July 09, 2020

Baby showers are a tradition for new moms that have long been popular. There are Pinterest boards filled with ideas, recipes, gifts, and party games for throwing the perfect baby shower. For many women, this is one of the big highlights of pregnancy. There are even countless stores that offer registries for shower guests to buy gifts from. If the moms love this so much, why don't we buy baby shower gifts for new dads?

Why don't we buy baby shower gifts for new dads?

With baby showers as such a prevalent part of the pregnancy for women, why don’t men get showered with baby gifts, too? A lot of this is cultural. Up until recent generations, men weren’t even invited to baby showers. In fact, many people will still question a co-ed baby shower when invited. With the girly themes and silly games, some men are less than thrilled with the idea of attending a baby shower. This can be a big reason why new dads don’t get gifts at the baby shower.

Baby Showers for a New Era

In our current landscape, men are much more engaged fathers. It’s a great deal more common to see a dad out with his baby without the mother. Add to this situations where a couple is co-parenting but not living together and we have a new world for baby showers. With this new way of life, should come a new way of looking at baby showers. Gone are the days when a mom would handle all of the care of a baby while the dad is at work. Dads are more involved in parenting so they should be allowed to be more involved in receiving gifts at baby showers.

With so many different types of dads out there, it is definitely time to start baby showers for a new era. This will look different based on the situation but changing up the baby showers to gift dads gifts they will use can’t be wrong. In fact, giving dad a more dad looking diaper bag or adding some things to the registry that would make his life easier, might help him to feel more engaged with the process. For women, pregnancy reminds them daily that a baby is coming. For a dad, having these special touches can help him to connect with the idea that he is about to welcome a new little one into his world.

So, what do you get a father for a baby shower?

Once you decide to add dad to the baby shower, it’s time to have some fun with it. There are some fantastic options out there for dad-specific gifts. Even better, there are options from all price points and for different stages of parenting a new baby. We’re going to break down some of these ideas for you. Not only can you include dad in the baby showers, but he can have fun with it. Here are some tips for what to get a new dad for a baby shower.

What do first time dads need?

When planning a gift for a new dad, start with the basics of what he will need. This will vary depending on the situation. Are the parents parenting together in the same home or will they be co-parenting in separate homes? The items he will need will change greatly depending on the answer to that question. For instance, some items will need to be duplicated at a baby shower if dad is parenting in a different home. We have a few first time dad gift ideas that should help.

Gifts for First Time Dads

  • Diapers - get the new dad a variety of sizes as babies grow out of sizes fairly quickly.
  • Wipes
  • Diaper bag - get the new dad a diaper bag of his own that he’ll be proud to carry.
  • Car seat - either a car seat of his own or a base for his car will help to simplify things when dad takes the baby out.
  • Stroller - get the new dad his own stroller for outings. It will save you moving things back and forth between cars.
  • Bottles - whether mom is breastfeeding or bottle feeding, dad will need bottles for any feedings he handles. Make sure dad has a selection of bottles and nipples that match what mom is using.
  • Baby clothes - having a backup outfit on the go or having outfits that are associated with a favorite sports team can be great for a new dad. Be sure to pick items that are easy to wash.
  • Baby wearing carrier options - many dads appreciate the convenience of baby wearing. Pick the baby wearing carrier option that works best for the dad in your life to give him hands-free convenience.
  • Parenting books for dads - dads need a resource to find information about the end of pregnancy, and beginning of the baby’s life. Giving them simple books packed with quality information can be a huge help.
  • First aid kit - dads need to be prepared for emergencies, because they will happen.  A small first aid kit for the car and one for the home will help a new dad feel confident.
  • Food gift cards/grocery gift cards - when welcoming a new baby, the new parents can get pretty worn out. Having the ability to pick up a cooked meal at the grocery store or order food in can make a world of difference for a new dad.
  • Comfortable chair - if dad is going to help with night time feedings or care, having a comfortable chair can help him to have an easier time of it.
  • Baby monitors/video monitors - Being able to keep an eye on the baby can be a big help for a dad to be. Whether that is with an audio baby monitor or a video one, having these items on hand can do a lot for a dad’s sense of control. 

How do you make baby shower gifts for dads fun? 

