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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2010
Wow, what a read!

I bought this book as a present and thought that I'd quickly skim read it before giving it to the recipient but became so engrossed that I read this from cover to cover.

It is extremely informative without being condescending or patronising and is very easy to digest. It is well laid out with each month of a baby's first year covered in 12 separate chapters. The practical help is invaluable and any looming decisions become easy with all pros and cons of each situation clearly detailed, so that each person can make the right choice for them and their child. As well as providing an insight into the role of being a parent, the descriptions of each development stage that your baby will go through will prove invaluable together with analysing the emotions that each father and the baby's mother are likely to experience (guilt and anger included).

This book is a must read for all new parents, not just for fathers-to-be.
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63 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on 24 October 2006
So far, this is the book that we have both loved. It's written by a man with three children, who learned, like all of us, on the job. He's straight talking, encouraging, tells you how to, when to, why to. It's aimed at fathers, because there are too few books written for men about being a dad. I would recommend all the mums read it too, and get an insight into what's going on with the dad.

Each chapter is broken down into "what's going on with your partner", "what's going on with your baby", "what's going on with you". Nothing is missed. What might worry you, what will worry you. Cars, money, hospital appointments - should you go or not. Whether to be there at the birth. Conversations it would be useful to have. How to cope with it, what NOT to do and what NOT to say! What the baby is up to this month. What it's not up to. Tips on what to do to remain a couple, and not just a pair of sleepless zombies!

The man deserves a Nobel prize for writing it and the previous book The Expectant Father is also brilliant. BUY THEM. You won't regret it and you will be dipping in to them until your children leave home. And then handing them on when they have children!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 December 2010
I bought this book to my husband when we were expecting our first baby. There are plenty of `mummy' books but very few for daddy. I liked the idea that book was written by farther which made it very handy and also funny (in nicest possible way). My husband really enjoyed reading it and me too. It helped him to understand what is happing to me, while pregnancy; how I can feel in first moments, hours, days after the birth and he was really supportive and some of my reactions weren't strange to him anymore. I am glad that one father took his time and shares his thoughts with other fathers to be and also can remind mothers that it is not only about mum and baby, but it is about mum, dad and baby.
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VINE VOICEon 15 September 2011
The New Father is a book written for first time dads in an excellent balance of information and reassurance. Unlike the masses of literature for new mothers, this is a rare work that excellentliy fills the needs of fathers in a way that speaks to a more male perspective of the world. New Father breaks down the processes and activities of a new baby through monthly chunks meaning that it can be read through in advance and then used as a reference during each new and remarkable phase of the baby's very early life.

Looking after a new baby is an incredible responsibility and one to which society thrusts enormous pressure and support onto the shoulders of the baby's mother. Armin Brott has produced a book that helps to give focus to the father's role and is an excellent introduction to the development of a baby and what it is the man can do to help. Being specifically written for men makes New Father an appealing read. There are issues that women simply do not often face, and the language tone strikes just the right balance between fact and assurance.

Each month of the baby's first year is given a chapter. This approach works excellently because it is hard to remember everything in one go and a revisit to the month in question is a useful aide memoir. Through most of the year, the development of the baby is pretty much in line the features Brott lays out but of course it becomes slightly harder to match the features described as baby's develop at slightly different rates.

In the early going, Brott has hit the target exactly. His description of the emotions and expectations a new father feels seems to be right on the money. It is a truly wonderful experience but it is also one filled with uncertainty. Brott is an excellent companion through the very early days of awe, lifestyle change, and sleep deprivation.

Each chapter starts out with a description of the physical, intellectual, verbal, and emotional/social development of the baby. This bullet-pointed approach is perfect in that it sets out just enough science to give a very clear picture of what it is that is going on with the baby in a way that is easy to digest for a tired new father. Brott also sets out the developments for the other key person involved - the mother. When she is tired, uncomfortable, and under pressure it is easy to understand but hard to be supportive of why she reacts so negatively so often so it is a useful rejoinder to have the mother's perspective briefly highlighted early on in each chapter.

Most of the content of each chapter is dedicated to the role and development of the father and the common occurences that face a new baby such as the medical tests, the sleep patterns, and the new skills a man needs to learn fast. The book is filled with excellent sidebars and test-boxes that cover discrete situations such as vaccines, crawling, and work-life balance. These sidebars cannot possibly be fit into the month that they happen but Brott spaces them out throughout his book so they are easy to spot and can be found again if needed. Brott covers some situations that are frankly distressing and is a useful preparation even for those who don't have to face such situations.

Some of the guidance is a little harder to follow such as determining baby personality from a list. Baby personality type is referred to on a few occasions through the book but this reviewer found it too hard to be able to match the baby's actions to a type.

Still, there are many useful tips and hints through the book such as types of toys that work well and how to deal with the baby's grandparents. There are also plenty of tips about dealing with the mother and those sections are ok. The section on why the man is pestering the mother for sex shortly after she has given birth and his in pain, incredibly tired, and physically at her worst didn't make a huge amount of sense. Another section about sexuality is just unpleasant. However, it is a real positive that this Brott discusses things that most men wouldn't want to talk about and answers questions that men are not likely to want to ask.

