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Which parenting books for dads are best?

“Congratulations; you’re going to be a father!”

If you’ve heard these words recently, you’ve probably begun preparation for your life as a dad. While there isn’t an official owner’s manual that comes with the new little bundle of joy, there are quite a few books that you can explore that cover popular topics — including special books just for dads.

Some titles cover essential child-rearing information, such as what to expect with feeding or pediatrician visits. Others touch upon practical matters, like traveling with kids or welcoming babies into blended families. If you’re looking for information that covers these areas and others, there are plenty of well-rounded comprehensive parenting books for dads, too.

Not sure which book is best? Let us help you find the right one with this buying guide for parenting books for dads. It covers popular subjects and categories, and we’re sharing a few of our favorite titles at the end. Our top choice, Man vs. Child: One Dad’s Guide to the Weirdness of Parenting by Doug Moe, is a bestseller that approaches contemporary fatherhood with a sense of urgency — and a sense of humor.

What to know before you buy parenting books for dads

Popular types of parenting books for dads

  • Sentimental books. The sentimental category of parenting books for dads includes keepsake books and storybooks. Keepsake books have blank spaces or pages to record milestones and other events; some even have pockets or paper frames to hold photos. As their name implies, storybooks are designed to be read with your children. Many of these titles frame stories to feature relationships between dads and kids.
  • Reference books. Reference books aim to be informative, scientific, and even technical at times. They offer step-by-step approaches to subjects ranging from diaper changes to developmental phases. Books that cover safety, first aid, and medical conditions are also in this category. It’s common for these books to have logs to record information, such as growth charts or doctor visits.
  • Unique approaches. Perhaps the most appealing category of parenting books for dads are those that offer unique approaches. These include humorous titles with self-deprecating stories by dads, as well as more serious titles that discuss special dynamics, such as parenting while serving active duty. There are also discipline-driven titles in this category.

What to look for in quality parenting books for dads

Latest edition

It’s common for parenting books to update content to reflect changes in society and technology among other things. For that reason, it’s recommended to invest in the latest edition available in parenting books. One example is shopping for parenting books that may discuss stranger danger; those published in recent years will likely cover how to discuss online safety with kids.


There’s no standard for organization when it comes to parenting books; however, most books are subdivided into chapters and subsections. Some readers prefer dense chapters with jam-packed information, while others gravitate toward titles with many subsections to enjoy incremental reading.


Tone can make or break the reading experience, especially with parenting books for dads. Comical and satirical books are ideal for light, engaging reading. More serious titles tend to present information clinically or matter-of-factly. There’s no hard and fast rule on the best tone for parenting books; rather, it’s recommended to choose one that simply appeals to you.

How much you can expect to spend on parenting books for dads

Many paperback titles of parenting books for dads cost less than $15, while hardcover versions run close to $25. E-book versions of parenting books for dads tend to be more affordable than their paperback and hardcover counterparts.

Parenting books for dads FAQ

Q. Do parenting books for dads make good gifts?

A. It’s a bit of a touchy subject, so unless you have a special type of relationship with the recipient, choose another gift. More than anything, choosing a parenting book for dad is best chosen by Dad himself.

Q. Is it okay to read more than one parenting book for dads?

A. Of course, and many dads try more than one. It’s also common to pick and choose favorite advice and tips from several books to gain diverse, well-rounded insight.

What are the best parenting books for dads to buy?

Top parenting book for dads

Man vs. Child: One Dad’s Guide to the Weirdness of Parenting by Doug Moe

Man vs. Child: One Dad’s Guide to the Weirdness of Parenting by Doug Moe

Our take: A humorous, lighthearted approach to parenting chock-full of practical advice.

What we like: Deals with classic and modern-day issues. Easy to read, especially with clear headings.

What we dislike: Helpful but doesn’t cover medical or developmental information.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top parenting book for dads for the money

The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-to-Be by Armin A. Brott and Jennifer Ash


Our take: Updated edition of a much-loved guide covering topics from pregnancy through childhood.

What we like: Comprehensive yet approachable. Addresses lesser-discussed topics and unique situations, like IVF and adoption.

What we dislike: Some readers didn’t agree with the authors’ approach to certain subjects.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads by Gary Greenberg

Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads by Gary Greenberg

Our take: Clever survival-themed book with illustrations that cut to the chase.

What we like: Great for practical parenting life hacks, like diaper changes at stadiums. Highly engaging and universally appealing.

What we dislike: Certain sections may present as outdated or somewhat biased.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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