Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads

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Product Description

This wry survival guide helps new dads navigate the triumphs and travails of fatherhood from the first week to the first birthday party. It informs and entertains with an easy-to-read mix of practical basics (feeding, bathing, childproofing, taking your baby's temperature) and tricks of the trade, like "how to construct an emergency diaper out of a towel, a sock, and duct tape."

Take your average guide for new mothers, chuck most of the stuff about breast feeding and ditch the deep background research and stats, then generously pepper with illustrations and burley humor and what do you have? Your average guide for new fathers. Be Prepared follows that template pretty closely, and that's really quite an acceptable thing. Yes, there's a bit too much emphasis here on broadly drawn manly stuff like changing a diaper at a ballgame, but there's also heaps of useful advice that's cleverly and efficiently presented for pops who, despite their best intentions, really aren't prepared to dig into encyclopedia-sized tomes. The basics (childproofing, bathing, feeding, entertaining) intermix with nifty sidebars (homemade bath toys, foods to never give your baby, exercises for dads) in easy-to-peruse chapters organized according to the age of the offspring up to age 1. There are more thorough how-to guides for new dads, but for most men moving into fatherhood, Be Prepared will fill the bill. --Steven Stolder

Customer Reviews:

  • mom 2 b
    I bought this book for my husband since he has never been around babies before. I wanted him to gain some knowledge of the whole process since we are expecting our first little on in the spring. This book is both packed with well needed information and a little bit of entertainment. It is not as dry as most books and offers a bit of humor in an otherwise stressful time. I even read of few chapters and it made me chuckle. I would definitely recommend this for new daddies to be....more info
  • Very Relevant and Witty
    My boss handed me this book. He has a 4-month old little girl, and he knows that I'm expecting.
    It was a real pleasure to read. It's very relevant, witty and far from condescending, unlike many other "advice" books out there. I found it unbelievably relevant and witty.
    Even though it was written for fathers, but I saw my wife reading it (and smiling) a few times. With section titles like: "Bidding Farewell to the Breast", "Night of the Living Dad", etc... it's a light reading without being frivolous.
    There's also a web site that accompanies the book,, which seems to have some nifty resources, like a sample of white noise that one can download and record on a CD (as the book suggests) to help sooth the baby....more info
  • For Intelligent Adults with a Good Sense of Humor
    This is the purchase I'm proudest of in my 'baby related books' category. My husband is really enjoying it and so am I. It's funny, practical and an easy read with solid tips and just the right level of detail when it comes to important information. The illustrations (it's full of them) are also very nicely done.

    The best thing about this book is that unlike other books aimed at dads and dads to be, it really does offer a lot of valuable information and many many tips without sacrifising the laughs. It's written for intelligent adults with a good sense of humor.

