Soothing Techniques: Tips for Comforting Your Fussy Newborn

picture of a baby boy using a soothing technique to keep him calm

Helpful Hints to Calm Your Fussy Baby

As a seasoned newborn photographer in Baltimore, MD, I’ve had the honor of working with many newborns and their families. Along the way, I’ve learned a thing or two about soothing techniques for a fussy newborn. If you’re a new parent in the throes of navigating this exciting, although challenging, time, this post is for you.

Decoding Your Baby’s Communication

Babies use various cues, such as crying, facial expressions, and body language, to express their needs. It’s essential to pay close attention to these signals. Recognizing the signs of hunger, discomfort, or fatigue promptly can help you react effectively, resulting in a happier, more comfortable baby. As time goes on, you will begin to recognize our baby’s different cues and what they mean.

Tried-and-True Soothing Techniques for Your Newborn

Over the years, I’ve witnessed (and used) multiple techniques that parents have used to comfort their little ones. Here are some that have proven to be effective:


Swaddling involves wrapping your baby securely in a blanket, providing a sense of security and warmth similar to the womb’s comfort. It can help minimize the startle reflex, which often wakes newborns, thus promoting better sleep.


A gentle, extended “shush” can recreate the whooshing sounds your baby heard in the womb. This familiar noise can be incredibly soothing. You can also use a white noise machine or app to mimic these sounds, helping your baby drift off to sleep.


Gentle, rhythmic movements, like rocking, swinging, or even gentle bouncing, can be very calming for babies. You can use a baby swing or bouncer (like these, for example), a rocking chair, or simply rock and bounce your baby in your arms. A drive in the car may also lull your little one into peaceful slumber


Whether it’s through breastfeeding, a pacifier, or a bottle, sucking is a natural, instinctive behavior for babies. It can have a calming effect and help soothe your newborn when they’re upset or restless.

Skin-to-Skin Contact

Skin-to-skin contact promotes bonding and helps to regulate the baby’s heartbeat and temperature, providing a sense of security and comfort.

Baby Massage

A gentle baby massage can do wonders for relaxing your baby. Use a baby-friendly oil and apply gentle pressure. Massage can help relieve gas and colic, promote better sleep, and stimulate your baby’s senses.

Singing or Humming

Your voice is one of the most comforting sounds for your baby. Singing or humming can soothe your baby, and it doesn’t matter if you’re out of tune. It’s the rhythm and the familiar sound of your voice that matter.

Bath Time

A warm bath is a time-tested method to soothe a fussy newborn. The sensation of water can be incredibly calming. 


Consider using a sling or baby carrier to keep your newborn close. The gentle swaying motion and the comfort of being close to you can work wonders.

Temperature Check

Ensure your baby is not too hot or too cold. Adjust the room temperature or dress them in layers to maintain optimal comfort.


Take a stroll outdoors. The fresh air and natural surroundings can have a calming effect on both you and your baby.


Sometimes playing music that you listen to often, even in pregnancy, can distract and mesmerize baby.  

Every Baby is Unique

Remember, every baby is different, and what works for one may not work for another. It’s all about patience and finding out what your baby responds to best. Keep trying different techniques, and soon you’ll discover what works best for your little one.

Book Your Newborn Photography Session Today

As a mother, I know how quickly your little one grows. With over 13 years of professional photography experience in the DMV area, I know how to create safe and loving photo sessions with your newborn. Feel free to browse my work, and let’s connect and plan your maternity and newborn photo shoots.

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