5 Great Books for Dads-to-Be

Choose from a wide variety of options for the soon-to-be papa in your life.

Kenna Shumway June 18, 2016

When it comes to preparing for parenthood, I think we all could use a little help. From what I’ve seen, most books center on the mom-to-be, covering pregnancy symptoms, old wives’ tales, and breastfeeding tips. But what about our dads-to-be? Are there any guides for soon-to-be fathers? Yes! I’ve picked five awesome reads for our dads-to-be. They will make a great gift for Father’s Day! Enjoy!

Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad! How to Get (Both of You) Through the Next 9 Months by John Pfeiffer
1. Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad! How to Get (Both of You) Through the Next 9 Months by John Pfeiffer

In this fun read, John Pfeiffer helps prepare dads-to-be with his hilarious insights on fatherhood. It’s clever, blunt, and covers a variety of major pregnancy symptoms and how dads can deal with them. This book talks about life changes, emotional outbursts, and even covers all the gross things that come with pregnancy and parenthood. Many books that tackle pregnancy and parenthood for dads-to-be can be all information, which tends to lag as you read. Not this book! It offers moral support and good conversation from an already experienced dad. There’s also a, “Let HER read this” chapter, and it’s awesome!

Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada by Jimmy Fallon
2. Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada by Jimmy Fallon

This is, hands down, one of my favorite children’s books in existence. Funny man Jimmy Fallon brings the laughs with this simple story of animal dads who want their baby’s first word to be “Dada." Each page has an animal dad coaxing his new baby to say “Dada.” From horses to cows, frogs to ducks, each dad is working towards the same goal. The illustrations are adorable. I love that some of the animal dads have “angry eyebrows.” In my mind I can hear their foiled attempts to elicit the word “dada” from their babies. No matter the age of your child, this is a great book to keep on the bookshelves for “dada” to read.

The New Dad’s Survival Guide: What to Expect During in the First Year and Beyond by Rob Kemp
3. The New Dad’s Survival Guide: What to Expect During in the First Year and Beyond by Rob Kemp

Whereas other books on this list draw focus on conception, pregnancy, and childbirth, Rob Kemp tackles the first 18 months of parenting. This essential guide arms new dads with tips and tools covering everything from dad and baby bonding and supporting development, to practical issues like Babies and Finance 101. I think this book will give dads confidence in their natural parenting skills as well as the knowledge they need to enjoy fatherhood. The only thing I noticed about this book is that it can feel as if it’s not written with each individual in mind, and the tongue-in-cheek writing style may be not that appropriate, but nevertheless this book is worth reading!

The Guy’s Guide to Surviving Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the First Year of Fatherhood by Michael Crider
4. The Guy’s Guide to Surviving Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the First Year of Fatherhood by Michael Crider

In this book, author Michael Crider depicts his reluctant transformation into a father with candid, down-to-earth writing. I will issue a warning for those who have struggled to become fathers, because the author talks a lot about his “I didn’t expect to ever have children but my wife is pregnant so here I am” journey, which can feel abrasive for those who want nothing more than to become fathers. This book is not intended to be a pregnancy textbook; however, it offers very real insight into pregnancy from a father’s perspective. It’s lighthearted and witty and shows that there is no set science to being a good father. The author talks about fears, concerns, excitement, and all the other things that run through a soon-to-be father’s mind. This book will give you a good laugh and a refreshing view on fatherhood.

"Darth Vader and Son” & “Vader’s Little Princess" by Jeffrey Brown
5. "Darth Vader and Son” & “Vader’s Little Princess" by Jeffrey Brown

My husband has been a Star Wars fan from birth. I have heard many stories ranging from light saber battles with brothers to overthrowing the emperor with dad. I knew that his love for Star Wars would be something he’d want to pass on to our children. While browsing the book section in Target, I found these books and knew that I had to buy them. One of my favorite things about author Jeffrey Brown is that he wrote one book depicting Darth Vader and his son, and one book depicting Darth Vader and his daughter. I think I always assumed that Star Wars was more of a “guy thing” and I was wrong. We don’t have a daughter (not yet at least!), so “Vader’s Little Princess” lies in wait for that day to come. Our son, Harley, loves the comic style writing and illustrations in this book. It’s fun to see one of the most notorious villains portrayed as a run of the mill dad interacting with his son. These books are a great addition to any dad-to-be’s bookshelf.

author image

Kenna Shumway

Wife. Adoptive mom. Writer. Photographer. Endometriosis survivor, infertility warrior & adoption advocate. Rock star on weekends. Currently calls Ohio home with her pharmacist husband and their ginger son. Read more from her on her blog.


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