15 Best Parenting Books for Dads to read in 2024

Discover the best parenting books for dads, including top picks for fathers raising sons and daughters. An essential read for fatherhood.
I have received many requests to recommend some of the parenting books for dads. In response, I'm pleased to offer my expert recommendations in this article, which is based on my in-depth study and testing in this field. 

Some notable best books for fathers raising sons and daughters are: The Expectant Father, The Dad's Edge, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, Be Prepared, Better Dads, Stronger Sons, Calm the F*CK Down, The New Father, and Dad's Playbook.

These aren't the only books on this topic. Below, you'll find 15 books with detailed descriptions of each of these outstanding resources, helping you make well-informed decisions in your fatherhood book journey.

A father reads a parenting book to an infant child while cradling them in her arms.

1. The Expectant Father

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

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

Since it was first published several years ago, The Expectant Father has become an indisputable leader in its field. It is an information-packed, month-by-month guide to all the emotional, financial, and yes, even physical changes the father-to-be may experience during his partner's pregnancy.
This indispensable book explores the emotional, financial, and even physical changes the father-to-be may experience during his partner's pregnancy. Written in an easy-to-absorb format and filled with sound advice and practical tips for men on such topics as, how to make sense of your conflicting emotions, how pregnancy affects your sex life, and how to start a college fund. 

This volume reassures, commiserates, and informs. It also incorporates the wisdom of top experts in the field, from obstetricians and birth-class instructors to psychologists and sociologists. 

This new edition features the latest research on many topics (and there's a ton of it), from expanding sections on overcoming infertility, in vitro, artificial insemination, and other tech-assisted pregnancies, especially where the dad is not the biological parent, to updating the sections on childbirth to reflect the fact that about 80 percent of deliveries are now done with epidurals and new information on c-sections as well. 

Sections on prenatal communication and education are also being expanded. There will be an overall, top-to-bottom review of the content to make sure all the information is relevant to today's young and senior dads.

2. The Dad's Edge

The Dad's Edge: 9 Simple Ways to Have: Unlimited Patience, Improved Relationships, and Positive Lasting Memories by Larry Hagner

The Dad's Edge: 9 Simple Ways to Have: Unlimited Patience, Improved Relationships, and Positive Lasting Memories by Larry Hagner

If you could improve one area in your dad's journey…what would it be? What would it be like if you mastered not one, but several aspects of your dad's journey all at once? 

What would life be like if you improved your level of patience, had better and deeper connections with your wife and kids, improved your relationships outside the immediate family, and all while mastering a good work/life balance? How would life be different if you did this? 

Hello, I’m Larry Hagner and I’m a dad. I love being a dad. And I believe that being a dad is one of the most rewarding aspects of a man’s life. However, being a father can humble you like nothing else can. There really is no roadmap. 

With so few resources out there for dads like us, I decided to create The Dad Edge to help YOU as a dad to give you easy-to-implement techniques you can use to be your very best and enjoy your journey of fatherhood. 

The Dad’s Edge will help you: 
  • Masterwork/life balance 
  • Discover three techniques to improve and maintain a great connection with your kids 
  • Improve your connection & intimacy with your spouse, no matter how busy you are 
  • Improve your relationships outside the immediate family 
  • Uncover three easy ways to improve your patience in short-term and long-term 
  • Discover simple ways to show up big for your kids and be present in the moment 
  • Thrive (Not Survive) your journey of fatherhood If you can identify with one or more of these issues, I understand firsthand. 
Every one of us struggles with these issues on our dad's journey and now I’ve empowered you with some great strategies and a solid roadmap in The Dad’s Edge so you can relax and feel confident you are “good dad focused” and nothing will stand in your way!

3. Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know by Meg Meeker

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know by Meg Meeker

While reading this book, I had tears in my eyes several times. A lot of the author's words have said what I want to know; many cases are consistent with me and the environment around me and can resonate. Dad is the daughter’s life; Dad can have other feelings, but we don’t. Our only feelings and the world are our parents.

I think if a young daughter experiences a broken family, which leads to the collapse of her spiritual world, how will her life be different from that of a daughter who has a healthy family and a perfect father who loves her?

The author said that fathers can bring their daughters courage, outlook on life, and self-confidence. Daughters always show their best side to their fathers, and they always shine in front of their fathers. The authority of the father allows his daughter to respect him and have a great sense of security and confidence.

They always compare their boyfriend or husband with their father, because the father is the daughter's first man, and the father's good words and deeds can greatly affect the daughter's attitude towards other men.

