Internet Outraged by ‘Daddy-Proof’ Baby Outfit: ‘Out of Touch’

Baby shower gifts are an exciting part of expecting a new arrival. From toys, clothes and parenting gadgets—you can hope to receive a lot of the things you and your little one need.

But the gift one parent-to-be received at their baby shower has sparked outrage online.

In a viral Reddit post with over 36,000 upvotes, user mwahaha321 shared a picture of a baby vest with the caption: “This ‘gift’ my husband received at our baby shower.”

The yellow baby romper is complete with arrows pointing to the head, arms, and snap button fastenings at the bottom. With a central print that reads: “Daddy-proof shirt.”

The instruction-heavy clothing has outraged internet users, with one commenter writing: “The ‘husbands are idiots’ trope is gross,” while another user said: “Why can’t it just say ‘idiot-proof shirt’; still make the joke, but without implying that dads are less parent than moms.”

While a lot has been said about the gender pay gap, the gender parenting gap is also a serious consideration in the lives of many women.

Research shared by the Pew Research Center says that when it comes to childcare, moms spend on average of 1.4 hours per day performing activities to care for their children, and this is compared to one hour per day for dads.

But a recent study by the Making Care Common project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, found that since the COVID-19 pandemic, fathers in the U.S. reported being closer to their children.

A survey of 1,297 parents, including 534 fathers, asked fathers in what ways they felt closer to their children. Some 57 percent said they were appreciating their children more than before the pandemic, and 51 percent reporting doing more activities with their children.

Reddit users shared how they felt moms and dads were seen and treated differently in the comments. One user wrote: “I tell my wife the comments I hear from her friends, ‘Oh, he’s such a hands on dad,’ or ‘OMG he changes diapers too?’ It is more of a reflection on their husbands than me.”

Another commenter said: “Fathers are really treated differently for some reason. They’re my children also, me spending time with them isn’t some weird miracle or me doing a favor for my wife.”

The subject of equal parenting was the main focus of the 2018 book Dad’s Don’t Babysit: Towards Equal Parenting, by David Freed and James Millar.

In the book, the authors discuss the idea of men being secondary carers: “There is an expectation that Dad is ‘doing Mum a favor’ by looking after his own child because he can’t be the fully responsible parent. This remarkably stubborn perception throws up all sorts of barriers for both parents being able to make a full a free choice about how to organize their parental lives.”

Another commenter on the viral post wrote: “I find this not only hurtful but seriously out of touch with reality,” and another user said: “As a stay-at-home dad this just makes me sad.”

Later in the comments, the poster was asked how her husband felt about the gift.

The reply said: “He was offended just because this side of the family gave me a similar gift at our wedding shower—a black apron that read in embroidery “when I said ‘I do’ I didn’t mean the dishes!” We’ve just never understood their humor honestly.”

Newsweek has reached out to mwahaha321 for comment.

Dad and baby
A file photo of a dad and newborn baby by a window. A baby-shower gift has been branded “out of touch” by outraged internet users.
~UserGI15613517/Getty Images

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