While you're the one with the burgeoning baby belly and tiresome symptoms, it's easy to forget that dad has a role in the pregnancy experience too. He attends all of your prenatal appointments, squeezing your hand with glee at the sound of that tiny heartbeat. He's reading parenting books on the sly and researching the safest car seat around. If you're really lucky, he's rubbing your aching back, too. Let him know how much you value his partnership and support with a small, but thoughtful gift to mark his first days as a dad. We have a few ideas:
Advice from dads he admires
In the months leading up to delivery day, reach out to the guys in your partner's life. Ask each of them to share one piece of advice they've learned about fatherhood. Compile them all into a book you can present to the dad-to-be. Bonus points if these words of wisdom range from heartwarming to flat-out funny. Ask your contributors to include a photo of each of them with their kids.
Stock the freezer
We love a gift that does double-duty and benefits the giver too. Before baby's arrival, spend some time in the kitchen cooking and freezing some of your partner's favorite meals. When your little one is finally here, you'll both appreciate the forethought while you enjoy stress-free, home-cooked meals.
Look ahead on your calendars and make reservations for a fancy dinner and night out on the town. Sign up a friend or family member to babysit and present your guy with an invitation for two months down the line. Waiting ensures your milk supply is established, so you'll be able to pump and leave your little one in someone else's care. You'll both also have something to look forward to during those frequent mid-night wakings.
Let's face it: For the first several months of parenthood, no one's going to be clocking much shuteye in your home. Spring for the gourmet coffee to help your partner celebrate his new days as a sleepy dad. Throw in a travel mug to keep his morning brew hot when he's ready to return to work.
To help dad feel like he has a role in baby care, pick out a special diaper bag just for him. There are several messenger bags geared toward dads – and tons of unisex options if you end up sharing. Stock the bag with a few diapers, wipes and baby essentials for when dad's on duty.
Help a sentimental dad bond with his child by gifting him a journal he can share with your son or daughter. Fill the pages with simple and fun questions that prompt your partner for a response about fatherhood. Include questions that make him think about your baby's birth, development and first months of life. When your little one is old enough, your guy will have fun reading through these thoughts with his kid on his lap.
Are you doing anything to mark your partner's first days of fatherhood? Share your ideas with other moms-to-be in the comments below!