We’re Parents! The New Dad Book for Baby’s First Year: Everything You Need to Know to Survive and Thrive Together
Book by Adrian Kulp
Review by Judy Springer, ICCE, ICD
This book is written by Adrian Kulp who clearly describes himself as ‘not Dr. Spock, just an experienced Dad.’ He gleans his information from experience with his four children and resources described throughout the book. The book contains an index of resources that parents can quickly reference.
The book is entirely relatable for the new father. It begins with the amazement experienced when a child is born, and describes the overwhelming reality of going home to be responsible for this new person. He quickly overviews the expectations of the first year, citing the joy and pleasure of a new baby as well as the reality of the work involved. He is also quite candid in describing his own transitional feelings of loneliness after baby is born. While Kulp is quick to state that his wife is certainly more vulnerable, he shares apprehension in discussing these feelings at the risk of being misunderstood as selfish.
Each chapter in the book covers three months of the first year. Information is broken down into tool kits, checklists, tutorials and tips, baby gear and monthly stats. The book presents monthly goals to increase communication as parents check in on the topics of wellness; planning for the unexpected; and organized fun activities. He also includes the topic of self-care and support for one another, as well as bonding time with baby.
This book can be read cover to cover, but it will also serve as a quick reference guide for the new father. There are illustrations for swaddling and burping, and detailed overviews of infant care. The material is presented in a fun and relatable format, with plenty of illustrations that are true to life. Many fun Dad t-shirts are featured – any of which could be a perfect Father’s Day gift!
One of the best things about this book is the support, respect and communication Kulp offers to his wife. The checklists are great for looking up infant behavior and milestones for each quarter. Although professionals may not approve of everything in the book, such as his view on co-sleeping, he again reminds us that he is not a doctor – he is a Dad. This book is an excellent resource. The information is presented in a clear and realistic way to encourage and guide any new Dad.
The International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) is a professional organization that supports educators and health care professionals who believe in freedom to make decisions based on knowledge of alternatives in family-centered maternity and newborn care.