Someone you know is becoming a new dad, and you want to mourn for their old life and their old selves, because you know that having a baby really does change a person. But (depending on your circle of friends), that might be considered inappropriate, so you decide to find them a gift instead. Or, they’ve just recently had a baby and their birthday is coming up, but you know any cash or gift cards you throw their way will probably end up on the house or towards the child (and it’s the father’s birthday, not the baby’s!) So how do you pick something that’s more appropriate than the grave and tombstone you originally picked out, and will bring back a glimmer of life in this person you know?
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Excuses To Get Out Of The House
Ok so I’m not encouraging any dad’s out there to find elaborate ways to exit the house when they see fit, but if you want to get gifts for a new dad, then you can’t go past organising to go watch a movie, a sporting match, or even heading down to the local pub for a drink, meal and a game of pool. For new dad’s (and parents in general), time is a rare commodity that we no longer have, and on top of this we are dealing with the fact that our identity is changing and our prioritisation of activities is too. That’s why the perfect thing you can do is get them out of the house for a few hours to feel like their pre-baby selves again!
- Movie tickets
- Quiz Nights
- Drinks and a meal
- Sporting match (in person or watching it at the local)
- Comedy show
A Throwback To Their Hobbies
I get it, getting out of the house isn’t always possible, and you don’t want your friend to get in trouble for playing his ‘get out of jail’ cards too often. Plus he’s a new dad, and is probably going to feel a bit exhausted anyway so he may rather sleep than actually do anything. So you could target gifts aimed at his interests or hobbies. You see, no matter how well intentioned we are to maintain our hobbies, once baby comes along these inevitably drop off (to varying degree’s depending on our supports). I went from gaming a few hours a day, to a few hours a month because my priorities shifted. And I went from watching anime to reading manga comics because it’s easier to read a few pages of a comic and come back to it later, then it is to start and stop a cartoon. The other side of things is that money also ends up being funded towards the baby, and the stream that was going into hobbies and interests dries up. So anything you do to keep the stream flowing will no doubt keep your friend happy!
- Checkout Cratejoy for some sweet gift ideas. They host different sellers of subscription boxes, related to a whole bunch of different genres. I personally like to check out the Geek and Gaming section for ideas. This is also useful if you kind of know their hobbies, but don’t specifically know many details of the hobby.
- If you already know their interests inside out, then naturally you could just purchase something online at Amazon or Ebay.
- No clue about their interests? Check in with their partner to get an idea and then use one of the above options!
- A magazine subscription related to their interests. Check out magazinebargains.com for a range of magazine subscriptions.
Something To Help With Being A Dad
I know your thinking ‘But we don’t want to get any gifts for the baby!’ and I agree, but this isn’t a gift for the baby. It’s for dad. Some dad’s (probably most) may be feeling uncertain about what they need to do to be the best dad they can be. Some may not know where to start when it comes to looking after a baby, playing with a baby, feeding a baby etc. So a gift that helps your friend overcome these hurdles, will not only help his confidence, but if it shows results at home then he’s going to get major brownie points for being awesome, and can head out to the pub more regularly than usual (big picture thinking here!).
- A book to help prepare for being a dad. The Good Dad Guide, or Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters are two that are highly recommended. But there are a ton out there, so pick one that is suited to your friends reading style.
- Not much into reading? Check out The Rad Dad Box on Cratejoy. I’ve not used this box on Cratejoy specifically, but this almost 5 star box is aimed at helping new dad’s bond with their kids, with a new idea each month.
Gift Cards – That Can’t Be Spent On The Baby
Gift cards that can be spent on baby are a no-go, unless you know your friend is guaranteed to spend it on himself. Otherwise, if you are stuck on gift ideas and want to go the gift card route, then pick one that has a lower likelihood of being spent on baby. For example, if you get a gift card for a department store, that will be spent on baby. You get a preloaded Visa, gone to baby. But, if you get a restaurant gift card, less likely to involve baby, or a gift card for the hardware store or electronics store, then less likely to go to baby (still a possibility, but lower odds). You could even go so far as to include a disclaimer like ‘Can only be spent on Jack and for things he wants and needs’. Either way, if you are picking a gift card, do your best to make sure your friend spends it on himself!
- Electronics stores
- Hardware stores
- Auto shops
- Activities like skydiving or race car driving
So Whats The Best Gift Then?
The best gift for a new dad is the one that is specific to him and his interests. At a time where all your focus goes from you and your relationship, to focusing on your child, you can find yourself forgetting about your own needs and your own self care. I know I certainly did. And I was lucky because my wife kept reminding me to take time for myself, to focus on taking a break, and to spend on myself occasionally (when we had the money to!). So if you know your friend hasn’t had the chance to come watch the last couple of basketball games with you and your mates, then something to remind him of basketball would be perfect. Or if he misses going out for drives on the weekend, a car magazine subscription he can read for 5 minutes on the toilet can help him imagine that he was sitting behind the wheel of his beloved car listening to the engine roar, rather than on the white throne listening to his baby crying in the background.