    (The book cover is laminated in a way which probably protects it in cse of spills...etc. Nice touch for a book meant for people with babies)...more info
  • Practical, realistic information
    I bought this book for my husband, but I ended up reading it also. It had lots of helpful information and shortcuts on exactly what to do with your baby after its born (the tips on the emergency diaper and the New Years Panda alone were worth the book :-) )...more info
  • Awesome for first time Dads
    I bought this for my husband because it was funny and very informative. He read through it in two days! You know it helped him feel prepared when he told me that he now knows six ways to burp a baby!...more info
  • Funny & informative.
    My husband received this book as a gift when we were expecting and loved it, and I loved it too. It goes through all the material in an informative yet very humorous manner. This book is good not just for dads but for mom's too (and grandma enjoyed reading it too!). We have bought a copy for our friends to enjoy, who are expecting now. Trust me, you'll like it!...more info
  • Fun AND Useful!!
    My husband got this before our first baby was born. We read through a few chapters beforehand - giggling but not taking it very seriously. Then our daughter was born, and this suddenly became mandatory reading. It was a lot more fun for our sleep-deprived brains than the dry, doctor-written tomes (which have their place, don't get me wrong), and, importantly, it contained a lot of the random wisdom that only a newbie parent who has had to 'wing it' could offer. We both read the entire thing, and are STILL using the information from it (our first is two, and our second is on the way). The off-the-wall, but effective suggestions on how to get a baby to sleep alone are worth the price! We now give this to every couple we know who are about to embark on the wild ride of parenthood....more info
  • Exactly what a man needs
    My husband is about to become a father and has never even touched a baby, much less cared for one. He was freaking out about all of the responsibilities, and this book calmed him. It explains the simplest tasks, like holding a baby, changing a diaper, burping, etc, all in a no-nonsense way. It's simplistic enough, and amusing enough for men to understand and actually read. I read it myself and learned a thing or two. There are great suggestions for babies that won't stop crying, what to do when you run out of diapers, how to help out your torn-up, exhausted wife who just gave birth.... it's everything a man needs to know. ...more info
  • Must have for new dads
    Wryly hilarious and filled with excellent tips, this is an essential guide to the strange world of becoming your father. I love the 50's-esque illustrations, and the information is well-presented. A great book for those rare private moments in the smallest room in the house....more info
  • Average at best
    I received four fatherhood books over the holidays and this was one of them. The illustrations are mildly humorous, but the content fell short. Not really a bad book, but definitely not great. If you want funny, there are better choices. ...more info
  • New Parents Prep
    We loved this book so much that it's now our standard gift for 1st time parents-to-be. It's written like a boyscout manual. My husband read it cover to cover (lots of cartoons)...and the lighthearted-sincere-useful sentiments made us both laugh. ...more info
  • LOVE it! Funny and very educational
    I bought this book on a whim for my husband (we are currently expecting our first child). I was VERY pleasantly surprised by it. Be Prepared is laugh-out-loud funny, but it is also incredibly informative. I love how much info it gives to new dads about how to interact with their babies, even newborns, and how to help mom with taking care of baby. For many new parents, babies up to a few months old seem like "blobs" that "don't do anything." That's why I love sections like "baby party tricks" that give dad a way to interact with his newborn child, and also helps form a bond between them.

    This book is EXCELLENT, I can't say enough great stuff about it. It just has the perfect mix of useful info, humor, and isn't at all intimidating for new dads....more info
  • Excellent choice for dads-to-be
    My husband loves this book. It's the only pregnancy book for dads he will read. He says it's the only one that doesn't make him feel stupid. :) I agree; there is a huge difference between this book and all others I've seen so far. Most make little jokes about men being clueless; this one is just a no-nonsense guide tailored for men.

    The page that convinced us to buy it was about the "decoy drawer," a trick to distract babies from your important gadgets elsewhere. The book is full of tips you'd never think of like that. While it's definitely directed toward men, it has some things I found helpful as well. It also seemed to get my husband a little more interested in the coming baby. He looks forward to using some of the tricks in this book much more than picking bassinets, decorating the nursery, etc.

    The book prepares men for the first year with a new baby. I only wish they had one to get my husband through this pregnancy!...more info
  • funny but not helpful
    Definitely funny. But not helpful at all. My husband got it as a gift. He read it initially just because it's his best friend that gave it to him, and had a few laughs but didn't help at all in the caring for the newborn. He relied more on the ones written by doctors and pediatricians....more info
  • The Best We Could Find!
    I knew that when i heard my husband laughing out loud from the other room while reading this book that it was a good one! It's tough to find men's books that really mean something and don't take them months to read. This caught my husbands attention from the first page to the last! It has the funniest sense of humor. our child is three months old and he is still refrencing it quite a bit. I have ordered it for three other friends husbands who are expecting. They all have gotten a kick out of it and learned something!...more info
  • And baby makes four!
    My wife is due with my first child, her second around July 19. I just want to say thank you for the great book! I've purchased many similar books that can't even begin to come close to your fine piece of work. You've enabled me to become as confident a 37 year old, (I'll be 38 on July 13th) first time dad can be. In the span of one year we'll have gone from one now 15 yr old daughter, to also having 12 and 17 yr old foster sons! Yes we are insane! I hope that you get many emails such as this letting you know that your book is helping many of us dads become semi-responsible, almost adults. If for some reason your not getting very many emails, please let me know and I'll sign you guys up for a spam service!
    Erik J. Hansen

