A Great New Dad Guide: "Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads"

Sona Charaipotra
12

Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads
Amazon.com; $10.20
Before baby Kavi made her grand arrival, my husband wasn't very fond of babies. In fact, he said they bored him.

So too did all the dad-oriented baby books that we checked out while doing our usual bookstore dates at Borders.

They were all so uber-serious about the matter, as if it was life or death. Which it could be, I guess, on some level. But having a little one is also supposed to be a lot of fun. Which is why we were both excited when we came across the dad manual Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads. Turns out the book has scored more than 131 5-star reviews on Amazon. And I could see why.

While the title makes it sound dry, this proud papa guide is really funny and a bit cheeky, offering up real facts and advice with attitude and humor. Case in point? A drawing showing you what a real newborn looks like, warts and all. (Or should I say, complete with splotchy skin, a smushed-up nose, and a cone-shaped head.)

Set up sort of like a hunter's survival guide, with charticles and plenty of illustrations, it caters to an easily distracted dad. The great breast vs. bottle dilemma, for one, is broken into a pros and cons list, much like it'd be if your husband was comparing cars or something.

It's worth reading straight through as a primer -- yeah, for moms too -- but it's also got baby's first year divided into handy-dandy two-month sections, each broken up into easily digestible topics for practical, everyday use. Dealing with teething? Check out the four- to six-month section. Wondering if sex will ever be a possibility again? This book breaks it to your husband gently.

Written by comedian Gary Greenberg (a staff writer on Jimmy Kimmel Live) and his illustrator wife Jeannie Hayden, the proud parents of Madeline, the book has a sense of humor. The first chapter includes usable newborn party tricks, for example -- which means it kept my husband's attention and helped him prep for life with a newborn. And a new mother.

Did your husband check out a baby book? Which one?

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