I recently said 2021 was the Year of the Dad Book. As if to prove the point, another one has hit the bookshelves. Called You’re Going to be a Dad!, it aims to guide men through pregnancy and the first year of their child’s life.
You’re Going to be a Dad! is the first major title to be published by DaddiLife, the fatherhood community and website (a previous book, a collection of dad jokes called A Dad Joke A Day being published earlier this year). Using first-hand experiences collected from around 50 dads from a variety of backgrounds, it shines a light on fetal, neonatal and infant development plus the milestones to look out for.
While encouraging the reader to look after their partner, it also stresses the importance of dad looking after himself. The reader is encouraged to use the book any way they see fit, whether that be reading it from cover to cover or dipping in and out or taking to appointments with the doctor, the theory being that a dirty, well-thumbed book is a well-loved book.
Is this the go-to guide it aspires to be? Read on to find out.
You’re Going to be a Dad!: A detailed read
The book is written in chronological order and split into four sections: Part One: The First Trimester, Part Two: The Second trimester, Part Three: the Second Trimester and Part Four: The First Year.
Over the next 428 pages, you get an overview of what to expect each month. You also get an update telling you what’s happening to baby and mother which goes into the science and psychology of gestation and motherhood. You get an overview of what could be happening with you, the dad, covering the highs and lows that affect first-time fathers plus reflections from the 50-dad contributors, which are provided in brief quotes, but very insightful. Finally, there’s a weekly checklist for you to tick off.
Books for dads about pregnancy and the early years of a child’s life are nothing new and I wasn’t sure if You’re Going to be a Dad! would be able to stand out among the others. What the DaddiLife team have done, however, is create an incredibly detailed book.
Not only does this title tell you what to expect in the maternity ward (standard fodder for such titles) but it explores the emotions both parents are likely to feel. There is a lot of practical, medical detail and also, courtesy of the dad-contributors, sharing of first-hand experiences. Of course, You’re Going to be a Dad! Doesn’t stop at the arrival of your child, it covers the first year of his/her life.
You’ll find detailed information on everything on all sorts of aspects of early fatherhood. From ovarian follicles to superfetation (the very rare occurrence of a second conception during pregnancy) to fontanelle (the soft parts of a newborn skull that enable he/she to make it through the birth canal), you’ll find detail about all of it in this book and much, much more. I can’t think of a dad book focused on the early years that provides this level of information.
Contributions from dads
DaddiLife has a large network of dads from all over the world to call upon for their experiences of pregnancy and the early years. That’s exactly what the team did when selecting the 50 dads who are quoted in You’re Going to be a Dad.
I could read their comments all day. They really do range from the incredibly uplifting, the funny and serious but I found them to be very relatable. It’s all very well me talking about these quotes, but to provide a little colour I’ll share a couple of with you.
Keith G from Seattle had this to say about birth plans and his wife’s labour: “It was four in the morning and my wife was exhausted. She asked for an epidural and I very gently reminded her that it wasn’t part of our plan. In no uncertain terms she told me the plan was out the window! In the end the epidural was exactly what she needed.”
That comment had me in hysterics. I can think of few things more dangerous than telling a labouring woman she can’t have pain relief!
Keneal P. of London, had this to say about discovering he was going to be a dad: “There was huge excitement once we found out. It bought up a lot of thoughts about the future, and gave me a clear sense of purpose. It’s quite amazing how your mind shifts very quickly when you realise there’s going to be a dependent relying on you in future.”
That gives you a feel as to the valuable contribution the dads make to this book. If you want to read any more, you’ll need to buy the book!
Getting back to a new you
One of the most important sections in the book, for me, came very close to the end. It’s a section called What’s happening with you – getting back to a new you.
This section informs the dad, with much needed honesty, that his life has changed forever. This is very true, it does change your life when you take on the responsibility of raising a child.
Anyway, this section of the book stresses that you may be finding your bearings and that it can be exhausting being a new dad and that it may take days, months or years to find your feet, but that “you’re a dad and a damn good one at that.” It’s a very fair point. The dads who don’t pull their weight do not read books like this!
Final thoughts on You’re Going to be a Dad!
In conclusion, I can’t think of another pregnancy and early years book aimed at dads that is this detailed. The content is well-presented and the quotes from DaddiLIfe’s 50-dad contributors make the book relatable and these men speak with the authority of experience.
If you are an expectant dad or know of one, this is a title well worth checking out. I suspect it look well-thumbed and dog-eared long before your child is born.
You’re Going to be a Dad, is out now and available from Amazon. It is published by DaddiLife Books and has a cover price of £11.99.