Monday, January 10, 2011

Be Prepared

I have been reading lots of books about child care lately (lots and lots and lots). I figure I'm not going to have a heck of a lot of time after Baby is born to casually look at books, plus I might find the baby care book and buy it. Right now, the books I'm reading all come from the local library.

This weekend, our trip to the library resulted in us checking out the book "Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads." It has actual, important information, like taking precautions to lower the risk of SIDS. And it takes that section quite seriously.

But you also get actual, important information -- like Baby pooping in the tub -- that's given with a bit more humor.
"At some point your baby will poop in the tub. Maybe it's a defense mechanism, like a squid inking. It's a disgusting and frustrating occurrence, but it's one of those parental rites of passage that officially confirm you as a dad."
Some of the information is silliness, like reading "Sports Illustrated" to your baby or using Baby as your wingman if you're a single dad, but overall the book has some sound advice. Like this passage referring to postpartum mood swings:
"Keep in mind that much of this behavior is beyond her control. Right after the birth, her hormone levels are bouncing around like Ping-Pong balls, playing havoc with her brain chemistry. So when you see her throwing breast pump parts across the living room, remember to cut her some slack." readers give this book good ratings. Out of the 173 customer reviews, only 14 are less than five stars, with just three readers giving it two stars (and no one giving it only one star). These reviewers must have really expected a lot from a book with just 217 pages, calling it not helpful. I think it's helpful if Dad will read it. No, I wouldn't rely on this book as the only baby care book I'd consult -- or would let the S.O. consult -- but it's a good way to get Dads involved without overwhelming them.

Even in our enlightened age -- compared to my dad, who probably didn't know what a diaper looked like -- Dads generally are still less involved in the childcare than Moms are. I think the S.O. would find something useful in this book, where the other books I've brought home just seem to intimidate him.


  1. That looks like a CLASSIC! Todd and I received a copy of a blogger's book called POO BOMBS or something like that... I wonder if we still have it. It's hilarious.

    Gotta admit, I did the parenting thing the way I do most things... rather by the seat of my pants, but there was one book that I found extremely useful as a reference book in my postpartum months. The Baby Book. It's a Dr. Sears masterpiece.

    There were just some times when I found it really helpful... like when Abi had this really nasty goopy eye and I was sure she was going to be blinded by pink eye at just weeks old... when in fact there was a simple way to try and clear out a blocked tear duct. That kind of thing. Anyway, that's as book frenzied as I ever got. You're going to be the far more studious parent, I can tell.

  2. I think I would have had a heart attack and died if Jim had actually read a parenting book of ANY sort, so it's probably best he never did. Kudos to your partner for even considering it. (I'd really like to call him his real name, as SO and "your partner" sound so funky ... but I'll be good and not use real names.) :o)

  3. I'm sure "Fred" will be a great dad. and I'm with Lisa. Its probably a good thing Mike didn't read any books either. LOL!