The best Father's Day gifts for new dads

·Senior Editor
·7-min read
A collage or products from the Engadget Father's Day gift guide.

It's hard to be a new parent even during the most idyllic times. And in 2021, while we're still dealing with a global pandemic and a slew of other issues, it feels tougher than ever. So what can you do to help? How about gifting a new dad something to make their lives a bit easier. Maybe they just need a breather from the hellstorm of diapers and sleep training. Or perhaps they want a better way to distract their screaming spawn. Here are a few options to consider.

10.2-inch iPad

Apple's 10.2-inch iPad sticking out of a crowded backpack.
Apple's 10.2-inch iPad sticking out of a crowded backpack.

Apple's entry-level iPad is one of the most useful devices for any new parent. It can be your child's gateway to video chatting with their grandparents, or a life-saving distraction during long car rides. It could be a new dad's way to catch up on their favorite show while stuck dealing with mealtime. Or it could be a way for growing kids to read interactive stories and play games. The iPad can be whatever you want it to be. And paired with a decent case, it can be durable enough to survive life with tiny humans. (And if it does break, at least it's far cheaper to replace than an iPad Air, or a typical laptop.)

Buy 10.2-inch iPad at Amazon - $329

Jabra Elite 85t earbuds

Jabra Elite 85t earbuds sitting on a few books.
Jabra Elite 85t earbuds sitting on a few books.

There's no question that we love Jabra's lineup of wireless earbuds. The latest model, the Elite 85t, delivers solid active noise canceling, a slim and light design, and excellent sound. And best of all, they cost around $180 — far less than Apple's AirPods Pro. No matter which smartphone you have, the 85t are an excellent way to catch up on podcasts while trying to rock a baby to sleep. And they'll be even more useful during the rare bit of downtime for new parents. They're perfect for rocking out to your favorite tunes, or pair them to your TV or set-top box to enjoy late-night movies without making much noise.

Buy Jabra Elite 85t at Amazon - $230

SmartNoggin Nogginstik

The SmartNoggin Nogginstick baby toy.
The SmartNoggin Nogginstick baby toy.

This relatively cheap rattle is deceptively useful. It has a light-up face to keep babies interested, multiple textures for them to explore, and a mirror on the bottom for them to learn their own faces. It was a secret weapon during my child's first-year tantrums, so much so that I've gifted it to every new parent I know. It's not high tech at all, but it's a reminder that they’re called classics for a reason.

Buy Nogginstik at Amazon - $23

Sonos Roam

A white Sonos Roam speaker sitting on an outdoor ledge.
A white Sonos Roam speaker sitting on an outdoor ledge.

Sonos' most portable speaker is an excellent choice for new parents, especially if they’ve already bought into the Sonos ecosystem. It's small enough to throw in a bag, giving new parents a way to play some tunes during a picnic. It relies on Bluetooth, so pretty much any device can connect to it. But the best part is that it also works over Wi-Fi with an existing Sonos setup. So if you start playing some songs on your larger Sonos speakers, you can easily pipe that over to the Roam and bring it to your backyard. And since it's from a brand that's known for excellent sound quality, you can expect everything to be much richer than any cheap Bluetooth speaker options.

Buy Roam at Sonos - $170

Apple Watch Series 6

An Apple Watch Series 6 press image with two watches intertwined at the wristband.
An Apple Watch Series 6 press image with two watches intertwined at the wristband.

The Apple Watch is great for working out — but it can also be a secret weapon for new parents. It's a simple way to keep tabs on texts and other notifications when your hands are full with a baby or baby-related ephemera. It lets you start and stop podcasts when you can't reach your phone. And — here's the kicker — it's also a perfect way to distract youngins and de-escalate shouting matches. It turns out, having a tiny screen on your wrist that can display photos is pretty useful! And it's also a relatively safe device for babies to fiddle with, thanks to its touchscreen. (Of course, you can take your pick of any competing smartwatch for Android users, but we'd recommend Samsung's Galaxy Watch 3.)

Buy Apple Watch Series 6 at Amazon - $399

GoPro Hero9 Black

GoPro Hero9 Black
GoPro Hero9 Black

Action cameras are great for vacations and high-impact sports, but they can be just as useful for new parents. It's the sort of thing you can strap onto a hat when you go out for a light hike with a little one, or just leave it running in your backyard to capture their first steps. Sure, we've all got smartphone cameras, but it's tough to leave those running for extended periods, and they're still a bit distracting if you're dealing with a child. A camera like the Hero9 Black, on the other hand, is something you can just set, forget, and discover little video treasures later.

Buy Hero9 Black at GoPro - $350

Theragun Mini

Someone using the Theragun Mini on their elbow.
Someone using the Theragun Mini on their elbow.

Keeping up with a new baby can lead to aches and pains in muscles that dad never knew he had. The Theragun Mini can give him the opportunity to get a massage without leaving the house. While there are much bigger and more powerful Theragun machines, the Mini is a good size for beginners and those who want to take its muscle relief power wherever they go. It has a single button that dad can use to change the massage gun’s speed and its ergonomic design makes it easy to reach different parts of the body. And arguably the best part is its 150-minute battery life — while that might not seem like a long time, it truly is when you consider the fact that you don’t need to use it for more than a few minutes each day to feel the results. With that schedule, dad could use the Theragun Mini every day for a month or more before needing to recharge it.

Buy Mini at Theragun - $199

Comixology gift card

Promotional images for the Comixology service.
Promotional images for the Comixology service.

It’s hard to keep up with comics when kids are around, but Comixology makes it easy to catch up on your favorite releases. If you know a comic nerd who’s eager to see what the X-Men are up to, or who just wants to catch up on long-running graphic novel series, it’s worth sending them a Comixology gift card. It’s particularly useful for anyone who has an iPad or a decent Android tablet. Not surprisingly, bright and portable screens are one of the best ways to appreciate comic art!

Buy Comixology gift card starting at $10

Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Game controller

Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Game controller
Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Game controller

A perfect gift for any gamer dads in your life, the Laugh and Learn Controller is basically a baby-proofed version of a modern gamepad. There's a joystick, directional pad, and array of buttons for kids to fiddle with. But like any good distracting toy, it also lights up and makes sounds to keep them entertained. It's not exactly complex, but it's inexpensive and effective. That's particularly true for parents of little ones who always gravitate to their expensive console controllers.

Buy Laugh and Learn Controller at Amazon - $10

Greens Steel insulated tumbler

Greens Steel Beast insulated tumbler
Greens Steel Beast insulated tumbler

Coffee, tea or another caffeinated beverage is an essential for many new dads and Greens Steel’s insulated tumblers can keep their drink of choice hot or cold for hours. While we all appreciate that luxury, it’s especially important for parents who often find themselves sipping tepid coffee hours after they brewed their first cup because they got distracted with kid duties. These tumblers are made of 18/8 food grade steel and they have a double wall vacuum that maintains temperatures for up to 12 hours. And regardless of which size you get (20-, 30- or 40-ounce) they all fit into standard-sized cup holders, so dad can bring his drink with him when he runs out for an emergency diaper restock.

Buy Greens Steel tumbler at Amazon - $23

Engadget's 2021 Father's Day gift guide

The best Father's Day tech gift ideas

The best gifts for dad under $50

The best backyard outdoor gifts for dad

The best Father's Day gifts for new dads

The best home entertainment gift ideas for dad

The best camping and backpacking gear for dads

The best camera and photography gift ideas for dad

  

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