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Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads
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Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  1,404 Ratings  ·  145 Reviews
An indispensable survival manual for guys entering the trenches of fatherhood, Be Prepared is loaded with one-of-a-kind insights, MacGyver-esque tips and tricks, and no-nonsense advice for mastering the first year as a dad.

Finally, a book that teaches men all the things they really need to know about fatherhood...including how to:

-Change a baby at a packed sports stadium
ebook, 240 pages
Published June 16th 2008 by Simon & Schuster (first published June 1st 2003)
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Rebecca Probably the compare/contrast section on what babies really look like when they are fresh out of the oven.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dan Weaver
Jan 17, 2012 Dan Weaver rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this and Cormac McCarthy's The Road, and you're set.
Aug 14, 2011 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got a lot of these pregnancy/new dad books as gifts as we prepared for our first child. I found most of these books to be very condescending. The humor to keep us turning the pages would revolve around booze, strippers, and bodily functions. As if this was the only way to keep our attention. (While one or two such jokes are funny, like an Adam Sandler movie, after so-many in a short time, it just is not funny anymore.) Be Prepared, however, is set up and presented differently. There is some of ...more
Ben Z.
Apr 27, 2012 Ben Z. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If McGyver was a pediatrician this is the book he'd write.

'Be Prepared' is written like an instruction guide for clueless new dads, a demographic I just joined. It's written just an product manual. The book is loaded with creative ninja-like tips for managing your baby. Guys will appreciate the step-by-step procedures and problem solving format. I did a rapid skim in an evening and then revisited chapters in more detail as my baby has reached different milestones.

The author's cheesy humor and t
Mar 16, 2008 Neha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book was recommended to us by another set of first-time parents, and we were not disappointed.

It's written with a great sense of humor, while providing lots of useful information. It's easy and fun to read, versus some of the other more 'dry' parenting books.

Plus, it's got some great ideas of games parents can play with their babies. And, even some money saving tips, such making your own bath toys - versus spending money on ones from the store.

We're expecting our first child, and this book
Feb 18, 2008 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: New/Expectant fathers
I gave this book to my husband when we were anticipating the adoption of our first child, and while he read parts of it (way more than he read of any other baby/parenting book), I read it front to back and found it actually quite helpful. If you have a new dad in your life who wants to read a baby book but doesn't know where to start, this is a man's man look at the arrival of Baby. Humorously written yet with sound advice.
Aug 19, 2010 Marie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is quite possible that this is THE BEST new dad book that I have come across for husbands... especially if they are handymen who watched MacGyver when they were little :) A lot of humor, information and really great pointers that I never thought of/considered.
Jose Guzman
Nov 28, 2015 Jose Guzman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book for dads to be. Funny, useful and smart. A big change from "Dude, you are going to be dad". This one is actualy for men who want to take care of their kid and not just avoid nagging.
Very recommended.
May 09, 2013 Leah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I gave this book to my husband as a stocking stuffer--only partly as a joke. Turns out, this book is hilarious and informative. He read it cover to cover on a plane ride and still mentions things from it from time to time. Loved it!
Aug 03, 2016 Colby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite handbook for new dads. You won't get insight into the latest expert opinion of raising kids, but it does teach you how to change diapers at a major sporting event. Knowledge is power.
Jan 04, 2013 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Here goes nothin'. . .!
Cute book, although some of the advice was suspect. Actual rating 3.5 stars.
Bryan Williams
Oct 21, 2016 Bryan Williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really fun to read and full of practical tips and advice. You can't really go wrong with this one. I think it's most effective if read before the baby comes, if your baby is already a few months old then some stuff might be redundant I guess.
The illustrations in particular were very helpful.
Drew Howdyshell
Informative read

Not all inclusive but has some good ideas and points. Should include a bit more to be worthwhile to more people.
Oct 04, 2016 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel like a seasoned pro now. thanks book
i bought this for jared. i've convinced him to read parts of some of my parenting books (i think he actually got through all of my mother wears combat boots, although it scared the shit out of him & we had to have all these big conversations about how changing diapers doesn't have to be that complicated), but he really doesn't have much time for outside reading, being a graduate student working on a dissertation & everything. this book looked cute, approachable, halfways useful, readable ...more
Apr 27, 2010 Vincent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Chris Lawler
Recommended to Vincent by: Chris Hauth
A great gift from Chris Hauth. The best book for new fathers!
Jessica and I laughed outloud more than once. Thank you Chris & Jen.
I passed along a copy to Chris Lawler - also a proud new papa.

I took my time reading this one, breaking open the pages to a new section about a month ahead of each new milestone, in order to prepare for the next phase of Nico's development. You will find engaging prose, pictures and humor that expresses new ideas and diagrams solutions for those complicated momen
George Guimaraes
Recommend to every new dad I know and they all love it.
Cameron Murray
Apr 05, 2016 Cameron Murray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I gotta say, this book was pretty awesome. I ate it up and read it in two days. This book had just the information I was looking for. So far during the pregnancy, I haven't really felt ultra informed on many things, and I certainly don't want to fork out hundreds of dollars at the hospital for classes, so this book was a really great resource for learning.
The humor in this book helps a lot, truly. I think that a lot of men get by a little easier in a topic like this with some good ol' fashion hu
Jan 28, 2016 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just to be clear: if you're buying pregnancy books, this book is for AFTER the baby is born, so don't go in expecting it to help with the pregnancy.

