If You’re Expecting, Download These Helpful Baby Apps Right Now

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It’s one of those clichés that’s actually true: Those early, infant days of parenthood go by in a blur. When you’re in that postpartum period and you’re trying to adjust to life with a new baby, there’s so much going home — plus a lack of sleep, a plethora of crying and possibly surging hormones — that it can be hard to keep on top of everything. But backup can be just a finger-flick away. If you’re looking to keep track of your baby’s diapers, feeds and sleep; connect with other new parents; find lullabies (or white noise) and share photos with friends and families, you can do it all with a well-stocked arsenal of naps. (Which also means you can stay up-to-date while rocking or feeding the baby — multiasking!)

The Good Housekeeping Institute’s Little Lab sought out a suite of the best baby apps for new parents. What makes for a good baby app? In general, testers valued the ability to personalize and tailor the app experience to their own situation as much as possible. For tracking apps, the ability to sync data logged from multiple caregivers was also key. And while many apps offered premium features for extra money, a majority of testers found the price wasn’t worth the added value. Testers evaluated apps based on ease of use, performance, robustness of features and functionality, and these best baby apps rose to the top.

Best Pregnancy Tracker: The Bump

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With The Bump‘s app, information relevant to your pregnancy arrives every day, along with community and expert advice. Plus, it has all those fun features, like “how big is baby” size comparisons, baby name inspiration and a place to take week-by-week photos of your growing baby. (Note: While The Bump rose to the top of the list, our testers also gave high marks to the What to Expect and BabyCenter apps, if you’re looking for close runners-up.) Cost: Free

iOS ANDROID

RELATED: The Best Pregnancy Apps for Expecting Parents

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Best Baby Tracker: Glow Baby

When you’re a new parent, you want to capture all that data: feedings, diaper changes, solid food, naps, sleep and more. The Glow Baby app lets you and a partner log that info, and then gives you personalized summaries and interactive growth charts. You can also connect to the rest of the Glow community to ask all those “is this normal?” questions you have. The app is free, but paying a premium fee ($30 to $80) unlocks extra features, like the ability to sync data across multiple caregivers. (Testers also gave high marks to Sprout Baby, Baby Connect and Baby Tracker, though Glow Baby was the clear favorite.) Cost: Free

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iOS ANDROID

Best Baby App for Developmental Activities: BabySparks

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Okay, so what do you do with your baby all day? BabySparks offers tips for parent-child activities tailored to your baby’s age and stage, for all babies between the ages of 0 to 3. You’ll also get information on what’s going on in baby’s brain during these activities, and you can keep track of developmental milestones. Cost: Free

iOS ANDROID

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Best Baby App for Development Tracking: The Wonder Weeks

Some parents swear by The Wonder Weeks for helping them figure out why their baby is experiencing certain moods. (Hint: They’re tied to certain developmental “leaps” your baby takes in those first few months.) This app gives parents information about what’s going on with each leap, and ways to help soothe and stimulate your baby during each one. Cost: $4

iOS ANDROID

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Best for Sleep Help: Dream Lab by Owlet

You don’t have to actually have an Owlet smart sock or any other product to subscribe to the Dream Lab. If you have a baby between the ages of 4 months and 12 months, you can sign up for this service and get step-by-step sleep plans, video tutorials and access to one-on-one email support from Owlet’s certified sleep experts. At $99, the price is steep, but what price tag can you put on a good nights sleep? Note: This can be accessed on your phone or tablet, but it goes through a web browser, not a dedicated app. Cost: $99

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Best Baby Apps for Finding Care: Sittercity and UrbanSitter

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Both Sittercity and UrbanSitter let you either browse profiles of babysitters and nannies for hire, or post a job listing and let caregivers respond to it (which is great if you’re in a last-minute bind). The services do background checks, and you can read reviews from other parents before you book. The apps themselves are free, but both sites require a monthly membership fee ($12/month if you pay upfront at Sittercity, $10.50 at UrbanSitter) before you can start using their services. Cost: Free

SITTERCITY iOS SITTERCITY ANDROID

URBANSITTER iOS URBANSITTER ANDROID

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Best Baby App for On-Demand Medical Care: Blueberry Pediatrics

You’re going to have a lot of medical questions about your baby, and issues aren’t always going to arrive when your doctor’s available in the office. While you still need an in-person pediatrician, Blueberry Pediatrics offers live, 24/7 virtual access to doctors (and they even give you a medical kit so you can take vitals at home). If a middle-of-the-night issue strikes, they can make diagnoses, send in prescriptions or tell you what your next steps should be while your family’s all still in their PJs. The app is free but it costs between $12 and $18 per month for a membership (which, if you think about it, is less than a doctor copay). Cost: Free

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iOS ANDROID

Best Baby App for Finding Activities: KidPass

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Discover local baby music classes, “sign and song” sessions, mommy and me yoga classes and more with the KidPass app — a boon to those looking to get out and meet other families with babies the same age. The app is free, but if you signup for a KidPass membership, you’ll get a certain amount of credits each month that you can put toward the cost of a class. Memberships cost between $50 and $190 per month, depending on how many monthly credits you’d like. Cost: Free

iOS ANDROID

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Best App for Making Mom Friends: Peanut

Finding other parents who are on the same page as you can be difficult, so Peanut seeks to make the whole process less social awkward. You can meet and chat with other local moms through the app, or join groups to cast a wider net. Now, you don’t have to gather up the courage to start conversations with strangers on the playground! Cost: Free

iOS ANDROID

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Best Baby App for Medical Reference: WebMD Baby

You can treat this app like a tracker, and use it to log feeding, sleep, diapers, growth and milestones (and — bonus — the info syncs across multiple devices so multiple caregivers can use them in tandem). But this app also has a Baby 101 section with tons of useful information on baby and toddler care, illnesses and week-by-week insights into your baby’s changes. Cost: Free

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iOS ANDROID

Best Baby App for Music: Spotify

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Access tons of baby songs, lullabies and playlists on Spotify with one hand while you soothe your baby with the other. You can also make your own playlists of baby favorites — and find your own music and playlists, too, for when you have some adult time. Spotify is free but a paid version lets you listen without commercials. Cost: Free

iOS ANDROID

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Best Baby App for White Noise: Sound Sleeper

No more reaching for electric toothbrushes and the right combination of fans to create a soothing white-noise effect for your baby. Grab this app and get all the white noise and lullabies you could ask for. Cost: Free

iOS ANDROID

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Best Baby App for Sharing Photos: Tinybeans

Lots of parents have privacy concerns around posting photos of their babies on social media, but of course they all want to share photos and videos with their loved ones. Tinybeans offers a secure place to store and share photos. You get unlimited storage, you can add cute things like stickers and filters and you can even print off photo books for all the proud relatives. The app is free but paying the premium fee ($8/month or $50/year) unlocks more features. Cost: Free

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iOS ANDROID

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