Published on June 1st, 2013 | by Tom0
Pre-Baby Books For Dads
I’ve never been much into self-help. Let me paint you a picture: If you know me, you’d know I’m more of a “part of the problem” kind of guy rather than a “part of the solution” type. So the thought of going to myself for help with any topic has always been less than promising. I once looked up how to sharpen my lawnmower blade and ended up thinking to myself, “Why not just do this in the Emergency Room parking lot? That’ll save me money on the ambulance ride!”
Much to my chagrin, self-help-style baby books for dads came flooding in from friends and family when my wife and I announced that we were having a baby. With some encouragement from my wife, I started to tackle the baby bibliography that had accumulated on my nightstand. I started with the pre-baby bible, What To Expect When You’re Expecting. While I found some of the information useful, it was obviously written with expectant mothers in mind. This should come as no surprise since, according to the book’s publisher, this book is read by 90 percent of pregnant women in the country. Likewise, I never liked the “fruit-centric” baby size chart and I would check the male equivalent each week. For instance:
I find this analogy easier to understand since I don’t come across many “average size pomegranates” on a day to day basis.
Needless to say, I was struggling to find pre-baby literature which presented information in a dad-friendly way. Luckily, my amazing wife did some research found some baby books written for guys like me. The two that I found the most helpful were The Baby Owner’s Manual: Operating Instructions, Trouble-Shooting Tips, and Advice on First-Year Maintenance and Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads.
The Baby Owner’s Manual is exactly what it sounds like – a baby care book written to read like stereo instructions (Beetlejuice reference anyone? No? Ok, whatever…look it up kids). Anyway, here is the Amazon description:
At Last! A Beginner’s Guide to Newborn Baby Technology
You’ve programmed your DVR, you’ve installed a wireless Internet connection, you can even check Facebook on your cell phone. But none of this experience will prepare you for the world’s biggest technological marvel: a newborn baby.
Through step-by-step instructions and helpful schematic diagrams, The Baby Owner’s Manual explores hundreds of frequently asked questions: What’s the best way to swaddle a baby? How can I make my newborn sleep through the night? When should I bring the baby to a doctor for servicing? Whatever your concerns, you’ll find the answers here—courtesy of celebrated pediatrician Dr. Louis Borgenicht and his son, Joe Borgenicht. Together, they provide plenty of useful advice for anyone who wants to learn the basics of childcare.
This book guided me through such topics as “Preparation and Home Installation”, “General Maintenance”, “Programming the sleep mode”, and “Feeding, Understanding the Baby’s Power Supply”.
Any book with this as cover page is perfect for any Geek Dad:
I would highly recommend this book to any father-to-be who wants baby care described in a straightforward and relatable fashion. I can honestly say I read it cover to cover and kept it close at hand for the first few months of my son’s life.
Be Prepared was slightly less helpful but brought back fond memories of my Boy Scout days. The book is patterned after the classic Boy Scout handbook and is more akin to a wilderness survival guide than a baby care book. It gives new dads tips and tricks to survive such perilous situations as “changing a baby at a crowded baseball stadium” and “making an emergency MacGyver-style diaper” from a towel, a sock, and some duct tape. I thank God that I never had to use that one, but it was nice to know I had the option.
Just like The Matrix no one can tell you what Fatherhood is…you have to see it for yourself. No book or website can truly prepare you for the challenges of being a father. That being said, I found that with the right documentation at hand, even a self-helpless guy like me can hold his own.