First off, we are just bloggers – translation: we like to sit on our soapbox quite often and sound like fatherhood experts. We certainly are not experts in the parenting world – in fact, we are far from perfect. Just ask my three year old…He will tell you that I make plenty of mistakes and that I say sorry and apologize to him all of the time.
Over the weekend, we had the opportunity to meet with and talk with hundreds of new and expectant fathers at the New Parents Expo. One expectant father pulled me aside, and said, “listen – my wife is due in January. If I enroll in this New Dad Boot Camp Class of yours, do I still need to read a book on fatherhood before we have our child? And, If I do need to read a parenting manual, what is the ONE BOOK that every father should read as they prepare for parenthood?”
Hmmmm…great question. Is there a fatherhood “Bible” that every dad must sit down and read as we embark on the most challenging journey of our lives? Well, obviously I was not going to suggest my wife’s favorite and wildly popular “What to Expect When You Are Expecting.”
Let’s start with my example. I chose my role as an at-home before we had our son so I knew what I was in for. Consequently, I did not read a thing before we had our son (he arrived a month early so I usually use that as my excuse). As soon as he arrived – I hit the panic button and started to seek advice on parenting books and got cracking on the reading ASAP.
1. I wanted at least one book from a dad’s perspective so I bought the only book on fatherhood that I could find when I visited Buy Buy Baby. Titled, The New Father: A Dad’s Guide to the First Year by Armin Brott. It was a good book, but would not claim it’s a “must read.”
2. I watched the Happiest Baby on the Block DVD by Dr. Harvey Karp. The tips and best practices were amazing at assisting me in dealing with my cranky, tired, and fussy baby. I highly recommend it!
3. For dealing with baby sleep issues, getting them on a consistent nap schedule, and the science behind it all, I read Marc Weissbleuth’s Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. This book was a home run on content…although, I am not completely satisfied by the way it’s organized. Just saying…
4. From an online resource, I admittedly hacked my wife’s account and read BabyCenter religiously every single week…and have since week one of when our child was born (for the mathematicians – that’s 52 emails per year for the past 3 years).
5. From a medical perspective, our pediatrician gave us Your Baby’s First Year by The American Academy of Pediatrics. I used this manual frequently to explain any unusual behavior or symptoms with our child.
If you’re still reading, you’re right, I didn’t quite answer the question. I did ask two other modern dads to weigh in with their suggestions about the one book every dad must read.
Matt Schneider said, “personally I like the book our pediatrician wrote: The New Basics: A-to-Z Baby & Child Care for the Modern Parent by Dr. Michel Cohen. He also suggested “Crash Course for New Dads” by Greg Bishop, founder of New Dads Boot Camp.
Josh Kross stated, “Without a doubt it’s the Baby’s Owners Manual. Great concise info written in the style of a manual for a stereo or a computer so it reminds you to relax. I’ve actually given that to just about everyone I know who’s had a kid………On second thought the best counterpart to that would be Michael Lewis’ Home Game: An accidental guide to fatherhood.”
Now, we are asking you, our readers: Is there a fatherhood “Bible” that every dad must sit down and read as we embark on the most challenging journey of our lives?