    ...more info
    I got this book for Christmas for my two son-in-laws who are about to have their first children (just five months apart) and it was THE HIT of Christmas. Extremely well written, with pictures, very, very funny and very, very right on with lots of useful information to prepare Dads. It is a read aloud type of book -- it is that funny but true to its laugh and words!...more info
  • this is hilarious and helpful
    I bought this book, because I thought it looked like a manly book my husband would read. I could barely put it down. It incorporates a lot of humor. the content is very basic, but includes things those mommy baby books don't....more info
  • Geared toward men--I like it!
    I thought this book had some very good information and I like how it was really geared toward men. It is written with guy humor which helps given the nature of the book. Men are really just big kids. I would definitely recommend this book....more info
  • A Must-Read for Expecting Fathers
    I know you are not supposed to "judge a book by its cover", but spending a good part of my childhood in the Boy Scouts is probably what encouraged me to pick up this book. It looks like a Boy Scout manual and the illustrations inside are reminiscent of old school Scout manuals from my childhood. The information, however, is much more useful than anything that I ever learned from one of those old books. Also, this book is much more humorous. This book is a very comforting and funny way to learn some of the things that aren't necessarily mentioned in some of the other pregnancy books.

    I would definitely recomend this book to any soon-to-be father (or mother for that matter). I've already talked several of my friends into buying it, and they all agree that this one is a keeper!...more info
  • If You're Going To Read One Book On Fatherhood...
    ...this is it! Not only is it an enjoyable read, BE PREPARED is filled with good, result-oriented ideas for new dads. Best of all, its concise, to-the-point style makes it so you don't need to sift through paragraph after paragraph of filler to get to those ideas. A must-have for every new father....more info
  • The best darn new parenting book on the market
    Comical, realistic, genius. My husband and I love this book - I wish "mommy" books were more like this one!...more info
  • Expecting Dad
    Great book, geared more toward after the little guy or girl is born, but some good stuff for "dad prep" leading up to the arrival also. Really good information and ideas for after the baby is born and definitely written for guys, I'd recommend it....more info
  • Get a fun education!
    This book made me laugh out loud. I bought it for Valentine's Day for my fiance. He is reading it and coming home teaching me things....more info
  • Many laughs and important truths
    We've actually bought this book a number of times - we get it for every new father-to-be. I think it was the only Baby Book that my husband actually read willingly and enjoyed... he laughed out loud reading it and as a bonus shared the funny parts with me. And ladies, it explains a lot of very important rules, like why you should never never never NEVER wake new mommy. This book is a must for any guy who is going to be hit hard by the reality of his new life (i.e. any first time father)....more info
  • For the Hands-On Father
    This book kicks butt. If you or someone you know is going to be a new dad, this book must be in the running with the hundreds of "how-to not screw up your baby" books.

    The nice thing about this book is that it's written from a man's perspective in language a man can understand. There's a dash of humor, logic throughout, and solutions to common problems that occur when the women-folk aren't around.

    Buy this book for two types of men: The ones who have maintained some of their manliness in spite of getting married, and the ones who have all but lost their man card after getting married (the book might help revive some of that old spark)....more info
  • great advice
    this book made me laugh about a subject I was very nervous about as I was about to become a first time father. Not sure if I used any of the advice, but it has some good and entertaining stuff....more info
  • Perfect book for new fathers
    After reading the reviews for this book, I purchased it for my husband. He has really enjoyed the book and we have both learned a lot from it as we prepare for our first child. It also got the stamp of approval from a friend and experienced father who was amazed at how many of the tricks in the book he has learned from trial and error. ...more info
  • great book
    my husband & i LOVE this book. we give it to practically every new dad we know. we like how it is absolutely hysterical, while still really nailing what a new baby is like and sharing what you need to know. so much fun, great info....more info
  • Fabulous for Both of Us
    This book is full of great useful information for both my husband and me. I seriously learned a lot for a first time expectant mom - while laughing....more info
  • Be Prepared
    This was a great book and resource for my husband. It was the only parenting book he would read. ...more info
  • A must for new dads
    This book is hysterical. Think Boy Scout handbook meets parenting advice. My husband would read this book and chuckle (see "Evolution of the Boppy"). It's the only parenting book that he has read from cover to cover. The book has great, practical suggestions, but presents it in a fun, unassuming way. We've purchased a copy for all of our friends that are expecting their first child....more info
  • My Wife Lamented "I wish all my books were as cool as this one!"
    This book is amazing. It covers everything. No fluff. No stretching out sentences. Fact, Joke, Tip.

