The 20 Best Books for Dads

From pregnancy prep to navigating parenthood, these books for dads provide plenty of tips, tricks, and inspiration.

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Best Books for Dads
Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Fatherhood comes with a host of responsibilities and duties, and the transition into parenthood can be intimidating. Thankfully, though, other people have checked first-time fatherhood off the list, and they've written helpful guides for future dads.

Here's a list of the best books for expecting dads, as well as the best parenting books for dads to use throughout their journey.

Best Books for Expecting Dads

You can prepare for fatherhood before your little one arrives in the world. Here are our picks for the best pregnancy books for dads.

1. We're Pregnant! The First Time Dad's Pregnancy Handbook

By Adrian Kulp

With a focus on how real parenting won't ever involve perfection, this book takes first-time dads through each trimester of pregnancy with their partners and tackles everything from staying healthy and happy as a new family to more practical advice, like how to actually heat up a bottle.

2. New Dad Hacks: A Modern 4-Step Pregnancy Guide For First Time Dads, Use These Shortcuts to Help You Feel Prepared and Transition Into Fatherhood

The New Dad Hacks books, published in 2022, are a series of 3 books that walk new fathers through modern-day parenthood. This is the first in the series and focuses specifically on pregnancy, the birthing process, and dads' role in preparing for labor.

3. The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-to-Be

By Armin A. Brott

The Expectant Father is a classic for a reason: it's informative, insightful, and touches on everything from the emotional struggles to the financial burdens of fatherhood. The author, Armin A. Brott, is a dad of three himself, and he interviews psychologists, obstetricians, birth-class instructors, and more to bring this book to life.

4. Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads

By Gary Greenberg and Jeannie Hayden

Humorous Be Prepared is dad's functional "survival manual" to first-time fatherhood. You'll come away with clever insights, practical advice, and "MacGyver-esque tips and tricks." Light-hearted lessons include changing your baby in a sports stadium, baby-proofing a hotel room, and making an "emergency" diaper from a towel—all complete with funny illustrations.

5. From Dude to Dad: The Diaper Dude Guide to Pregnancy Kindle Edition

By Chris Pegula

From Dude to Dad is for first-time dads, Chris Pegula assures you that everything will be OK, even though you're probably scared out of your mind. He starts by breaking down pregnancy by trimester, then gives tips for being an overall great father. After the baby is born, dads who enjoyed this book can pick up the next edition: Diaper Dude: The Ultimate Dad's Guide to Surviving the First Two Years.

6. The Baby Owner's Manual: Operating Instructions, Trouble-Shooting Tips, and Advice on First-Year Maintenance

By Louis Borgenicht M.D. and Joe Borgenicht

The Baby Owner's Manual is a personalized book for dads who love technology. Through step-by-step instructions and practical diagrams, it gives plenty of how-to guides for topics like swaddling, feeding, organizing your nursery, and bringing the baby to the pediatrician for "servicing."

Older Sibling Reading with Younger Sibling
Evgenyatamanenko/Getty Images

The Best Parenting Books for Dads

Whether you have 1 child or 5, these parenting books for dads can help navigate fatherhood with wisdom, experience, and sometimes, a bit of humor.

7. First Generation Father: How to Build a Healthy and Happy Home When You Come From a Broken One

In an ideal world, all parents may be equipped with the skills they need to parent effectively and lovingly from their own homes. But that's not always the situation and this book addresses fathers looking to create a new system of love and health in their homes, even if their own backgrounds did not provide that. Author Anthony Blankenship, born to an unwed, teenage mother and a father who would later serve time in prison spent his young life exposed him to violence, drugs, and poverty, and shares his wisdom now as a father of two.

8. Dear Black Dads: Wisdom for Your Journey to Fatherhood

Published in 2020, this book promises to "combat" outdated stereotypes about Black fatherhood with real perspectives from Black dads who are looking to create new narratives for the Black community through fatherhood. "This labor of love is for the Black male who's looking for encouragement and light for one of the biggest roles in their lives," notes the book's descriptions.

9. Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood

By Michael Lewis

Home Game, a New York Times bestseller, follows Michael Lewis's written record of fatherhood after the birth of his three children. It's honest, funny, and wildly entertaining.

10. Dad Is Fat

By Jim Gaffigan

Dad Is Fat is a hilarious book for dads, stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan brings a dose to humor to fatherhood. Jim never thought he'd have kids, but now he's the father of five rambunctious girls and boys. The book delves into his experiences with the "joys and horrors" of fatherhood.

11. Man Vs. Child: One Dad's Guide to the Weirdness of Parenting

By Doug Moe

Man vs. Child is witty and relatable, this book for dads answers frequently asked questions in a refreshing way, thanks to Doug Moe's background in comedy. You'll learn, for example, "what to do if your child loves your iPad more than they love you." This book breaks down parenting into 4 distinct chapters: newborn, baby, toddler, and kid.

12. Father for Life: A Journey of Joy, Challenge, and Change

By Armin A. Brott

Father for Life is a thorough, engaging book, Brott explores how fathers evolve from the birth of a child through adolescence and beyond— and how children influence their dads' development as well. Brott's personal experience, combined with advice from experts and interviews with other fathers, adds up to wise guidance on what it means to be a devoted dad over time.

13. Dad's Playbook: Wisdom for Fathers from the Greatest Coaches of All Time

By Tom Limber

Calling all sports lovers! Dad's Playbook presents more than 100 quotes from coaches, aimed at inspiring fathers to be the best they can be. You'll also love the action-packed photographs and easy-to-read layout.

14. Fatherneed: Why Father Care is as Essential as Mother Care for Your Child

By Kyle D. Pruett, M.D.

Fatherneed is based on more than 20 years of research at the Yale Child Study Center, this book by psychiatrist Pruett explores how fathers shape a child's emotional and cognitive development.

15. The Parents' Phrase Book: Hundreds of Easy, Useful Phrases, Scripts, and Techniques for Every Situation

By Whit Honea

Let's face it: Talking to a child can be difficult, especially during times of tension. The Parents' Phrase Book guides you on "key language and tactics" for handling everything parenthood may throw at you, including bullying, sibling rivalry, and more.

16. Lessons for Dylan: From Father to Son

By Joel Siegel

Two weeks after the birth of his first child, Siegel (Good Morning America's movie critic) learned that he had colon cancer. With humor and insight, he offers entertaining stories of family history and lessons for living in Lessons for Dylan.

17. Monkey Dancing: A Father, Two Kids, and a Journey to the Ends of the Earth

By Daniel Glick

After the death of his brother and an unexpected divorce from his wife of 15 years, journalist Glick found himself lonely and left to care for his young daughter and son. In Monkey Dancing, an inspiring memoir, he describes his transformative six-month trip around the world with his children.

18. Twenty Days With Julian & Little Bunny

By Nathaniel Hawthorne

A brief narrative, Twenty Days with Julian and Little Bunny by Papa, is a touching and humorous account of how one of the best-known writers in American literature managed to care for his young son while his wife and daughters were away visiting relatives.

His true-life tale of limited adult companionship, endless questions from his inquisitive child, and crises concerning a pet bunny shine a delightful light on family life.

19. Dad On Purpose: The Busy Dad's Playbook for Loving Better, Doing More and Breathing Easier

In this book, author Tim Dunn provides dads with simple, action-oriented steps to become the "stronger, well-balanced dad that your kids deserve right now." Readers can expect tips on building financial security, living healthier, hacks to save time and energy, and simple "dos and don't" to provide extra clarity.

20. Girl Dad: Stories, Lessons, and Advice from Girl Dads & Their Daughters 

For dads that are rocking that daughter life, this book promises to equip dads with the "tips, tricks, and tools that have been proven successful for creating a strong relationship with your daughter." Plus, it contains plenty of anecdotes and real stories from fellow girl dads to keep dads entertained and engaged along the way.

Updated by Nicole Harris
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