Gonna Be A Dad? Read These Helpful Guides First

While there’s no official manual for fatherhood, these humorous and helpful guides should help prepare you for daddy duty.

1. Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad!: How to Get (Both of You) Through the Next 9 Months. According to author (and three-time father) John Pfeiffer, there are thousands of ways for dudes to “look stupid” during their partner’s pregnancy. The fix? Ask one simple question (and ask it often): what can you be doing for her? Funny and insightful, this book guides fathers-to-be through their SO’s pregnancy with tips for how to be a positive, responsive partner who is engaged when it comes to decision-making. This is your kid, too, after all!

2. Dude, You’re A Dad! How to Get (All of You) Through Your Baby’s First Year. Don’t worry, Pfeiffer won’t leave you in the lurch once you’re holding your little one in the maternity ward. His helpful and humorous follow-up to Dude, You’re Gonna Be A Dad navigates guys through the first year of fatherhood and coaches them how to be supportive, helpful partners despite all of the life changes (and sleepless nights). The book also helps prepare you for what’s next: hello, toddler temper tantrums!

3. Show Dad How: The Brand-New Dad’s Guide To Baby’s First Year. In this illustrated, step-by-step guide, Shawn Bean humorously teaches fathers how to deal with all things baby, from the moment the home pregnancy test proves positive to his child’s first birthday. Including how-to’s on everything from dealing with diaper disasters to making your baby laugh, this guide gets bonus points for being skimpy on words: something sleep-deprived fathers everywhere will appreciate. (Tip: there’s one for moms, too.)

4. The New Dad’s Survival Guide: Man-to-Man Advice for First-Time Fathers. From “seasoned father” and United States Navy veteran Scott Mactavish, this tongue-in-cheek, “military-style” guide to surviving the first year of fatherhood covers a range of topics, including cutting the umbilical cord (it’s tougher than you may think!) and postnatal sex. Report for daddy duty with as much information as possible, including definitions for such head-scratching terms as “onesies,” “passy,” and the oh-so-crucial “Diaper Genie.”

5. Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook For New Dads. Turns out the Boy Scouts’ famous motto applies to fatherhood, too. Loaded with no-nonsense tips, this guide teaches men how to perform truly important baby-related tasks, such as changing your baby’s diaper at a packed sports arena, or MacGyvering an emergency diaper out of a towel, a sock, and duct tape (all parents should know how to do that last one). Written by Gary Greenberg, this wry guide includes helpful illustrations and in-depth instructions to help Dad earn his metaphorical “Fatherhood Survival” badge.

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