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THE MOST STYLISH DAD-FRIENDLY BABY GEAR
ARE YOU DADDY COOL?
With the modern-day parenting role and responsibilities becoming a little more equal to what they were just a decade ago, it’s no longer a rarity to see Dads staying at home with the family whilst the Mother goes off to work. The playground on the morning school drop-off was once the exclusive territory of Mums, but with this new found male parenting role comes a shift in the design of baby equipment due to a rapid shift in the purchasing decision. The rise of the urban hipster parent has also brought new minimal and cool aesthetic baby gear to the market and the all-pink princess bedroom is quickly becoming a thing of the past.
The Daddy Stats
Single Dads are holding their own in terms of being amazing Fathers too. Overall, the number of single parent families has risen slightly in the past two decades, from 1.5 million in 1996 to almost 2 million by 2015. Out of these, at least 10 per cent are headed by lone Fathers, and this proportion has stayed relatively steady for over a decade. According to figures from the Office of National Statistics, the number of stay at home Fathers has reached a record high, with around 229,000 recorded in 2014. This figure has more than doubled since 1993, when just 111,000 Fathers took on the role of primary care giver. While a certain proportion of these men have been forced into the role due to redundancy or difficulties finding employment, the majority are actively choosing to be the number one caregiver to their children.
The Daddy Cool Movement
Dads are the best. The best at throwing, the best at catching, the best at hugging and the best at loving. Be they bearded, bald, big or small, they all hold a special place in our hearts. Many of us have been brought up with a preconception of the typical Dad being a heterosexual, married family breadwinner, but is that always the case? We know that Daddy Cools come in all shapes, sizes and types, so let’s celebrate some of the less conformist Dads out there too. We spoke to a few of our friends about what it means to be a cool dad and whether or not it really matters.
Adam Campion from stayinthelines.co.uk hopes he is a cool Dad stating: “I hope when my little one grows up she sees me as a cool Dad. I think all Dads want that. I’ve got tattoos and lip piercings... that makes me cool, right? In all seriousness I hope she see's me as cool in the way that she can ask me anything, talk to me about any of her concerns and know I'm there for her. I think that's what a cool Dad really is.”
Paul McGregor, Founder of mensfashionmagazine.com says: "Being a cool Dad isn't much of a priority to me, but being the best Dad I can possibly be, is. I try to focus on my own health, wealth, mental wellbeing and appearance to be the best role model possible. What does cool even mean anymore anyway? I can almost guarantee what I define as cool won't be cool to my children when they grow up."
John Adams, who writes dadbloguk.com says: "Being cool doesn't matter as much as being approachable and understanding the pressures and strains that my children face. This means I must keep up with kids fashion trends, and so from that perspective, being a cool Dad is important. I also think it is important that Dads make some effort with their appearance. Some men just let themselves go under the pressures of fatherhood. It is understandable but you lose some of your identity and that's very sad.”
Dads often need to work even harder than adults in a ‘normal’ family would in order to keep everything lovely for their beloved children. Despite this, societies attitudes towards these different families can be standoffish at best, condemning at worst. Prejudices from local communities, social groups and others can only serve to make things even trickier than they already are. The number of non-traditional families is on the rise, proving that despite all the odds, these amazing Dads are getting a huge amount of positivity out of their experience.
So, you might be on the team who consciously wants to be seen as a cool Dad or the side that isn’t so bothered as long as you do a half decent job of fatherhood. Either way, here’s our list of the most stylish Dad-friendly baby equipment that money can buy.
Ickle Bubba Stomp v3: This all in one stroller is the latest addition to Ickle Bubba’s travel system collection. It’s an all singing, all dancing package that includes everything you’ll need from infant to toddler and comes complete with a carrycot, pushchair seat and car seat with isofix base. Designed with equal consideration for functionality and style it also comes with a dapper leather handle and masculine chunky wheels. Our vote goes to their stylishly grey colour option.
