Thursday, May 29, 2008

Alternadad and Mother Words

Hot-off-the-press, that is, the blogosphere, reviews from Neal Pollack, author of the book, Alternadad, and creator of the blog Offsprung, and Kate Hopper of Mother Words (who, in the midst of battling mastitis still found time to read and write an amazingly long and thoughtful blog about the Baby Bonding Book For Dads).

Some excerpts:
Today is Offsprung’s “virtual tour stop” for The Baby Bonding Book For Dads, which exists to help the clueless, emotionally-distant American male achieve a closer relationship with their loin-products. TBBBFD (for short) is a warm, gently funny volume full of tasteful photographs, which places it in sharp contrast with the screaming, fecal-stained nightmare that makes up most of our parenting experience. Still, dads must bond, on their own terms. I offer some suggestions after the bump.

Watch Your Favorite Movie Together. Yes, your favorite movie is Hellboy. Yes, your child will have a decade of nightmares about the “fish man who sounds like Niles from Frasier,” except that they’ll have no idea what Frasier is. Yes, Hellboy himself is a creature from Bosch-land. But at least they’ll know why daddy sits in his basement every night, drinking whiskey, moaning that he’ll “never write a graphic novel that good, ever.”
The list includes goes on to include things like cross peeing and candy bribes. Read it here.

On a more serious note, Kate writes about the different experiences her husband has had bonding with their two children:
I never worried about D bonding with Stella. He was with her in those moments after she was pulled from me, when the neonatologists were checking her vitals. He was with her after they placed her in an isolette and wheeled her up to the Special Care Nursery, where he sat and spoke to her softly through plastic.

Thirty-six hours later, after the call to my room saying that she was in respiratory distress, D was the one who walked next to her through the long tunnel connecting Abbott Northwestern and Children’s Hospitals. He was the one who read to her in the middle of the night and who changed her diaper when the nurses said it was time.

All the while, I was nauseous, spinning in and out of sleep.

Much later, when we finally brought Stella home, D was the one who could calm her. I was often at a loss. Nursing was frustrating on good days and left me in tears on bad days. Since the moment she received bottles in the hospital, she preferred them to breastfeeding. I ended up pumping and pumping, and D gave her bottles at 11 pm and 5 am each day. There was no question that D and Stella bonded—they bonded immediately.

With Zoe, everything has been different. I missed out on an hour with her as I was being sewn up after my C-section, but we have been together almost constantly since then. She would love nothing more than to spend the day nursing and snoozing in my arms. And since she refuses to take a bottle, D hasn’t been able to feed her, to connect with her the way he connected with Stella. Much of the time we are together as a family is divided—he is playing with Stella and I’m nursing Zoe. I imagine that this is the way it is for many families when the mother is breastfeeding: the other partner feels a little left out.

There are so many books out there for expectant mothers—dare I say too many? But there are few that celebrate fatherhood and the special connection a dad can have with his new baby. I think this book helps fill that gap, and it would be a perfect gift for the expectant dads you know. I even found in it some good reminders for me: don’t feel stuck at home with an infant, take the baby with you and get out of the house! I also had forgotten this: that when a baby “turns her face to the side, she’s probably telling you she’s had enough…” Zoe loves to be on the changing table, kicking her feet and smiling, but I forgot this cue and think I’ve been keeping her “playing” long after she’s grown tired. Oops.
Read the entire entry (it's as awesome and well written as the excerpt) here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Study shows active fathers help children's self-esteem

In case you needed more reasons to be involved with your baby, there's actually new scientific evidence from researchers in Sweden that shows that your role in your child's life will make a big difference. Active fathers help their sons have fewer behavioral problems and help their daughters have fewer psychological problems. Here's an excerpt from the Science Daily article. Read the full article here.
Active father figures have a key role to play in reducing behaviour problems in boys and psychological problems in young women, according to a review published in the February issue of Acta Paediatrica.

Swedish researchers also found that regular positive contact reduces criminal behaviour among children in low-income families and enhances cognitive skills like intelligence, reasoning and language development.

Children who lived with both a mother and father figure also had less behavioural problems than those who just lived with their mother.

The researchers are urging healthcare professionals to increase fathers' involvement in their children's healthcare and calling on policy makers to ensure that fathers have the chance to play an active role in their upbringing.