With many baby showers focused on the mom, how do you make dad gifts fun? For some, the tendency is to go for gifts that are patronizing to the dad for the sake of a laugh. There are some great ways to give a baby shower gift to a dad that is both fun and practical. One of the great ways to do this is with themed baby shower gifts. Here are a few ideas for themed baby shower gifts for dads.

Themed Baby Shower Gifts for Dads

New Dad Car Kit:

Taking a new baby out for the first time can be overwhelming for a new dad. There are so many things that need to be packed in the diaper bag and set up for taking a baby out for the first time. A fun gift to prepare for a dad might be a new dad car kit. This could be in a dad diaper bag. However; if you wanted to have more fun with it, you could put it in a car tool box. Here are a few suggestions for what you might put in a new dad car kit:

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Formula bottles - sometimes bottles can be forgotten when packing up for a trip out. Add a few bottles to the kit so that dad can have clean bottles on hand.
  • Changing pad - changing a baby, on the go, can be difficult and many men’s restrooms won’t have a changing station. Make sure dad has a changing pad or woobie so that he can still change the baby on the go.
  • Garbage/disposable bag - changing a baby in the car can leave dad with a dirty diaper in the car until the next stop. Add some bags to your dad car kit so that dad can bag up those diapers for easier disposal.
  • Backup shirt for dad - babies are famous for spitting up or spoiling clothes in some way. Having a backup shirt in the car can be a big help for a dad on the go.
  • Backup outfits for the baby - sometimes it can be easy to forget certain items in the diaper bag. Include a few outfits, in this kit, so that dad can change the baby easily if there is a diaper issue or a spit up situation that ruins an outfit.
  • Extra pacifiers or comfort items - pacifiers (or binkies) or other comfort items can be a perfect addition to the car bag. Having extras on hand can help if one falls, on the ground, or is misplaced while on the road.

New Dad Hospital Bag

When a mom goes into labor, she packs a hospital bag with everything she will need for the hospital. Most of the time dads don’t think to pack things for themselves for the hospital. One way to have fun with gifts, for a new dad, is to help prepare his hospital bag for him. You can add a few different items to help make his adjustment to new fatherhood a bit easier. With everyone focused on the mom, this can help him to give her 100% of his focus while she is in labor and after the baby comes. Here are a few suggestions for this bag.

  1. Snacks/Drinks - While the mother is in labor, many hospitals will not let her eat. Dads may need to get a snack or a drink. Instead of leaving the room to go get a snack or drink, having these items in their bag can be a big help.
  2. OTC Medications - During labor it may not be possible to go out and pick up medicine for a headache or an upset stomach. Having these items in the bag can help him to keep his focus on the mom as she labors and after the baby comes. 
  3. Pillow/Blanket - While some hospitals will provide a pillow or a blanket to the dad, they aren’t always the best. Having a pillow or blanket on hand can help him to grab naps when his partner doesn’t need his help. 
  4. Phone Chargers - Items like phone chargers can be easily forgotten. Making sure he has a phone charger on hand can help him to keep his phone running. A lot of the time friends and family are asking the dad what is happening. This will help him to answer. 
  5. Headphones/Magazines - There are some times when the mom is able to nap during labor or doesn’t need the dad. Having headphones or a magazine can give him something to do without disturbing the mom.

New Dad Diaper Changing Kit

If you want to have fun with the new dad in your life, build him a new dad diaper changing kit. This can be as simple or as fun as you want it to be. Pack it in a basket, toolbox, or even in a diaper bag. The goal is to give dad everything he might need for diaper time at home or on the go. Here are a few items to pack in a dad diaper changing kit gift:

  • Diapers 
  • Wipes 
  • Diaper cream - depending on the products you use, having a diaper cream can be a big help during changing time
  • Vaseline® - Vaseline® can be a great barrier if you have a baby with diaper rash
  • Pee-pee teepee - if you want to add some fun, add a fun twist like a pee-pee teepee, or similar products, designed to avoid the baby peeing on the dad
  • Changing pad - if the dad in your life is changing the baby on the go, make sure he has a changing pad as most men’s restrooms do not have a changing station
  • Disposal bags - having a bag to dispose the used diapers in, can be a big help
  • Baby powder/baby lotions - many babies will get baby powder added during a diaper change, or parents may do lotion after baths.  

