The other day I was scrolling through my Instagram when I ran into a post of my cousin who is a new and excited father. He takes his little man everywhere with him. In this particular post, he and his 5-month-old were at the car dealership waiting for an oil change. In the post, my cousin was venting about the fact that there were no changing stations in the men’s bathroom and how difficult it was for him to figure out how to change the kid on his lap. After I chuckled a few times (after all, I now know how to balance Amari on one knee, change his diaper and talk on the phone all at the same time) it got me to thinking. There is something for almost every woman out there when it comes to motherhood needs, but what about the dads? Where is their cool diaper bag? Do they have to walk around with the flower baby carrier designed for us? Why aren’t there more cool products out there for those guys? After all, they have been having babies just as long as we have right? I know…I know what you are thinking…historically raising children was a woman job so it makes sense that most baby gear is geared (pun intended) toward us. But I mean…we are in a new day where fathers are now staying home to mind the babies while moms head out to work. Men are beginning to take a much more active role in the everyday upbringing of the little ones and it about time that the baby industry caught up with that. So, I decided to do a little digging in an effort to find a few cool items for you dads out there. Now moms, I personally have some of these items in my own arsenal so feel free to check them out too!
Warming Wings SmartNest – This is the first thing I thought of after your post, Bernard (that’s my cousin if you are wondering)! This is the answer to your bathroom issues! P.S. Contrary to what you men think, they do not have changing stations in all women’s bathrooms so this actually makes a great gift for us as well. This is a diaper bag with a built-in, fold-out changing station/bassinet. The outside fabric is durable and easy to clean. The colors are neutral on a handsomely styled bag so the fellas won’t have a problem strapping this to their shoulders. There are 11 different pockets which are more than enough room for all of your baby needs. I recently went away for a weekend and Amari stayed with my cousin while I was gone. I was actually able to pack all of his clothes and food into this one bag. The fact that it had a fully padded fold out mat inside made it so ideal and convenient because she had everything she needed in one place without me having to also provide her with a separate sleeping station for the weekend. This thing actually converts into a whole bed! It is literally a one stop shop! If I haven’t convinced you that you need this yet, then I guess you just really like working harder. I have seen others similar to Warming Wings on the market, but overall I like the quality of the fabric, the thickness of the mattress as well as the roominess of the bassinet over the others. This here is the work of a genius.
Lalabu Dad Shirt – Some quick facts about baby wearing; 1) Builds stronger bonds between parent and baby, 2) Helps reduce reflux and colic, 3) It empowers the wearer to feel more competent and 4) Gives you your hands back! And this my compadres, is babywearing at its finest. What I love about this shirt; 1) It’s made in the USA, 2) It has a mesh breathable pouch that encourages bonding with baby, 3) It has a cool sporty V-Neck design, 4) No clips or ties. Just slip it on and slip baby in. Why choose Lalabu over the others? First off the quality is durable and breathable. It withstands several washes (which believe me the way my kid vomited, this shirt went through plenty of cycles). Also, 2% of Lalabu’s profit is donated to Kiva to assist women in Africa in becoming mom entrepreneurs. I’m not sure about you, but something about knowing that my purchase, in turn, helps another is just about as warming to my heart as my baby is when he lays on my chest.
Mission Critical S.02 Carrier – OK fellas! Now that you have mastered baby wearing indoors, how about tackling some of the big outdoor tasks.. like food shopping?! JK. No, but really this is literally the G.I. Joe of baby carriers. It is made with an aerospace-grade fabric that is 5 times stronger than steel! Whoever designed this truly had the man’s man in mind. When I look at this carrier I immediately see mountain climbing and forest trails in my head. The carrier is adjustable so you can wear it on your front or back with baby facing in or out. I tested it with Amari and was immediately surprised at how durable yet lightweight it was. Now to be honest anything is comfortable when your child only weighs 12 pounds. I really wanted to give this one a more rigorous go. So I sent it over to a friend of mine to test out with her 1-year-old who is currently at 30 pounds. She was constantly frustrated with not being able to find a comfortable enough carrier for a larger child so we put Mission Critical to the test. From her lips to my (preverbal) pen, “I love this thing and so does Lil Poppa! He cried when I took him out! It’s super secure and stable and I especially love the hip belt. It helps with the weight and adds extra security for heavier toddlers. He’s almost 30lbs and he’s just sitting there… perfectly fine”.
I know, I know I have a woman testing out what’s supposed to be a man’s product. But look at this thing… why wouldn’t we want to carry it also? And most times don’t we end up stealing your things anyway too? Well, whether you choose to keep it to yourself or share it with us, you are sure to love this one.
Mighty Mug – I have this friend that when he is around, no cup is safe. If there is a glass to be knocked over, he will somehow manage to do so. Enter his one-year-old son and between the two of them, there’s a disaster in the form of a liquid trail. If your fella is anywhere near this type of klutz then you may want to look into the Mighty Mug. I cannot tell you how many times I lost libations to one of Amari’s swift kicks. Mighty Mug utilizes something called SmartGrip Technology which keeps the mug from tipping over when something is knocked into it, no matter how hard you try. However, it will lift naturally and effortlessly off of any surface. Never lose a cup of coffee again. Its like “brew-ha” magic. They come in different colors and sizes and are available for both hot and cold beverages.
Hopefully, a few of these will help you move from dad to super dad! Either way, you are doing an amazing job guys! In the meanwhile, I will keep digging and looking for products to help you survive through your new mission of “operation keep baby alive”. Don’t worry fellas… I got you!