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The ultimate Father’s Day gift guide—something for every man

Father’s Day is almost here, and we want to celebrate our amazing baby daddies in the best way possible—getting him something unique, awesome, and (let’s be real) probably covered in bacon.


For all the diaper changes, encouraging texts when your daughter will not get dressed and you’re running (very) late, that awesome pep talk on your first day back to work after maternity leave, and everything in between—we want to shout it from the rooftops—you ROCK.

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We found the best gifts for every kind of dad out there—from the dapper dad, to the grill master, and everything in between—we’ve got you covered, mama.

Here’s our ultimate Father’s Day gift guide to show your man what a wonderful dad you think he is, whatever his style—

1. For the everyman

Man Crates

These awesome crates are filled to the brim with everything from hot sauce to coffee percolators, depending on which specialty you choose. Bonus—they come with a crowbar to crack them open. Let’s just say, he will be impressed.

Bacon of the month club

Could you imagine a new type of bacon delivered to your door every month? Talk about a gift for yourself, too. (They also have many other monthly clubs—everything from chocolate to hot sauce to olive oil club, and more.)

2. The cool dad

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Personalized cornhole set

The game of cornhol (baggo, bean bag toss) has really picked up steam the last couple of years. If you’re at a fun BBQ (and even some weddings), you’re pretty much guaranteed to see a cornhole setup in the backyard. This is a staple for keeping the cool dad’s social game on point.

Beardition beard grooming kit

Hook your baby daddy up with some all-natural, aloe vera based products that are safe and feel smooth. These products are made in the USA, and do not discriminate on size of beard or fullness.

3. The cocktail connoisseur

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Lagavulin

Abottle of Lagavulin, a smoky single malt scotch, would make Ron Swanson and your husband proud. So, #treatyoself, pops.

Whiskey and rum kit

Bourbon, rum, or whiskey get better with age (just like the two of you), so let him customize his own spirits to his liking with this DIY kit. He’ll think you’re as smooth as Tennessee whiskey. Well, because, you are.

Cocktail shaker

Every James bond knows you can’t stir a martini. You must shake it. Gift him his own cocktail shaker and he’ll be feeling as suave as 007 in no time.

4. The dapper dad

Trunk club gift card

You Stitch Fix or Le Tote, he Trunk Clubs. Everyone deserves to look stylin’, and it’s not as easy to shop for ourselves during these busy days. A gift card to a personal stylist service is thoughtful and helpful.

Father + son matching swimsuits


Is there anything cuter than seeing your mini-man wearing the same bathing suit as his proud papa? We’re not sure there is. Tom & Teddy suits are what preppy dad’s dreams are made of.

5. The nerd

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Star Wars tee shirt

A shirt that proudly proclaims “best dad in the Galaxy” would impress even the most advanced Jedi’s. May the force be with you this Father’s Day.


Cassette tape pen holder

This throwback to mixed tape days of yore is the perfect office accessory. Only downfall is that you’ll want to take it apart so you can pop it in for a listen...but it’s too cute to break.

5. The foodie


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Homemade bacon kit

Sure he’s eaten his fair share of delicious bacon, but has he ever cured his own? The satisfaction of curing your own bacon is high, so expect excitement levels to match.

Charcuterie board

Every foodie needs one. You choose the wood and how you want it customized, and he chooses the meat and cheese selection. Bon appétit!

6. The eco dad

CSA membership


Use this directory to locate a CSA near you. It’ll tell you which farms in the area offer a CSA (community supported agriculture) share, and the specifics that go along with it. CSA shares offer delicious in-season fruits and vegetables (and sometimes meat and dairy) either to your doorstep or for pickup that’ll keep your family happy and healthy all season long.

Compost

This tumbler compost aerates easily and you only have to rotate it once a week, or after every addition. It’s low maintenence, and will have fresh compost in just 14 days. Reducing waste in our world is so important, your eco man will appreciate it.

6. The music man

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Bose wireless headphones

If your husband commutes to work, likes to listen to podcasts, watch movies on his laptop, or is a music buff—these are a no brainer for a successful Father’s Day gift choice. They are wireless which is quite frankly, life changing.

USB turntable

For the record loving pops, this USB turntable is revolutionary. It’s compact so you can bring it anywhere you go, and it’s analog-to-digital transfer feature makes converting your vinyls over to your phone (or other devices) seamless.

7. The traveller

Weekend bag


Herschel’s duffle is the perfect size for a weekend bag or even a gym bag. It’s practical, functional, yet still stylish and classy. Pair it with a weekend trip—just the two of you—and you get super extra special gold stars.

Waterproof phone case

This case is amazing and (knock on wood) indestructible. It “exceeds Military Standards for protection” (um, so basically, exactly what toddler parents need?) and also provides more than 100% extra battery.

