New fathers: They’re awe-struck, sleep-deprived, running on caffeine, folding laundry and making bottles in the dark. These
Valentine’s Day gifts for new dads celebrate all the hard work they’re doing for their growing family while offering a small token of relaxation and maybe even a bit of rest. If you and your partner’s normal go-to Valentine’s Day gift is a dinner out but you just had a baby, not anymore. This year, skip the fancy dinner in favor of one of these gifts that they'll get a lot of use out of in the first year of parenting.
Men are notoriously difficult to buy for on any holiday, but the good news is when your son, partner, or friend is in their first year of fatherhood, all of the sudden a whole new world of things they want and need opens up. A
humidifier? Yes, please. An eye mask and earplugs? Godsends for when it’s their turn to sleep.
From a chic French press, to no-frills sweatpants, a headlamp for seeing during those middle of the night feeds, or a bottle of mezcal (because margaritas), these comfy, cozy, and practical gifts for new dads will help him feel loved and appreciated this February 14.
1 A timeless watch
Watches are always in style, but they’re surprisingly helpful when you have a new baby; instead of having to pull out his bright phone every time, he can use the watch to log when the baby eats, poops, sleeps and how much time has passed between feedings. Keeping track of these details is one of the best ways a new dad can help out, and having a cool watch like this matte black
Bordeaux style from Spring Break Watches will make all that tedious logging a bit more fun or at least more stylish. 2 A high-performing knife
Going to a restaurant without a baby requires a sitter and probably the will to keep your eyes open past 9 p.m., both of which are hard for new parents to come-by. But with a gorgeous, high-performing knife from
New West Knifeworks, at least he’ll have the knife skills of a chef which may inspire him to make a restaurant-worthy meal at home.
These are definitely an investment, but they’re made with the highest performing knife steel available, known as S35VN, which is extremely sharp and effective. Plus, with their Japanese style blade, etched Teton Mountain Range which replaces traditional dimples (so food is less likely to cling to the blade), and colorful fiberglass epoxy handle which will not break (“bomb—proof” as their website says) these are stunning, functional gift they’ll have foreveer.
3 A cozy tee
Yes it’s a pricey tee but with the amount of laundry they’ll be doing with a new baby, they’ll probably end up wearing it several times per week. This
T-shirt from Softwear has a tailored fit that makes the tee look more pulled together but it still has the buttery soft feel of an old worn- in fave. This comes in tons of great colors too and the brand is known for their sustainable materials and low-impact dyes, plus they’re made in the USA. 4 A “Homecoat”
If the new dad in your life has ever looked at his baby in one of those puffy sleepsuits that makes them look like the Michelin man, and thought “I want one of those in my size” then the OFFHOURS Homecoat is the solution, except (no offense to Merlin) this one is seriously chic. Made of a blend of two types of cottons, a French terry on the outside and a sanded cotton jersey on the inside, for a super luxe experience. It’s filled with a soft yet light recycled polyester quilting (the equivalent of 38 recycled bottles) and it’s machine washable.
It basically feels like being enveloped in a cloud.
5 A cozy throw blanket
New dads develop an uncanny ability to nap whenever they can wherever they are, and so they’ll need a lightweight throw that goes from couch to bed and even on-the-go. This gorgeous
Lagom throw from Johanna Howard is made of a super soft 100% cotton and best of all it’s machine-washable for the inevitable spit-up or blowout that lands on it. The diagonal stripe strikes a nice balance between a chevron and a horizontal stripe and it’s available in great colors to match any room. 6 Airy, lightweight sheets
New sheets are always decadent, and these are a godsend if he runs hot at night (or if his partner has serious postpartum night sweats). These
Hyperlite Cooling Sheets from Casper are on my bed currently, so I can attest that the tencel fabic is really cooling and light but still substantial, and the grid looks luxe. The price shown is for the King size, and these come in several colors including white and gray. Beyond the comfort and the fact that these are truly cooling, they really stay in place because of the thick elastic around the edge. 7 An upscale French press
Coffee is a life force for all new parents, and usually the brewing falls on the dad (at least this was the case in my house in those early weeks post-birth). This
French press coffee maker from ESPRO is chic enough to store right in plain sight, and more importantly it makes a great cup of smooth coffee in just four minutes. This one is made of stainless steel so you don’t have to worry about it breaking, and it comes in a bunch of cool matte colors; there are two sizes to choose from and the price shown here is for the larger 32 oz size. 8 Earplugs
Any new parent who is doing sleep shifts at night needs a quality pair of
Loop earplugs (or a bedroom on a different floor) to help dull the noise of a crying baby. The soft silicone material is comfortable in the ear even while sleeping, and they’re reusable and easy to clean. These are helpful too if dad works from home and is hoping to drown out some distractions. 9 An oatmeal soap
You may not be able to get him to use serums and moisturizer but you can elevate dad’s basic bar soap with this
oatmeal shea cleansing bar from Buttah. This formula foams up for a deep clean and the oatmeal is naturally exfoliating leaving skin baby soft. Infused with shea butter, this bar is deeply hydrating, and the price shown is for two. 10 Custom art
If Dad’s into astronomy, he’ll dig this sweet print that shows the location of the stars on the night baby was born. You get to customize the colors (and you can even choose the world to be displayed as a heart), and choose the exact wording; for example, you can change “daddy” to “papa” if that’s why he goes by and write whatever message you choose.