The review looked at 24 papers published between 1987 and 2007, covering 22,300 individual sets of data from 16 studies. 18 of the 24 papers also covered the social economic status of the families studied.

The smallest study focused on 17 infants and the largest covered 8,441 individuals ranging from premature babies to 33 year-olds. They included major ongoing research from the USA and UK, together with smaller studies from Sweden and Israel...

No Chance at Having a Father

The children who live at the orphanage, Fraternité Notre Dame, in Niamey, Niger, have no chance at ever having a father, or a parent to bond with. They are well taken care of by a heroic woman named Sister Brigitte and a staff of nannies who never stay long (it's a hard job). The orphanage also gives food to poor people in the community and runs a health clinic as well. The children have enough to eat, they are getting an education, and they have clean clothes to wear (most of the time). But due to the rules of the orphanage, these children cannot be adopted and will never live in a nuclear family or have parents who love them and kiss their little heads a hundred times a day.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Daddy Dialectic

BBBDs was at the Daddy Dialectic today. Jeremy Adam Smith, who's the senior editor of Greater Good Magazine, wrote:
A century ago--a quarter-century ago, even--an ideological concrete barrier with barbed wire on top divided fathers from infants and toddlers. In real life, the wall was breached every day. Fathers have always cared for children. But the barrier I'm talking about was was real and it did shape men's caregiving behavior.

Today, that barrier is dissolving. When The Baby Bonding Book for Dads urges the new father to "take off your shirt, pick your baby up in just his diaper, and hold him," the authors are tapping a sensual dimension of fatherhood that was once taboo. This book very much assumes involved fatherhood is the healthy norm, and that's nothing but good.
Read the full review (plus the critique that the book doesn't have enough photos of people of color) here.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mama(e) in Translation and Her Able Hands

Kelly Ferry, at Her Able Hands, has seen Katherine Hepburn swoon on the sidewalk and eaten, actually eaten, poison ivy. She's so totally awesome (an amazing cook, baby bib maker, friend, everything) but she has one fatal flaw: she lives in Ohio. We wonder daily how she can do this to us. But we stopped in Ohio on the book tour. Here's a snippet from her post:
Both of my children were conceived out of wedlock and for a time in my life I joked that maybe my real purpose on earth is to turn men into fathers. Good thing it didn’t happen a third time, I hear that’s the charm. But seriously, watching the fathers of my two wonderful children holding their newborn babies, witnessing their hearts unfolding was some of the most gorgeous life I have lived. Watching a man turn into a soft puddle of love is beyond beautiful.

Reading Jennifer and James’ book brought me right back to those times. I didn’t get to see Chris meet Lila because hers was an emergency birth and the morphine had hit pretty hard by that time, but I loved hearing all of my family and friends tell me about how he became singularly focused on her tiny body in the incubator. How he kept his hand on her tummy while the nurses did all of their nursy things and made sure she was healthy (two weeks early–perfectly healthy) and wouldn’t let her out of his sight for those hours while I slid in and out of consciousness in recovery. I’m so happy they had each other because I wasn’t able to offer anything but some hallucinating psychobabble. Hey! I can see through my eyelids! This is awesome! Am I at the White Party at the Filmore East again?
The full post is here.

Our second stop was at Mama(e) in Translation who writes an awesome blog about being a Brazilian mama in the U.S. (and she just finished her Ph.D. in literature!). She had her husband blog about the book. Here's what he said:
Open the baby book for dads and you will feel an irresistible urge to smile. The fabulous faces of the babies portrayed in the book bonding with their respective daddies breaks the ice for the gentle coaching offered by Properzio and Margulis to unsure soon-to-be/recent dads.

As a father of two boys, now no longer babies, I was delighted to see how precisely the experience of bonding was described. The the advice given is rich and sound, and the approach to interacting with these lovely small creatures brings home the great experience of being a dad. It is true that the days fly by very quickly at this young age. Thus every minute counts. And there will never be a better time to connect with one's child. If you are concerned about not missing any minute, The Baby Book For Dads can help you do it in a fun and relaxed way. Before we know it we are left with just pictures and fond memories of these unforgettable moments with our baby.
Read the full post here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

In South Africa and Southern Oregon

For our most far away stop on the tour, The Baby Bonding Book For Dads visited our friend Tertia Albertyn's fantastic blog, So Close, in South Africa. Warning if you click to her blog: it's well written, funny, honest, poignant, sometimes bawdy (ladies, she asked in a recent poll, do you spit or swallow?), and totally addictive, so read at your own risk. Here's an excerpt from her review:
While some men are absolute ‘naturals’ when it comes to tiny babies, there are many, like my husband, who were complete novices when their first little baby arrives. So much of the ‘fuss’ pre and post birth is around the mom (as it should be!) that the poor dads often get totally forgotten about and their introduction to babies is a baptism by fire.