The father also teaches his daughter to be humble, and self-esteem, and to protect her from the poison of a deformed society.

The father will take his daughter outdoors, and he will take his daughter to pray and know God.

As the nurturer of the daughter, the father also assumes the role of teacher.

A good father can help his daughter find a good man and lead a happy life.

The author's writing about his father's qualities was so perfect that I couldn't help but think of many things. Because my family is not perfect, which leads to a lot of hardship and detours. Now think about it, don't you also get some experience and results from it?

I don't have any of the above help that my father can give, and now I can become a girl trained by such a good father. It is what I am pleased with, and what I am thinking about and feeling deeply.

Take a look at this book, thanks to the author for interpreting and disseminating the human view of the father.

4. Be Prepared

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

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

A very interesting book, you should read it if you are a dad, and show it to Little Tail in the future. The words in it make one can't help but hold their stomach, it's too funny. 

An indispensable survival manual for guys entering the trenches of fatherhood, "Be Prepared" is loaded with one-of-a-kind insights, MacGyver-Esque tips and tricks, and no-nonsense advice for mastering the first year as a dad. Finally, a book that teaches men all the things they "really" need to know about fatherhood...

including how to change a baby at a packed sports stadium-create a decoy drawer full of old wallets, remote controls, and cell phones to throw a baby off the scent of your real gear-stay awake (or at least upright) at work-babyproof a hotel room in four minutes flat-construct an emergency diaper out of a towel, a sock, and duct tape Packed with helpful diagrams and detailed instructions, and delivered with a wry sense of humor, "Be Prepared" is the ultimate guide for sleep-deprived,applesauce-covered fathers everywhere.

Gary Greenberg, an American infant psychologist, and author of the nation's best-selling book "Conquering Fear", is also a comedian and screenwriter, and he has written a large number of scripts for the Comedy Center and is well received. Gary is good at writing and is still opening columns in The New York Times and Psychology Today.

Jeanne Hayden is a well-known American illustrator and graphic designer. She used to provide pictures for the best-selling reference book "Alternative Medicine".

Its clients include the American Museum of Natural History, "Psychology Today", L'Oreal, etc. She lives in Manhattan with her husband Gary Greenberg, and their daughter Madeleine also lives with them.

5. Better Dads, Stronger Sons

Better Dads, Stronger Sons: How Fathers Can Guide Boys to Become Men of Character by Rick Johnson

Better Dads, Stronger Sons: How Fathers Can Guide Boys to Become Men of Character by Rick Johnson

The relationship between a father and a son is like no other. Dads have a God-given role to protect and provide for their families, always striving to teach their sons the life skills they'll need to grow into honorable men. However many dads struggle with feelings of inadequacy regarding their fathering abilities. They want to be better dads.

In this insightful and practical book, Rick Johnson shows how fathers can be equipped and inspired to be positive role models for their sons. He stresses the significance of male bonding, discipline, and spiritual leadership; discusses important topics such as sexual purity, respect, and self-discipline; and reveals the top ten mistakes to avoid as a father.

From commitment and courage to honesty and humility, Better Dads, Stronger Sons helps men strive to be the dads God designed them to be--so their sons can grow to be everything they are meant to be.

6. Calm the F*CK Down

Calm the F*CK Down: The Only Parenting Technique You'll Ever Need by David Vienna

Calm the F*CK Down: The Only Parenting Technique You'll Ever Need by David Vienna

If you're a good parent, you probably drive yourself batshit with worry. This book is for you. Addressing concerns from my baby won't poop to my boy likes girl toys to everything costs too much, David Vienna's wise and funny parenting advice will amuse and inform and remind you that (almost) nothing is worth freaking out about. Includes advice from actual experts! Great new dad gift that'll keep him calm, cool, and collected.

7. The New Father

The New Father: A Dad's Guide to the First Year by Armin A. Brott

The New Father: A Dad's Guide to the First Year by Armin A. Brott

The essential handbook for all things first-year father is now fully updated and revised. Not only will new dads get a month-by-month guide to their baby’s development, but men reading The New Father will also learn how they change, grow, and develop over the first twelve months of fatherhood.

In each chapter, Brott focuses on What’s Going On with the Baby; What You’re Going Through; What’s Going On with Your Partner; You and Your Baby; Family Matters; and more. 

The latest research, as well as time-honored wisdom--and humor, thanks to New Yorker cartoons and Brott’s light touch--make The New Father indispensable for the modern father who doesn’t want to miss a moment of his child’s first year.