How do you make baby showers fun for dads?

With a move to having more dads at baby showers, how do you make baby showers fun for dads? Many of the games and baby shower themes commonly used are centered around moms. However, there are some simple ways to engage dad in the process. You can either throw a dads only baby shower or find fun ways to include dad in the event.

Throw a Dads Only Baby Shower

Who said you can’t pioneer something new and fun for the dad in your life? Instead of inviting him into the mom’s baby shower, have some fun with a dad only shower. This could give you a great deal more freedom with themes, games, food, and more. Adding a custom theme focused on the dad can give him a greater connection to the process. Here are a few ideas for a dads only baby shower.

  • Have fun with the theme - Because you are throwing a shower only for the dad, you have some flexibility with the theme of the shower. Feel free to make it a guy’s night out with baby gifts or theme it around a favorite movie/show. Adding that custom element can make it fun for the dad and all guests who attend. Some other fun themes might be A Baby is Brewing hosted in a favorite brewery, The Game is On with a tailgating party, or even a simple guys night out bowling where each guest brings a baby shower gift. When planning a shower for a dad, it doesn’t even have to be called a baby shower. The idea is more to make sure that the dad has what he needs for the new baby. Feel free to mix things up and reinvent the baby shower approach to better meet his needs. Not all attendees will have children so make sure the theme is clear enough that they know baby gifts are part of the experience.
  • Change up the food - While many mom focused baby showers have items like cake, finger sandwiches, and appetizers, the options are endless for a dad shower. Feel free to change up the food to either fit the theme or fit the interests of the attendees. You might replace cake and punch with buffalo wings and beer. When planning the dad shower, make sure to keep the dad-to-be in mind. What are some of his favorite foods? What are some things he enjoys sharing with friends?
  • Switch up the games - A group of men may not have fun with games that are part of a traditional baby shower. Feel free to change up some of the baby shower games to better fit the theme of your event. This might mean shooting pool, playing an old favorite drinking game, or even games themed around the coming baby. Some game ideas might be a diaper changing competition. Another fun game might be one focused on the midnight snack run most dads do for an expecting mom. The goal of games at a dads only baby shower is to get the dads laughing together. Make them fun and light-hearted. Don’t take things too seriously and you are sure to have a great time. If there is a favorite game you already play together, look at ways you can add a fun dad twist to it. Take some time to make it fun.
  • Have a fun challenge with gifts - Sometimes gifts like diapers or wipes can be part of a special challenge during a baby shower. Use a small prize as an incentive. For each pack of diapers or wipes attendees get an entry into a raffle for a fun prize. This competition can be a fun way to make sure the dad-to-be has the diapers/wipes he needs.

Include Dads in the Baby Shower

Sometimes throwing a baby shower just for dad isn’t possible. However, there are ways to include dads in the baby shower so that they feel like they are part of things. Taking a few simple steps can help dads to feel like a part of the fun. One of the most important things is to make sure dads aren’t the butt of the jokes during the shower. He is a new parent as much as the mom is and deserves to be encouraged during this baby shower time.

  • Involve him in the theme - Baby shower themes can be very girly and mom-focused but there are some simple ways to add dad into it. When choosing the theme of the baby shower, take some time to look at whether dad would feel comfortable with the theme as well. Creating an environment that is welcoming to both parents can help dads to feel more accepted at the shower.
  • Add snacks/food options he will enjoy as well - Many baby showers have food items the mom enjoys or snacks that work well for the crowd. However, not every dad is into some of the food options offered at baby showers. Make sure to add some of his favorite foods to the menu as well. You can still celebrate and keep things on theme and on budget while picking things he will also enjoy.
  • Include games the dad would have fun with - If the dad is going to invite his friends, pick games that he will not only enjoy but not be easily embarrassed by. While some dads can laugh along with some of the common games, many dads will choose not to play at all. When choosing games for the shower, pick games that dad will have fun with and be happy to join in on.
  • Let dad open gifts as well - The dad is also welcoming a new baby. Many times the mom will do the bulk of the gift opening. Either have gifts that are specifically for the dad or let the dad be part of the unwrapping process. Letting the dad feel involved in the baby shower process can help him to feel involved in other parts of becoming a new dad. 

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