    Great Pictures. Some informative, some add humor.

    I bought this thinking "What possibly could I learn from it, but what the hell" .. and I cant put this down. Every page has a new tip or trick I would have never thought of.
    UPDATE: After beign a dad for over 6 months, I have really grown to appreciate this book. It got be prepared and desensitized. Even covers things like pets, something I would have never thought of.

    I buy this for any new dad. Even if you want to go after a more serious book to talk about how the rainbows touch the unicorns and sweet blah blah.. get this.

    Because while that book is off on a 1000 page tangent on how great fatherhood is, this one will be telling you HOW TO BE A GOOD DAD.

    ...I mean cmon, we all know how great and important fatherhood is. Thats why were having kids, right? (or sticking around while baby mammas have them anyways).

    My favorite chapter is "Farewell to the breast"

    Get this for any expectant father. ...more info
  • funny and helpful!
    i was curious as to what all the chuckling was about, so i read it after my hubby was done. this book is great! there is very practical info, but it's so funny to read! it helped keep him hooked into reading the whole thing. i would reccomed highly for any new dad, dad to be...more info
  • Excellent Choice!!
    My fiance was given this and I think I had as much fun reading it as he did. The advice is very practical and sound and presented humorously. Lots of wit and useful information. I highly recommend for Dad and Mom, too....more info
  • Be Covered in Poo or Be Prepared
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and refer to it often. I'm a first time Dad and both Mom and I find this manual helpful, especially the short and concise sections.

    We have a detailed Penelope Leach book that we refer to for 'heavy' reading covering more in depth issues and the psychology of child rearing, but Be Prepared has been a far more valuable day-to-day reference.

    What you'll get:

    *A well organized, insightful, easy to use manual on basic baby care

    *Covers the newborn up to 12 months including feeding, changing, pets, toys, travel, camping and parental relationships (sexy time)

    *Useful facts and techniques that you can instantly apply to help understand and soothe your baby

    *Humour and cool art- the authors actually went to the trouble to make this book both informative and a fun journey to read and remember

    An especially good book for Dad. Its the kind of gift I would have loved to receive as an expecting Father.

    Todd Millar, [...]...more info
  • Must have for Dads... Chuckles and also informative for Moms
    A huge hit in our household. Educational, to the point, humorous, honest, and an easy read. More books should be published by this author....more info
  • This book is THE BEST HOW TO...PERIOD!
    I am actually a mother who found this book the best resource for how to... on everything baby! Further, I even used some of the facts in the book and the section on baby-proofing rooms as tools for games at the baby shower to get the men involved! The fathers and bachelors present ended up fighting over who was right with how many hazardous object they found in each room! The advice was right on and my 1 month old is benefitting from washer and dryer calming efforts and reggae rocking to sleep!...more info
  • Coneheads...
    This is a great book. Easy to read, informative and worth purchasing. (If you are a "to-be" or a current dad, you will understand what I mean by "coneheads")...more info
  • Great advice, fantastic illustrations
    I received this book as a gift, and it's my favorite "how-to" book for new dads. Not only is the advice rock solid, but the drawings are wonderfully funny. (I especially enjoyed the good-bye salute to the breasts.) The only thing I would change is the section about the rectal themometers--the forehead scanners are the new go-to for temp taking. Buy this book for yourself or a new dad in your life, you will be happy you did!...more info
  • Great mix of humor and practical advice
    After reading reviews and descriptions of countless numbers of New Dad books, I settled on getting this book for my husband as part of his first Father's Day gift. We absolutely love it! The pictures are very amusing, and the advice is put quite simply and laced with enough humor to keep you turning the pages. After he opened his presents last weekend, my husband could hardly put the book down and was laughing at something on every page. Excellent choice!!...more info
  • A fantastic book for new dads (and moms, too!)
    This book was recommended to us by another set of first-time parents, and we were not disappointed.