8. Dad's Playbook

Dad's Playbook: Wisdom for Fathers from the Greatest Coaches of All Time (Inspirational Books, New Dad Gifts, Parenting Books, Quotation Reference Books) by Tom Limbert

Dad's Playbook: Wisdom for Fathers from the Greatest Coaches of All Time (Inspirational Books, New Dad Gifts, Parenting Books, Quotation Reference Books) by Tom Limbert 

Empowering fathers to be the best leaders, role models, and life coaches: After all, dads do what the best coaches do—they motivate, mentor, discipline, and love. 

Author and parenting expert Tom Limbert takes wisdom from John Madden, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Lasorda, Phil Jackson, and many more, and applies it to fatherhood.
  • Features many photographs of coaches in actions paired with brightly colored quotes to help dads keep their heads in the game.
  • Includes a foreword written by Hall of Fame Quarterback Steve Young where he talks about his own family and shares real-life experiences.
  • The compact 6 x 8-inch size is great for keeping on a coffee table or a bedside table for daily reminders.
Dad's Playbook is a homerun gift for any new or soon-to-be dad.

Tom Limbert earned a master's degree in education with an emphasis in early childhood development from Mills College in Oakland, after which he co-created a children's play space with three San Francisco Bay Area locations. Tom is a Parent Coach and lives in El Cerrito, California, with his wife and son.

Steve Young is best known for his time on the NFL's San Francisco 49ers. Young was named the Most Valuable Player of the NFL in 1992 and 1994, the MVP of Super Bowl XXIX, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005. He holds the NFL record for the highest career passer rating and won six NFL passing titles. He has four children.

9. Dude, You're Gonna Be a Dad!

Dude, You're Gonna Be a Dad!: How to Get (Both of You) Through the Next 9 Months by John Pfeiffer

Dude, You're Gonna Be a Dad!: How to Get (Both of You) Through the Next 9 Months by John Pfeiffer

When the two people who love each other finally step into the marriage hall, the expectation of a new life will come naturally. Before embarking on the "tired and happy" journey of "being a parent", it is very necessary to buy such a guide for prospective fathers.

The author of this book, John Feffer, is the father of three daughters in addition to his two roles as a financial consultant and a writer. 

He listed all kinds of precautions from preparing for pregnancy and knowing that the newborn baby fell to the ground, to the various physiological characteristics of pregnancy, the various changes of the wife during pregnancy, the choice of various baby products, and the relationship with the family. 

The handling of the relationship, and even how to blend in between that soft little thing and his wife are all involved.

I remember when I was pregnant, my husband was cautious and at a loss at that time he was still a big boy who didn't know what to do. At that time, I was tormented by morning sickness and went crazy. He jumped in a hurry but was helpless. 

If he had this book by his side, he would at least know how to prepare a few lemons at home when he was in the fruit business. This was when he saw the ten suggestions for morning sickness and remembered the nausea and vomiting he had experienced. It's too late to meet the book.

I only learned long after the child was born. It turns out that the father-to-be is worried, tired, and happy about the child in the belly of his mother. Most women during pregnancy will become delicate and luxurious unconsciously. 

Physical discomfort and fear of childbirth are mixed in the anticipation of a new life, with mixed flavors. People often have this common problem. They are polite and reserved in front of strangers. 

When they are in front of a familiar and kind husband, all kinds of emotions that breed anxiety, act coquettishly, and lose their temper, all come. Sometimes I regret it, but I can't control myself when things happen. The worst thing is that the young couple each gave a childish grievance, and was tortured by these trivial matters for no reason, even the feelings were weakened. 

Such a book not only tells fathers-to-be, why once their little wives, who are usually gentle and watery, become mothers-to-be, can they become a little arrogant and difficult to cope with; it also has a different approach to every kind of small problem. 

Countermeasures your girl suddenly becomes greedy, or uncomfortable looking at her thicker waist, or her belly is so big that she can't turn over and can't breathe? Or will she lose her temper inexplicably? What necessary inspections should I take my wife to? How to choose a comfortable bed, small clothes, blanket, or even diapers for the little guy who is softly crawling? ...Well, this is really "a conversation between buddies".

Yes, this book is teaching us to solve these problems that can't be solved by irritability or depression. 

10. The New Dad's Survival Guide

The New Dad's Survival Guide: Man-to-Man Advice for First-Time Fathers by Scott Mactavish

The New Dad's Survival Guide: Man-to-Man Advice for First-Time Fathers by Scott Mactavish

Finally: a manual for new dads that deciphers the immensely confusing world of fatherhood and gives crucial tips and advice from a man's point of view. 

