4 Tips to Manage the Baby Blues for First-Time Parents

Updated: Oct 24

A first-time parent experiencing the baby blues sits with her baby on the couch, looking despondent

Most parents are excited to welcome their new babies, actively imagining a wondrous and peaceful transition from the hospital to home and into parenthood. Unfortunately, reality doesn’t always live up to our expectations. Up three out of every four new moms will experience some symptoms of the postpartum “baby blues.” Here’s what you should know.

Key Takeaways:

  • Up to 80% of first-time moms experience the “baby blues.”

  • The baby blues are usually short-term, typically start a few days after delivery, and last a few weeks.

  • Postpartum depression is more severe and long-lasting.

  • Telling the difference between the baby blues and postpartum depression can be difficult; always seek professional help when in doubt.

  • Lifestyle changes can help you manage your symptoms.

First-time parents usually expect to feel over the moon about their little bundle or bundles of joy. But for more than half of new moms, different feelings set in. You might feel overwhelmed, anxious, moody, or sad. You may wonder what’s wrong with you, and why you don’t feel the happiness and excitement of parenthood as you imagined. And it’s likely to make you feel scared as well; will you feel this way forever?

Symptoms of the baby blues

Welcoming a baby to the family is a big change. It’s normal – and even healthy – for such a big change to evoke a wide variety of emotions. Having a new baby comes with a lot of feelings and an increase in stress. Some experts estimate that up to 80% of moms will experience the “baby blues.”

Here are some of the symptoms you may experience:

  • Mood swings

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Feelings of sadness

  • Crying spells