We get it, new dads (like new moms) just need a break. Aside from volunteering for babysitting duties, there’s an easy way to help: Get them some new gear. Perhaps some wireless earbuds to listen to podcasts as they put the baby to sleep, or something that could help to distract the youngins so he can rest his back for a few minutes. Here are the products we think would be most useful to tired new dads.
Apple’s 9th-gen iPad is one of the most useful devices for any new parent. It can be your child’s gateway to video chatting with their grandparents (and with the new Center Stage cameras, they’ll always be in frame), or a life-saving distraction during long car rides. It could be a new dad’s way to catch up on their favorite show while stuck dealing with mealtime. Or it could be a way for growing kids to read interactive stories and play games. The iPad can be whatever you want it to be. And paired with a decent case, it can be durable enough to survive life with tiny humans. (And if it does break, at least it’s far cheaper to replace than an iPad Air, or a typical laptop.)
Jabra Elite 85t earbuds
There’s no question that we love Jabra’s lineup of wireless earbuds. The Elite 85t delivers solid active noise canceling, a slim and light design, and excellent sound. And best of all, they cost around $200 and you can often find them for around $150. No matter which smartphone you have, the 85t are an excellent way to catch up on podcasts while trying to rock a baby to sleep. And they’ll be even more useful during the rare bit of downtime for new parents. They’re perfect for rocking out to your favorite tunes, or pair them to your TV or set-top box to enjoy late-night movies without making much noise.
Apple AirPods Pro
The first AirPods Pro were a much-needed improvement over the original AirPods, thanks to a more secure bud design and noise canceling. The second-generation AirPod Pros are even better, with significantly improved sound and far more powerful ANC. They’re perfect for drowning out a crying infant as they’re being rocked to sleep, or quieting the cacophony of house noise while preparing dinner. Pop in one AirPod Pro, and it can help dad catch up on his podcasts while pushing a stroller around town, or chasing kids through a playground. And once the kids are asleep, they can deliver surprisingly powerful tunes. They also easily pair with Apple TVs to deliver immersive sound at night without waking the kids.
This relatively cheap rattle is deceptively useful. It has a light-up face to keep babies interested, multiple textures for them to explore, and a mirror on the bottom for them to learn their own faces. It was a secret weapon during my child’s first-year tantrums, so much so that I’ve gifted it to every new parent I know. It’s not high tech at all, but it’s a reminder that they’re called classics for a reason.
Apple Watch Series 8
The Apple Watch Series 8 is the perfect companion for any iPhone-toting dad. It’s not as flashy as the Apple Watch Ultra, but it’s still filled with useful features like automatic car crash detection. And then there are all the other great things dads can do with an Apple Watch: Keep tabs on notifications without pulling out their phone; check out with Apple Pay in a few seconds; and live out their sci-fi fantasies by taking calls on their wrist. It’s perfect dad tech: A little dorky, but eminently practical.
We all wish we could read more, and sometimes it’s just nice to stop staring at a phone’s bright screen. Enter the Kindle Paperwhite, one of our favorite e-readers on the market. It has a large 6.8-inch E-Ink screen that’s purpose built for reading. The backlight is easy on the eyes, and the most recent model even features warmer lighting to avoid disrupting sleep patterns. It’s also waterproof, making it a great bath, beach or pool companion. After dealing with kids for the whole day, it may be worth just locking up your notification and social media infested phone to dive into a good book. And if you’re not an Amazon person, you have plenty of good e-reader options from Kobo to consider, like the Clara 2E.
Theragun Mini 2.0
Keeping up with a new baby can lead to aches and pains in muscles that dad never knew he had. The Theragun Mini can give him the opportunity to get a massage without leaving the house. While there are much bigger and more powerful Theragun machines, the Mini is a good size for beginners and those who want to take its muscle relief power wherever they go. It has a single button that dad can use to change the massage gun’s speed and its ergonomic design makes it easy to reach different parts of the body. And arguably the best part is its 150-minute battery life — while that might not seem like a long time, it truly is when you consider the fact that you don’t need to use it for more than a few minutes each day to feel the results. With that schedule, dad could use the Theragun Mini every day for a month or more before needing to recharge it.
Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Game controller
A perfect gift for any gamer dads in your life, the Laugh and Learn Controller is basically a baby-proofed version of a modern gamepad. There’s a joystick, directional pad, and array of buttons for kids to fiddle with. But like any good distracting toy, it also lights up and makes sounds to keep them entertained. It’s not exactly complex, but it’s inexpensive and effective. That’s particularly true for parents of little ones who always gravitate to their expensive console controllers.