Bugaboo by Diesel: Bugaboo and iconic lifestyle brand Diesel have paired their rebellious and creative spirits. The brands present an innovative and fashionable take on parenting. The bugaboo by Diesel collaboration merges the worlds of parenting and fashion with a wink. The new collection celebrates the third pillar of Diesel’s design DNA, rock, and presents an unexpected and daring design that will surely not go unnoticed.
Quinny Longboardstroller: The solution for travelling long distances in a fun and eco-friendly way. It brings together the comfort of a traditional stroller and the excitement of longboarding. Thanks to its multiple safety features, it is the most exciting way to get around with your child on a sunny day out.
SnuzPod2 Bedside Crib: This multi award-winning 3 in 1 bedside crib allows you to sleep safely next to your baby overnight. It doesn’t look like the usual cribs on the market but this bedside crib offers a safe and easy night’s sleep; a stand-alone crib for the nursery and a lift-off bassinet for daytime naps around the home. We dig the dove grey colour option to compliment a stylish interior and we also like how it gently rocks back and forth too.
SNOO Smart Sleeper: SNOO boosts sleep with the soothing white noise and motion your baby loved before birth. Oh, and SNOO is also the safest baby bed ever made. Gently rocks - all naps and nights - to help your baby be a better sleeper. Dual mesh walls maximize comfort, safety and breathability. Chooses the best white noise such as soft rain for sleeping and womb sound if crying.
Dyson Humidifier: Dry air in bedrooms and nurseries can cause discomfort for children and newborns. So, maintaining the correct level of hydration in the air can be beneficial to their wellbeing. Dyson’s engineers have invented a way to hydrate dry air evenly, hygienically and quietly – all night long. Ensuring everyone gets a good night’s sleep.
Bleep Bleeps Suzy Snooze: A new breed of baby monitor that actively helps your child get to sleep. The soothing light and sound creates a comfortable and familiar environment, so your child gets to sleep faster and sleeps more happily. Suitable from birth and loved by older kids, Suzy helps children learn to settle themselves and teaches them to stay in bed.
The Original Cuddledry: Out of the bath and into your arms in the most natural way possible. This towel is worn like an apron, keeping you dry and leaving both hands free to lift your baby from the water. Put its hood on the baby’s head, and they are instantly snuggled into a wonderfully warm and soft double layer of gorgeous bamboo and pure cotton. It’s simple, it’s safe, and it brings you and your baby even closer together.
We Made Me Pao Carrier: The eminently stylish and practical Pao Carrier is a super-adjustable, soft-structured carrier ideal for babies aged 4 to 36 months. Offering front and back-carrying positions, this unique two-shoulder carrier delivers the ultimate in exquisite tailoring and comfort for both baby and wearer. Their instruction booklet features some cool illustrations which explain the many ways you can wear it.
7AM Enfant Blanket 212 Evolution: This sleek and contemporary blanket is the ultimate baby bunting. Equipped with zippered length and width extensions, this footmuff grows with your child from infancy to preschool. Versatile and durable, it adapts to any stroller or car seat and converts into a large blanket. Constructed with an ergonomic hood, thermal filling and a waterproof shell, it’s the ideal baby outerwear that will keep your child warm and dry from head to toe.
Snugglebundl: With the snugglebundl hammock design you get secure head support for your baby when lifting and laying. This gives more precious sleep for your baby’s development and more rest for you tired dads too. It’s great for those late nights when you need to settle your baby and it’s the only product that allows you to remove a baby from a car seat whilst asleep.
Pacapod Hastings: This super durable and stylish knapsack with changing mat and pods is a dapper but practical knapsack/changing bag that retains the charm of this much-loved, old school classic - but hidden inside is a strong and capable companion that will handle whatever you throw at it.
Whoever you are and whatever shape your own family takes, if you’re doing your best to be Daddy Cool right now, we salute you sir.