Published November 11, 2010
Dads are helping out more and more with their children. The days of mom doing all of the work while dad sits on the couch in his smoking jacket enjoying a pipe are long gone. Today’s families are seriously busy and require the help of both parents. If you know a new dad, help him out by stocking a kit with everything he’ll need when it’s his turn to take care of the new baby.
Most new fathers don’t know what they would need to pack for an outing with their infant or toddler. That’s where you come in. If he’s got his first bag stocked, he’ll know how to restock it when the time comes. Here are some things you should include:
- A sturdy baby bag that won’t embarrass dad if he runs into his boss or coworker at the park. This can be as simple as a black messenger bag. Many companies now sell a type of “man purse” designed for exactly this use. These bags are fashionable and won’t scream baby bag from a mile away. They are often grey or black and are worn cross body so dad has his hands free.
- Essentials for the infant age include diapers (at least 8), changing pad (in case dad has to change baby on a yucky diaper changing station in a public restroom), and lots of wipes. Ensure the wipe container closes properly so they stay moist. Depending on the infant, you’ll need formula or breast milk. If the infant is eating only breast milk, mom will have to pump it ahead of time and leave it for dad in the freezer. He can put it in a bottle when the time comes. Give him an ice pack or two so that the milk stays cool in the diaper bag. If the infant drinks formula, make sure dad packs the powdered formula (they now come in single-serve packs) and bottled water to mix it with. He’ll also have to have at least two bottles—one extra for when baby throws his bottle down on a dirty surface or dad leaves one at a restaurant.
- Lots of other items are a good idea as well, this is usually where all those new baby gifts come in handy. A bib for feeding baby in public is a must. If baby is off formula, dad’s going to have to pack baby food (at least three jars including meat, veggies and fruit) as well as a baby spoon. A sippy cup or two are also necessary or a two bottles if the baby can’t drink from a cup yet. Diaper cream to take care of diaper rash, a teething ring to stop a crying baby, a squishy toy that will distract baby if she’s crying, and a pacifier are also sound choices.
- Anything else you want to add can be for dad. Include some granola bars or trail mix for when his energy lags as well as an extra bottle of water or juice for him, hand sanitizing spray or gel, a list of emergency contact numbers written out including mom’s number at work (in case he loses that cell phone), and gum or candies.
- Don’t assume that dad will know what to do in every situation, especially if he’s a new dad. Write out feeding times and how often baby’s diaper should be changed and any other info that you think he might need.