Holiday wish list for dads

December 20, 2012 12:00 AM by

christmas stars

As publisher of Pregnancy Magazine, rarely do I get to write anything, because I “really wouldn’t understand.” However, when it comes to what dad might want for this holiday season, I’ve been given free range to list all the stuff I would think would make dad happy this year.

 

 

 

 

 

1. Baby Monitor 3G – For the new dad who has everything, this is the perfect $3.99 gift. It’s a simple app that turns his iPad and iPhone into the parent or baby unit of a 2-device monitor system. Or he can use it to keep an eye on the wine cabinet during the Christmas party. The app is pure genius, and yet another example how the iPhone has the power to wipe out entire product categories. All dad has to do is install the app on two devices in the same WIFI network, and then designate the iPhone or iPad as the baby station or the parent station. After that, it as easy as any baby monitor to watch the baby and even talk back. Ingeniously, the app uses the iPhone flash for illumination if you need a peek in the dark.

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2. Sodastream – We first got a Sodastream about 6 years ago and it’s one of those products that will change your life if you drink a lot of bottled spring water. Even if dad doesn’t drink it, but is just the big lug forced to carry the boxes of full bottles in and the empties out, he will thank you for this great idea. The Sodastream is simple. It doesn’t even require electricity. It uses CO2 cartridges to pump the bubbles into the bottles and you dial up the amount of “spiciness” by how much you put in each bottle. Cost per bottle of bubbly water goes down to about $.25 per bottle, but the best part is not carrying the bottles. $99.99 on Amazon.

 

3. Belkin @TV – Here’s another device that I immediately found changed my life. The @TV is Belkin’s competitor to the Slingbox. The @TV, like the Slingbox, sits between your cable (or satellite box) and allows you to watch your home TV remotely exactly the way you would at home, but on your computer, iPhone or iPad. The beauty in this device is that it comes with a free app so you can watch TV immediately on the iPad. This means dad can carry the football game around with him as he takes out the trash, or he can take the news out to the garage the same way we used to do with portable antenna TVs. From the minute I plugged this in (installation is relatively simple), I couldn’t imagine how I had been tethered to that cable for so long. $174 on Amazon

4. Fatcat phone charger – How many times have you, or the dad in your life, complained that the phone doesn’t last half a day, say nothing to the 72 or more hours of battery life we were all promised. Our phones are now loaded with apps running constantly in the background, sucking our devices dry even as they sit quietly on the counter. That’s why everyone needs to pack a device like the Fatcat in their bag or in the car. The Fatcat, which comes pre-charged, is a compact battery that comes in a little bag ready to charge any device whenever you need. It comes with modular plugs for most devices including Android devices, iPhones, iPad, and readers; basically anything that uses USB as a charger. I carry this with me religiously when I travel. There’s nothing worse than touching down after a 3 hour flight to realize you have no battery left to call home. There are other devices like this that only do iPhones, but fewer that have as many options or that look this sexy. $64 on Amazon.

5. Philips Norelco Aquatech razor – I love my earlier version of the Philips razor and can only imagine how great it would be bring it right in the shower with me for a closer shave, or use it with a face covered in shaving lotion, especially as I shave off this year’s Movember ‘stach. Philips has really improved the whole notion of electric shaving with these new cleanable, and replaceable heads. Yes, that does mean an annuity for Philips as daily users do need to replace them every year, but you can feel the difference with clean blades, just the way you do with new razor blades on a regular razor. If the dad in your life does not have an electric razor, this is the one to get this holiday. $69 on Amazon.

Those are just a few on my wish list (or those I loved over last year).

Have a great holiday season!

About

Paul Banas is the San Francisco-based publisher of Pregnancy Magazine, as well as editor of GreatDad.com, a parenting resource for fathers. He is married with two children, 9 and 13. He is passionate about promoting involved parenting, especially by fathers. Paul has BA from the University of Minnesota, an MA from Middlebury College and an MBA from Thunderbird School of International Management.

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