30 Essentials Every Dad Should Own


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Being a dad means that no 2 days are the same. There are twists and turns every step of the way. And to merely keep our head above water there are vital items every dad should own. This is a collection of the things we need. The things that if we didn’t have, being dad (& a man) would be 10 times as difficult.

So stock up…

1. A pocket knife. Just a standard. But don’t carry it around with you – the good ol’ days are long gone!

2. Duct Tape. As a general rule in life, if duck tape won’t fix it, call an expert. But having duct tape will avoid the need for extra expenses on experts.

3. WD-40. I like to call this, the liquid Duct Tape.


4. A cordless drill. “Can you put up a book shelf in the nursery?” “Can you attach the monitor to the wall?” “Can you put safety catches on the kitchen cupboards?” It’s endless and a cordless drill is necessary to keep you sane.

4858257019_79b65c31b15. A claw hammer. For clawing…


6.A leather shoulder bag. So handy for those trips into town. Perfect for a nappy and wipes, drink and snack. The perfect nappy bag for men.

7. A pocket grooming kit. Don’t let yourself slip just because you’re a dad.


8. A card holder. To hold your cards.

9. A comfy pair of sweat pants. Those early mornings are much easier when you’re comfy.

10. A handkerchief. Snot, sick, wee, poo, dribble… #everydad needs a handkerchief to hand.

11. Squeezey tube of Sudocreme. Fits in your leather shoulder bag and is useful for almost anything.

12. BBQ. Meat is good. BBQ meat is sensational.


13. Bottle opener. For the rare occasion you get enough time to have a beer.

14. Leatherman Multitool. There are occasions when a pocket knife just isn’t enough.


15. Work gloves. Protect those delicate paws of yours. If your hands are knackered from working in the garden etc, it will sting when you get baby wee on them.

16. Spirit Level. She’ll make you start again if it’s wonky…

17. Brown boots. The standard item of footwear for any man nowadays. Invest in a good pair though, make them last.


18. Quality chefs knives. Cooking is just so much easier with a good set of knives.

19. Jump leads. I wouldn’t know where to attach them but they’re in the garage if ever I need to find out.

20. Maglite or LED torch. The night time feed can be a walk in a gauntlet of chaos, so a light can save you from stepping in something suspect. Like an action figure, old nappy or teddy.


21. A tailored suit. Whether you wear one for work or not, life always throws times at you when a good suit is needed. Get one, and don’t put any weight on.


22. Leather belt.

23. Smart shoes. To wear with the suit. I’m not into this whole smart suit with converse trend!

24. Aftershave / Cologne. Not to be over used but it’s nice to have ‘your smell.’

25. A nice watch. Just so you’re absolutely sure that it is 3:45am when you’re up and rocking the baby.


26. A metal tool box. I don’t know why metal is preferred. They’re heavier, noisier and generally smaller. But they’re metal!

27. A weekend bag. It will probably just get used as a baby bag for when you go on holiday, but at least you have it if you do ever need it yourself.

28. White T shirts. White Tees don’t show sick stains as much.

29. A French press. You might, just might get time for a coffee but this is the closest you’ll get to good coffee.


30. A good bottle of single malt. To help you get through tomorrow.


I’m pretty sure I haven’t missed anything, but if you notice something missing, please let me know by leaving a comment.


About Author

Al Ferguson is the CEO and founder of The Dad Network.


  1. Fab list – I’m definitely with you on the duct tape thing. If duct tape can’t fix it, nothing will :) Also converse with suits just why lol Thanks for hosting the #bigfatlinky

  2. Like all of these – got most of them, have only just “discovered” sweat pants (star wars ones of course!). Haven;t ever got myself a tailored suit… maybe that’s next on the list! Completely agree about metal toolboxes… #bigfatlinky

  3. Tracey Abrahams (The Anxious Dragon) on

    This reminds me of my dad. Being a farmer he always had a penknife and a ball of bale twine in his pocket. #bigfatlinky

  4. I think my husband has most things on this list though I think his tool box is plastic – he uses it for work and its enormous! I think a heavy metal one would be some sort of health and safety issue in that he wouldn’t even be able to pick it up! Thanks for hosting #bigfatlinky

  5. Our boys are adults themselves now but we still need some of the things on the list :)

    #21 made me smile – it always happens doesn’t it!


  6. Fab list. Although have to admit we don’t have ALL of them. Jump leads? Hopefully the neighbours do! If duck tape doesn’t fix it or WD40 (my personal fave) then superglue surely will. It’s my husband favourite ‘fixing’ tool #bigfatlinky

  7. I read this with #daddywears and he agrees (especially with the tailored suit which he is desperate for) but thinks you’ve missed off a spare cuddly toy!!

  8. I love this! We have majority of these and my partner knows all to well of the random tasks i am him to do that require drills and spirit levels! Luckily being a carpenter most of the time he has them! And not forgetting the largely stocked cupboard of brandy! Thank you for this #bigfatlinky

  9. Oh dear I am yet again proven not to be a proper man. I don’t own any DIY tools and of this list I only have 6, 8, 12, 13, 22, 23, 24 and 29. I do however possess humility and a sense of humour so I’m not feeling too worried about it. :)

  10. Great list, we had a massive disaster recently our french press broke. It wasn’t a good morning in our house that day. #bigfatlinky

  11. Great post. I’m still new to this parenting thing. I’ve only been on the job for a year. Duct tape and WD40 are life essentials. I’ll get to work filling out the list. I may swap the single malt for cognac, but that’s subjective.

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