “rookie mistakes” are part of the journey. If he had his time again (um no Dave), he now knows that men don't really want to be pampered, they want practical gifts. And he insists on avoiding cheesy new dad mugs! So be warned Check out his ideas in no particular order in his own words.
One Dad’s top 5 gift ideas for a New Dad.
1. A practical baby bag just for me: I was stressed out as a new dad that I didn't have everything for the new baby. If there was a bag that was my bag with pockets where everything went, a plain colour, not too big and totally utilitarian, no frills, just the essentials for the baby. I had no idea what I was doing so having baby wipes, nappies, nappy cream, a couple of onesies that I had to repack myself that would have been gold.
2. A bunch of snacks: The number of times I walked out of the house without eating breakfast was way too common. I worked out that I needed quick, easy to eat energy bars, a healthy morsel like a banana or something in a packet that I could eat with one hand. Your body needs an instant hit and I learnt my lesson from the big bag of M&Ms that junk food is not your friend when you aren’t sleeping. The other thing is I carried our babies in a carrier so I couldn't eat things like sandwiches or a burger because they’re too messy and it's a bad look for your baby to have a beetroot slice on its head.
3. A baby carrier: This was my favourite big ticket item. It was a hand-me-down Ergo pouch. Because I couldn't breastfeed (obviously) it was a way I could connect with my new son because we were physically close, his head on my chest and his little body snug in the pouch on my body. It felt good being able to get him to sleep on me. Walking around our neighbourhood like that were some of my favourite memories of those early days. Baby carrier for the win!
4. Letter to my baby: My partner gave me a notebook to write letters to our baby. I used it a few times but then forgot about them. I found it the other day and it brought back heaps of memories from those early days. I wrote him three letters in the first year. Not many but they really capture what I wanted to tell him. He is five now and we’ll read them together one night. A keepsake for both of us. I’m no Steve Nguyen but it was a cool thing to do.
5. A Meal Train: One of my friends set up a roster amongst our friends to give us a meal in the early days. This was our first encounter with a Meal Train. All we did was give him a list of our friend’s mobile numbers and he did the rest. We didn't have to cook for a month! I enjoyed dinner being hand-delivered to our door, eating what other people cooked and that I didn't have to think about what to cook. I was bummed when that dream run ended. Everytime a friend has a baby, we jump on the meal train because it made a big difference to us as new parents.
Thanks for your top 5 ideas Dave! We love the spirit of your suggestions and have incorporated that into our gift hamper for dads. We can’t help but be reminded by what we saw in the Olympics and Paralympics this year. A gold medallist like Arianne Titmus swims the race and wins the Gold but like so many other athletes interviewed, she thanked her family for their love and support. New mums deserve to be standing on the podium celebrating her birth and be recognized for the mental, physical and spiritual energy that goes into pregnancy, birth and looking after a newborn.We also recognise the new Dads are behind the scenes supporting and loving her to be the mother she is capable of being.
Article by Sharon Settecasse.
Our New Dad Kit is the gift that recognises the love and support of the new Dad. Practical, original with a little bottle of something to celebrate your role as the birth support partner. Check it out here.