Before you have kids, it’s hard to anticipate the sheer number of products that will start filling your house not long after your first child arrives. Some, like car seats, playpens, baby gates, and parenting books for new dads, make a lot of sense. Others seem frivolous. And then there are the unknown unknowns—things you might never have thought about but that are worth considering.


Protection for Your Smartphone

Whether you allow your toddler to have some screen time on your phone or tablet, one of these days, you’ll leave your smartphone somewhere within his or her reach. At that point, one of two things are going to happen: Either your child is going to become the next Candy Crush world champion, or you’re going to be the not-so-proud owner of a phone with a shattered screen.

Fortunately, there are iPhone cases that are baby-proof. You can get full-body cases for great overall protection. Or you can go with tempered glass screen protectors that keep the display safe from impacts. If you have a tablet, you’ll want to protect it the same way. Toddlers love ‘em, and because they’re bigger and heavier, they break pretty easily when dropped or thrown.


A Wearable Camera for All Those Firsts

When the toddling officially begins, you’ll want to be there with a way to record it. Today’s answer to yesterday’s film reel is the wearable camera, sometimes referred to as action cams. Their original use was for recording extreme sports from a first-person POV.

As you’ll discover, there’s no more extreme sport than raising a toddler. That means that whenever you’re with your toddler, you need to have both eyes open and both hands free. Wearable action cams—whether they’re on you or your baby—allow you to stay in the moment and still capture those precious first words, steps, tantrums and everything else.


Baby Health Monitors

Yes, you’re going to be one of those dads. Whether health monitors for babies are healthy or harmful doesn’t matter. Chances are, you’re going to be looking for ways to track your baby’s heath. Besides giving you a way to monitor your baby’s breathing, there are monitors that record body temperature, restlessness, and just about anything else you can think of.

Some of these monitors are worn like socks, while others clip onto diapers or are worn around the wrist like a bracelet. And if you and/or your partner are really worried, you may want to go with one of those elaborate systems with cameras all over the baby’s room so you can record every sleeping moment. Yes, there’s an app for that.

Babies and toddlers are expensive, largely due to the myriad products manufacturers try to convince you that you can’t live without. In reality, most of them are junk. Forget about them. Just make sure you add some protection for your smartphone, a wearable camera for all those special moments, and a health monitor for your peace of mind, and you’re good to go.