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Preparing for pregnancy, birth and beyond is an important part of the journey through parenthood, and it's a unique experience for every parent.
In straight, cisgender couples, the mother grows, cares for and nurtures her baby as it develops inside her, bonding in all sorts of ways as she does. Fathers, at this stage, have to connect with and prepare for the birth of their baby in other ways.
It can be a little daunting to know where to start, particularly if you're a first time dad. This is where a good parenting book comes in; the best possible way to prepare for pregnancy and birth is to make sure you are well-informed. There are a range of books for expecting dads out there that detail what to expect from a pregnancy, how to support your pregnant partner if you have one, and how to get ready for what comes after the birth. The right book will be informative and accessible, offering advice and insider knowledge that will help make the journey to fatherhood a little smoother and (hopefully) much less frightening.
We've gathered together a range of the best books on pregnancy for dads so that you can find the right one for you. Read through our list and find your favourite!
Our Top Choice
Pregnancy For Men : The Whole Nine Months By Mark Woods
A great, practical guide to pregnancy for new dads that details everything from the baby's growth in the womb to how best to be a supportive partner to what to expect from the birth itself. It's a quick read (the month by month layout helps break down the information into straightforward, easy-to-digest chunks), and a good mix of factual information, hands-on advice and real-life (often hilarious) anecdotes. The tone is nice and relaxed, and manages to be humorous without stooping to low-brow, 'laddish' humour that reinforces outdated gender roles. The follow-up (Babies and Toddlers for Men) and the '101 Tips' guides are also worth a look.
- Price: £7.29
- Pages: 288
Best For Practical Tone And Advice
The Expectant Dad's Handbook: All You Need To Know About Pregnancy, Birth And Beyond By Dean Beaumont
Some of the male-focussed pregnancy literature out there has a tendency to be a little patronising; not this one. Written by an expert who specialises in working with expectant fathers (Beaumont founded the award-winning DaddyNatal), this pregnancy book offers an in-depth and comprehensive guide to pregnancy, birth and parenthood. The style is clear and approachable and there are plenty of no-frills tips, useful pointers and resources for the reader to make use of. It also dedicates some time to addressing the fears and insecurities that naturally come with becoming a dad; a welcome addition.
- Price: £12.99
- Pages: 256
Best For Humorous Approach
Dummy: The Comedy And Chaos Of Real-Life Parenting By Matt Coyne
This book reads like a particularly foul-mouthed op-ed: light-hearted, relatable and easy to read. This makes sense, since its author gained popularity via his irreverent parenting blog, 'Man vs Baby'. A straightforward, practical guide to parenthood it is not, but it is full of laugh-out-loud first-hand experiences and observational humour that all parents will enjoy. More than this (and perhaps its greatest asset), though, is that it provides steadfast assurance that you are not the only ones struggling with new parenthood. It might scare the living daylights out of first-time-dads, but will, at least, do a good job of preparing you for the worst!
- Price: £9.99
- Pages: 368
Best Novelty Book
Haynes Explains: Babies By Boris Starling
If you're looking for a novelty gift for your partner or a friend/father-to-be, this 'Babies' edition of the Haynes Explains series is the perfect choice. To advise on anything as nuanced as parenting in the format of a retro 'how to' manual makes for a humorous starting point, and the tone throughout is similarly tongue-in-cheek. But there's actually some useful info in here too, which, due to the style is naturally very simple and easy to take in. It's nice and short so makes for a super speedy read and will certainly enlighten all new parents to the madness, mania and often absurdity of parenthood in a super digestible format.
- Price: £7.99
- Pages: 40
Best For First Time Dads
How To Be A Dad: The Ultimate Guide To Pregnancy, Birth & Dirty Nappies By Oscar Duke
This doctor-written guide to fatherhood is a welcome mix of actual medical advice and a humorous examination of all the things new dads actually want to know (but perhaps haven't known where to ask). With answers to questions like 'what's a cervix?' and 'how do I make a baby bottle?', it provides a real range of useful info whilst catering to the idea that certain approaches and ways of thinking are uniquely 'man-like' (something that will likely appeal to some readers and exasperate others).
- Price: £12.99
- Pages: 208
Best For Sociological Analysis
The Life Of Dad: The Making Of A Modern Father By Anna Machin
This is less a how-to guide to becoming a father and more of an in-depth examination of the role of the father within the family and in society at large. Grounded in research in fields like genetics, neuroscience and psychology, this book considers what it means to be a dad and how the role has evolved over time, paying special attention to the ways a father can influence and impact their child. It can get a little repetitive at times, but the central message is well-worth pursuing; a fascinating and important read.
- Price: £12.99
- Pages: 320
Best Tried-And-Tested Resource
The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide For Dads-To-Be By Armin A. Brott And Jennifer Ash
Among the most popular books for new dads in the US, this guide is a great resource for any dad-to-be. It tracks your baby's development chronologically, and provides extra insight into how the pregnancy may be affecting your partner, with tips for the best ways to support them at each stage. It does a good job of laying out pregnancy for the 'male perspective', though some casual reinforcing of outdated gender stereotypes is to be expected. This edition also addresses infertility, adoption and assisted reproduction, making it a more inclusive volume (though some of the more US-specific information will be less relevant to UK readers).
- Price: £15.99
- Pages: 336
Best For Tech-Lovers
The Baby Owner's Manual By Joe Borgenicht And Louis Borgenicht
This little guide offers instructions on how to look after your baby in machine manual format. With tons of technological lingo (see 'troubleshooting', 'operating' and 'programming'), there's a playful approach throughout, but one that will inevitably strike a chord with technologically-minded fathers. It's certainly not the most extensive guide, but it provides a fun, rudimentary introduction to the ins and outs of basic baby maintenance, and makes another worthy addition to the 'great presents for first time dads' category.
- Price: £9.85
- Pages: 256
Best For Boisterous Tone
Fatherhood: The Truth By Marcus Berkmann
If you're looking for something casual, jokey and that speaks to (at least a certain version of) the 'male experience', these next two fit the bill. The ultimate book for dads who are proving a little reluctant to leave their childless lifestyle behind, Fatherhood: The Truth describes itself as the 'shed-friendly man guide' to fatherhood (which sort of says it all). Though it can be a little reductive at times (and certainly awash with laddish humour about nagging wives and the pub), it still has plenty of useful insights and practical information to offer, and the tells-it-like-it-is approach will certainly appeal to some.
- Price: £12.99
- Pages: 288
Best For Readability
The Expectant Dad's Survival Guide: Everything You Need To Know By Rob Kemp
Though at times a little saturated with macho humour, The Expectant Dad's Survival Guide is a comprehensive guide for new fathers nonetheless. Featuring plenty of useful facts, specialised advice from doctors and midwives and first-hand tips from experienced dads, by the time they've finished it first time dads will be well on their way to understanding the ins and outs of pregnancy, birth and beyond. Whilst some might find the roguish style a little tasteless, it is certainly very readable.
Kidadl Best Buys selects the top parent-recommended products across the web for families of all ages. If you liked our pick of the best books about pregnancy for new dads, why not check out our pick of the top baby bottles you can use from birth or the best baby shower gifts?
- Price: £12.99
- Pages: 272
Originally from Manchester, Olivia has spent the last couple of years living between Toronto and Vancouver. She now works as a freelance writer in London and loves literature, travel and eating anything sweet. Her love of spending time with children began when she worked as an au pair in Paris.