It is true that babies do not come with an owner’s manual that gives you all the answers. One answer will not fit the same situation for individual babies. Each parent has to figure out what works for their baby through trial and error. Like any person, each baby is different.  

This may come as a surprise to some and common sense to others. Although babies do not come with instructions, there is a lot of study material on the matter. One can find books, movies, magazines and websites dedicated to the subject of rearing children.  

Like any good college student, the first thing those should do when expecting, in my opinion, is to watch a funny movie about new parents. If you are one of those men who think you are too manly to watch a romantic comedy, just wait. Children have a funny way of connecting the manliest of men to their emotions. 

Start with the movie “Life as We Know It” with Josh Duhamel and Katherine Heigl. This is a funny and unexpected movie that shows the power of children to change an individual. After that, move to something with a similar coming-to-terms, parenthood transition lessons but in a raunchier fashion. In “Knocked Up” Kathrine Heigl teams up with funny man Seth Rogan for a slapstick intro to parenthood.  

Another movie worth mentioning is “What to Expect When Expecting.” With the star-studded cast, I expected more laughs and a more believable delivery of the story, but I mention this movie since it’s the most popular among parents-to-be.

The second thing the expecting should do, after going through some emotions and releasing them in some good romantic comedies, is study. There are a ton of books about babies and having one. I mention “What to Except When Expecting” because it was inspired by a national best-selling book series under the same title. The books typically are better than the movies anyway.

Specifically for fathers, there are books such as, “Dude You’re Going to Be A Dad” by John Pfeiffer, which is the #1 best seller among baby and toddler parenting books. It’s said to match humor with serious preparation tips and comments about fatherhood.  

“The Expectant Father” is a critically acclaimed best seller that is an easy read full of research and statistics. Authors Armin A. Brott and Jennifer Ash masterfully blend research statistics and data across different fields of study to give a full spectrum psychological analysis of changes many men go through while expecting a child.

There are many magazines and websites dedicated to raising children as well. There are too many to list, but it’s worth sifting through the myriad to find the one that fits your individual ideas of how a child should be raised. This may sound vague, but there truly are many conflicting studies about what children can/should be exposed to and at what age. 

The important take away here and what I hope every expecting student-parent gets is: Although, children do not come with owner’s manuals, there are many publications out there to help. First, deal with the emotions of expecting however you need to. Next, approach having a child like school and study your butt off. This child will be yours after all.