first time dad gifts matching t shirts

Some holidays and special occasions seem a bit more meaningful than others. The first Thanksgiving back together as a full family after someone has moved away. Milestone anniversaries (1st, 5th, 10th, 25th, etc.) or landmark birthdays that close out a decade or welcome the lucky celebrant into their next big era — hello 40, 50, and beyond!

The inaugural Mother’s Day or Father’s Day for a first-time parent is one of these momentous occasions. 

For a new dad in particular, a first Father’s Day celebration can be especially impactful. Beautifully bookending the birth of his child, the event marks the true beginning of a new father’s journey into parenthood. It’s a time to celebrate the transition from one stage of adulthood to another while simultaneously embracing the joys, trials, and once-in-a-lifetime moments that come with raising a child for the first time.

To make this occasion as special as possible — and to begin creating lasting traditions — take care to plan the day around who this man is and what brings him joy. A Father’s Day celebration for a first-time dad should focus on personalization, usefulness, and value. Ask yourself: What could he really use? What will make the day even more meaningful for him? And how will he look back on this first-ever Father’s Day, as his son or daughter grows up and matures?

Then, go make his day.

Start the day right

A special meal — whether it’s breakfast in bed, a lazy brunch, or a sprawling midday lunch with the whole fam — is a great way to kick off the festivities. A decadent dessert is a must as well, whether that’s a gourmet cake, a special tin of Father’s Day cookies, fluffy buttercream-frosted cupcakes, or an assortment of special Father’s Day ice cream to dig into (and share!)

first time dad gifts Fathers Day Ice Cream Assortment
When you’re done eating ice cream with Dad…
first time dad gifts hike
…take him on a hike.

Then, work off some of those calories with a family outing or adventure. A picnic in the park, hike through some of his favorite countryside, or visit to a favorite local attraction are all fabulous options. If Dad has a particular interest or hobby, build that into the day as well so he can indulge in his passion.

A picture-perfect gift

Every new dad’s camera roll is packed with photos of his new baby in every variety of cuteness imaginable: smiling, napping, eating…even plotting global domination. Give Dad a place to display his favorites from the bunch with a beautiful personalized frame, made from either galvanized steel, silver nickel-plated steel, or distressed wood. Or, go high tech with a personalized light-up glass LED frame that’s ideal for either the office or man cave. (Can’t pick just one favorite photo to frame? Opt for a photo canvas tile board, which lets you select up to three pics.)

first time dad gifts Personalized Picture Frame
A personalized picture frame makes a great gift…
first time dad gifts Personalized Photo Socks
…as do photo socks!

Still have too many favorite photos to choose from? Go the photo album route to recap Dad and Baby’s first full year together in all its marvel and wonder. Two great options are an engraved silver beaded mini album and this slightly larger three-ring, leather-bound book. Each holds at least 100 4-by-6 prints and is the perfect way to protect and preserve Dad’s most precious photos — and memories — for years to come.

If Dad’s the more practical type, get all those favorite images to go — either emblazoned on a commuter travel mug, an insulated acrylic tumbler, a pair of socks or necktie (essential Father’s Day gifts he’ll likely see again!), a cozy blanket, or, perhaps best of all, a sure-to-be new morning favorite, an oversized 30-ounce coffee mug with a favorite photo printed around its exterior.

Think “inside” the box

For a new dad who’s been losing sleep with a new baby in the house, a Father’s Day Gift Box is an ideal pick. It’s filled with nuts, dried fruit, cheese, sausage, popcorn, and more — a fantastic variety of treats to help Dad relax and unwind. If Dad loves sports, he’s sure to get a kick out of a Football Sausage and Cheese Gift box, which includes a 1-pound, all-beef, football-shaped sausage! New dads with a sense of humor can start building their arsenal of kid-friendly jokes with the Seven Days of Dad Jokes gift box.

first time dad gifts Fathers Day Gift Box 1
A food gift box will satisfy Dad’s hunger…
first time dad gifts Personalized Ammo Box
…while a personalized ammo box will give him a place to store his precious belongings.

Prefer to build and fill your own gift box with homemade favorites Dad’s been craving? Stash all that swag in his own personalized ammo box, a genuine used military surplus box, decommissioned and personalized in his honor. (Much like a holiday stocking, it can also become part of a tradition you fill year after year.)

Give a lasting treasure

Father’s Day is the ideal time to give new dads gifts they’ll treasure and look back on fondly in the years to come. An engraved watch is something every father will cherish, whether it’s an exquisite Bulova diamond watch; an engraved, water-resistant, solar-charging Citizen Eco-Drive; or the more minimalistic Fossil Machine, made entirely from steel. An engraved pocket watch might help to take Dad back to a simpler time — or remind him of his own father. And if your first-time father already has a watch he adores, a personalized watch box is ideal for travel, display, or simply keeping watches safe within his dresser (and out of the hands of a soon-to-be toddler).

first time dad gifts 5 Slot Watch Box
Let Dad know how much he means to you with a personalized watch box…
first time dad gifts Special Dad Engraved Keepsake
…or an engraved keepsake.

Even a Dad who isn’t the knick-knack type will appreciate an engraved keepsake on his inaugural Father’s Day. Or, go the trophy route with a “#1 Dad” or “World’s Greatest Dad” personalized award that every first-time father yearns for. (Reader’s note: We don’t know how official any of these rankings really are.)

Distinctly dad

The best gifts and celebration ideas for new dads on Father’s Day are reflections of the things that make them so special and unique. For instance, if you know a dad who has an affinity for the written word or expressing his innermost thoughts, you might give a personalized leather journal. For wine and spirit lovers, splurge on an engraved whiskey decanter or New York City Skyline Wine & Whiskey Decanter Set that’s as decorative as it is functional.

first time dad gifts Personalized Golf Club Cover
Give Dad something that will help his golf game…
first time dad gifts Whiskey Decanter For Him
…or help him celebrate after shooting the best round of his life.

If Dad hit the gym regularly before Baby was born, help him get back into his routine with an embroidered duffel bag. Golfing first-time fathers will enjoy their own “Best. Dad. Ever” golf club cover or set of personalized golf balls — with or without baby photos! And for the dads who love to grill (which is virtually all of them), set your newly minted pops up in style with a Father’s Day sampler of wild salmon, halibut, tuna, and more. Or, skip the “surf” and focus on “turf” with savory, umami-packed sirloin cap steaks, filet mignon, or a loaded (and mighty tasty) three-pound sausage sampler including smoked bratwurst, Cajun andouille, and Italian pork sausage.


Brian Good is a writer, editor, and project manager with more than 20 years of experience in publishing. He's written for some of the country’s biggest magazine brands including Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, Shape, Men's Health, Muscle & Fitness, US Weekly, AARP: The Magazine, and websites including Mashed, Health Digest, DiversityInc, and others. Good specializes in topics including lifestyle, travel, pop culture, health, food and nutrition, spirits, products, politics, and activism.

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