No psychobabble, no warm fuzzies -- just a hilarious (and surprisingly practical) military-style guide to surviving and thriving through even the queasiest moments of pregnancy, birth, and babyhood. Seasoned father and master infant tamer Scott Mactavish breaks the Baby Code down and lays it out in straight-up guy speak.

The New Dad's Survival Guide includes declassified information on such topics as Cutting the Cord: The Moment of Truth Feeding and Cleaning the NFU (New Family Unit) Surviving Sleep Deprivation Relieving Stress Without Booze The Great Boob Irony Pee, Poo, Hurl, and Snot: Getting Used to the Bodily Functions Critical Survival Tips Never Before Revealed Sex: Let the Games Begin Again...Finally, Dozens of Essential Terms are Defined, Including Binky, Onesie, Diaper Genie, Passy, and Sippy Cup.

11. The Secret Life of Fathers

If you have a daughter and you're looking for great parenting books on fatherhood, here's one that could be really interesting—whether you're a new dad or even if you are an experienced one, as I was. 

Hi, I'm James I. Bond, founder of The Father-Daughter Project. I'm also the father of a son and three daughters. And let me tell you, when it comes to the most useful parenting books, few people understand what it's like to be a father to a daughter better than dads who've gone through the experience themselves. 

Most people don't realize that raising a daughter is different from anything a man will ever experience. I know because, even though I ran a training and behavior management company, I discovered firsthand how difficult fatherhood could be, especially with daughters.

And when I searched through parenting books for help and advice, all I got was a bunch of so-called experts. Their help was nice, but I needed something fast and simple, that dealt with the real issues of fatherhood when a daughter was involved.

So, to learn about what fatherhood was really like, I gave up searching through parenting books and went right to the source—actual fathers of daughters. And what they told me was amazing. 

In the end, more than 101 fathers of daughters agreed to be interviewed. More than 200 hours of recorded interviews from real dads talking about their own experiences with fatherhood. The good, the bad, and everything in between. 

Unlike anything I'd learned from all the parenting books I'd seen, these dads opened up about every phase of raising a daughter, from their first experience of her birth, through the twos, the school years, the teens, her getting a driver's license, and up through adulthood. All the stuff that only a dad would know. 

And because it's so difficult to find practical information like this from dads with daughters in other parenting books, I've made it available in a new book, called THE SECRET LIFE OF FATHERS. 

In it, you get to learn all those little gritty things you don't get in most parenting books, not just about fatherhood, but about being a father to a daughter. Some of the complicated things, and plenty of the really fun ones. The kinds of stuff only a real father or a daughter would be able to tell you. 

And the best part is, it's in bite-size pieces, so it's really easy to read and scan. 

When it comes to parenting books for dads, people are telling us, that this is like the first-ever real, training manual for fathers of daughters. 

If you're a father to at least one daughter, regardless of her age, you owe it to yourself to check this out. 

THE SECRET LIFE OF FATHERS is one of the best parenting books you'll find, cause it's from real dads!

12. First Generation Father by Anthony Blankenship

First Generation Father: How to Build a Healthy and Happy Home When You Come From a Broken One by Anthony Blankenship.

I come from a broken home. I know that pain. I’ve lived it. I’ve suffered through family dysfunction, trauma, abuse, and poverty.

Maybe you have, too.

But I believe you have the power to break those cycles. In First Generation Father, I’ll show you how to find balance within yourself, heal, and build a healthy and happy home for your family. 

This book is brutally honest, entertaining, and insightful—a must-read for anyone raised in a challenging environment who wants to avoid passing down generational scars. 

Whether you’re searching for ways to improve yourself, strengthen your marriage, or practice genuine love, the philosophy shared in these pages will change life for you—and your family—forever.

13. Dear Black Dads by Jamal J. Myrick

Dear Black Dads: Wisdom for Your Journey to Fatherhood

In 2013, CNN journalist, Don Lemon, said, "More than 72% of children in the African-American community are born out of wedlock. 

That means more than 72% of children in the African-American community are born to absent fathers. Studies show that the lack of a male role model for said children is an express train right to prison, continuing the cycle.

"This statement is problematic in many ways, and there's data out now that actually combats this common myth. 

Dear Black Dads: Wisdom For Your Journey To Fatherhood aims to combat these outdated stereotypes and offer real perspectives from real Black dads who are looking to create new narratives for the Black community through fatherhood. 

This labor of love is for the Black male who's looking for encouragement and light for one of the biggest roles in their life.

14. Home Game by Michael Lewis

Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood by Michael Lewis

I came across this fatherhood essay by best-selling author Michael Lewis in a local bookstore. Reading the title and introduction of the book, I feel like it was a very embarrassing experience being manipulated by three children. 

