Being a new parent carries many worries: How will you take care of this new person? Will you prepare him or her well for life? Will you become that stodgy parent who has lost their sense of fashion, hasn’t seen a movie in years and is out of touch with anything current?
Fear not. Your love of all things gear need not be sacrificed during this exciting new chapter of your life. In fact, having a kid is the perfect entry point into a new world of gear: strollers, car seats, bags and all kinds of other gadgets, apps and convenience products await. You now have a reason to buy that Eames highchair and test drive that stroller bike. Been looking for a reason to get a wipes warmer, bottle steamer or little super hero tights? Perfect. So for the guy who has it all and now has good reason to get some more, may we present: the holiday gift guide for the New Dad.
We put cases on our phones to shield them from injury, and yet we are willing to strap our young child to a plastic seat on the front or back of bicycle. Ponder it for a bit. Instead of dangling your toddler in an add-on seat, try the Taga Bike’s purpose-built alternative. Situating Junior low and between the two front wheels for great stability and safety, this carrier bike also converts to a stroller, which means you can bike to the local market, stroller your child around and bike home with your farmer’s market wares — all the while giving a front row seat to your six-month- to six-year-old. Sure beats those days in the rear-facing seat of the old Volvo.
Flyebaby Infant Airplane Seat
Flying with a baby is low on the list of “things anyone can’t wait to do”. But we live in a global society, and it’s quite inevitable that you’ll be traveling for a wedding, vacation or at least the holidays. The right tools are the key to a painless (within reason) experience, and the Flyebaby is a perfect addition to your kit. The simple design attaches to the tray table and creates a hammock of sorts for your child so your arms arms to take a break. There’s a five-point harness for safety, and the whole seat can double as a portable high chair. Unfortunately, it won’t work in first class — just pass off the kid to the nanny back in coach. Then it’s all good.
OiOi Diaper Bag
This crushed wax canvas bag has a built-in bottle insulator, water-resistant lining and antique silver hardware plus a spot for your laptop; it’s not your average diaper bag, you see. With their subtle black or brown bags, Australia-based OiOi (makes more sense now) has created a great alternative to the color explosions oft found clipped on strollers these days. This may not seem like a big deal — until you see dads at the park trying to hide away the aforementioned Crayola bag they were tasked with carrying. Being a dad is a very masculine thing, so don’t diminish it by compromising on this part of your everyday carry.
Sons of Trade Capable Changing Kit
“Sons of Trade” sounds like the best hipster band you’ve never heard of (i.e. they haven’t “sold out, bro”) but they don’t make great songs — they make great bags, apparel and tech accessories. If you are just running a few errands you can grab this changing kit instead of the whole diaper bag. The clips attach to strollers or your belt loops, if you’re that committed.
Baby Jogger City Select Stroller HyChair
The Baby Jogger HyChair is an adaptor for the City Select Stroller (our stroller of choice, for reasons you’ll see); instead of needing a highchair at the restaurant, you can just wheel your stroller there, detach the seat, and add the adapter. Presto chango: no need to upset little Timmy by transferring him or his box of Cheerios.
Mima Moon High Chair
This Jetson-like high chair, which uses a transparent polycarbonate material and aluminum “chassis”, was designed by a husband and wife team with backgrounds in fashion and industrial design. Thanks to a clever design, the Moon functions as an infant chair, highchair or junior seat so there’s less “stuff” taking up space in your house. It will also make baby look like he’s ready to time travel.
Turning the baby swing on its head by moving the axis of rotation point is just another innovation from the industrial design/robotics engineering team at 4Moms. Smart enough to detect the weight of the child and adjust the rocking motion by using complex algorithms, the rockaRoo takes up about 50 percent less space and looks about 200 percent better than alternative swings.
Tree Fort Bed
Making a fort with sheets and couch cushions is so 2012. This in-house tree fort will elevate both your street cred and your kid’s twin-sized bed. The kiln-dried pine frame comes with optional wood swatches and creates a loft space like that cheap bunk you bought your freshman year of college, except it’s a gazillion times cooler, and hopefully will accumulate far fewer empties.
MESA Car Seat
Car seats are now as much a part of your daily life as your car itself, and you can’t have this new Mini-Me version of yourself locked into a schleppy, cartoonish portable seat. The UPPababy MESA has streamlined looks, disconnects from the stroller (it works with Mesa’s popular Vista and Cruz models) with a button on the top handle, and features side impact protection. Its base installs quickly with a top-mounted indicator window to let you know it’s level and secure, so it’s as if the car seat knows what you’re thinking.
Chicco Liteway Plus Travel Stroller
A strong, durable stroller is a must in town, but lugging that 40-pound device through airports and packing it into a rental car isn’t exactly a great way to spend your vacation. Chicco’s (pronounced, key-co) Liteway Plus is a surprisingly svelte two-in-one umbrella (small) stroller that easily collapses, locks and is ready to carry thanks to a built-in handle. The basket underneath is perfect for hauling carry-ons as you squire your child from gate to gate in their KeyFit 30 car seat (you’ll need that for the rental car anyway), which clips directly to the stroller. Looks good and works great: both ingredients for a perfect gift.
Your wife carried this child for nine months, so you have a little catching up to do; thankfully, the Ergobaby carrier is kind of like cheating. This life-saver is perfect for carrying your child (7-45 pounds) to the farmer’s market or calming him or her to sleep. After just a few minutes of “wearing your child”, you’ll realize the Ergo design distributes weight around your hips and shoulders so you won’t tire; the natural sitting position is a great setup for the little one, too. It also uses organic cotton — your offspring deserves a little luxury.
The Happiest Baby On The Block
If you value sleep and sanity, you’ll make sure you get this gift. In fact, you should buy it for yourself. Dr. Harvey Karp teaches a mind-blowing technique for soothing your infant that includes shooshing, swaddling and rocking. In the video you see babies go from tossing and screaming to sleeping in a matter of seconds; it’s all science rather than snake oil.