This beautiful little book is a the perfect ‘baby shower’ gift for all new dads and besides the stunning photos it contains, it also has some pretty insightful tips and advice from the author (James, Jennifer’s husband) who is a father of three himself. Newborn bonding, carrying, skin-to-skin contact, diapering, going places, napping, playing, exercising, reading to baby etc is all covered in a lighthearted and informative way.
For our closest stop on the tour, we were over at Sean Bagshaw's amazing photography blog. We met Sean a few years ago when Wondertime hired him to take pictures of us for a story I wrote about family biking. He specializes in outdoor landscape photography and his work is really unique and amazing (and hangs in office buildings throughout the country). Here's an excerpt from what Sean wrote about the book:
It is a book I wish I had when I was first introduced to fatherhood. James and Jennifer have packed it full of honest, helpful and humorous stories and advice to help new dads realize the importance of connecting with their babies starting on day one ... As a photographer I particularly like the selection of photos that accompany the text.

Chris Briscoe, a father himself, is a well known and highly respected portrait photographer from Ashland, Oregon. Since I have known Chris, I have always been drawn to his calm charisma and genuine interest in people. His talent with people photography comes from his kind, disarming personality and love of interacting with others. His special talent for getting to know his subjects, putting them at ease in front of the camera and getting their best to show allows him to produce honest and engaging images. I have seen many of his photos of babies and dads in his studio, but until this book I had not seen an entire collection of dad and baby photos, which strengthens them even more. Each photo in the book is a perfect compliment to the narrative. The wonderful black and white images illustrate the emotional connection that can and should form between a father and his baby and help to bring the stories in the book to life ....

As Father’s Day approaches, this book and the photographs have given me some new energy as a father and brought back some great memories of my sons as babies. Additionally, it has reminded me that I need to pull my focus away from landscape photography every once in a while and take some more photos of my kids.
Read the entire review here.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Stay-At-Home Dad Reviews BBBDs

Phil at A Family Runs Through It, who has an excellent blog about homeschooling, parenting, being a stay-at-home dad, and life with two children in northern Idaho, reviewed the book for the blog book tour. It was fun to "go" to Idaho (especially since Phil really liked the book!). Here's his review:
It's been nearly ten years since we brought my son home from the hospital. I remember thinking that I wasn't ready to have a newborn in the house. After all, I had never been around babies before. My whole life I held a baby once, for about 30 seconds. I'm pretty sure I didn't drop it.

So I was completely unprepared for being a father. I had to go out and buy one of those step-by-step photo books that showed how to hold a baby, change a diaper, buckle up a car seat, and other simple, but daunting, procedures.

I wish I'd had more. I wish I'd had The Baby Bonding Book For Dads.

Written by the husband/wife team of James di Properzio and Jennifer Margulis, the book is specifically for clueless dads, like I was, who have little or no experience in taking care of babies. But it's not just about the nuts and bolts of caring for children. This is about building a real emotional bond between father and baby.

Oh yeah, it does have all that instructional stuff in it. Chapters about diapering, napping, travel, and exercise are all quick, fun reads filled with practical information. The authors then go beyond that to talk about how the experience of caring for a newborn helps dads forge solid relationships with their kids.

None of the topics in this book are a surprise to me now, but I've had ten years to learn it on my own. I wonder how much easier my job would've been if my eyes had been opened to a few of these concepts much earlier on. It's really simple stuff, but sometimes men don't want to see the simple truths staring them right in the face.

And when's a better time to form a bond with your child than the first day they become a part of the family?

If you know any new, or soon-to-be, fathers, The Baby Bonding Book For Dads would make a great gift. At 92 pages, with lighthearted text and charming photos, it's sure to soften the hearts of even the most stubbornly clueless men.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Q & A with James di Properzio at Natural Birth and Baby Care

Kristen Burgess at Natural Birth and Baby Care did a Q & A with co-author James di Properzio for her stop on the blog book tour. Here's an excerpt:
Do you think it’s important for fathers-to-be to prepare for fatherhood before the birth of their babies?

