Welcoming a new baby is one of the most exciting times in new parents’ lives. Yet, along with that excitement comes new routines, new ways of life, and a whole lot of new responsibilities. While there are numerous books and resources available for new moms, finding support tailored to new dads is not as easy to come across. Luckily, there have been notable authors and fatherhood professionals who’ve recognized this gap in the market. These parenthood resources and guides are specifically designed with the new dad in mind. Whether you’re looking for guidance on navigating a new mom’s pregnancy, seeking information about what to expect at birth, or simply trying to understand what the first year of life of an infant is actually like, these texts are perfect for a dad-to-be. With game-like approaches, engaging activities, month-by-month breakdowns, and practical advice, no topic is untouched to ensure the man in your life is feeling as prepared as ever to take on the role of fatherhood.
Best Baby Books for Dads
1. We’re Pregnant! The First Time Dad’s Pregnancy Handbook
(Best all-around book — $)
Why it’s great: This book provides you with the advice and guidance you need from the positive pregnancy test all the way to the actual birth and beyond. Organized by each month and each trimester, information is provided in manageable chunks that prepare you for the next big, and little, milestone.
Keep in mind: Written by a dad himself, some of the noted symptoms of the mother-to-be may not be an accurate portrayal of what each woman experiences.
Good for: Parents looking for guidance through pregnancy and beyond.
2. Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads
(Best no-nonsense guide — $$)
Why it’s great: This no-nonsense and practical guide provides new dads with the cutthroat information they need to make it through the early stages of fatherhood. With a humorous approach on how to change a diaper (at a sports stadium), and create a toy decoy drawer (of old remotes), this wry and sarcastic book is sure to provide the new dad-to-be with some comic relief.
Keep in mind: Some of the content and diagrams push limits and may be offensive to sensitive audiences.
Good for: Dads with a sense of humor.
3. The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-to-Be
(Best month-by-month guide — $$)
Why it’s great: This New York Times Bestselling guide for dads offers month-by-month breakdowns of what to expect throughout pregnancy, including what is happening with mom-to-be, how baby is growing, and ways to take care of himelf as he prepares to take on the role of a lifetime. Illustrated with cartoons throughout the text, this easy-to-read book is less stressful and more soothing.
Keep in mind: The text offers some subtle opinions on controversial topics, such as IVF and circumsicum. Read with a grain of salt.
Good for: Anxious new dads looking for a stress-reducing guide to parenthood.
4. The New Father: A Dad’s Guide to the First Year
(Best overview of year one — $$)
Why it’s great: Fully updated and revised, The New Father: A Dad’s Guide to the First Year focuses on how the world has evolved in parenting, from changing technology to specific strategies to be an involved parent. Filled with researched-based strategies, this is a great go-to reference for new dads.
Keep in mind: With so much information, some of the chapters may not be relevant to everyone. You may want to skip around a bit to see what applies to your specific situation.
Good for: Dads preparing for their roles in life after the birth of their little ones.
5. Husband-Coached Childbirth (Fifth Edition): The Bradley Method of Childbirth
(Best guide to prepare for birth — $$)
Why it’s great: Centered on the Bradley Method, the Husband-Coached Childbirth has fostered a safe and natural child-birthing experience for mothers and fathers. With guidance on building deeper communication skills and how to navigate a relationship with your medical team, this reference is ideal for dad’s looking to take on an active and supportive role through labor and childbirth.
Keep in mind: Some readers noted the book is very thorough and text heavy, but lacks illustrations and diagrams to support understanding.
Good for: Dads looking to be active partners during the birth.
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6. First Time Dad: Pregnancy Handbook for Dads-to-Be (What to Expect for the Next 9 Months)
(Best guidance for pregnancy — $)
Why it’s great: Focusing on the time through pregnancy all the way to rekindling romance with your partner after baby’s arrival, First Time Dad touches upon the rollercoaster of parenthood. This easy-to-read handbook provides pertinent information in a story-like fashion.
Keep in mind: The book can read like a stream of consciousness for a new father, which makes it relatable but less fact-heavy than some other guides.
Good for: Dads who prefer a book that reads like a novel than merely a manual.
7. The Expectant Father’s Activity Book: 85 Fun Games and Puzzles to Prepare for Fatherhood
(Best activities for new dads — $$)
Why it’s great: This activity book is a unique approach to learning about the role of fatherhood. With fun, humorous, informative and engaging games and puzzles, this guide takes the stress away from the birth day while still providing the necessary preparation.
Keep in mind: The activities and games work well as a supplement to a more informational guide to ensure a more well-rounded preparation for parenthood.
Good for: Dads who want an interactive approach to learning about parenthood.
The We’re Pregnant! The First Time Dad’s Pregnancy Handbook is our overall top recommendation. It's the highest quality product we have found with the most affordable price making it the best value on our list..
FAQs about Baby Books for Dads
1. What should I look for in a baby book for a new dad?
When purchasing a baby book for a new dad, take into account the style of guide that would fit the future father best. Whether it’s an informative resource with intricate diagrams and illustrations, or an activity book filled with humorous tidbits, a baby book will only be effective if it’s of interest to the new dad. You’ll also want to be sure the content is up-to-date and reflects the current standards of child-rearing.
2. What’s a good gift for a new father?
The best gifts for new dads are items that are functional and can help ease the transition into a new and exciting (albeit tiring) way of life. A baby book tailored to the father-to-be is a great start for presenting a new dad with a thoughtful and usable gift. A gourmet bag of coffee and a selection of easy-to-eat snacks are also great to include!
3. How else can a first-time dad prepare for a new baby?
Reading a concise and informative guide to parenthood is the easiest way to lay a strong foundation for when the little one arrives. Luckily, newborns require little more than something to wear, something to eat, and somewhere to sleep. Ensure your spaces are safe for an infant and you have a good stash of diapers and wipes. Before your new baby arrives is also an excellent time to establish a village of support, whether that includes someone to help watch the new baby or simply drop off a prepared meal or two. Having an extra set of hands can be a game-changer when managing your new, growing family.
4. How far in advance should you prepare for a new baby?
While there’s no harm in cracking open your baby book guides as soon as you see the positive pregnancy test, it’s important to take your time understanding how your life is going to change to avoid becoming anxious and overwhelmed. Though, keep in mind that babies follow their own timelines so stocking up on parent-to-be resources and reading a chapter now and then is a good idea to begin in the first trimester and thereafter. Is baby almost here and still not feeling ready? Choose the guide that focuses on baby’s first year of life as a whole rather than solely on pregnancy. Reading about routines and expectations of when the baby is actually in the picture can offer more insight and allow the new dad to feel more prepared for the active role of fatherhood.
5. Which book is best for the new dad?
It’s important to find a book that fits the new dad you’re shopping for to ensure it presents information in a way he’ll enjoy reading it. After all, a book is of little use if it’s never cracked open! Take note if the father you’re shopping for prefers things broken down in a calendar structure, or wants an interactive text with games and puzzles. Longer guides may be overwhelming for some dads, but just enough pertinent information for others. If you’re still unsure, these books offer enough variety that gifting more than one is a great way to share well-rounded and useful resources.
Becoming a father is one of the greatest joys in a man’s life. However, it can be a frightening time awaiting the arrival of your little one if ill-prepared and unaware of what fatherhood entails. To ensure the man in your life feels well-equipped for all parenthood has to offer, these resources and guides break down the various components of pregnancy, birth, and the first year of life into relatable and beneficial components. Whether you’re looking for an activity book filled with interactive exercises or a month-by-month look at what to expect in a timeline fashion, these selections are sure to answer any questions new dads may have.