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5 best pregnancy books every first-time dad should read

Don’t know what to expect when you’re going to be a first-time dad? Getting a positive pregnancy test can be just as intimidating and overwhelming and exciting and nerve-wracking for first-time fathers as it is for newbie mamas. And while nine months may sound like a sufficient chunk of time to plan and prepare for a baby, that time goes quickly. Want to make sure you are setting yourself (and your growing family) up for success? Being a good dad starts with empathy and education — so pull up a chair and get out a book. It’s time to learn all about the incredible adventure that is parenting. We’ve rounded up the best pregnancy books for dads — study up, Pops!

We’re Pregnant! The First Time Dad’s Pregnancy Handbook by Adrian Kulp

The mom may be the one who is pregnant, but soon-to-be fathers also go through a transformation of sorts. This handbook encourages dads to participate in their partner’s pregnancy and take an active role as Dad from Day 1 on. It covers how to help with the woes of expecting, how to have input on creating a birth plan, and how to create a parenting style that works for your expanding family. This first-time dad book is a must for nervous newbies.

The Baby Owner’s Manual by Louis Borgenicht and Joe Borgenicht

You can install a dishwasher, set up WiFi, and assemble an unnecessarily complicated Ikea crib — you have got this parenting gig in the bag, right? Right?! The Baby Owner’s Manual breaks down all the baby-rearing tasks into simple instructions and humorous diagrams. Want to know how to change a dirty diaper or swaddle a baby like a pro? In this go-to book, dads will get an illustrated step-by-step guide plus some words of wisdom provided by pediatrician Dr. Louis Borgenicht and his adult son, Joe Borgenicht.

The New Dad’s Survival Guide by Scott Mactavish

This manual-style book does not sugarcoat new parenthood. It breaks down all the things you could ever want to know about expecting and child-rearing — and then some. From how to cut the cord to surviving sleep deprivation to changes in bodily functions to “the great boob irony,” postpartum sex, and more. With humor and, well, frankness, author, Scott Mactavish, shares the basic facts and secrets of what he calls the “Baby Code.”

The Expectant Father by Armin A. Brott and Jennifer Ash Rudick

Broken down into monthly updates, this book helps dads navigate the physical, mental, and emotional transition of pregnancy — from a male perspective and that of an expecting partner. It shares updates on Baby’s development, and, most importantly, helps soon-to-be dads identify specific ways they can be active participants from the get-go. There is also a resource section that Dad can refer to in a pinch with specific information on key topics ranging from pregnancy woes to early parenting challenges.

Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad! by John Pfeiffer

John Pfeiffer’s top takeaway for dads: Instead of focusing on your partner’s pregnancy, hone in on all the big — and small — things you can do to make her life easier, better, and less uncomfortable. This book teaches dads to be the ultimate game-day (or rather, nine-month-long) coach. With a conversational tone and a humorous approach, Pfeiffer uses his own experience to help dads not mess up along this tumultuous journey.

Becoming a dad may sound daunting — regardless of whether you have experience with kids or not. The changes that accompany your partner’s pregnancy alone might be overwhelming to some men. But a little learning can empower you to know what is coming and how to handle it all. Pregnancy and baby books are not just for women; you, too, need to be prepared. These options will get you started — good luck and happy reading.

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