I do think that, unless you have had a lot of experience with babies already, you need some information, but mostly you need to get psychologically ready. Everyone, men and women alike, has a variety of things they are going to be anxious about while expecting a first baby, no matter what. Entering a role you aren’t in the habit of filling is stressful, but far more so if you aren’t clear on what’s expected of you, of what to expect of yourself. We paint a picture of a natural role for fathers as primary parents, whether they are the primary caregiver or work long hours out of the house. My dad bonded well with me when I was a baby, even though he only saw me awake first thing in the morning and at bedtime when he got home form work, just by making the most of the time and really wanting to interact with me.

Can the book help dads get ready?

That’s what it all about: getting psychologically ready to greet your baby with open arms, with a picture in mind of the dad you want to be and confidence that you know what to do with a newborn and aren’t making it all up as you go. It gives you the full framework of what to do, and why, and I talk personally about my experiences, too. Plus the pictures of dozens of joyful dads with their babies are a good image to have in your head as fatherhood approaches.

Do you think it would be helpful to fathers already parenting their babies?

I do, though what they get from it will depend on the dad. Most experienced dads will be comfortable already with most of what we talk about, but will still find a few things they might like to add to their bonding repertoire. Dads still feeling apprehension, or like they don’t have the bond with the baby that they want, or the comfort and confidence in their role as a father, will find it helpful and encouraging. And any dad will enjoy the reinforcement of these ideas, as well as the celebration of fathers and babies in the beautiful photographs by Christopher Briscoe. A good gauge of this is that moms whose kids aren’t even babies any more have really been enjoying the book, as a verbal and visual picture of fully-engaged fatherhood.

I think the short format and small sections of the book are easy for busy dads to read - have you found the book is easier for women to get their partners to read than some of the other dad books on the market?

Our idea was that men could read it topic-by-topic as things caught their eye, and each topic can be read in on very brief sitting, a minute or two–even a visit to the bathroom. It’s an eye-catcher and an easy read, and the whole book can be read in one sitting, less than an hour. Already some reviewers have said they got their husbands who wouldn’t willingly read the big, encyclopedic parenting guides to read this book–and even to pass it on to other men who are expectant dads. It’s written to be inviting, and to be enjoyed. That’s our idea to convey about fatherhood, too.

A lot of my site visitors are looking for a more “hands-on” or “attachment” style of parenting - is your book a good way to introduce that to dads?

Our book is aimed at all new dads, but it advocates ‘attachment fathering’ without saying so. In fact, the point of the book is to help men get over the gap our culture traditionally sets up between men and babies–what you might call ‘distance fathering.’ Men today are open to engaged parenting, but that is not how they were raised, for the most part, and so they haven’t absorbed a model for how to do it. I’ve been amazed that even among the people I went to college with there are still guys who never change a diaper! I mention in the book that when Muhammad Ali and his wife were expecting their first child, reporters asked jokingly if the champ was going to change diapers. He said no, adding that it was women’s work. But years later his wife revealed that when the baby was born, Ali, without asking anyone for help, taught himself to change diapers, because he wanted to do it.

We talk about the pleasures of holding your baby, talking to the baby and caring for her and wearing her in front packs and back, about the value of skin-to-skin contact. I want to address even the most apprehensive or old-style dads, and get them more involved. There aren’t any big tricks or volumes of information to cover–it’s as simple as being hands-on and seeing yourself as a primary parent, not a secondary one after the mom.

It was perfectly clear to me that if I followed the well-trodden path and let my wife do most of the baby care and handling, I would stay there, at arm’s length from the baby. I knew I would regret that. This book is all about closing that gap, and bringing the baby from arm’s length right into the father’s arms.
Read the entire post here.

Read her full book review here.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Most popular baby names 2007

The Social Security Administration has released the most popular boys & girls names for 2007. Some are surprising.
Male names
1 Jacob
2 Michael
3 Ethan
4 Joshua
5 Daniel
6 Christopher
7 Anthony
8 William
9 Matthew
10 Andrew

Female Names
1 Emily
2 Isabella
3 Emma
4 Ava
5 Madison
6 Sophia
7 Olivia
8 Abigail
9 Hannah
10 Elizabeth

Baby Bonding at Jumping Monkeys

Megan Morrone at Jumping Monkeys reviewed the book yesterday. Here's what she had to say about it:
Review: The Baby Bonding Book for Dads

PR people send me a lot of stuff. Sometimes they even get my name right.