8. The practical papa

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A smart diaper bag

This helpful bag will keep dad organized on the go. It has twenty pockets to fit all your needs. Plus, it comes with a 7800mAh power bank which keeps your devices charged so you don’t have to worry about running low on battery, or the necessities.

A pocket blanket

These are cool and functional (always a great combo.) Extremely compact, waterproof, and perfect for a few people to sit on. Your baby daddy can bring this to the beach, camping, and concerts.

9. The writer

Line drawing space shuttle notebook

Super interesting an eye-catching design on front? Check. This will make writing notes down more fun to your husband, so he’ll never forget to pick up wine again. Right?

Dry erase notebook

This notebook is super easy to jot notes or reminders down, and doubles as an emergency keep-my-child-busy-and-happy toy for your little one. Win-win.

10. The grill master

Hot sauce pack

Allow him a break from his Sriracha bottle, and introduce the grill master to a four pack of hot sauce straight from Portland, Oregon. This pack comes with four 4oz bottles with flavors like red chili lime and smoked habanero barbeque (YUM.) He’s got hot sauce in his bag, #swag.

Meat: Everything you need to know cook book

Even the best grill master can learn a thing or two about the meat they’re cooking. This cook book covers seventy five beef, pork, lamb, veal, and poultry recipes for you to try out this grilling season.

11. The new dad

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One rad dad mug


Your man is rad—a rad husband, and a rad dad. Show your appreciation for the proud new papa with a mug that’ll serve a dual purpose—to serve up some liquid energy and put a smile on his face.

Morning, noon, and night coffee

New parenthood can leave you feeling more tired than you’ve ever felt in your life. You may even reach zombie status. So, caffeine please! This energetic trio will keep the new daddio feeling refreshed (okay, as refreshed as possible...) at any time of day.

Toddy cold brew coffee maker

Some days just call for iced coffee instead of hot. And on those days, the Toddy cold brew coffee maker is where it’s at—for iced coffee or iced tea. It also makes piping hot coffee (but no electricity required!)

12. The outdoorsman

Roo hammock

Adventure. Adrenaline. And...a place to sleep. This hammock can fit two people, and would be a super fun way to sleep on a camping trip or to take a break on a long hike. Just hook it up, hang out (literally), and then pack up quick and be on your way. Adventure awaits!

Classic vacuum pint glass

This glass is super useful for everyone from the seasoned outdoorsmen to the person who prefers glamping, if they must. It won’t rust, is BPA-free, and will keep a drink cold for up to 4.5 hours and a drink hot for 1.5 hours.

13. The athlete

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Wool running socks

These made-in-Vermont socks are lightweight, comfortable, and won’t slip or bunch (which is sooo annoying.) Merino wool will keep your feet cool in the summer and warm in the winter—which basically means it’s a magical fabric.

Football leather coasters

This set of four coasters are made of the same leather footballs are made from—so they are water resistant and durable. And will be awesome tailgating accessories this fall.

14. The classic pops

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Cigar sampler

Nicely presented, eight earthy-Cuban style cigars will make him feel as cool as Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. Just stop him before he takes things into Tony Soprano territory.

Chillsner

The Chillsner will cool your beer in seconds and keep it that way the whole drink through. Never deal with a warm beer again.

15. The organizationally challenged dad

Planner


Simple, clean, and minimalistic. Planners are amazing and life-changing when it comes to organizing your time and to-do lists. So, if your man already likes to keep track of everything this way, he’ll appreciate this gift. And, if planning and organizing is something he needs a little help with, well then he will eventually appreciate this gift.

Docking station

This handmade bamboo docking and charging station provides an organized home for all those important items that somehow go missing when you need them most—keys, wallet, glasses, phone, pens, and more.

16. The DIY dad

‘You nailed it!’ craft

While dipping your child’s foot in paint may sound a little messy for you, fear not—this craft is easy, fun, and has a super cute outcome. See?

‘Yoda best dad’

Handmade cards are MUCH better than $5 store bought cards. So go for extra bonus points this Father’s Day—saving money by not buying a card, and bonus sentimental points for having your little one make them something awesome.

Breakfast in bed

Classic. Relaxing. Delicious. When in doubt, always assume breakfast in bed will put a smile on someone’s face. These recipes are no brainers.

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The temperatures are dropping and that can only mean one thing. Whether we like it or not, winter's cold chilly months are upon us. As a born-and-raised Alaskan, and mama of three, I've got a lot of cold weather experience under my belt, and staying inside half the year just isn't an option for us. As my husband likes to say, "There's no bad weather, just bad gear."

Here are some of my favorite picks to keep your family toasty warm this winter.


1. Bear bunting

This sherpa bear bunting wins winter wear MVP for being a comfy snowsuit for your littlest babe, or base-layer under another snowsuit for the chilliest of winter outings. Bonus: your baby bear will never look cuter!

