Your buddy just had a baby. This is a guy who thought he loved football and kobe beef burgers more than anything, and then he had a kid and he found out that he literally didn’t know what love was until he saw his kid for the first time. It literally changes everything. He went from a fun life of just kicking it with his wife and his friends (you) to the death march of work, child care, and a non-existent sleep schedule. Parenting is exhausting.
All work and no play (and no sleep) makes people go crazy, and nobody is more frustrated than the new dad who is just trying to get through his kid’s first year of life without causing permanent damage to the kid, getting fired from work, and getting divorced from his equally tired and frustrated wife. Tough gig. So, we put together a gift guide for the harried new dad who just wants the semblance of his former child-free life back. Namely, a drink and some sleep.
1. Never Not Tired T-Shirt ($20, Egg-a-Go-Go): Before the baby was born, your buddy and his wife hatched a plan for dealing with sleepless nights. They thought they had it all figured out. They thought all of the other zombie-like new parents that came before them were suckers. Their plan basically consisted of them trading off nights, but, of course, that quickly went out the window. Why? Because when you’re sleeping in the same bed with someone, if they’re moving around and getting in and out of bed to take care of a screaming infant (whose crib is probably only a few feet from the aforementioned bed), it’s inevitable: they’re going to wake you up too. The result? Nobody gets any sleep. And if your buddy sneaks in some sleep (on the couch, on the subway, at his desk) and his wife finds out, he will be in SO MUCH TROUBLE. It’s like they entered into a creepy pact when they had a child where they agreed that neither of them was going to sleep for at least 365 nights. Sounds awesome. This Never Not Tired T-Shirt describes perfectly your friend’s state of being for his first year as a dad.
2. Dad’s Little Helper Black IPA (Rogue Ales): A new dad needs all of the help he can get. Navigating the giant responsibility of fatherhood when the only thing he was previously responsible for was some spreadsheets at work is really overwhelming. This Dad’s Little Helper Black IPA from Rogue Ales is aptly named, and strong enough to give him a bit of a buzz after one drink, which is all he has time for nowadays anyway.
3. Dad’s Hat Rye: There are a lot of images of fatherhood in pop culture, but the dad most new fathers picture as their role model is the kind of dad found in the 1950s—suited up and stoic, but always at the ready with a cocktail and fatherly advice. Dad’s Hat Rye was created in honor of that guy, and it’s just the kind of alcohol that guy would’ve sipped on. The new dad will surely appreciate a bottle of this, which he can drink while he worries about whether or not he’s actually up to the task of parenting a tiny person.
4. Ganji Kankiri Can Opener ($16, Best Made Co.): The last time he needed to have a bottle opener at the ready was in college (hey, you never knew when you were gonna have surprise beers, right?). As he graduated into adulthood, his alcohol paraphernalia (key chain bottle openers, flasks, etc) slowly disappeared, mainly because he could drink whenever he damn well pleased, so he didn’t really feel the need to do it all that often. After he had a baby, though, all of that changed. He’s reverted, sneaking a beer in the shower on a Saturday morning because he can’t go for happy hour drinks with his friends on Friday night. He needs to reintroduce alcohol paraphernalia into his life so he can be ready to crack a cold one whenever the moment presents itself, and he can start with this Ganji Kankiri Can Opener—sure, it has a bottle opener, but it can also open cans of baby food and the like. It’ll fit in the front pocket of the diaper bag for easy access. Mom will approve.
5. The Very Many Varieties of Beer Pint Glass ($14, Pop Chart Lab): When you first have a kid, you’re focusing so much on keeping this tiny little alien alive, your brain gets a little dull. You’re speaking in baby talk all of the time. Your clothes all have food or various bodily fluids from your offspring on them. You’re on the cusp of entering into a feral state. Help the new dad keep his mind sharp while he’s [attempting to] relax with The Very Many Varieties of Beer Pint Glass, which charts out all of the different kinds of beer in existence.
6. Spiegelau Stout Glass ($25 for a set of 2): The new dad will tell you that he’s experiencing a bit of an identity crisis now that he’s a father. You do lose sense of who you are in those first years, mainly because you have to accept the fact that everything you have is now your child’s domain. Your time, your clothes, your money, your MARITAL BED—all of these things now belong to your child. Sneaky little jerks, aren’t they? That’s why it’s very important for the new dad to feel like some things are his and his only. This new Spiegelau glass, made specifically for stouts, is unmistakably dad’s. Baby formula does not go in this glass. Period.
7. Dad’s Playbook ($13, Uncommon Goods): Thinking and drinking is never a good activity, mainly because alcohol is a depressant. Make sure the new dad has something to read while he’s knocking back his beers so he won’t start to think about how—how—he’s going to get through the next 18 years, with this Dad’s Playbook, which includes advice from coaches, because sports and fatherhood are interchangeable, I guess?
Amanda Waas is the creator of You’re Welcome, a gift guide site for all of life’s awkward occasions. Her writing has appeared in Every Day With Rachael Ray, Glamour, Made Man, AOL’s Shelterpop and DIY Life, and various others. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook and sign up for her succinct, not-annoying weekly e-newsletter for gift suggestions sent right to your inbox.