Virtual Interview with David Caren

This week, I chatted with author David Caren about the latest edition of The Irish Dad’s Survival Guide to Pregnancy [& Beyond].

Photo Credit: RUN ANGEL Picture; Miki Barlok

How does it feel to publish the third edition of The Irish Dad’s Survival Guide to Pregnancy [& Beyond]?

I am both proud and thrilled that The Irish Dad’s Survival Guide continues to be the go-to guide for Irish dads. When I think back to when the first edition was published, my kids were 2, 4 and 5. Now I have two teenage daughters chatting about subjects for the Leaving Certificate and a son who I’d be afraid to play rugby against!

What made you decide to write this book originally?

When I worked for a major bookseller I discovered there was very little for the dad-to-be on the shelves, particularly for Irish dads. New expectant mums would regularly come up to the counter and present a basket laden down with every imaginable pregnancy title. Before all the books were bagged up they would often enquire: do you have anything for himself? 

If you could describe what it means to be a dad in five words what would they be?

Rewarding, fun, protective, lucky and surprising…

What are your top three tips for first time dads?

  1. Get a routine going as soon as baby is home.
  2. Take care of your own health, as new mum will need you at your best.
  3. Call on family & friends for support.

What would you say is one of the most shocking things you learn when you become a dad?

How tired you could get in a very short space of time.

I recall interviewing a DJ who had quite anti-social hours, working late into the night, resulting in broken sleep, but this tiredness didn’t even compare to how he felt in the first few weeks of being up all night with his new baby.

What’s the most common question/concern among dads-to-be?

That would be around the actual delivery itself. And it would usually be more than the one question! In researching this part of the book I engaged with an experienced midwife, Lorraine Andrews, and between us we came up with a long list of questions that our expectant dad would like answers to, ranging from ‘Where do I stand?’ to ‘Do I have to cut the umbilical cord?’. All of which are answered within the book.

What are your top three dos and don’ts for new dads?

  1. Do ensure the car seat is correctly fitted.
  2. Do get stuck in at the very beginning.
  3. Do have meals prepared in advance.
  1. Don’t leave your baby unattended, especially up high on the baby changing station.
  2. Don’t forget your partner needs attention too.
  3. Don’t worry too much, it will get easier!

If there was one thing you wished you knew before you became a dad, what would it be?

The effect a crying baby would have on me, it was my kryptonite!

David Caren, March 2021

The Irish Dad’s Survival Guide to Pregnancy [& Beyond] is available to order from your local bookshop (online, over the phone or via email) or here.