I’m very curious about how such an experienced male writer would write about the daily life of fatherhood.

The best part was the intro, where his 3-year-old daughter came to the rescue of her sister at a Bermuda resort hotel and called motherfucking asshole to a group of brats, and then the adults in the swimming pool all around added social aspects. 

Dad, he quietly retracted into the water like a crocodile, but he felt proud in his heart. Killing me. He also said that after becoming a father, he became much more timid. 

He was afraid of flying and investing in the stock market. He was no longer as open as I once was to helping out people. I don't know, especially when those people need a bath. " I understand this after knowing that their family lives in Berkeley. 

All in all, when there are no children, One has nothing to lose. After having children, One will be afraid that anything will go wrong and there will be such a big responsibility to bear.

What impressed me the most was that he said he wrote this book because he always writes down things immediately after they happen, otherwise even very dramatic plots and feelings will be quickly forgotten. Memory loss is the key to human reproduction. 

But the main reason is "this persistent and disturbing gap between what I was meant to feel overcome with joy. 'it's a boy! you must be so happy!'-I often felt puzzled. (I shouldn't be just as happy if it was a girl?) Expected to feel outraged, I often felt secretly pleased; expected to feel worried, I often felt indifferent. ('It's just a little blood.') 

For a while, I went around feeling a tiny bit guilty all the time, but then I realized that all around me fathers were pretending to do one thing, and feel one way, when in fact they were doing and feeling all sorts of things, and then engaging afterward in t what amounted to an extended cover-up.”

This point is very subtle. People always have various expectations for the parents of newborns, and the reality is often very different from the expectations. For example, when I felt the most torturous fatigue in my life after giving birth, some friends kept telling me that I was still very happy, right? 

Or when I throw it all over my face while eating, someone will tell me, Oh my God, you are going to collapse. I really think it's okay. It is for this reason that I need to write it down more. 

Because I don’t write, I gradually forget about it, and those colorful and subtle feelings are occupied and replaced by other people’s expectations.

But even if he is Michael Lewis, the essays on his personal life are not very exciting. It’s still hard for me to like words that are too trivial and personal.

15. Dad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

This Book: Though he grew up in a large Irish-Catholic family, Jim was satisfied with the nomadic, nocturnal life of a standup comedian, and was content to be "that weird uncle who lives in an apartment by himself in New York that everyone in the family speculates about." 

But all that changed when he married and found out his wife, Jeannie "is someone who gets pregnant looking at babies."

Five kids later, the comedian whose riffs on everything from Hot Pockets to Jesus have scored millions of hits on YouTube, started to tweet about the mistakes and victories of his life as a dad. 

Those tweets struck such a chord that he soon passed the million followers mark. But it turns out 140 characters are not enough to express all the joys and horrors of life with five kids, so he's now sharing it all in Dad Is Fat.

From new parents to empty nesters to Jim's twenty-something fans, everyone will recognize their own families in these hilarious takes on everything from cousins ("celebrities for little kids") to growing up in a big family ("I always assumed my father had six children so he could have a sufficient lawn crew") to changing diapers in the middle of the night ("like The Hurt Locker but much more dangerous") to bedtime (aka "Negotiating with Terrorists").

Dad is Fat is sharply observed, explosively funny, and a cry for help from a man who has realized he and his wife are outnumbered in their own home.

It feels like a very practical parenting lesson. For example, when a child goes to the zoo, all he thinks about is ice cream, and when it comes to ice cream, the child will not ask if he can eat it first, but will directly ask... Growing up is a very magical process. 

When I was a child, I had Completely different brain circuits, but now, I just recently watched the NZ internet celebrity's 'How to Dad' series, parenting is really the most difficult thing in the world...

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One thing that I do want to say quickly is that while I love these parenting books for dads for raising sons and daughters I highly recommend them.

That does not mean that I agree a hundred percent with every single thing that is written in the book or everything that that particular author has ever written or believes on everything.

These are the books for dads that are written by men and women who are trying to faithfully read the scripture and take the truth of God's Word and apply it very practical to our role as parents and so obviously the Bible is the only thing that's without error so obviously use discernment when you're reading these books. 

You probably fall into one of two parenting categories: 
  • The first is to give it to me I'll do anything at this point I need help,  
  • The second is that parent has time to read the books for new dads of daughters and families we get it. 
Parenting is full-on but the fatherhood books contained in this list will help you ease up we hope you will be able to take some time and read a few you and your family will be better for it.

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