Book Review: From Dude to Dad
In honor of Father’s Day this month, I wanted to read and review a book that was specially for dads. I’ve read many, many books about pregnancy, birth, postpartum, etc. written for women, but I’ve only read a couple of books that are for expecting and new dads. (To be honest, there aren’t very many out there.) Since I loved the diaper bag from Diaper Dude so much, (we did a giveaway of their bag and book earlier this month), I decided that their book “From Dude to Dad” by Chris Pegula would be the perfect first book to read and review. I hadn’t read it yet so I was excited to check it out. Also, what woman doesn’t want to find out what men think about the whole baby process? I know I’m curious.
From looking at the cover, I thought this book was going to be a bit more of a “manual for dads” since it shows a diagram of a dad pushing a baby in a stroller and pointing out each part of the picture. I’ve heard several men say that they wish they had a manual to understanding women and how to take care of a baby, so I thought the book would take this approach since a lot of guys like step-by-step instructions. As soon as I opened the book and began to read, I realized it was more. This book is filled with different stories, jokes, and tips from an experienced father of three sharing what he’s learned from his experiences to the reader.
The book is separated by different chapters that walk the reader from pre-pregnancy, pregnancy (each trimester), birth, life with baby, and parenting. The whole book is all from this dude’s, Chris’, perspective. I do like how it is organized by each pregnancy and parenting milestone because someone could either read the whole book in a sitting or two (not a very long book), or they could read along as they and their partner reach each of those milestones.
One thing though, I will warn the reader that this book is very casual. The language that he uses and the way it is written is common “dude” slang so it could be a bit different for you if you are not used to this type of vernacular. It might even be off-putting for some. However, if you have a sense of humor and want a fun, light-hearted book that will help you learn a thing or two about becoming a dad, than this is a good book for you. This is not the book that will fully educate you on all of your options as a dad; these are stories and tips from a dad, a friend, that wants to help you by sharing his knowledge.
It starts off with Chapter 0. The reason why he starts with zero is he talks about pre-pregnancy and the moment you and your partner become pregnant. The three chapters after that are the three trimesters in pregnancy. Some of what he talks about are a bit obvious in these chapters, but there are also really good points for every dad to learn and know. Even points that I wouldn’t think to mention or talk about with a new dad. Which is great! Chris’ advice gives men great insight on how to better help and support thier newly pregnant partner.
Something that I really love is how honest he is and how he shares with the readers that his wife has lupus and how she experienced her first pregnancy. (He mainly talks about their first experience with their son, Kai, in the book.) One of my dearest friends has lupus so I know that when she decides to start a family, I will recommend this book to her and her husband.
I then saw at the end of each chapter he included a “Remember” section. I really liked that because not only does it list the most important things that he mentioned in that chapter, but if you needed to go back to a previous chapter and didn’t want to re-read it or can’t find your notes, you could go to each “Remember” section for the highlights.
Chapters 1 through 3 are the three trimesters during pregnancy and chapter 4 is the birth. Chris does a great job with covering things that guys would be interested in knowing at each point of the pregnancy. I love that he covers communication, how listening is important, women’s hormones, what she’s going through, and how men can help through it all. Love that.
As a professional in the birthing industry, I was a bit disappointed by Chapter 4, which covers birth. This is the big day when you become a dad and there is so much that a partner can do to make it a beautiful and memorable experience for everyone. I was hoping that he would make it relatable to every couple and briefly talk about all of the birthing options available. Including midwives and doulas. Instead, he really just touches on his personal hospital birth experiences and what he did when he was with his wife. I wanted to see a list of things for dads to do at each point of labor or at a cesarean birth and the benefits that each option brings. So fair warning, this chapter does not fully educate a dad on how to be the best birth partner through all types of births. It covers a medicated hospital birth and briefly about c-sections.
The last two chapters are about life with baby and happy and healthy parenting. Chris discusses many different topics in these two chapters. Again, these are topics that dads are probably wondering about that we, women, wouldn’t immediately think of. He covers:
- newborn appearances
- being in the hospital with baby
- a few things on what men can do to help while she is breastfeeding
- how to introduce your baby to your pets
- baby proofing and why it’s important
- how you can still help your partner as a traveling working man
- when to bring friends in after baby
- keeping your relationship with your partner healthy and the romance still alive
- and how your role as Dad is just as important as Mom’s
He does briefly cover baby blues and postpartum depression, which are big things for men to know. I recommend that men learn more about it (as well as paternal postnatal depression) so they know what to do if they or their wife experiences them.
At the very end of the book, Chris adds a quick summary of what to expect each week for the dad and what he can do. Love that! Nice, short, and to the point. This is great for dads that don’t want to read the whole book…even though they should.
This book is an easy read. It’s almost as if a friend or an older brother is telling you all the things of what to expect from a father’s point of view, which is great! If you are looking for statistics, research and information that is evidence based, this is not the book for you. This shares Chris’s personal stories becoming a father, adding humor and making it a fun book to read and to prepare for the big moment when you become a dad. I recommend girls reading this book as well to better understand what their husband/partner is feeling, thinking, and going through.
Thank you, Chris, for sharing with us your experience and making this transition into fatherhood easier for all fathers!