Dad's need to always be prepared for whatever the world throws at them. After all, we are someones hero; and heroes are never caught off-guard. Here are 10 items that will help you stay ready for the unexpected.
A good multi-tool. This is a no-brainer. I can't even tell you how many times I've used mine over the years; but its a lot. In my 'Dad' role I've used it to open difficult packaging, fix broken toys, assemble furniture, remove splinters, cut rogue clothing threads, and undo difficult knots. The Leatherman Wave has been the gold standard in multi-tools for years; and they're guaranteed for life. I've been using mine for over 20 years and it still performs like new.
A portable phone charger. Our phones have become indispensable life tools. You can use them to navigate unknown neighborhoods, call roadside assistance, look up critical information, call for help, or just entertain your child. Without them, you're flying blind. It was manageable back when it was just you; but letting your cell phone battery die now can have implications for your children too. Especially when you travel. Best not to let that happen. Battery packs are pretty inexpensive too. I have the Anker PowerCore 20100 and I couldn't be happier with it.
A solid grill. If there's one thing a Dad should want to take pride in, it's cooking meat for a crowd over an open flame. Charcoal grills can be fun, but now that your a parent you might want to think more about reliability and ease. For those reasons, I recommend buying a propane grill. Of course, a real weekend warrior shouldn't settle for anything less than a Traeger Wood Fired Grill. These babies can be used as grills AND smokers! And who doesn't appreciate authentic backyard barbecue?!?
Manly baby gear. It's no secret that most baby gear is designed for women; but it not all of it. There are a few brands that make baby gear exclusively for men; and manly men at that. Tactical Baby Gear is probably the best. They make diaper bags, baby carriers, and day packs that could easily be mistaken for S.W.A.T. team equipment. As a former firefighter, their style makes me feel right at home.
A smart thermostat. Do you like saving money? We thought so. These things pay for themselves; and quickly. I have the Emerson Sensi. It's Google Home enabled, works with Alexa, and can be controlled from a smart phone.
An ear thermometer. If the baby is crying: change the diaper, feed them, hold them, sing to them, and if they still won't stop crying, you need to check their temperature. Luckily, ear thermometers make assessing temperature quick, easy, and painless. Most have 'forehead' and 'object' temperature reading capabilities too, which can be useful when your warming up a bottle or giving them a bath. I received the Braun ThermoScan at my baby shower and I love it!
A Yeti Cooler. This is one instance where you shouldn't settle for an off-brand cooler. Yeti Coolers are by far the most heat-efficient coolers on the market and are capable of keeping ice for days. Long car rides on hot days? No problem! You can even leave their perishable lunch in the back of a hot car without consequence. There's no saying how many tummy aches one Yeti cooler is capable of preventing; but it's definitely a worthy investment.
First aid kit. You never know when or why your're going to need one, but when kids are around you always end up breaking into your first aid kit sooner or later. It's also a good idea to get certified in child/infant CPR.
Coffee machine. If there's one thing that comes at a premium when you become a father, it's sleep. Unfortunately, there's not really any way to find time for more of it, but good hot coffee is the next best thing! Get yourself a good coffee machine. You'll be happy you did.
Roadside emergency kit. You should already have one of these in your car but if you don't, it's time to get yourself a roadside emergency kit. Nothing is more miserable than being stranded with a flat tire and a crying baby. You'll want something with a tire pump, space blanket, roadside flares, emergency drinking water, hand tools, and jumper cables. It's also a good idea to keep a flash light in your car in case something happens when you're on the road after dark. It's a good idea to put a 'Baby on Board' magnet on your car to alert rescue workers to the presence of a baby in the event that your car in involved in an accident and you loose consciousness.