When Frog was born four years ago, I was inundated with gifts. Along with all the cute tiny baby clothes, cuddly toys and snuggly blankets there were huge bunches of flowers for me, beautifully smelling pamper goodies and a couple of bottles of champagne. The (self proclaimed) Northern Love Machine, however, didn’t get anything.
At the time we joked that I was the one who’d done all the work, so it was only fair that I got all the presents. But, looking back, I think this tiny aspect of new parenthood was just another contributing factor to making him feel a bit overlooked and like a spare part at the time.
It’s no secret that the NLM didn’t find fatherhood easy at the beginning. Unused to newborn babies, overwhelmed by responsibility and still reeling from the birth (despite it being a straight forward labour he found the whole thing pretty traumatic), he withdrew into himself and we had a few weeks where I questioned if he was really happy.
After a couple of months the NLM started to relax and eventually found his own way to be a dad. He was never going to be a “happy clappy” dad, bouncing along to nursery rhymes at baby and toddler groups and wondering around the supermarket wearing his daughter in a sling. But that doesn’t make him any less of a brilliant dad – he just has his own way of doing things.
Whenever friends of mine have babies I always try to get the new dad a gift too – even if it’s just a bottle of nice beer. Dads can easily end up being left out of the new baby excitement so a small gesture to say, “Here you go mate, you did a good job too” can go a long way, I reckon.
This time around I’m planning to treat the NLM to a couple of bottles of his favourite vintage cider (he rarely reads my blog so there’s no risk of the surprise being ruined!) along with a cute collection of men’s cologne. He’s been pretty much teetotal since I turned 37 weeks pregnant, in case he needs to drive me to the hospital, so I know he’ll welcome a glass of his favourite tipple after the baby’s born almost as much as I will.
For the smellies, he’s getting the Penhaligon’s Gentlemen’s Fragrance Collection from House of Fraser. He likes a fancy pamper product almost as much as I do – although don’t tell him I told you that.
This cute collection is just the right size for a small gift for a new dad and I know the NLM will love it. Plus, it’ll certainly last longer than the posh cider.
What do you think? Should new dads get presents too? If you’re a dad yourself I’d love to hear what your ideal “new dad gift” would be.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you in collaboration with House of Fraser.