Looking for the perfect Father’s Day gift for a new dad? You probably wish you could bottle up extra ZZZ’s for him. Or, maybe slow down time so he can relish in all those wonderful “firsts” that constitute fatherhood. You know, witnessing baby’s first wobbly steps. Or hearing his child say “da” for the first time and rounding it up to “dad.”
But even you, the ultimate gift giver, can’t literally create more hours in the day for him. However, you can do so figuratively by giving him a thoughtful gift that will help him save time and energy — both finite resources. (That way, he has more time to spend “dad-ing.”)
But, before we delve into our Father’s Day gift guide (you won’t find any ties or socks on this list!), we owe you a primer on today’s dads.
About 46 percent of dads spend more time with their kids than their own parents did, according to the Pew Research Center. Still, nearly half of the dads surveyed said it wasn’t “enough” time. The survey also found that today’s fathers find it difficult to strike the right work-family life balance, with 52 percent of working dads saying it was “very” or “somewhat” difficult.
“Overall, today’s dads are more involved than in the past,” said Dr. Erik Fisher, an Atlanta-based psychologist, father and ambassador for the Genius of Play, which is a movement to raise awareness about the importance of play. Studies have shown that supportive, affectionate and involved fathers contribute to a child’s self-esteem and academic achievement.
These days, dads are also more nurturing, Fisher says.
So, when it comes to finding the right gift for a new dad, Fisher says it’s important to find something that will have meaning and that connects to the idea of fatherhood. For example, his wife gifted him with a watch on his first Father’s Day with a special message engraved on the back. (And, of course, a watch is a meaningful reminder that time is precious).
Here’s 7 great gift ideas for new dads who are short on time.
The gift: An in-home massage
Why it’s genius: A great way to zap stress and tension? A massage. But, really, between all those pediatrician visits, who has time to go to another appointment? Instead, you can have a massage delivered to your home. If you’re gifting this for new parents, you’ll get bonus points if you volunteer to babysit and book it as a couple’s massage. We’re guessing mom has a few kinks in the neck too from late-night feedings and baby-holding. Zeel.com allows you to choose the gender of your massage therapist, and specify a time and location for your massage. A licensed and vetted massage therapist comes to your home with a massage table and even music.
Cost: Prices vary based on location. But, you can get a 60-minute massage in the $100 range.
Where to get it: Buy a gift certificate online here.
The gift: A reclaimed garage
Why it’s genius: A well-organized garage can be a sanctuary of sorts, stocked with everything from tools to sporting equipment. But an all-too-common scenario? Boxes of belongings start to overtake the garage. Help the new dad in your life reclaim garage space, while ensuring keepsakes needed for later are kept safe. (We’re willing to bet boxes ended up in the garage when that former guest room or home office was converted into a nursery). You can enlist the help of Closetbox to come pick up belongings and store them in a private vault. The Closetbox team will even return Dad’s belongings whenever he needs them. For the bonus round, you could gift him with a cool new gadget or tool for the garage now that there’s space there again.
Cost: Free pick up for long-term storage, storage pricing varies.
Where to get it: Reserve your storage pick up here.
The gift: A spice subscription
Why it’s genius: An international vacation is probably out of the question with a newborn. Instead, let the world come to him. The subscription box trend is still going strong, and the latest iteration draws inspiration from global spice markets. If dad is a home chef or loves family dinners, you can give the gift of a Spice Madam subscription. Customers receive a “culinary adventure” filled with spices, recipes and a Spotify music playlist from a different destination each month, as well as fun facts about the country. Some countries featured are Jamaica, India, Portugal, Lebanon, Greece and Italy. This can be a fun way for families to learn about other cultures and spend time together at the dinner table.
Cost: $20 a month
Where to get it: Order it online here.
The gift: A high-tech pillow
Why it’s genius: You know the expression “cool as the other side of the pillow”? Invest in the right pillow and that can be a dream come true. If a new dad could use some sound sleep, you can allow him to customize a pillow through Bedgear. The “performance pillows” are personalized based on sleep position and body type. They’re also made with a moisture-wicking technology to keep him cool throughout the night.
Where to get it: Find the right fit by taking a Pillow ID quiz.
The gift: Baby K’Tan Baby Carrier
Why it’s genius: The problem with most baby carriers? All that wrapping and buckling that seems to take for-ev-er when you’re just trying to get out the door to go for a walk or to run errands. Enter: The Baby K’Tan Carrier that you can simply slip over your head like a T-shirt. It provides five different ergonomic positions, all without uncomfortable buckles or snaps that dig into your shoulders. Bonus? Snuggles with the baby while you’re on the go.
Cost: $49.95 to $59.95
Where to get it: Find it online here.
The gift: A photo collage
Why it’s genius: Hat tip to Dr. Fisher for this genius idea. Create a photo collage that weaves together family photos. “That way, it can trigger good memories throughout the year.” We love this gift idea for a couple of reasons. These days, many photos are snapped from our phones — so taking the time to print them and put them on display makes them extra-special. And, instead of having dozens of photo prints, arranging them all together into one image reduces clutter.
Cost: You can make a photo collage for under $3 on Shutterfly.
Where to get it: Build your own collage here.
The gift: The 12 Minute Athlete App
Why it’s genius: Exercising comes with a whole host of benefits. It’s an all-natural mood and energy booster, and, of course, when you work out, you set a good, healthy example for your children. And, let’s get real: By exercising on a regular basis, you’re showing you care about your health and that you want to be around for a long time for your kids. But when you’re a new parent, you want to spend as much time as possible with your child. Enter High Intensity Interval Training workouts, which also go by the AKA HIIT. These workouts alternate between intense bursts of exercise and rest periods, and the American College of Sports Medicine says exercising this way can burn more calories because your body is still torching calories post-workout. Plus, you can log these workouts at home. So, let’s recap: By exercising smarter, you can burn more calories in less time. This app that has dozens of efficient, 12-minute workouts is perfect for the dad who is short on time, but still wants to see fitness gains.
Cost: $4.99 a month.
Where to get it: Find it online here.