Once upon a time Handyman Hubby was a baby dad. He'd never changed a diaper, never bounced a baby, and didn't know how to play roughhouse. Sixteen years after purchasing The Father's Almanac, I looked up today in search of a favorite book to write about and saw this book still on my shelf. I guess that's some kind of testament - unless you believe that I've never, ever thrown a book out. Now, that's not a polite accusation! There may be a grain, or even a boulder, of truth in it, but I do actually take a lot of time over choosing what gets on my bookshelf in the first place :-)
Maybe I actually bought this book for me, or at least because I thought it was full of the kind of "baby dad" I'd like to have in my home. Just as I was starting to write this article Handyman Hubby chanced by my desk and looked to see what I was doing. When I told him that this book was the reason and source of the roughhousing that has been a favorite dad/kid interaction in our home since Artist Girl and Game Boy were tiny, he was surprised. Well, there is a lot more to this book than roughhousing safely, though I have to say that for me it was worth the price just for that alone.
Checking Amazon.com to see how many people who view this item actually purchase it, you'll see a figure of 55%. I can't say why 1/2 the people end up choosing something else, but I can give you a few gems from this book. And if you know someone who will be a father shortly, or who has a young child, you just might give this book a check.
First up, there's good practical advice about getting involved in pregnancy and in birth choices, with words of advice on such diverse things as back rubs, trial runs and emergency delivery. Moving on, the man in question will learn about bonding, celebrating, and big adjustments. Baby dad can learn how to do the football hold and how to build a hip baby seat (men just aren't endowed that way)! Moms to be will be reassured to know that dads will get an explanation on diaper changing, burping, and on comforting criers. I think all of that is great and as I read through this book again, I realize how much of that we did use. However, I think my favorite part of this book is all the little projects it details from old-fashioned simple toys like clacker blocks, and spinning tops to sleds, musical nails and a bouncing swing.
This book really is a complete pre-birth to preschool guide for an involved dad and would serve as a pretty complete preschool curriculum for either parent, or for both parents.
By the way, I do also own the equivalent Mother's Almanac, but it's not one of my favorite books and I shouldn't really give it shelf space. The Father's Almanac IMO is better organized, nicely indexed, and considerably more fun!!
Do you have a favorite baby advice book on your bookshelf, a favorite dad and kid activity, or a favorite dad and baby story to share. Let me know and I'll give you a link.
I have the most awesome readers who have amazing partners:
- Janet of 32-Acre Wood reports that Mountain Man was a great baby dad. He stepped up to the plate and changed all her first's diapers after she was in bed due to a C-section.