The best books for modern day fatherhood

Who am I?

I’m the founder of DaddiLife—the leading online platform that focusses on modern day dads, who are becoming more equalised in their day to day parenting. We’ve covered a range of different areas from early stage post partum and mental health for dads, through to new research projects on dads at work and young fathers. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt over my time as a father myself is that there’s no such thing as perfect parenting, but there are lots of insights that can challenge our fatherly approaches for the better, both at home and at work.

I wrote...

You’re Going to Be a Dad!

By DaddiLife Books,

Book cover of You’re Going to Be a Dad!

What is my book about?

This book is my proudest achievement of DaddiLife so far, and was undertaken after finding that so many pregnancy books for dads still treat us as a secondary parent, and don’t go much further than ‘just don’t forget to put the beers away.’ This book is designed to be the ‘What to expect when you’re expecting’ for a modern generation of dads. 50 new dads and dads-to-be were interviewed as part of the book and it provides a whole community of dad’s experiences that goes deep into the challenges, joys, milestones, and events that dads will experience (e.g. early day nerves, preparing for labor, postpartum challenges, and more), as well as shining a light on what’s happening for partner and baby from pregnancy through to the first full year. 

The books I picked & why

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The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind

By Daniel J. Siegel, Tina Payne Bryson,

Book cover of The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind

Why this book?

This book changed my entire mindset when it came to bringing up my own child. Having been someone who was brought up in a very traditional (aka militarily strict!) manner, I didn’t really know any other way to be in my own life as a dad, but I always felt deep down that having a ‘just do as I say’ approach to parenting is so one dimensional and not reflective of true bonding. 

This book is fantastic at giving the insights into how a child thinks, the signals to watch out for, and also making you see things from a child’s point of view into having a much calmer and more open approach to parenting. I couldn’t recommend it more. 

Advice for Working Dads

By Harvard Business Review, Daisy Dowling, Bruce Feiler, Stewart D. Friedman, Scott Behson

Book cover of Advice for Working Dads

Why this book?

While there’s been a generational shift for dads at home, so much workplace culture still treats dads as a secondary parent, and our own research with Deloitte show’s just how many tensions with colleagues, line managers, and the whole organisation are still facing dads today. For so many dads, they’re stuck in the middle of wanting of be a great dad and having a great career. This book deals directly with that emerging fatherhood penalty, and carries great advice on how to manage that, no matter where you are in the organisation. It’s packed with tips, insights, and learnings from experts on dads at work, and is my dads at work bible.

Work Like a Woman

By Mary Portas,

Book cover of Work Like a Woman

Why this book?

This is more than a book—it’s an incredible call to change, and in many ways the other side of the coin for the advice for working dads. 

Mary Portas has a strong insight here—that the patriarchy has driven much of what we see, hear, and feel as ‘the world’ today, and that to start to change that, we all need to lean much more into traditionally ‘feminine’ qualities such as cooperation, collaboration, and more to start to live humanities fuller potential. 

I saw Mary speak after getting this book, and it was a double whammy of incredible change. It’s one of the most inspiring books I’ve read in an awfully long time.

Dads Don't Babysit

By David Freed, James Millar,

Book cover of Dads Don't Babysit

Why this book?

I call this book ‘the big so what of modern day fatherhood’ as it’s the ultimate destination for where modern day dads can go and what we can achieve. 

James and David have crafted a compelling argument not just about how the world sees dads and the language used, but also sets a pathway toward true gender equality by challenging us about how dads can unlock so much more change across pretty much every facet of society, economics, and more.

Good Night, Alfie Atkins

By Gunilla Bergstrom, Elisabeth Kallick Dyssegaard (translator),

Book cover of Good Night, Alfie Atkins

Why this book?

Ok so after all the seriousness of pregnancy, dads at work, and gender equality you might be surprised that a children’s story makes my list about modern day fatherhood. This book is a gem, and does something really rare. It represents dad as the primary carer, and it also describes, through much adventure, cheekiness, and love, the type of dad bond and every night realisms that we feel and experience—even through the eyes of a child. I loved reading this book to my son as he was growing up in his toddler years, and even now if gets a little run out every now and then.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in parenting, dads, and Christianity?

5,887 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about parenting, dads, and Christianity.

Parenting Explore 116 books about parenting
Dads Explore 42 books about dads
Christianity Explore 350 books about Christianity

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read, Educated, and What to Expect the First Year if you like this list.