Ok, that being said, this book was AWESOME. First of all, the drawings and cover are highly reminiscent of my boy scouts handbook, which is just great. Secondly, it gives actual, practical advice about what to do in various scenarios with baby. Thirdly, there's great dry, sarcastic humor interspersed, which I love. This book was immensely helpful in
C. P.
Dec 01, 2014 C. P. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I decided to give this a quick read as my first guide in how to be a good dad someday. Imagining that I shall be doing plenty of further reading regarding the matter, a light opening was needed in order not to get distanced by the subject before even starting.

There is an ideal combination between the useful information and the way that it is being delivered. Positive notes there are plenty, and they are all thoroughly deserved, however on the other hand, I hated the fact that the were numerous r
Jun 30, 2013 Candi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: new dads *and* moms
Shelves: 2013
My husband and I highly recommend this book to any first time parent. I've read several other baby care books in anticipation of our upcoming bundle of joy, and all of the advice in this book agrees nicely with more "medical" books except it has a much more enjoyable delivery. Plus, there are several maker/hacker tips I haven't seen in any of the other books. The illustrations are excellent, and it's laugh-out-loud funny in sections. I appreciate that it includes games to play and places to go w ...more
East Bay J
Apr 12, 2015 East Bay J rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
Modeled after the Boy Scout Handbook (and named after the Boy Scout motto), Be Prepared is a tongue in cheek but useful guide. New dads will glean a ton of useful information from these pages and the authors have presented that information in a way that is lighthearted and often humorous. Broke into sections based on the baby's age (first week, zero to three months, four to six months, seven to nine months and ten to twelve months), topics include eating, sleeping, playing and more.

This book goe
Jun 06, 2012 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Assumes most dads are beer guzzling, barely out of the cave, kind of sexist, slobs BUT it's very funny and actually full of modern parenting and supportive information that as far as I can tell is entirely scientifcally valid. I love that it elevates breastfeeding as the norm and diminishes the focus on formula. A husband's/partner's support of breastfeeding is the number one predictor of the duration and quality of a mother's breastfeeding efforts. Most of the advice is very McGuyver inspired ( ...more
Feb 26, 2010 Frednwright rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: new-dad-training
If you are looking for a great gift for a soon-to-be or newly-minted Dad this book is perfect. I struggle trying to read the "new baby" stuff for Dad's because most of it is written by women and seems to be more for Mom than for Dad. This book got me though because: 1. It looks like, and is illustrated like my old Boy Scout Handbook. 2. It's completely hysterical. The book starts with a diagram of what your baby will NOT look like (the Gerber baby), and then shows you what your baby WILL look li ...more
Sep 12, 2016 ellen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the two books I wrote in my daughter's baby book as the Best Advice received. The book was passed to us from parent friends. I would read it when my husband wasn't; we still refer to it as our daughter grows. As someone with no experience with babies, it gave excellent practical advice with humor. I learned how to burp, some calming techniques, and even some ways my husband and I would communicate and relate after the baby was born. It was cool to look at parenthood from the dad' ...more
Mar 11, 2014 Aaron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a boy!...scout manual for new dads. One thing I realized after reading several books/magazines/BabyCenter emails on what happens during pregnancy was that I still had no idea what to do with an actual baby, ex-utero. Pregnancy is basically on autopilot anyways. This book was a gift and a good choice by the giver. Funny writing and pictures (BSA-esque) with good, necessary info to give you a realistic view of what to expect. Even includes pictures of a newborn (as seen on tv) and a real newb ...more
Jul 16, 2008 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: expectant dads and moms
Shelves: baby-stuff
Granted, I haven't finished all my pre-baby-arrival reading on parenting (I imagine I'll 'finish' that around, say, Sept. 29), but this is the best general book on parenting I've found. It's easy to understand, funny, helpful, and full of good tips (like how to make a teether out of a clean sock and some frozen apples, or a frozen bagel). Obviously it's meant for dads, but I get kind of tired of the level of seriousness in 'mom parenting books' - I'd rather read this than "What to Expect in the ...more
May 14, 2012 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
I got this book for my husband based on many recommendations, and then read it myself. It made me sad that there aren't more parenting books, especially for moms, like this! I guess the view is that moms will somehow know this stuff more instinctively, but I feel like I don't know anything and the tips and tricks in this book seem like they will be so darn useful. (e.g. when putting the baby in a crib after she has been nursing, keep your body close to hers and then keep a hand on her so she doe ...more
Jul 08, 2014 Ramya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well done! Finally, a factual and practical
Handbook for Father's that has information that's important for both parents to share done w/ just the right sense of humor and level of gravitas expected by most modern men, I think. Only 3 factual data that is a little off in the book:
1. Temperatures in Fahrenheit
2. Description of chocking hazard size or food or toys dimensions are off
3. Please NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use the football hold to hold an infant - a drop can be near life disabling for the youn
Sarah King
Feb 12, 2013 Sarah King rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't expect my husband to read any baby books but I thought the format of this book would be somewhat appealing to him- and I was right. He didn't read the whole thing but skimmed through most of it and there were several times he would read me parts he thought were funny. I thought there were a few good ideas in there on ways to entertain brand new babies & some good basic info for a dad-to-be with zero knowledge of babies. It's not the be-all, end-all of baby books for dads but it held ...more
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