Tuesday 29 May 2012

Stuff Every Dad Should Know Book Review

Little man is our first child.  As a first time dad, Lee felt a mixture of emotions leading up to little man’s arrival and when he first entered the big wide World.  Amongst feelings of love and excitement he has felt overwhelmed and worried, wanting to do his best for little man and hoping to cope well with the new challenges of being a dad.  As he has lots of practice with little ones with his nieces and nephews he never had any worry about how to change a nappy, how to hold a baby or how to soothe a crying baby etc. and as such he never bothered reading any baby books, preferring to use his spare time to get ready for little man’s arrival, decorate the nursery (which he did an amazing job on!) and then spend time with our son once he was born.  He would listen and be fascinated by the facts I would tell him from pregnancy and baby books I read but he wasn’t interested in reading books about baby basics himself as he feels a lot of parenting books are very one sided with views that don’t look at different parenting styles.  As Lee has never bothered with baby books, especially ones aimed at Dads he was interested to read one when we were given the opportunity to review ‘Stuff Every Dad Should Know’.

Stuff Every Dad Should Know by Brett Cohen is a hardcover gift book published by Quirk.  This book was released on the 1st of May 2012.  The 144 page long book is an ideal pocket reference book for dads and dads-to-be.   The book covers basic parenting topics and shares simple tips for fatherhood covering a range of subjects from birth to the teen years and beyond.  The book is well written with the author sharing advice about fatherhood in a non-patronising, practical, engaging and entertaining way.

Offering a view into the world of parenting, the book is split into different sections; Baby Stuff, Little Kid Stuff, Bid Kid Stuff, Teen Stuff and Beyond.  Within the sections there are various topics covered including ‘How to change a diaper’, ‘How to introduce solid food’. ‘How to fix a boo boo’ and ‘How to support your child’s successes and failures' as well as songs and jokes for little ones.  The compact book is easy to read with clear writing, small paragraphs and numbered/bullet point lists to break down information to make it easy to understand and read.  The book is very Americanised with lots of wording that shows that it is written by an American author however it is still easy to understand and the advice is the same regardless of what words are used.

The basics covered in the book such as ‘How to change a diaper’ and ‘How to burp your baby’ are common sense and Lee did not learn anything new but some dads may find it reassuring to have the information written down to refer to and dads/dads-to-be who have had no experience with babies may find this information very useful.  This book doesn’t cover ever subject but within the topics there is some good advice.  The advice and topics covered won’t be relevant to all families as everyone’s parenting styles differ and as such you may not agree with some things within the book however even if you don’t agree with it the common sense advice is spot on.  We both agree if you are looking for detailed, specific information on a particular topic it would be better to get a book that is has more focused, detailed information about the topic in question; i.e. if considering baby led weaning a book about this would be more suitable.

Even though Lee didn’t find the ‘basics’ that helpful there were a few bits of advice within the book that he really liked.  In the ‘little kid stuff’ section the tips for ‘how to get your child to eat’ are very helpful, tips such as’ include him in the preparation’ and ‘get creative’ are good for making little ones feel empowered and part of the process, making their own decisions.  Compared to the useful tips for little kid feeding we both agree the the tips on ‘how to introduce solid food’ in the ‘baby stuff’ section is a tad basic and doesn’t take into account parents who choose to follow the baby led weaning route.  Also the list of ‘foods to avoid’ is missing a few foods and even though it is previously mentioned about introducing solids between 4-6 months there is no mention of the foods to avoid for under 6 months old.

Lee liked the ’15 childproofing tips’ and thinks it’s good that the tips are in bullet points so they can be used as a checklist.  I like the ‘Essential Items in a Daddy Diaper bag’ as I think it’s good that they have a list of essential items to refer to.  We both really like the fact that there is advice for caring for wife/partner with 5 useful tips included.  Lee also found he could relate to the advice given about ‘what if mom is breastfeeding?’ and I really like the fact that the author considered that breastfeeding can be stressful and says ‘you can help ease this stress by supporting her and reinforcing her decision’.  We both agree that it is good that both the feelings of the mother and father are thought of and that great advice is given.

The topic of discussing the ‘birds and the bees’ with your child/children can be a tricky one and all parents deal with it differently and whether the advice given in this book on the topic is how you would approach it or not we both agree that it is good the this topic reoccurs throughout the book through the different ages and is adapted for the different ages.

As Lee is a natural dad and he wouldn’t find much use for the basic advice in this book he wouldn’t not chose to buy it for himself however he thinks it is a lovely gift and thinks some tips within the book are very useful to know and he would appreciate the book if he was given it as a gift.

The book would make a great gift for a new dad and by giving them a book for dads it would help prevent making them feel left out when everyone is giving gifts to the new baby and mum.  It would also make a great gift for Father’s day.  This book has an RRP of £6.99 and is currently available on Amazon for the brilliant price of £3.91.  It is also available and as an e-book for kindle and can be bought on Amazon for £3.71.

A little about Brett Cohen.
Brett Cohen is the author of the 110,000 copy selling Stuff Every Man Should Know and the coauthor of Recipes Every Man Should Know.

* Quirk Publishing kindly sent us this book to review despite this I have written an honest review that contains mine and Lee’s own words and opinions *


  1. I'm definitely getting this for my best friends hubby! They are expecting at Christmas time.x

  2. Yes I know a dad to be too.

  3. I wish I'd spotted this before Fathers Day. It looks really good. I think I'll buy it anyway. :-) x