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(Credit: Masson Stock/iStockphoto)

Something every parent has heard (or said) is that babies don't come with instruction manuals. But the "What to Expect" book series and similar books have aided in filling in the blanks.

The "Wonder Weeks" book, written by Franx Plooij and Hetty van de Rijt, in the early '90s, went digital for a new generation with an award-winning app.

The Wonder Weeks app (iOS, Android) helps parents understand the mental development of their baby with calendars, charts, videos, and explanatory chapters from the book.

SEE: How Cigna's new health app can reduce risks for pregnant moms

Wonder Weeks categorizes a baby's development in the first 20 months as "leaps." The experts behind the app's design said there will be about 10 leaps before the age of two. The leaps are further broken down week-by-week with specific information.

For example, Mental Leap 3: The World of Smooth Transitions happens around weeks 11 through 12. Inside those two weeks, your baby's movements become less "robotic" and they'll start to play with their vocal sounds.

"With every leap your baby makes his whole perception of the world changes," a video describing the app said. "It's like everything is new to him. Like he woke up on a new planet, not knowing anything except mommy and daddy. What would you do? You would probably cling to the only one you know, cry, and probably be a little cranky too. Well, so is your baby."

Wonder Weeks will help explain why some phases are fussier than others, count down the days until the next leap, and give you tools to take notes.

As your baby makes leaps, the app helps parents understand what your baby can potentially understand and learn. The app gives tips on how you can help make the most of each leap.

The Wonder Weeks app costs $3 to download. In addition to the original app, the company has introduced a Milestone Memories app (iOS, Android) for photos and the Wonder Weeks AudioBook app (iOS, Android).

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(Credit: Screenshot by Download.com)

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Takeaways

  1. The Wonder Weeks app helps parents understand their baby's development "leaps" with calendars, charts, and videos.
  2. As your baby makes leaps, the app helps parents understand what your baby can potentially understand and learn. The app also gives tips on how you can help make the most of each leap.

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Shelby is an Associate Writer for CNET's Download.com. She served as Editor in Chief for the Louisville Cardinal newspaper at the University of Louisville. She interned as Creative Non-Fiction Editor for Miracle Monocle literary magazine. Her work appears in Glass Mountain Magazine, Bookends Review, Soundings East, and on Louisville.com. Her cat, Puck, is the best cat ever.