14 Books That Expectant Fathers Must Read
With so many books on the market for new parents, it’s tough to know what’s worth reading. And to be honest? When you’re a new or expecting parent, time is not of the essence. You don’t want to waste your time reading a dozen books that are total rubbish.
When it comes to dads, unless they have a great support system, they often don’t know where to begin. While people are piling up books for moms to read, sometimes dads get counted out. But dads are equally important partners, and in modern times — i.e., talks of the mental load and the emotional burdens of parenthood, which frequently still falls heavily on mothers — dads need to be on point.
No longer do dads “babysit” and get a pat on the back. Dads parent, sometimes even more than their female counterparts, which is why a little light reading from the best sources is a must for new fathers. Here are 14 of the best parenting books that speak to just dads.
The Expectant Father
Now in its fourth edition, “The Expectant Father” by authors Armin A. Brott and Jennifer Ash is required reading for dads to be.
It’s funny and easy to read, but most importantly, it strives to give an honest depiction of what life after baby will be like, helping dads figure out how to best support their partners during and after birth.
The Birth Partner
Required reading by most birth workers, “The Birth Partner” by Penny Simkin should be required reading for anyone in the delivery room — and you better believe that includes dads.
This extremely useful guide describes the process of what a laboring person will go through at each stage and how to best support it. Just make sure to read it sooner than later for any moms that go into labor prematurely.
What to Expect in the First Year
Honestly, pregnant mamas have a lot going on — from feeling sick and bloated to planning and preparing their body for birth. That’s why it can be helpful for dad to step in and prepare for what comes next.
From late nights to infant feedings to the start of toddlerhood, “What to Expect in the First Year” by Heidi Murkoff is the perfect tool to answer all your questions about everything that goes down after birthing day up until baby’s first birthday.
The New Father
Also the author of “The Expectant Father,” Armin A. Brott gives his own truthful and funny guide for the first year after birth in “The New Father.”
With it’s month-by-month breakdowns of what’s really happening with your new baby, with you and with your partner, this book will help dads feel ready for anything that comes their way. In other words, get ready for an emotional roller coaster of fun!
Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad!
According to this book’s author, John Pfeiffer, there are thousand of ways for dads to screw up when their wives are pregnant. From lacking sensitivity to being just plain clueless, there are no shortage of errors to be made.
"Dude, You're Gonna Be a Dad!" tries to help dads prevent some of those pitfalls and be the ultimate support during pregnancy and birth.
Dude, You’re a Dad!
In this follow-up to the previously mentioned book, “Dude, You’re a Dad!” helps dads navigate not only pregnancy, but also what happens next. It’s light, easy reading with essential information from this knowledgeable dad of three.
Each chapter ends with little riddles to help keep the reader engaged and laughing out loud the whole way through.
Don’t Just Stand There
It’s all in the title. “Don’t Just Stand There” is what most laboring women have thought at some point or another. This how-to guide, written by a husband and wife (Jon Lichtenstein and Elissa Stein), is essential reading to help dads be more helpful and less useless in the delivery room.
Because let’s face it. Even with the best intentions, sometimes even the most savvy dads-to-be just aren’t sure what to do when those contractions start coming. This book can help change that.
Go the F**k to Sleep
While this book may not be purely for dads, it’s still necessary for them. Oftentimes, all our exhausted, sleep-deprived, pushed-to-the-limit selves need is for our children to close their eyes and sleep.
In Adam Mansbach’s popular book on the topic, we all can see a bit of ourselves (especially during that crazy first year when sleep is hard to come by). In those moments, we’ve all likely muttered this catchy title under our breath. Because really, is it too much to ask?
Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters
Written by a pediatrician with more than 20 years counseling young girls, Dr. Meg Meeker shares her wisdom in this important and game-changing book on the role of dads.
She gives the top 10 secrets all dads should know and helpful tips on how to communicate, and she even lists the essential virtues of strong fathers. Any dad of a daughter needs to read this book.
How to Raise a Superhero
This book by Joe Grutzik is a dad’s guide for raising bright, confident, happy kids. Really, what more could you ask for?
In this insightful read, dads will learn what is most important in raising kids who are secure and comfortable in themselves and also know how to shoot for the moon.
The New Dad Dictionary
This book gets points for both its helpfulness and originality. “The New Dad Dictionary” by Chris Illuminati helps dads learn everything they really need to know from, you guessed it, A to Z.
It includes parenting language you’ve never heard of such as finding out what the hell is "cradle cap." It’s humorous, informative and downright necessary for new dads to read and refer to often.
Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads
All new parents have to be pretty ingenious. From figuring out what to do when a diaper blowout arises to how to keep a baby entertained, this no-nonsense book by Gary Greenberg is jammed-packed with hilarious and downright crafty ways to truly “Be Prepared” for anything.
The Baby Owner’s Manual
Written by pediatrician Dr. Louis Borgenicht and his son, Joe Borgenicht, this step-by-step guide with helpful diagrams teaches any dad (or really any parent) just how to operate a baby.
Even though you might be an expert on a lot of things, babies bring hundreds of new questions that, no matter your expertise, you probably won’t know. This book helps beginners understand the basics of baby care, answers just about any question you can think of and offers tons of trouble-shooting advice.
We’re Pregnant! The First-Time Dad’s Pregnancy Handbook
While nothing can fully prepare moms or dads for pregnancy, birth or a new baby, this book has been widely called the essential companion for expectant dads. It offers up tons of knowledge from pregnancy milestones and how to support your partner through them, to information on what happens immediately after birth and how to survive the fourth trimester with a snuggly cling-on baby.
Not only will this book by Adrian Kul help dads learn a ton, it will also help to make them feel a little more calm and, thus, more helpful.