**Disclaimer: this post contains gifted products**
When people talk about buying gifts for a new parent, let’s be honest, it’s usually the mum they’re buying for and it’s usually bubble bath. Or maybe a new pair of slippers. Or a sleep mask. Don’t get me wrong, of course, all of those things do come in useful during the first few months of parenting, but personally I probably would’ve preferred a bottle of gin or a PS4 game. And usually, Matt got nothing. Very often it seems that new dads get forgotten about in the gift showering, especially by an older generation who for some reason often assume they’re merely “putting up with” this big life change. You know, grinning and bearing it all until their nights are uninterrupted again and their wives remember they exist.
If, like me, you have what your Grandma might call a “Modern Man” under your roof, those new dads often work just as hard as us mums, if not *gasp* a little bit harder. During the first few weeks of the twins’ life, I was pretty useless. I was bed-bound, often with an oxygen mask attached, recovering from major surgery and a nasty bout of pneumonia and bloody exhausted. In those early days Matt looked after all of us. He fed the girls more than me, changed more nappies, even gave more cuddles. So, my point is, if anyone deserves a present it’s him, which made it pretty perfect when Debenhams got in touch with me a few weeks ago to see if I wanted to spontaneously treat him. So here’s my gift guide for new dads, gifted items I chose with my £100 voucher from Debenhams’ Gifts for Him section are marked with an *.
1. Loungewear: I cannot stress this enough. Being comfortable is the number one priority when you have a small baby or two (or three+, you deserve a medal). I loved this post from Amy Antoinette on the reality of parenting, and she’s right, everything isn’t Instagram perfect. You need to be able to move, bend and wriggle with your baby, and you need to rest uninterrupted whenever possible. Being comfy is the only way.
I bought Matt some PJs in prep for this last Christmas, but one pair was never gonna cut it. Even now, once those babies go down at 6.30pm, we’re both in our comfies, there’s no fighting it. For true quality that I knew wouldn’t shrink in the wash or go all bobbly, I chose him these * (£36) which are all of the above, plus they have two slouchy pockets. The last thing I bought were some boxer shorts* (£31.50), cuz let’s face it – who doesn’t love new pants? No one.
2. Wine: This is, of course, not universal, but if your giftee enjoys the finer things in life then during the newborn months they’re probably going to be indulging in a lot of it, given the chance. We have a membership to The Wine Society, which along with regular catalogues gives you great prices on quality wines, as well as loads of interesting articles and information for fans of the good stuff.
While you’re at it, don’t stop there, get him a subscription to Noble Rot magazine (£37 for 4 issues) so he can really enjoy those quiet moments in the bath with a whisky sour (or wherever he likes to enjoy them). We both read so much more now that we have kids, maybe because there’s this urge to fill your fleeting “free” time with something learned and useful instead of just staring at the telly or messing about your phone (Who am I kidding? We still watch A LOT of Netflix). Hot Rum Cow also deserves a shout-out for being awesome (£24 for 4 issues). Both magazines are also available by the issue at Colours May Vary if you’re a Leeds local.
3. Food that doesn’t require cooking: As above, really. Newborn days are the time to indulge. Unless you’re very organised, you can’t rely on hot, homecooked food for every meal, at least for the first few weeks after you get home. Depending on what your guy likes, this could be as simple as buying him a packet of cocktail sausages and a Dairy Milk, but I’d really recommend anything from Hotel Chocolat, and if you’re feeling super flush, their hampers. The gifts are truly delicious, look super impressive and require minimum effort, a win win in my book. They’ve even got a New Baby section! The Bliss Chocolate Hamper (£155 – pricey but stunning) looks bloody great to me and includes wine, hazelnut spread and drinking chocolate as well as a fab selection of chocs.
A cheese board is also an awesome option, for an easy tea, lunch or just a bit of snackage. We buy our cheese from George & Joseph who, along with their packed and varied cheese counter, have crackers, chutneys and beers galore as well as much more.
So remember, next time a friend of yours has a baby, don’t forget the dad! Happy shopping pals!