11 Really good ramen
This is not your typical brick of store-bought ramen; in fact, with a few extra touches like adding an egg or some tofu, this is s a restaurant-worthy meal that comes together quickly, which is great because new parents need food stat. Included here is five serving packs of each flavor and an addition five of the most popular flavor, Soy & Scallion. You’ll be surprised by how delicious these
noodles from the momofuku store are, plus it’s just really fun to say “tingly chile wavy noodles” every time you make them. 12 A high-tech humidifier
This humidifier is a must have for dads that love gear because nothing says I love you like moisture in the air. They’ll get to play with something gadgety and new, plus and more importantly, this humidifier may help baby sleep soundly and breathe a little easier, especially if they have a cold. In the dry winter months, humidifiers also help alleviate dry skin and lips.
Beyond your average humidifier, this
option from TruSens has a large water tank so you don’t have to constantly refill it. You’ll set the humidity level you want in your house and the SensorPod (which doubles as a remote) will read the humidity level in the room and send a signal back to the humidifier when it’s time to kick on or off. It also has a light which is nice at night, a water softening filter, a special tray if they wish to difuse aromatherapy. 13 Mezcal from Mexico
One of the unexpected joys of new parenthood is that newborns are really portable; put them in a carrier or car seat and they can go with you to dinner, drinks, or even a movie. That won’t be the case for long however, so give a new dad something to get his home bar started, because as soon as baby’s mobile, those spontaneous dates to go get a quick drink are a thing of the past. This delicious
Mezcal Campante is made in small batches and produced in Oaxaca, Mexico and because it’s not heavily smoky, it’s a good choice for anyone. It has notes of floral and citrus for a drink that’s as good on the rocks as it is in a cocktail. 14 A luxe candle
Look, everyone loves good smells. This
candle from Bricks & Wood is named after a street in South Central LA, and it has rich notes of rose, ozone, musk, sandalwood, cotton, blossom, and bergamot. With a generous throw, this candle will fill the house will an elevated scent that isn’t cloying but is powerful enough to make dad momentarily forget about the dirty bottles and the overflowing diaper pail. 15 A blackout eye mask
He needs to be ready to sleep at a moment’s notice, but sometimes it’s too noisy or too bright to get in a much-needed power nap. We have the noise covered with the earplugs, and this
eye mask from Ostrichpillow tackles brightness. It’s truly blackout, meaning even a bright room becomes instantly dark, and it’s made of a thick yet breathable fabric that doesn’t put pressure on the eyes. This is a great Valentine’s Day gift for expecting dads too as an eye mask in the hospital is super helpful. 16 An adventure wagon
At first glance this may appear to be a gift for a baby, but it’s really an awesome Valentine’s Day gift for the whole family. If you’re not convinced, my husband put this together a full six months before our baby was born because he “wanted to look at it.” The VEER cruiser has all the space of a wagon plus the ease and maneuverability of a stroller. If he’s a dad of two, you can fit both little ones in here, and there is a car seat attachment for the baby. It folds up flat and has tons of cargo room, so he’ll have room for the kids, sand toys, and a lunch cooler or wherever the adventure takes him (because even the farmer’s market is a journey with kids).
17 A travel mug
You can never have too many travel mugs, even if new parents aren’t travelling too far. Whether it’s a quick errand that requires coffee to power through, the joy of coffee that stays warm for over an hour, or the peace of mind that comes from giving the baby a bottle while sipping from a closed mug (no potential for spills), this mug can get it done. It’s stainless steel, double wall vacuum insulated with a splash-proof lid.
18 A trio of hot sauces
Some like it hot, and those people will appreciate this
trio of hot sauces. Included is a bottle of sweet and spicy pineapple fresno hot sauce, one bottle of original hot pepper hot sauce, and one bottle of sun-kissed tomato hot sauce. These come packed in a nice gift box to make them feel festive. 19 A pair of basic joggers
Hot take: sometimes the best joggers are the least expensive because they get worn-in quickly These no-frills
sweatpants from Amazon Essentials are just what a new dad really wants. They’re comfy, lightweight, soft, not too precious (so it’s NBD if baby spits up on them). These have pockets (a must-have), an elastic ankle cuff, and they come in a bunch of colors including camo, and best of all they’re under $20. 20 A headlamp with red light
For those middle of the night feeds or 3 a.m. treks to the kitchen to fix their partner a snack, a headlamp is a must-have. This one has a red light which is awesome at night because it doesn’t disturb the circadian rhythm or disrupt your night vision (so he can see while he fixes a bottle or shushes a crying baby).
Plus if they’re into camping, this will be useful down the line.
Whether he’s into the holiday or not, if he’s new to parenthood then he could probably really use some extra love and attention on Feb. 14. The best way to do that is with a Valentine’s Day gift for new dads that helps him relax a little, feel seen and appreciated, and/or indulge in something he truly enjoys doing.
This article was originally published on
Feb. 5, 2020