Commando Dad: A Basic Training Manual for the First Three Years of Fatherhood

Neil Sinclair. Chronicle, $16.95 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-4521-2739-2
London-based father and former Royal Engineer Commando Sinclair found becoming a stay-at-home dad to be one of his most challenging assignments. His lighthearted manual advises on matters such as the use of pacifiers, how to change diapers, and what fathers should pack in their baby bag when taking Junior out of the house for an extended spell (“basic survival kit for long-term deployment”). Throughout, Sinclair emphasizes the importance of routines, and encourages fathers to ask for help. There is plenty of brass-tacks information here, such as a list of food that shouldn’t be introduced before the baby is six months old, and guidelines for a first-aid kit. However, the military lingo (home is “base camp,” the child is “baby trooper” or BT for short, the book is for dads who “are actively engaged in parenting maneuvers”) grows tiresome, and the myopic focus on dad-and-baby, to the almost wholesale omission of a coparent or marriage/domestic partnership, is odd. Still, this gift book would be a natural choice for co-ed baby showers. Illus. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/21/2014
Release date: 04/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
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