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Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  2,330 ratings  ·  208 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 stad
Paperback, 240 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Simon & Schuster
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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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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  2,330 ratings  ·  208 reviews

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Dan Weaver
Jan 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Read this and Cormac McCarthy's The Road, and you're set.
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Ask me in a year how useful it actually is. For now: got super tired of it's highly gendered presumptions about me and my wife.
Jordan Anderson
Even though us males have a part in creating a new life (whether planned or not), and even though the vast majority of current fathers or expecting ones want to be the best dads they can be, it’s pretty hard to ignore that being a parent is mostly focused and geared towards the mom’s side of things.

I can wholly attest to this observation since, as an expecting father (August 2020 if all things go according to plan), I feel totally helpless, out of the loop and Damn near terrified that I’ll have
Haines Eason
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
At times hilarious and, I must assume, imminently useful (my baby’s due in August). This book’s comprehensive, chronological rundown of what to expect from your first-year baby soothes and empowers. Also to like: its waterproof cover.
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a great balance between humor and real information. Now I know I shouldn't hold a baby by palming their had like a basketball!
Jean-Marc Doiron
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I feel totally ready to be a dad now that I’ve read this book. Entertaining the whole way through, I kept bringing it out anytime the family was around to show them the awesome/funny stuff in it. Full of awesome life hacks for the first 12 months of your baby’s life, from birth to first birthday.

C.J. Moore
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Was meant as a gag gift, but it actually turned out to be quite helpful. Only time will tell, but this book teaches you, in a humorous way, all that you might need to know from the moment you take your first baby home and on throughout the first year.

Definitely recommend for those new dads out there who want a lighthearted but helpful read on how to take care of a newborn.
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
The book is somewhat out of date, and doesn’t really cover topics in enough depth to be used as a standalone. It’s humor makes it readable.

It would make a good gift for someone who is thinking of becoming a parent, or just found out they will be one. But honestly they may appreciate a more in-depth book that covers topics in a more precise manner.

Topics are quite out of date. For example, how to clean out a VCR. Who uses VCRs nowadays? Last I used them was as a kid myself, not when I’m having
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
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.
Jenny Leiva
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received this book as a gift from my boss, and it was exactly the type of parenting book I was trying to find. It’s basically a how-to guide for how to take care of your baby. (And people say they don’t come with instructions!) It’s geared toward men, but I found it super helpful. It goes through so many different situations with your baby and gives your steps or tips on how to take care of them. For example, it has step by step instructions with pictures on how to change a diaper, pictures of ...more
Richard Shelmerdine
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the "Ultimate: The Greatest Sport Ever Invented by Man" of parenting.

Yes, that's a very niche review.
Christine Kenney
Oct 09, 2017 rated it liked it
This offers more levity, irreverence and pragmatism than a typical "what to expect, the miracle of childbirth" type of book. Wish I had discovered this before hosting a family reunion with a 10 month old niece-- who knew she would have only just exited "treat your 0-6 month old like a vampire" phase and could only just start wearing "baby-safe" sunscreen? The 1950's wholesomely satirical images and asides conjure the Fallout franchise and left me appreciating how apocalyptic a journey infancy ca ...more
Ben Z.
Apr 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 rated it it was amazing

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
Apr 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting
A delightful intro to dad-ing. Plenty of jokes and a good bit of practical suggestions, some which felt dated (due to technology) - since it was written in 2004. One suggestion in particular I read after-the-fact, but when traveling with a little one, put a chair between you and the pack-and-play with a towel over it. That way when he wakes up, he won't see you and cry continuously. That advice would have saved us a night a sleep and been worth the price of the book. Too bad I read it a few days ...more
Amy Cummings
Feb 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it it was amazing
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.
May 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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!
Jose Guzman
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Here goes nothin'. . .!
Dec 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Cute book, although some of the advice was suspect. Actual rating 3.5 stars.
Jake Handy
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Some interesting tips littered here and there, but fitted alongside some bizarrely misogynistic musings and one too many failed jokes. And not the good dad joke kind.
Tiffany Korn
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have not read this book but my husband did. Not only did he read it, he would search me out to tell me stuff he learned from the book.

Being first time parents and him not being around babies much, this was maybe one of the best books we've read so far. My husband read it in two days and enjoyed it! There are lots of pictures and tons of practical information.

I am so pleased with his reception of the book and it gave him some perspective of the journey ahead. Him and I didn't see eye to eye on
Corey Thibodeaux
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
If you've seen the clues scattered about the web, you'd surmise that I am inbound to fatherhood. The panic settles further in as every grain of this 9-month anticipation becomes a boulder of immense burden.

No one is really ever ready, are they? At least reading this book, I can be unprepared with blind confidence. "Behold, baby, as I lather you in a bottle of sunscreen, affix this multi-eared hat to your soft scalp and strap you onto my concaving back. We are PREPARED for this sun-soaked stroll.
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I found this book to be the perfect thing to read during my wife's 3rd trimester. I had read some pregnancy books and that was very educational, but there was nothing about what happens as soon as you have a new little person to take care of. I was terrified of what would happen at that point... what do you do?! The book does a good job of telling you the basics of what you NEED to know, and it does it in a funny and easy to read way.

The only negative I sort of noticed was that some of the refer
Sep 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Aside from being dated (and occasionally a bit sexist), the book was a very informative read.
Gotten for me as a gag gift I was surprised at how much information was delivered, and I know that means there is a whole lot more. There were quite a few things I would have never even considered, which is somehow frightening. Different types of strollers (there's like 10 types), turning myself into a mobile as distraction, pooping in the bath tub, decoy electronic drawer, and etc. It was eye opening.
Mrs.  Jones
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Be Prepared is pretty self explanatory but it's a baby book outlining the first year of the baby's life and tips for dads along the way. Though it's geared for dads, it is by far one of the best baby books I've read. In fact, I think that because it's written for dads it's a lot less precious, which I think makes it better. It's very easily read (I finished it in a little over a day); it's funny, and it has pictures, which is always great, especially as a visual person. I would highly recommend ...more
Oct 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Looking forward to being a Dad in just a few months. Was gifted this book by a neighbor friend (and Dad of 3 himself).

I plowed through this book in 2 days which is an easy feat with all the images and easy reading. At times I took notes and other times I literally laughed out loud.

Highly recommend this for future fathers like me. The message is one of both reality (you’re gonna lose sleep), but also positivity in tips and tricks to better your life and the life of your wife and baby. The outdo
Paul Mckinley
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Not the most in-depth book, but is a quick read, entertaining, and really helped to get me up-to-speed on learning some fatherly things. I even learned a few facts my wife didn't get from her reading of multiple lengthy books.

As a side note, it does a really good of including illustrations of every race, and seems to alternate the gender of the baby pronoun (he or she) with each chapter in order to be maximally inclusive.
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