Our favorite books for Offbeat Dads: let’s get a list going!

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ThinkGeek's The Baby Owner's Manual.
I just recently found out I’m expecting and I’m looking for recommendations for books to get my husband. When I showed him the positive test, he had this excited but completely terrified look on his face that hasn’t quite gone away. I think he is a bit more overwhelmed than he would like to admit.

I feel like there are so many books out there to help, but I trust this site more than most and since we aren’t telling anyone about the pregnancy yet, asking friends/family for advice is out of the question. Does anyone have any great book suggestions for first-time dads-to-be? — Amanda

Ariel says…

Someone gave us this book when I got pregnant, and at first I thought it was dumb and gimmicky, but Andreas (who loathes dumb and gimmicky) reported that he actually totally loved it and found it very useful.

Stephanie says…

Funnily enough, considering we’re such book nerds, my husband has ZERO parenting books (to be fair, I don’t have any, either). I looked around online and found two that seem promising:

Depending on how he’s approaching parenthood, ThinkGeek’s The Baby Owner’s Manual might be totally perfect. The book, which I’m assuming has to be a little tongue-in-cheek, has diagrams and instructions for baby swaddling, helping your baby sleep through the night, and tips for when you should bring your baby to the doctor for “servicing.” There’s also a follow-up for the next stage in life, The Toddler Owner’s Manual.

You guys tell me! What books did your baby-raising partner love while you were pregnant?

Comments on Our favorite books for Offbeat Dads: let’s get a list going!

  1. Fatherhood: The Truth was REALLY good for us, it’s very British though, but hilarious and speaks to your normal beard wielding, office working blokey bloke who happens to have shacked up with a crazy Scandiwegian nerd who loves her off beat stuff.

  2. My husband picked out the Baby User Manual in Hebrew and liked it so much that he also got me a copy in English! It hasn’t been super useful since she was born, but it’s still fun to flip through in the bathroom.

    The blog howtobeadad.com is also a lot of fun, though it isn’t a serious guide!

    The best book we found, though, and one my husband loved, is a Hebrew book called “Why Do Babies Cry?” Sorry that recommendation isn’t more useful, but this book was geared at both parents and was full of useful advice. I read mostly in English and he reads mostly in Hebrew, so it was great to compare notes. “The Happiest Baby on the Block” is possibly the most similar book we own in English… that or “The Baby Book” by Dr. Sears, which is also pretty gender-neutral (but intimidated my husband because it was so long).

  3. I just finished reading “Rad Dad”.

    When they say “rad” they really do mean “radical” — the majority of the book has an anarchist leaning. This isn’t a bad thing in and of itself, but readers who are a bit less geared specifically towards that social circle might not find it as engaging as those within that sphere. So if you’re looking for an offbeat guide, this in and of itself may not be the best choice. *However*, as a book to include in a variety of books on feminist fatherhood, I would say it’d be a good addition to a collection.

  4. So, I’m wondering if you guys have come across any dad-to-be books that don’t assume the couple is married? All I have find refer to “wife”. I’m having a baby with my “friend with benefits” and we’re thrilled. But it would be nice to find a book for him that doesn’t constantly remind of what we’re not and don’t intend to be (married/in a more standard relationship). So excited about co-parenting with this man and would like to find a book that he’ll enjoy. It is his first pregnancy/child.

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