Entrepreneurs and authors also contact me and they almost always get my name right. That's only one of the reasons why I prefer to deal directly with the source, especially when I'm interested in what they're trying to promote. This was the case when Jennifer Margulis wrote to me asking if I'd be a stop on her blog tour of the book she co-authored with her husband James di Properzio, The Baby Bonding Book for Dads.

The Baby Bonding Book for Dads is a little photo book with simple advice on how a dad can bond with his baby. The photos manage to capture both the sweet and not-so-sweet moments of fathering a child.

The advice is straightforward and useful, especially to new fathers who may not be as likely to share this kind of advice with their other new father friends.

Some of the most useful advice includes:

*Use your pinky finger to soothe a crying infant.
*Newborns are portable. Take them out now, because soon you won't be able to.
*When your baby is really little, you don't have to always read their books. Reading your own book aloud to them counts as bonding too.

The photos are really lovely and the book would be perfect shower gift for an expecting dad. I'm left wondering, though, are most men interested in looking at lovely photos? And do they give each other shower gifts?

The advice in this book is so solid and so important for dads to know, that I wish it had been packaged differently. Maybe in the Uncle John's Bathroom Reader style?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"Artsy Porn for New Moms"

WavyBrains had this to say about the book today:
The pictures are like incredibly artsy porn for new mothers. Gorgeous half-naked fathers with gorgeous half-naked babies. Yum. Each picture is a testament to the power of fatherhood and says far more about bonding than any essay or words could. And since men are very visual creatures (hello, Victoria's Secret and ESPN!), this may be the first fathering book that truly panders to both sexes. We get to look at scrumptious men and edible babies, and they get to slowly absorb the message from the photos--"This is YOUR baby. Take ownership. Take pride."
Click here to read the whole review.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Parent Talk Today

If you've never read Parent Talk Today, you should check it out. It's an example of a blog that is both aesthetically gorgeous and full of useful information on a variety of parenting topics.

We met Kathy Sena at the ASJA meeting in April in NYC and thought she was so cool we asked Parent Talk Today to participate in the blog tour.

Here's an excerpt from her take on The Baby Bonding Book for Dads:
When I first picked up a copy of The Baby Bonding Book for Dads, by James di Properzio and Jennifer Margulis, I have to admit that I expected it to be one of those Hallmark Father's Day gift books filled with gorgeous photos and not much substance.

Happily, I was wrong. And that makes me especially happy to be hosting a stop on di Properzio and Margulis' blog tour today.

You have to love a book for new dads that tells it like it is: "Unless your wife had a C-section, your new baby probably looks weird. He may be all scrunched up with a cone head like Bart Simpson, odd-looking skin that's been out of the sun and in amniotic fluid for nine months, and eyes that cross or look unfocused..." Hey, so much for the Hallmark-card text, huh?
The full review is here.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


RebelDad didn't much like the book but did conclude his review positively enough:
"the book assumes that there is a certain level of interest in the nuts-and-bolts of fatherhood. The existence a demographic group -- of dads, would-be dads and the people who love them -- who are in the market for a glossy-paged celebration of new fatherhood is nothing but a good thing."

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Jody Mace

Jody Mace writes about things like llama penises and gorilla impersonators. She also reviewed the BBBDs at her blog. The entire post is here.

An excerpt from Jody's review:
Don’t think of it as a counterpart to the ubiquitous “What to Expect” books, or, really, any of the parenting books that moms tend to read. This is more inspiration than instruction. For the guy who’s about to become a dad for the first time, the book gives examples of how bonding happens between dads and babies during everyday activities and care. The authors, parents of three kids, show how bonding happens all the time - when you’re changing the diaper as well as just gazing into those eyes. It would be difficult for a father-to-be to read this little book and see the breathtaking photos and not be at least a little bit anxious to get his hands on that new baby and start falling in love.

I can’t imagine a sweeter gift at a baby shower for the often-neglected dad.

