The last 15 years have seen an explosion in books by dads, for dads. There’s now published advice on everything from delivery room protocol to grappling with the male version of postpartum depression. While she reads What To Expect, you should brush up on these 5 titles. If that sounds like a lot, remember there’s an infinitely growing list of parenting books you’ll be told to read that you’ll never have time to actually get to once the kid arrives. Then remember there are Crib Notes for those, and thank your friends at Fatherly. For now, get reading.
The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide For Dads-To-BeThis constantly updated, now 20-year-old classic reveals the myriad ways an impending pregnancy influences dad: emotional and physical effects, societal expectations, financial implications, the impact on your social and sex lives, and whether you’re really ready. Should you feel the urge to remind your wife that technically you’re both expecting and she just happens to be doing the hard work, bury your face (and big mouth) in this book.
The Expectant Father by Armin A. Brott and Jennifer Ash ($9)
The Reluctant FatherFor new dads, the beginning of fatherhood is like the end of Anchorman: you’re sleepless, unwashed, enraged, and confused. The biggest difference is your glass case of emotion is a sleeping infant’s nursery, so you can’t scream (and no one would hear you anyway). This book offers the most honest portrait of Year One and the greatest reassurance that it’s okay to hate your kid’s tiny guts before you fall in love with them.
The Reluctant Father by Phillip Toledano ($16)
Home Game: An Accidental Guide To FatherhoodNew York Times bestseller Michael Lewis kept a running diary of each of his 3 children’s first year as a way to chronicle and cope with the ambivalence and confusion he initially felt. It’s poignant, humorous, heartening, and totally relatable. The only difference between Lewis’ story and your own is when his daughter pees in the pool, strangers pay $10 to read about it. When yours does it, strangers find a new pool.
Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood by Michael Lewis ($10)
From Dude To Dad: The Diaper Dude Guide To PregnancyDiaper Dude’s bags have been used by Brad Pitt, and his book has been endorsed by the author of the original What To Expect, so either way you know your wife approves of you diving into this one. It’s an easy read, a solid primer on the must-knows of pregnancy, doctor visits, birthing, and more, and a great way to ween yourself off of punctuating every third sentence with, “Dude.”
From Dude to Dad: The Diaper Dude Guide to Pregnancy by Chris Pegula with Frank Meyer ($11)
Dude, You’re Gonna Be A Dad!Dude, it’s another dad book by a dude. Not Diaper Dude, some other dude! This take focuses more on how to avoid the classic, dumb guy pitfalls and grab hold of the many responsibilities pregnancy creates for a man beyond “You’re beautiful” platitudes. Like picking a hospital, painting the nursery, and yeah, a few “You’re beautifuls.” It also covers when to be assertive, so you don’t accidentally name your kid after the dog.
Dude, You’re Gonna Be A Dad! by John Pfeiffer ($9)