What Exactly Should You Get A New Father?
Illustration by Mr Giordano Poloni
Our guide to finding the perfect gift for the dad of a newborn baby.
We were, of course, completely thrilled when a male member of the MR PORTER team recently announced the birth of his second child to the rest of of us via email. (As well as on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and WeChat, as is the way of the world these days.) But the happy occasion quickly caused something of a stand-off in the office. One faction decreed we should send him flowers as a congratulatory gift, as you might do a new mother. The other faction was of the opinion that flowers were not appropriate at all. After a brief back-and-forth, it transpired that nobody really had a good idea of what we should send instead. And this, from a cabal of people who spend all day sifting through more than 400 brands from all over the globe. Pathetic really. So we instantly huddled together and got to work on the below guide, comprising a series of perfect gifts should one of your friends or acquaintances be fortunate enough to call themselves a new dad in the near future. Just don’t be hurt if they say, “This is lovely, thanks, but all I really want is my life back!” They’ll get over it eventually.
THE BABY-PROOF OUTFIT
Throughout his paternity leave, your intended recipient will be predominantly at home, rocking the little mite to calm it down, or slinging it over his shoulder, or watching Netflix, with mute and subtitles on, because it fell asleep while he was sitting on the sofa and he doesn’t dare move or make a noise. Such activities of course, require loungewear, but wouldn’t it be nice (for mum at least) if he could also occasionally step outside the house, to go and get more nappies and blankets and things like that? The above combination of items, from Oliver Spencer Loungewear and Club Monaco, are both relaxed and comfortable but somewhat more inconspicuous than your standard grey sweats, so are just the ticket for this scenario.
THE MEMORY MAKER
The problem with us all having super-powerful digital cameras constantly at our fingertips, in the form of smartphones? Though you take a lot of pictures, you tend to lose them all when the thing gets stolen, or Apple issues another of it’s billion-daily updates and wipes the memory clean. If you do manage to keep hold of them, how will they look on your seven quintillion-pixel monitor of the future? That’s right – terrible. For a momentous occasion like the arrival of a new human being in your life, it’s best to stick to analogue. And thanks to the efforts of the Netherlands’ Impossible Project, this is now easier than ever (or at least, as easy as it was in the 1980s and 1990s). The new father in your life will thoroughly appreciate the opportunity to create some charming black-and-white photographs of his child’s first moments via the reissued Polaroid Supercolor camera and black and white film, above. When he shows you them, you should say things like, “Oh, he’s such a character” – that tends to go down well.
By all accounts, the arrival of newborn child brings with it a sense of fulfilment, deep love, responsibility and humility. But in exchange, it takes every peaceful hour of sleep that you used to rely upon in your old life. Getting up in the morning, therefore, is especially difficult, which is why any new father will appreciate a splash of Dr Jackson’s 07 Face Wash and a spritz of a fresh, invigorating fragrance like Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Acqua Vitae Forte. Both products are packed with citrus notes, which tend to have a somewhat energising effect on the psyche no matter how exhausted the body is. You might also consider these as something of a post-nappy-change palate cleanser. Shudder.