And moms? The dads in the photos are damn hot.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Rad Dad Review

The BBBDs was over at Rad Dad today, who publishes a zine we totally dig. Finally, a bonafide dad take on the book. Here's his review (in full, warts and all):
Baby Daddy
So I’m watching the movie Baby Mama which I have to say was hella funny and horrifying at the same time. I was expecting though the requisite number of jokes about how pathetic fathers are but for the most part they weren’t there. In fact, at the end of the film there is this scene at which all three dads were there: one wearing a baby in a sling, all laughing with their child, nurturing their child. I was momentarily stunned. But, hey, times can change and even Hollywood comedies about parenthood can challenge (however weakly) some stereotypes. But it finally came: one dad does give his 1 yr old daughter a motorized pocket motorcycle. Yes, I laughed out loud.

However, this has been what I’ve been struggling with lately. How to challenge gender prescribed roles of fathering. How popular culture reinforces traditional gender roles about bad dads and their inept parenting abilities. And right about the time, Jennifer Marguils contacted me about reviewing the book The Baby Bonding Book for Dads.

Sure, I said. Anything that connects fathering to nurturing and babies, that equates men with the ability to offer support, to handle a crying baby, to discover themselves through the act of parenting, is something I want to support.

I eagerly agreed and waited for the book to arrive in the mail. When it did, I sat with my two youngest daughters and flipped through it. Of course the baby peeing in the air was wonderful, and we wondered how many times they tried to take that picture. My daughter asked if the man got paid to get peed on. Good question? Yes, unfortunately some of my preteen bonding techniques involve really bad comedies like Baby Mama. And I wonder where my daughter gets her crude sense of humor? Hmmm.

But peeing aside, I like the book. I think any new father would appreciate a book so clearly based in loving your child, in the beauty and power of becoming a father..

I did have three concerns that are really issues I have with many of the parenting resources out there; issues, I’ll be honest, I have with my own project rad dad. My main concern is how the tone of the book seems to assume that the standard or normal fatherhood mentality is one grounded in patriarchally defined gendered roles. Somehow I want to think that today’s dads are beyond thinking that they have no real place in their kids’ lives until they are able to play ball. Do many men still equate cooking dinner for their kids as something too close to domesticity? Would most men really rather plop down in front of the TV, drink in hand than go out for a hike? Don’t get me wrong; I’ll be the first one to act the fool during a big time Raiders game, but I’m not sure that I’d rather do that then spend quality time with my family and/or community. And I don’t think most men would either.

A smaller issue, but one that is important to me as a reader, is the voice of the narrative. I kinda wished they wrote as a mom and dad? I wanted to see the variations in the voices, to see them work things out on the page, back and forth between each other, as mom, as dad. Instead I felt the book had a slightly detached, impersonal tone to it, as if they were trying to speak to all parents rather than as parents.

I loved the all pictures (not just the peeing one), but as usual I wanted to see more diversity than the three or four pictures out of the thirty or so ones in the book. Too often it seems to me parenting is seen as a white experience when clearly and obviously it is not.

But having said those issues, I loved some of the things they say especially the idea of taking your baby with you everywhere you go. How often do women take their kids to errands, to work, to the store or bank. I love that they encourage fathers to do the same, to be seen publicly as fathers. We need to see that more often.

I love the notion of getting naked with the baby. It is so true that nothing is as wonderful has skin on skin with your newborn.

And the recommendation to carry your baby in a sling. So true.

I can’t say enough about how important it is that the notion of disciple was absent from the book! Thank you.

Finally, the chapter on comforting was wonderful, was so important I wish it was even more prominent. Men can comfort, men can sooth, men can parent, even though yes sometimes they buy dumb presents that are more about them than their kids.

As a twenty one year old dad with a newborn, I would have loved this book. As a thirty seven year old, I’d love a book on how to bond with your seventeen year old child. When’s that one coming out?
Rad Dad will be speaking with Ariel Gore on Sunday, May 11th as part of the Hip Mama's Mother's Day Party Hip Mama Mother's Day Party and Variety Show
5 - 8 p.m.
The Watershed
5040 SE Milwaukie
$5 Suggested Donation

A Lesbian Take on the Dad Book

Susan, at Crunchy Granola, reviewed the book yesterday.