    It's written with a great sense of humor, while providing lots of useful information. It's easy and fun to read, versus some of the other more 'dry' parenting books.

    Plus, it's got some great ideas of games parents can play with their babies. And, even some money saving tips, such making your own bath toys - versus spending money on ones from the store.

    We're expecting our first child, and this book was definitely worth reading....more info
  • A must-read for all Boy Scouts!
    This is a great book, with super illustrations reminiscent of old-school Boy Scout manuals. My husband, and Eagle Scout, read it from cover to cover before the baby even arrived! His favorite tip? That babies loved to be rocked to a reggae tempo! Not your average baby book!...more info
  • A new dad's breath of fresh air.
    This book isn't meant to be the be-all, end-all of new parent books, but if you're a new dad and are a bit overwhelmed by a) fatherhood and b) all the BOOKS about parenting, this is a great book to get. It's got great retro artwork, a loose style, a sense of humor (something you don't see much in parenting books), and (mostly) very sound advice and information, from what your brand new baby will REALLY look like to how to keep your almost-one-year-old entertained on an airplane....

    My kid just turned a year old and I implemented many of the bits of advice I found in this book. It was well supplemented by "The New Father" and by "What's Going on in There?", making a trio of books that runs the gamut from theory to practice, from micro to macro. This book ended up as a well-thumbed bathroom reader after I finished it.

    By the way, the website for this book has some activities: listen to the sound of a baby crying for several minutes (to help you acclimate if, perhaps, you're still "expecting"), dad exercises and more....more info
  • better than a DVD for the dad with no time (or will) to read
    A family member sent this when my firstborn arrived, and I enjoyed the book's humor and valuable content so much I gifted it to my brother-in-law when his first child was born. Just like the healthy food for kids that tastes good (they'll never know they're eating healthy!), this book delivers a wealth of invaluable tips, timing of events, how-to's, Dont's and straight up information via humorous drawings and diagrams, wit, catchy phrases and laugh out loud style.
    I often read the book in bed at night and would share passage after passage with my wife - the new mom - who would chuckle along with me (quietly, so as not to wake the baby). To confirm it's your flavor of book, check out the sample above: "What Your Baby Won't Look Like" and the back cover's list of topics, including "How to stay awake (or at least upright) at work." Well worth it!...more info
  • A great guide for new dads
    I purchased this book for my husband shortly after we learned we were having our first child. He was excited when it arrived and spent most of his lunch break reading. This book does not poke fun at the beer-drinking, football-playing daddy persona. Instead it is filled with pencil sketches that capture one's attention using real life satire. The sketches are comical, genuine, and endearing to the experience and associated responsibility.

    We have received several other "for fathers" books since the pregnancy began, but this one is by far the best. It provides friendly suggestions that are applicable to real life - such as how a new dad can hold his baby while bathing him or her. I believe that my husband can use the suggestions in this book and I can relax knowing that he can manage all life's little challenges, even the slippery wet baby ones :-). ...more info
  • This is the book for you if this is your first baby!
    Be Prepared reminds me of the Boy Scout Handbook only with humor as an added bonus! (Probably by design). This book is the perfect nuts and bolts manual for early childhood rearing packed with answers to the questions you are almost certainly already asking yourself. Great practical advice and light of heart to keep first fathers from freaking out. It gives you the real scoop on the major things you should know and keeps you in perspective. I highly recommend this book if this is your first baby, as it is mine. One caveat though, it is a from-the-day-of-birth manual and does not cover the pregnancy term. If you are looking for advice during the pregnancy, you will have to look elsewhere. ...more info


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