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16 great holiday gifts that will earn you brownie points with new dads

From gear he can enjoy with baby to stuff he'll want to keep just for himself, see our picks.

16 great holiday gifts that will earn you brownie points with new dads

Stumped about what to get the new dad in your life this holiday season? From gear he can enjoy with baby to stuff he'll want to keep just for himself, we've found inspiring ideas for the favorite man in your life this year.

WANT

1. iBert Child Bicycle Safe-T-Seat

Turn dad's cruiser into a bicycle built for two. This cool seat puts a spin on the usual child bike seat—it's mounted up front, providing a better center of gravity and increased mobility for the rider.

iBert Child Bicycle Safe-T-Seat, Amazon, $129.97

BUY

2. B&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen Beoplay P2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Much like your new baby, this speaker is teeny tiny but packs a big punch. It's super portable, splash-resistant, dust-resistant and is accessible with a quick shake or a tap.

B&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen Beoplay P2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker, Amazon, $169.00

BUY

3. VEER Cruiser

It's part stroller, part wagon, part head-turner and ALL AWESOME. It's a *major* splurge, but dad will đź’śyou forever for this all-terrain cruiser that doubles as a stroller and a wagon and seamlessly grows with your family from infant to toddlers and beyond.

VEER Cruiser, Amazon, $599.00

BUY

4. Google Daydream View VR Headset

All new dads need an escape every now and then. This VR headset is affordable, high quality, and most importantly, really fun.

Google Daydream View VR Headset, Amazon, $41.00

BUY

NEED

5. Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Keep dad hydrated and looking cool. This water bottle is one of our faves for its simple, slip-free design, insulated functionality (keeps cold for 24 hours and hot for six), and interchangeable tops.

Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle, Amazon, $29.95

BUY

6. Ergobaby Omni 360 Carrier

You've carried baby around for nine months—now it's dad's turn. The custom fit options means this carrier will fit any body type, from petite to larger, and with multiple carry positions available, you'll be able to carry your little one from day one, no insert needed.

Ergobaby Omni 360 Carrier, Amazon, $169.00

BUY

7. Trianium iPhone Battery Extender and Portable Charging Case

A new baby means lots and lots of photos, and lots and lots of photos mean a faster dying phone battery. This awesome case boasts a battery extender and portable charging capabilities, so you'll never miss the next photo-worthy moment.

Trianium iPhone Battery Extender and Portable Charging Case, Amazon, $35.99

BUY

8. Blue Bottle Coffee Subscription Service

Coffee. Really good coffee. Really good coffee filled with caffeine, friend to new parents everywhere. Delivered to your door. Yup.

Blue Bottle Coffee Subscription Service, Blue Bottle Coffee, starts at $24.00

BUY

WEAR

9. Peg and Awl Waxed Canvas Bags

From duffels to diaper bags, these handmade bags are beautifully crafted and perfect for any stylish dad. We love the attention to detail like the leather straps and brass rivets, the durability of the waxed canvas, and the vintage look cool factor.

Peg and Awl Waxed Canvas Bags, Etsy, starting at $44.00

BUY

10. Patagonia Pullover

This pullover is sure to be a favorite with its fleece-lined interior and moisture-wicking fabric. Plus, it looks good on just about anyone so you can bet it'll be a staple in his closet for the next few months.

Patagonia Quarter Zip Pullover, Nordstrom, $99.00

BUY

11. Adidas Iniki Runners

These retro sneakers will keep dad comfy while chasing after the newest addition. They're available in a few great colors and will definitely up his sneaker game.

Adidas Iniki Runners, Amazon, $93.88-$223.00

BUY

12. Lululemon ABC Jogger

You'll have to look up what the "ABC" in these cool joggers stands for, but let's just say that certain, um, important parts will have lots of room to breathe here. We like them because they're super comfy—they're made from stretchy, sweat-wicking material—and they look great with just about anything.

Lululemon ABC Jogger, Lululemon, $128.00

BUY

READ

13. Welcome: A Mo Willems Book for New Arrivals

This board book from children's book icon Mo Willems makes a perfect first addition to any library and a perfect gift for any new dad.

Welcome: A Mo Willems Book for New Arrivals, Amazon, $11.19

BUY

14. Being a Dad Is Weird: Lessons in Fatherhood from My Family to Yours

Being a dad is weird... but also funny, complicated, and amazing. This memoir from actor/writer/director and husband of Melissa McCarthy takes a poignant look at fatherhood.

Being a Dad Is Weird: Lessons in Fatherhood from My Family to Yours, Amazon, $7.49

BUY

15. Your Baby's First Word Will Be Dada

Join the worldwide secret campaign to ensure your baby's first word will be, of course, DADA.

Your Baby's First Word Will Be Dada, Amazon, $5.59

BUY

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.



Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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