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Dad's Survival Kit

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Dad's Survival Kit

Dad's Survival Kit

Reading time: about 3 minutes

Forget bottle warmers, steam sterilisers and smell-evaporating diaper dispensers, here is a list of 19 tools, gadgets and useful ‘do-dads’ that other parents recommend you get your hands on.

1. A cordless drill: for assembling the cot, the nursery shelves, the flat-packed rocker, attaching the monitor to the wall, the mobile to the ceiling, the safety catches to the cupboards, adding the photos to the family gallery wall: it’s never-ending. Cordless? Well, cordless is just cooler and less chewable.

2. Laser level: she will make you start again if it’s crooked…

3. Battery recharger set or power pack: you do not want to find yourself without juice on your phone or tablet just as your baby blows her first raspberry, does her first bum shuffle or takes her first step; or battery-less at bedtime when the only thing that sends your baby into lala-land is an electronic baby rocker, twinkly light projector or singing toy.

4. Leatherman-style multi-tool bracelet or any mini tool kit: (make sure it has a Philips head screwdriver). You have no idea how complicated opening packaged toys are – they are screwed into the packaging, literally.

5. WD-40 or Q20: for anything that squeaks, creaks, jams or get stuck, but also it makes child’s play out of removing sticky labels and prices.

6. Sudocreme (in a tube): it is like Q20 for the human body.

7. Electric razor: so that you can shave on your way to work and still look vaguely presentable, despite the mashed avo on your lapel – or you could skip the razor altogether and grow a mo’.

8. Pocket-size wet wipes: to deal with that mashed avo on your lapel, oh and the porridge, poo, pee, and snot that also seems to be flying around.

9. Nespresso machine or French press: will you need, now more than ever, that life-reaffirming shot of caffeine in the morning.

10. Insulated coffee mug: to keep the coffee you made hot, because you will probably only actually drink it 30 minutes after you made it…while you shave…on your way to work.

11. Leather carry bag: to keep your electric razor, handkerchief, tube of Sudocreme and
insulated mug in (best possible option is one with space for a roll-out, portable change mat too), and leather is easy to wipe clean.

12. Subscription to on-demand TV: (Showmax or Netflix-style). You can choose what you want to watch, when you want to, can pause it to check on the baby, watch all the back season of the shows that you missed and because, well, actually going out to a movie now takes precision planning and forward scheduling.

13. Waterproof, drop-proof, puke ‘n pee-proof cover for your iPad – and your iPhone for that matter. Maybe someone should invent a human cover version, oh yes, it’s called an adult onesie.

14. Jump leads: just in case… you do not want to be stuck anywhere without them, with a meltdown brewing, and discover you actually need them, despite your car’s manufacturers promises.

15. Movement-activated night light: for the baby’s room, so you don’t need to fumble around in the dark to find the dummy (or you could just invest in a glo-in- the-dark dummy), or flip the main light on – that is just saying, ‘hey it’s me, let’s party what is left of the night away’.

16. A light-up watch: to make absolutely sure that you have been up for 48.34 minutes at exactly 2.37am.

17. Digital camera: oh go on, throw in a digital frame too, because you are never going to get round to choosing a favourite photo for a traditional frame, let alone actually printing it.

18. Bluetooth or airplay-style speakers: this way you don’t actually have to sing lullabies out loud, yourself.

19. Lego brick separator tool: well you may not need it straight away but you will and who says you can’t start practising now?

Have you got something to add to this list? Share your ideas in the comments box below.