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Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
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Be Prepared Paperback – June 1, 2004

710 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Take your average guide for new mothers, chuck most of the stuff about breast feeding and ditch the deep background research and stats, then generously pepper with illustrations and burley humor and what do you have? Your average guide for new fathers. Be Prepared follows that template pretty closely, and that's really quite an acceptable thing. Yes, there's a bit too much emphasis here on broadly drawn manly stuff like changing a diaper at a ballgame, but there's also heaps of useful advice that's cleverly and efficiently presented for pops who, despite their best intentions, really aren't prepared to dig into encyclopedia-sized tomes. The basics (childproofing, bathing, feeding, entertaining) intermix with nifty sidebars (homemade bath toys, foods to never give your baby, exercises for dads) in easy-to-peruse chapters organized according to the age of the offspring up to age 1. There are more thorough how-to guides for new dads, but for most men moving into fatherhood, Be Prepared will fill the bill. --Steven Stolder

From Publishers Weekly

Parenting is hard, and reading many of the jargon-filled parenting books out there can make it even harder, but with a combination of smart writing and clever illustrations, husband-and-wife team Greenberg (The Pop-up Book of Phobias; etc.) and illustrator Hayden make both seem fun, if not easy. As the subtitle suggests, the book is filled with advice that will appeal to the solution-centered male perspective, from step-by-step swaddling instructions to a guide for identifying six distinct infant crying patterns. (A hunger cry, for example, is "a pattern of low-pitched, rhythmic moans, growing more and more insistent," whereas a boredom pattern is "a low-volume whimper which stops and starts irregularly.") Not only is Greenberg and Hayden's information useful, but it's also been vetted by "several distinguished fellows" at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Along with the conventional chapters on baby-proofing your house and taking a baby's temperature are more obscure—and amusing—topics, such as how to videotape your baby and how to conduct a "Mirror Puppet Sing Along" to sooth a crying baby while driving (the technique requires two mirrors, a hand-puppet and an indifference to looking silly). Hayden's drawings strike just the right balance between textbook-boring and tongue-in-cheek funny, depicting everything from a sketch of a bottle of teething gel to a drawing of an exhausted father snoozing in a business meeting. Greenberg and Hayden have succeeded in providing new dads (and many moms, for that matter) with an entertaining and informative cheat sheet.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1 edition (June 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743251547
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743251549
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (710 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

153 of 165 people found the following review helpful By Oleanna on August 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
At first glance, Be Prepared looks like it might be a joke book. The bright yellow handbook format cover shows a child in a backpack strapped onto a smiling, manly fellow in a lumberjack shirt. Front backpack straps replace the man's suspenders, baby bottle, rattles and other toys are at his waist, toolbelt style, and a pacifier dangles from a strap in his fingers. It captures attention.

Likewise, the inside of the book captures attention with well designed layout and graphics. Readers recognize the content, presented with abundant wit and style, is playful but not a joke. This is a creative, purposeful production with solid, helpful information delivered in fun, maybe over-the-top, masculine terms, but quite real.

With useful, pithy information in easily assimilated chunks, and a fun filled, `can-do/here's how', unsentimental attitude, this nuts-and- bolts manual attracts expectant and new dads the way their beloved Worst-Case Scenario books used to, but with more usable material that really will help prepare them for parenting, appreciate their baby, and boost their confidence. Dads who know how to care for their infants are more likely to participate in care and strengthen parent-child attachment from the start. This interesting book imparts the preparatory knowledge well indeed.

It is organized in five general sections by age, from newborn to one year, with basic information about normal development and needs, and appropriate fatherly responsibilities and skills.
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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Mister Charlie VINE VOICE on April 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book isn't meant to be the be-all, end-all of new parent books, but if you're a new dad and are a bit overwhelmed by a) fatherhood and b) all the BOOKS about parenting, this is a great book to get. It's got great retro artwork, a loose style, a sense of humor (something you don't see much in parenting books), and (mostly) very sound advice and information, from what your brand new baby will REALLY look like to how to keep your almost-one-year-old entertained on an airplane....

My kid just turned a year old and I implemented many of the bits of advice I found in this book. It was well supplemented by "The New Father" and by "What's Going on in There?", making a trio of books that runs the gamut from theory to practice, from micro to macro. This book ended up as a well-thumbed bathroom reader after I finished it.

By the way, the website for this book has some activities: listen to the sound of a baby crying for several minutes (to help you acclimate if, perhaps, you're still "expecting"), dad exercises and more.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Wally on October 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
I thought I would write and let you know that I love your book. My wife hasn't yet delivered, but she will any day now. When she first found out that she was pregnant she dragged me to the bookstore and told me that I needed to pick out a book that would help me with this baby. She picked out a long boring book written by some doctor somewhere, and I luckily found your book. I have already read through it 2 1/2 times since I bought it, and I will probably read it again! It's one of the funniest books I've read, and it gives me so much information that for once my wife thinks I'm intelligent! I just wanted to say thanks for writing such a great book for guys like me who the last thing they want to read about is all the stuff about babies. After reading your book, I feel like I might make it through this!
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50 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Jake McKee on November 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
We just had our first baby last week. I picked this book up a couple of days ago and have been reading in short burst (as the book was designed for) with a book in one hand and a sleeping baby in the other.

The content is fun; engaging to read for both parents. It also does a great job of zoning in on the "important" stuff that new dads want to know, rather than hundreds of pages that are great info, but simply would never get read by most new parents during their haze of sleep deprevation.

5 well deserved stars.
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34 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Tere on April 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
All the other reviews have pretty much covered it -- this book is hilarious, kitschy, easy to read, and so incredibly practical. My husband loves it, and it's great for moms, too. This book just gets right down to the meat of the matter -- how to care for a baby, how to solve problems, how to be a supportive partner.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Computer Dude on March 2, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It has humor and really great information. If your Guy won't read any other book, at the very least get him this one. I have bought it for 3 of my buddies, and they have all loved it.

Cheers,

Computer Dude.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By E. Brion on March 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
I'm a new mother, fully equipped with the requisite stack of new-mother books. And you know what? I've gotten more useful information out of this one book of my husband's than any of those. In between the duct-tape diapers and taking the baby to happy hour, there's a lot of good common sense here.

Plus, unlike the "humorous" books targeted toward women, this one is actually funny.
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