Sherpa Hooded Bunting, Carter's, $15.20

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2. Patagonia Capilene base-layers

Speaking of base-layers, for any prolonged winter activity outside in the cold, it's best to layer up to create air pockets of warmth. These moisture wicking base-layers are a family favorite.

Baby Capilene Bottoms, Back Country, $29.00

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3. Arctix Kids limitless overall bib

These adjustable snow pants keep kids warm and the bib style keeps snow from going down the back of their pants. Bonus: the price is excellent for the quality and they can grow with your child. The Velcro strap also makes bathroom breaks for kids so much easier.

Arctix Kids Limitless Overall Bib, Amazon, $14.99-$49.99

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4. Hooded frost-free long jacket

Keep your little one warm and stylish in this long puffer jacket. Great for everyday outings.

Hooded Frost-Free Long Jacket, Old Navy, $35.00

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5. Patagonia reversible jacket

This jacket is windproof, waterproof and the built-in hood means one less piece of gear to worry about (or one more layer for your little one's head). It's a best buy if you live with cold winter temperatures for many months of the year and still love to get outside to play. It also stays in great condition for hand-me-downs to your next kid.

Reversible Down Sweater Hoodie, Nordstrom, $119.00

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6. Under Armour Decatur water repellent jacket

Made of waterproof fabric and lined with great insulation, kids will no doubt stay warm—and dry—in this. It features plenty of pockets, too, so mama doesn't always have to hold onto their items. We love that the UGrow system allows sleeves to grow a couple inches.

UA Decatur Water Repellent Jacket, Nordstrom, $155.00

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7. Stonz mittens

Ever tried to keep gloves on a 1-year-old? It's a tough task, but these gloves make it a breeze with a wide opening and two adjustable toggles for a snug fit they can't pull off! Warm and waterproof, and come in sizes from infant to big kids.

Stonz Mittz, Amazon, $39.99

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8. Sorel toot pack boot

Keep their little toes warm with these cozy boots from Sorel. With insulated uppers and waterproof bottoms their feet are sure to stay warm. They're well constructed and hold up over time, making them a great hand-me-down option for your family.

Sorel Kids' Yoot Boot, Amazon, $48.73-$175.63

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9. Stonz baby boots

These Stonz stay-on-baby booties do just as their name says and stay on their feet. No more searching for one boot in the grocery store parking lot!

Stonz Three Season Stay-On Baby Booties, Amazon, $29.99-$50.29

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We make a lot of things this time of year. Gingerbread houses. Christmas cards. New traditions. Babies.

Yes, December is peak baby making season. It's a month filled with togetherness and all the love felt in December is what makes September the most statistically popular month for American birthdays.

According to data journalist Matt Stiles, mid-September is the most popular time to give birth in America. He did a deep dive into the birth stats from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Social Security Administration collected between 1994 and 2014 and found that the most common American birthdays fall on September 9, 19 and 12. In fact, 9 of the 10 most popular days to give birth fall in September.

If we turn the calendar back, we're looking at Christmas time conceptions. Stiles illustrated his findings via a heat map, which presents the data in a visual form. The darker the square, the more common the birthday.

The square for August 30 is pretty dark as it is the 34th most common birthday in America. It's also 40 weeks after November 23, and the unofficial beginning of the United States' seasonal baby boom.


And while the Christmas holidays are common times to conceive, they're not common days to give birth, for obvious reasons. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Day and the fourth of July are all represented by light squares on Stiles's data map, meaning they're among the least popular days to welcome a little one into the world (Boxing Day is just a smidge darker, still a pretty rare birthday).

OB-GYNs are not likely to schedule C-sections on major holidays, so that might point to the low birth rates on these special days.

As for the September baby boom, it probably has less to do with the magic of the holiday season and more to do with the fact that many Americans take time off work during the holiday season. It's not that mistletoe is some magic aphrodisiac, but just that making babies takes time, and at this time of year we have some to spare.

This Christmas be thankful for the time you have with your loved ones and your partner. That time could give you a gift come September.

[A version of this article was originally posted November 21, 2018]

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When I gave birth the first time, I had two doulas—one for me, and one for my husband. (I wasn't messing around!) They worked hard to support me in what ended up being a long labor. About 20 hours in, I remember hearing my doulas whisper to my exhausted, hard-working husband, “Go lie down. We can take care of her."

This was absolutely true. They were more than capable of helping me through contractions, which up to this point I'd been handling really well. So upon their urging, my husband walked about three feet away and lay down on the daybed in the labor and delivery room. And then the strangest thing happened—

I completely lost my rhythm and my ability to breathe through contractions. It was as though I'd lost my way. The next handful of contractions were unbearable and caused me to cry out in anguish. My husband hurried to my side and held my hand once more.

