I read a lot of books about fathering, and particularly books aimed at new fathers. Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads is a breath of fresh air in the new fathers' book genre. It is witty, filled with fun and humorous anecdotes, and brings a "real man" perspective to fatherhood.
Be Prepared is organized in five general sections, with information for fathers by the age of their babies, from newborn to one year. In each section you will find the basic scoop about normal child development and a father's responsibilities at each level. The advice and instruction is well written and the illustrations and diagrams are priceless. From diapering, bathing, and burping to recognizing types of crying, the contents provide advice that is often humorous but also instructive.
Many books about parenting leave fathers feeling inadequate and uninformed. One book I read as a new dad made me wonder how any human could ever be a good parent. Be Prepared bursts through that cloud of inadequacy and gives hope to every new father that he can be what a father should be, and do it on his own terms. And while the advice in Be Prepared is helpful, it is also manly. For example, there are instructions for making an emergency diaper with stuff around the house, including duct tape. There is also a strategy for working with a colicky baby that includes wrapping her in a warm towel and holding her on a bouncy dryer. These are ideas that mom probably wouldn't think of but ring true to a father.
Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads is a wonderful addition to any new father's library. And even a 25-year fathering veteran like me can enjoy a book like this. I recommend Be Prepared to every new father and will be buying a copy for many expectant fathers I know among my family and friends. Engagingly written, cleverly illustrated and packed with good advice, Be Prepared is on the top of my shopping list for fathers-to-be.