The original edition of this book was published in the US. The translation across to British English is pretty good. References to government agencies and places to find information have been changed appropriately. It doesn't always work - cricket nets are not the same as baseball nets for instance but in the main it makes perfect sense from a non-US perspective. There are some cultural features that seep through the writing and suggest the part of the world Brott comes from and his own background in particular in the relationship with women. It is unfortunate that Brott doesn't deal with the harder aspects of the relationship with the mother during the first year of the baby's birth - Brott tends to suggest that the man just needs to be more understanding and that doesn't quite cut it in an incredibly intense year from this father's perspective.

Overall, this is the best book for new fathers currently on the market. It is extremely well written and designed to be accessible and interesting for men. It covers plenty of key facts and pieces of information, it explains some of what is really going on, and it offers advice in a refreshingly male-centric way. As new fathers we aren't likely to be either offered or to ask for advice - Armin Brott fills enough of that gap to give the new father enough confidence in what he is doing and to become a positive force in the new baby's life.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2010
I bought the 'New Father Boxed Set' for my husband for Father's Day (or rather father-to-be day). It includes Dads Guide To The First Year Of Life and also Dads Guide To The Toddler Years. He's found the book really easy to read. It's divided into short sections which makes it great for picking up every now and then and digesting small chunks of information. Throughout the book it includes advice and information about how the mum might be coping/feeling. I'm hoping this will make my husband more sympathestic and helpful when the baby arrives! It's definately made my husband feel more involved and he's even teaching me things I didn't know.
It's a book not only for the dads. I couldn't put it down once I'd picked it up. I even ditched the book I was reading on Motherhood. It's clear and informative without being dictatorial or condescending. I'd recommend it to all couples who are expecting a child or already have a little one.
The only small negative I could mention is that being written by an American, it has a few American references in it. But this is by far outweighed by the overall Gem of a book it is!
BUY IT!!!!
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on 8 April 2012
This is the best book i have read on the subject of becoming a father, the book has a great sence of humour as well as giving you the facts and dispelling the myths of fatherhood. My wife commented (on the chapters i read out loud) that she wished there was a book for mothers written in such a clear concise and natural way. The Author uses examples of his own experience as well as results from professional reserchers and scietists. The book is broken down into months over the first year, showing you what to expect from your baby each month, including really useful information like how to change a nappy, what you need in your first aid kit how to deal with colic and how to wind your baby, it also includes chapters about how you might be feeling and what kind of emotions you may go through reassuring you that most of these are normal and what emotions you Partner will be feeling so you can prepare youself to support her and understand what she is going through. I felt reassured and more prepared for Fatherhood after reading this book i will keep the book close by for reference just to check everthing that is happening is ok and Normal at the different stages of my Baby's development, i cant recommend this book Highly enough for expectant and new fathers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2010
After reading a multitude of parenting books leading up to the birth of our first baby this one prepared us the best in terms of what to expect and practical advice on how to deal with the minefield of newborn baby (e.g. things to try when the baby won't stop crying). We now recommend this book to all new expectant parents. Easy and enjoyable to read - great gift for Dad's to be (their partners will also enjoy it!)
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 8 May 2011
As a new father, this book was bought as a gift for me and my partner and I have found it very useful and regularly refer to it.

The month-by-month structure works very well and enables you to track all aspects of the baby's development and needs as well as what may be going on with you and your partner as you go along.

There are some really interesting and fun ideas and suggestions for interacting with your baby at each developmental stage which we particularly enjoyed and the book serves as a really good general reference guide regarding all the health and practical issues that may arise.

The author does a great job in reassuring new dads and parents that there are a whole spectrum of individual experiences of new fatherhood and new parenthood and that there are few, if any emotions, worries or practical issues out there that won't be shared by a whole lot of other people in the same situation.

So I would strongly recommend it.

The reason I've only given 4 stars and not 5 is that surprisingly, I ended up finding the book a little lacking in terms of detailed sharing of the author's own personal experience or indeed those of other new fathers. The author does make regular reference to himself as a father, but for the most part these references are brief and along the lines of "trust me on this one".

I don't know whether I was expecting a blow-by-blow account of the Brotts' own baby bloopers or sex life or what, but I do feel that the author may have missed a trick here towards building greater empathy his readers. For example, you would have expected a book like this to be very strong on post-pregnancy relationships from male perspective, but because of the lack of anecdotal material the guidance here, while solid and sound, is no different in terms of content, tone or presentation from what you find in literature aimed at both parents, or indeed just Mums, that you get free from the NHS.

Perhaps unfairly, to my own amusement I ended up picturing the author as a rather zipped-up, Rolando Negrin figure - "Hey buddy, don't go there, that's personal dammit!".

But maybe that's just me and in any case it doesn't detract much from what is an excellent book that does what it says on the cover.
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I bought this as a guide for my partner before the birth of our first child as I thought he might like to prepare a little! I'd borrowed this from the library and after scouring the shops and seeing what little guide/advice books there were for men for impending fatherhood I thought this was the best and got it for him. He's not a keen reader but I re-read it and thought it was fab. Funny, insightful with advice and tongue-in-cheek/sarcastic anecdotes etc as well. This is by far the best book I have read for men as it can be serious in parts but also funny as well - it doesn't take it seriously all the time. Men who are feeling a bit scared, stressed and worried about what is to come should read this - great stuff!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 24 April 2010
This book is great! it is written in a well-structured, non-patronizing way. It's easy to understand and yet contains useful facts that even my wife didn't know (and she has read almost every baby book there is...!). The book usefully breaks stuff down both by time and by you/mum/baby so that it you can dip in to topics that you need. I am a new dad and I would highly recommend this book.
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