If you worked construction, would you wear a pink tool belt? Would you get on the subway carrying a briefcase with duckies on it? Just because you are taking care of the kid doesn't mean you have to look like a girly-man. Your work as a Dad 2.0 is the most important you will ever do, so why not get gear that is as guy-friendly as it is useful? Here are 10 items tested and approved by DadLabs.com. (Go to fitpregnancy.com/inthisissue for quick links to all the sites.)
1. Mutsy Urban Rider Next stroller You are what you drive. You may not be able to breastfeed, but you can push the heck out of a good stroller like this one. Dads appreciate the Mutsy's cool muscle look and adjustable handles, as well as its ability to fold and store easily, haul gear and navigate broken sidewalks. mutsy.com.
2. Itzbeen timer You've been taking care of the baby. Mom walks in, asks how long ago did you feed, diaper, put the kid down? Now you have your answer. This sweet little gizmo is the solution for the not-so-detail-oriented dad brain, keeping track of elapsed time so you don't have to. itzbeen.com.
3. Apple iMac Mac's latest generation of iLife software makes it easy to manage the modern digital family archive. Organize pictures and videos, package them into presentable slideshows and movies with iPhoto and iMovie, then share them with far-flung relatives using iWeb. Your mother-in-law will thank you for this one, and perhaps might forgo her visit. mac.com.
4. Canon PowerShot SD600 digital camera Excellent imaging, warm colors and crisp resolution--all in a conveniently small package that slips easily into a pocket to be at the ready when baby does something really cute. Offers point-and-shoot usability but also has full features. usa.canon.com.
5. DadGear vest or bag When you head out with the baby, you're going to have to take along diapers, wipes, bottles--the works. Putting it all in your backpack is a bad idea--too inaccessible--but carrying mom's flowered diaper bag is even worse. This gear allows you to leave the house with baby necessities and self-respect fully intact. dadgear.com.
6. Red Castle Sport baby carrier Problem: Most front-loading baby carriers put baby's busy feet in contact with dad's baby-making equipment, and the intersection is not a happy one. This carrier lets you tote the cute little bundle hands-free and off to the side for a rack-free excursion. euro-baby.us
7. A blog at Blogger.com Snapshots and video may capture the images of your child's earliest days, but how to preserve and share your own thoughts and musings? Get yourself a (free) blog. Other parents might even benefit from your experience.
8. Graco SnugRide with EPS car seat An affordable and very safe rear-facing infant seat. There may be models that look better or cost more, but, hey, what's really important? If you are a two-car household, you may consider buying his-and-her bases so your rig is as kid-friendly as hers. gracobaby.com.
9. Miracle Blanket swaddler Nothing soothes a fussy infant faster than swaddling. But a good, snug, escape-proof wrap requires practice and technique. This takes the origami out of making the baby burrito. miracleblanket.com.
10. Monte Luca glider Great for late-night rock 'n' roll sessions. The design of this chair is so cool that you might want to hang on to it in case your office ever gets converted back from being a nursery. montedesign.net.