Here's an excerpt:
When Jennifer Margulis asked me if I wanted to be part of the book tour for The Baby Bonding Book for Dads, her newest book--co-authored with her husband, James di Properzio, I said, "You remember I'm a lesbian, right?" She did, but said that she wanted the book to tour a variety of places in blog land, and she'd love to have a stop here. "Sure thing," I said. "Send it my way."
Read the whole review here.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Stop, Drop, and Blog

Firemom at Stop, Drop, and Blog wrote about the book today as part of the blog book tour. You can find the full post here.

Here's an excerpt the review:
The book features different chapters for the basic things of parenting that new dads may not know or may be fearful to try on their own. It covers everything from diapering to sleep to taking the baby out on his own and just about everything in between. The best part of each chapter is that the laughs abound. The humor is, no doubt, meant to keep dads engaged in the book but moms will get a good laugh as well.

Some of my favorite parts? First of all, the author suggests dads consider babywearing. Any man that suggests any form of babywearing to another man is okay in my book. Kudos, kudos! Furthermore, breastfeeding is not discussed as an annoying possibility but is talked about as the norm for feeding infants. His tips to help the new mom during breastfeeding (bring water and snacks without being asked) made me smile. Furthermore, the author didn’t go against the current recommendations of holding off on solids and even went so far as to point out that it is normal for some kids to drink nothing but milk for a full year. I wanted to jump for joy. The lactivist in me wants to send this guy a thank you card.

Other favorites include the reminder to read to your child and to make sure to snap photographs not only of special times but everyday life. (Though I did have to laugh when he suggested that dads aren’t in the pictures because they are the ones manning the camera. Not so in this FireHouse. There are lots of pictures of FireDad with the boys but very few of me with the kids because I’m the photographer in the family.)

The book ends, before the epilogue, with an idea for dads to write to their babies. I got all weepy with the idea and the letter that he included. Of course, I get weepy at the drop of a hat so I’m not sure that should be a true judgment of weep-inducement but, alas, it made me weepy.

Another added bonus to this book is the glorious photography. BigBrother routinely stole the book from me (when he wasn’t trying to draw on LittleBrother with markers) to look at the pictures of dads and babies. If BigBrother approves, they must be good shots. He’s my little Photo Bug.

All in all, I would absolutely recommend this as a gift for a brand new dad or a dad-to-be.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Baby Bonding in Hawaii

The book is featured in the Ages & Stages section of the May issue of Island Family Magazine, which is on newsstands now.

The Baby Bonding Book for Dads

Many new dads have never even held
a baby, so they can feel apprehensive and
unsure about how to interact with their

That apprehension, though, shouldn’t
put men into the back seat of parenting,
as that would be taking a step back from
one of the most important experiences of
life. Men need to take the initiative and
create their own ways of bonding with
their children, right from the beginning.
Bonding with a baby or toddler is
about the small moments that you spend
together, looking at each other, talking,
taking baths and walks, and playing. It’s
not something that happens instantly;
instead, it’s a relationship that grows
over time.

The Baby Bonding Book for
Dads is about practical, everyday
things that fathers can do to enjoy
being with their children and forging
the bond between them.

Topics include newborn bonding, carrying,
skin-to-skin contact, diapering, going
places, napping, playing, exercising, and
reading to baby. The instructive yet lighthearted
text is paired with delightful photography,
making this book a handy
guide and a perfect gift for any new
father who’s feeling a little nervous about
the new responsibility in his life.

The Baby Bonding Book for Dads
($15.95, Willow Creek Press) is available
wherever books are sold.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Pinwheels writes that the BBBDs is:
"...a book I wished we’d had 9 years ago, when Carter was born. Tom and I were both newborn parents then, equally invested in our lives together and in the life of our wrinkled, prune-faced new baby, but I had my stack of books to help guide me, and Tom had, well, hmmm. He had a funny, joke-type book about fatherhood by Bill Cosby, and another humorous book by Paul Reiser. If you were to go by this selection alone, you might think a father’s only job was to keep the laughs rolling.

"Thankfully times have changed, andThe Baby Bonding Book for Dads: Building a Closer Connection with Your Baby (Willow Creek Press), is a reflection of these changes. In it, newborn dads are treated to thoughtful, helpful, accurate information, as well as stunning black and white images of men and their babies (the photographs are by Christopher Briscoe).

"It was only after reading this book did I realize that I missed these images: ones that aren’t often seen in parenting publications or even online, but ones that are an integral part of family life. Fathers holding babies. Fathers holding mothers holding babies. Lots of fathers."