Let me start by saying that I fully recognize that many dads don’t care what gear they are working with as long as it works. However, I’m often asked what gear is good for dads so I decided to do a post on it.
Dad gear is a tough one because that’s like asking “what shoes are good for women”, but assuming this dad is on the taller, bigger side, here are some of the items that historically work well for the fellas.
Dad Friendly Baby Gear:
This bad boy of the stroller world has a bunch of pros for new Dads, like the super-smooth ride thanks to a state-of-the-art suspension system, the fact that it steers easily with one hand and has a great stride distance (you won’t kick the tires as you walk). But one of the best features is the handlebar on the Flex and Pro models. It’s got nine different adjustable positions for all kinds of heights. (You can see my review on the Pro here.)
City Selects are great because they have a telescoping handle and a nice stride distance so if parents are different heights this stroller can quickly adapt to the ‘pusher’. They aren’t cheap but are – in my opinion – worth the cash if you can swing it. This new model has 20 configurations, new accessories including a jump seat and shopping cart and a 30% smaller fold than the previous City Select.
The Cruiser is cool because you can push it like a high-end stroller or pull it like a wagon – it can even be used with an Infant Car Seat Adaptor. It is rugged yet lightweight, crafted from aircraft grade aluminum, and can accommodate up to 150 pounds, all while weighing less than most double strollers. You can read more about it here.
Many guys really like this carrier. It’s easy to use with no wrapping and the weight distribution seems to be a bit higher. It’s been around forever and is a great baby staple. (If anyone brings up hip dysplasia with this, have a read of this ‘crotch dangler’ post so you have some solid information.) My husband loved ours.
This another one that got lots of votes from the dads. It fits many sizes (and widths) so you can easily fit many people. I would say that the 360 is the most popular model now but if you live somewhere hot, have a look at the Cool Air Mesh version.
Another great option for the babywearing Dad, these carriers are super-durable which makes them great for hiking. They’re also soft and comfortable for both baby and Dad. And as a nifty little bonus, you can strap it to a chair with a back and turn it into a high chair.
I’m a sucker for these ridiculously cute shirts that also make it ridiculously easy for Dads to wear their babies. All they have to do is put the shirt on and slip their baby inside, all kangaroo-like. The shirts look great without baby in them, too.
[Editor’s note: be warned that there are fewer things on the planet that other women find more attractive than a man carrying a baby. He will be stopped approximately every five feet to be told how wonderful he is and what an outstanding father he must be. This may hinder the speed of an outing so strap that kid on him wisely. If the baby is strapped to you, rest assured you will be fully ignored by the public.]
Give a new Dad a diaper bag that’s got a simple and sophisticated look to it, and he’s sure to love it. Then tell him that it also zips out into a built-in changing station with sides so your baby isn’t putting his or her hands on something disgusting, while also featuring a bunch of compartments for diapers, wipes and a separate spot for wet stuff – and watch his new-Dad mind being blown. I LOVE this diaper bag but it’s also $200 so, you know, a bit of a splurge. (This one also made my Best of ABC 2017 list if you want to check out the details along with a post on how we packed one – it also includes a 15% off discount code.)
If you shouted, “Are you high?!” with my $200 diaper bag pick, then may I suggest the Skip Hop Backpack. It’s a really nice size that fits nicely when a mom carries if but then doesn’t look like a peanut on a bear when a dad wears it. It comes with a change pad, lots of pockets and is a fairly reasonable $60. If that’s still not rugged enough, Columbia and Diaper Dude also make really nice diaper bags.
This cover may be called a nursing cover, but it also doubles as a car seat and shopping cart cover. Plus, it’s camo! I can’t help it, I love the camo. It’s a great item that has a ton of uses and comes in really cool patterns.
Just to be clear, this isn’t a dads-are-so-dumb-ha-ha suggestion. If you are formula feeding, scooping and measuring is a giant pain-in-the-butt and if you aren’t the one that is usually scooping and measuring, you have to ask the usual scooper and measurer. This person may be asleep (and should hopefully stay that way) but with this Brezza, any rockstar getting up in the middle of the night just has to hit a button to make the bottle.
Okay, so maybe I really like this and I’m hoping that some dads will like it too.
These good-looking shirts are made with something called hydrophobic nanotechnology. Which is basically a fancy term for stain-proof and water-resistant clothing. So puke, baby food and anything else your little one can lob at you will literally run off the surface of your shirt. They’re a bit pricey, but I’m guessing being almost purely baby-proof is worth it.
While technically not baby gear, these flip flops are like the car cling – I just like them. They’re comfortable, durable, they look great and make grabbing a quick beer on the fly nice and easy. I own a pair and I love them (but I also love quick beer access without moving.)
Clearly, I’m starting to go down a rabbit hole with my interpretation of ‘dad friendly’ so let me know what gear has really worked for you.