I’ve sifted through my fair share of books for soon-to-be and new dads. I’ve found some amazing information and found some books that ought not to be published.
First, let’s just start with some self-acknowledgement. I was not prepared when my wife was pregnant with our first kiddo. I thought, ‘they poop, cry, and sleep–it can’t be that hard!’
Well, I was wrong. It was everything but easy.
I don’t share this to scare you. Most importantly, I am sharing this to provide some insight that, on a personal level, I know which information is good and which information is not so good when it comes to books that can get you prepared for fatherhood.
Most of the books for soon-to-be and new dads display dads as second-class parents. New dads don’t need books full of poorly done humor with jokes about losing access to their wife’s boobs, fumbling the baby like a football, and awful illustrations. New dads need books with real information to prepare them in the labor room, to set expectations, and to learn how to be a good father.
Listen, I love a good dad joke. I also understand when jokes and humor are appropriate. So if you’re looking for a resource to find out which books actually have useful information with actionable steps instead of condescending jargon, you’re in the right place.
Now with six kids, I’ve learned a lot from experience, but have also found some extremely useful books. Some questions and information found in these books are things you didn’t know to ask or maybe are too embarrassed to ask.
So although rare, there are a few useful books for soon-to-be and new dads. I’ve outlined those 3 books below.
Don’t Just Stand There: How to Be Helpful, Clued-In, Supportive, Engaged & Relevant in the Delivery Room
I cannot recommend a book more than this one. If you’re going to read just one book, make this the book! The title does a great job of summarizing what the book is about, but the book truly delivers. (See, a well-timed bad dad joke. Told you I had a sense of humor!)
The book was written by a husband and wife team. You get to see both sides of the story throughout the book. It touches on just about everything leading up to the big day. Most notably, clear direction on what to bring, how to calm and soothe, what to say and, more important, what to definitely not say.
While reading through each chapter, you’ll notice that each chapter is a new “stage” through labor. In between chapters, there are blank pages designed to work with your partner to talk about her preferences at this stage. Are you breathing with her and holding her hand, or are you silently rubbing her back between contractions? This book not only prepares you for labor, it allows you to get on the same page as your partner.
What To Expect When You’re Expecting
Yep. That book. The one probably sitting around your house already that your wife said you should read.
Although it is geared more towards moms-to-be, the book is an absolute classic. It is packed full of knowledge about everything from fetal development to milestones during the first few months.
On a side note, this book is also full of information about the potential problems during pregnancy, during labor, and post birth. Knowing this, some women don’t want the additional stress and emotions of reading through these potential problems. It is, however, incredibly important for you to understand those issues. She probably has a great understanding already because she’s wanted to be a mom since she was little. Now, it’s your turn to read up, dad!
Throughout the book are snippets just for dads. Answers to questions such as sex during and after pregnancy.
The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide For Dads-To-Be
This is arguably the best book geared specifically for soon-to-be and new dads. You won’t find the lame jokes and lewd humor referenced earlier either. Straight facts homie.
Most importantly, you’ll find useful information about the pregnancy journey and information on how to be a great father during the first few years of life.
Additionally, they cover both–why dads are so important in the development of a child and how children influence fathers. Great read with a tremendous wealth of knowledge inside.
Now that you have the 3 recommendations for books for soon-to-be and new dads, read them. Don’t let them just collect dust on your nightstand or bookshelf. In addition, making a plan without execution is just doodling, so act on the knowledge you’ll learn after reading these. Be there for your wife, and become the dad your child deserves!
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