And then, just as quickly, I found my rhythm, my breathing returned, and I was able to to handle my contractions until I gave birth several hours later.

In a recent study published in Nature, it was discovered that when a partner held the hand of a woman during labor, the couple would begin to synchronize their breathing and heart rate patterns, otherwise known as physiological coupling.

In addition, the women reported that their pain lessened while holding hands with their partners. If they were just sitting next to one another, but not holding hands, their pain levels weren't affected.

This study has obvious implications for the families I teach in my Childbirth Preparation classes, and it's important to share this news far and wide:

Everything you do for your partner while she's in labor makes a difference. Even if all you do is hold her hand.

Labor is not just something that a birthing woman experiences. Her partner experiences labor too, just in a very different way. For far too long, we've either diminished or ignored the partner's experience of labor—to everyone's detriment.

I realize that it makes sense to pay close attention to how a woman moves through her pregnancy, labor and birth. But if we're not paying equal attention to her partner's experience, we're not setting this new family up for success. In fact, we might be doing the exact opposite.

If partners don't realize the importance their words, actions and touch can have on the laboring woman's experience, many may freeze up and feel helpless as they witness the power and intensity of labor and birth. They may end up feeling as though all of their efforts and suggestions for comfort measures are without any effect. But this couldn't be further from the truth!

Every little thing a partner does to make the laboring woman more comfortable matters immensely. Every sip of water offered, every new position suggested, every word of encouragement, every reminder to breathe, every single touch, provides comfort to the laboring woman. And partners need to know this and believe in the power that their undivided attention and connection can bring to the laboring woman.

Here's why I think the findings from this latest study are so important—it's that feeling of shared empathy between the laboring woman and her partner that causes the physiological coupling and pain relieving effects that help a woman when she's experiencing pain.

That's why I've always told the partners in my classes that even if they hired an army of the world's greatest labor doulas, their unwavering, focused and empathetic attention during birth, is the reason why she'll tell everyone that she couldn't have made it through labor without her partner! Even if all they did was hold her hand.

It's a conundrum many parents wrestle with: We don't want to lie to our kids, but when it comes to Santa, sometimes we're not exactly giving them the full truth either.

For Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, lying to daughters Lincoln, 5, and Delta, 3 just isn't an option, so everyone in the Bell-Shepard household knows the truth about Santa.

"This is going to be very controversial," Shepard told Us Weekly earlier this month. "I have a fundamental rule that I will never lie to them, which is challenging at times. Our 5-year-old started asking questions like, 'Well, this doesn't make sense, and that doesn't make sense.' I'm like, 'You know what? This is just a fun thing we pretend while it's Christmas.'"

According to Shepard, this has not diminished the magic of Christmas in their home. "They love watching movies about Santa, they love talking about Santa," Shepard told Us. "They don't think he exists, but they're super happy and everything's fine."

Research indicates that Shepard is right—kids can be totally happy and into Christmas even after figuring out the truth and that most kids do start to untangle the Santa myth on their own, as Lincoln did.

Studies suggest that for many kids, the myth fades around age seven, but for some kids, it's sooner, and that's okay.


Writing for The Conversation, Kristen Dunfield, an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Concordia University, suggests that when kids come to parents with the hard questions about Santa, parents may feel a bit sad, but can take some comfort in "recognizing these challenging questions for what they are—cognitive development in action."

Kids aren't usually the ones who are upset when they figure it out, researchers note. Typically, kids are kind of proud of themselves for being such great detectives. It's the parents who feel sadness.

Some parents may not choose to be as blunt as Shepard, and that's okay, too. According to Dunfield, if you don't want to answer questions about Santa with 100% truth, you can answer a question with a question.

"If instead you want to let your child take the lead, you can simply direct the question back to them, allowing your child to come up with explanations for themselves: "I don't know, how do you think the sleigh flies?" Dunfield writes.

While Dax Shepard acknowledges that telling a 3-year-old that Santa is pretend might be controversial, he's hardly the first parent to present Santa this way. There are plenty of healthy, happy adults whose parents told them the truth.

LeAnne Shepard is one of them. Now a mother herself, LeAnne's parents clued her into the Santa myth early, for religious reasons that were common in her community.

"In the small Texas town where I grew up, I wasn't alone in my disbelief. Many parents, including mine, presented Santa Claus as a game that other families played," she previously wrote. "That approach allowed us to get a picture on Santa's lap, watch the Christmas classics, and enjoy all the holiday festivities so long as we remembered the actual reason for the season. It was much like when I visited Disney World and met Minnie Mouse; I was both over the moon excited and somewhat aware that she was not actually real."

No matter why you want to tell your children the truth about Santa, know that it's okay to let the kids know that he's pretend. Kristen Bell's kids prove that knowing the truth about Santa doesn't have to make Christmas any less exciting. Pretending can be magical, too.

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