How to Be the Coolest Dad on the Playground

Like so many things in life, fatherhood comes with its own special challenges. Not the least of which is maintaining your cool under any circumstance. And by maintaining your cool, we don’t only mean not losing it when the baby hurls all over you as you head to work or not freaking out when you realize that sleep-deprived you and mama bear left Junior back in the house after packing up to visit the in-laws.

No, we’re talking about the manly art of parental competition and clearly demonstrating that you are the Alpha Dad on the playground.

Pastel hued strollers? No. Floral print diaper bags? Hella, no. Cartoon character bottles and blankies? You talkin’ to me? I’m burpin’ here. 

For the newest Dads on this coming Father’s Day, we’ve assembled some stylish baby accoutrements that are polished enough to make any design snob take a second look, while helping you to be as efficient as possible. After all, when the kid’s napping, you’re going to need some time to study up on these Dad jokes. 

BabyZen YoYo+ Complete Stroller
BabyZen YoYo+ Stroller

Like a finely-tuned automobile, it’s important to have wheels that offer awesome performance as well as major curbside appeal. In this case, the YoYo+ stroller not only looks streamlined, it can easily be steered with one hand. It also collapses into a small enough package that it can be checked as cabin luggage on many airplanes. It’s also adaptable from infants to kids 6 months of age and over by swapping out the interior structures to fit within the same frame. The YoYo+ also has more add-on accessories than a set of Lego blocks, including parasols, mosquito nets, an extra seat for an older child. Oh, and of course, a cup holder. 

Boll & Branch Baby Blanket
how to be the coolest dad on playground boll and branch baby blanket

Don’t skimp when it comes time to swaddle the little tyke up in something warm and yummy. Boll & Branch makes blankets in tasteful, pale colors like  natural, petal, sky, and gray; and in classic cable or herringbone patterns. You’ll feel just as good about these designs if they end up draped over the back of your couch as the side of the crib. Best of all they’re made from pure organic cotton. 

Doona All-Day Bag
Doona All-Day Bag

With the sturdy good-looks of your favorite backpacking or hiking accessories, but with the parenting know-how of a mommy ninja, the Doona bag packs everything you’ll need for a day out with the kiddo. It’s got easy to use connectors to attach the bag to a stroller for when you don’t want it over your shoulder, but also includes a handy changing mat and thermal bottle holder on the interior. 

HydroFlask Unbound Series 22L Soft Cooler Pack
HydroFlask Unbound Soft Cooler Pack

Keep the baby’s milk and food (and maybe a couple of goodies for Daddy) fresh and cool in HydroFlask’s easy cooler backpack. At 22 liters, there’s plenty of room for product and ice, plus it’s super lightweight from the start. It’s designed to keep things cool for up to 48 hours and features watertight construction. It’s simple, minimalistic design will coordinate with the rest of your kit.

Comotomo Baby Bottles (Set of 2)
Como Tomo Baby Bottles

With all the good looks of something found in a design museum shop, Comotomo baby bottles offer a familiar, soft, squishy touch that has a skin-like feel that baby will appreciate. (You may, too, but don’t let your mother-in-law catch you feeling up the baby’s formula.) Non-leaking dual air-vents prevent colic, and a wide-neck design makes cleaning easy. The five-ounce bottle comes with a slow flow nipple suitable for newborns, while the eight-ounce features a medium flow for older kids. 

Tula Bravo Explore Baby Carrier
how to be the coolest dad on playground camo baby carrier

For those times when you want to keep your friends close and your baby closer, grab a carrier that promotes healthy hip and spine development via a natural, ergonomic position. The Bravo features three width settings, to adjust fit for newborns up to early toddler sizes. It’s made from soft, breathable 100% cotton that’s easy to clean and machine washable. The carrier also features padded shoulder straps and quick adjustments for multiple wearers. The wide padded waistband helps distribute weight, while its large pocket is perfect to store a few more necessities. A coordinating removable hood can support baby’s head while sleeping, provide sun protection, or add a little extra privacy for feeding. Best of all the classic camo pattern gets extra points for style. 

Father Figure Bandana Burp Rag (Set of 2)
Father Figure Bandana Burp Rag Set

Be prepared for everything that Daddy life can—you should pardon the expression—hurl at you, with these handy organic cotton burp rags. They’re super soft and absorbent in a classic bandana pattern. Father Figure also makes specially-designed shirts that feature  extra soft patches for holding babies and a loop for attaching, well, burp rags, toys, etc. 

Huf Venice Bucket Hat
Huf Venice Bucket Hat

Of course, just because you’re a “Dad” now, doesn’t mean that you have to wear a Dad hat. Grab this vintage-print inspired bucket hat from Huf for some serious surf/skate culture cred, while keeping that dome protected from UV rays. Do not be inspired to do any classic flips with the stroller. 

Not quite a dad yet, but baby is on the way? Here’s how to support your pregnant partner.

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