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Newborn Photography Frederick MD

Hush Little One: Essential Tips for Soothing a Fussy Newborn in Frederick, MD

Life with a newborn is precious, exhausting, and intense. There is so much adjustment happening in those early days, and those beautiful little bundles of joy can be hard to figure out, especially while you’re operating on so little sleep. As a newborn photographer based in Frederick, MD, I work not only with sleepy newborns but also with their sleepy parents. And few things are harder when you are sleep-deprived than soothing a fussy baby. Having a new baby who is consistently fussy is extremely stressful. My hope is that this blog post with tips for soothing a fussy newborn in Frederick will help you find what works to soothe your baby. 

Diagnosing the Problem

It’s essential to play detective when your newborn is fussy. Start with the basics, and try to rule out the following:

Dirty Diaper

Make sure to change a dirty diaper as soon as possible so the baby doesn’t get a rash. A wet diaper won’t usually cause a rash, but many babies don’t like sitting in wet diapers, so it’s best to change those as well. Eventually, you’ll be able to recognize this specific cry.


Pay attention to your baby’s hunger cues, even if they seem to happen more frequently than you expected. Sometimes the baby is cluster feeding, which is normal and good because the baby is usually eating more because he or she is growing. It can also be good to watch the clock so you’re making sure you’re not waiting too long to feed the baby. Some newborns will sleep through feeding time, so defer to your pediatrician on what to do since it varies based on birth size.

Needs to Burp

If you notice your newborn crying a pain cry when you lie them down, he or she may need to burp. Some babies take a long time to get all their burps out, so you may need to summon some extra patience and keep them upright until all the burping is done. You can burp over the shoulder or have them sit, leaning forward. There are many positions to try for burping, just be sure to hold onto baby well.


Similar to needing to burp, gassiness is trapped air and can make the baby very uncomfortable. If your baby’s tummy seems kind of hard, that can be an indication of gas. Check your feeding position to make sure your baby isn’t taking in too much air. Try a gentle tummy massage or bicycle leg movements to help bring some relief. If you notice this gets worse and you can’t resolve it for baby, be sure to check with your doctor in case it’s a lactose problem.


Overtiredness can make babies fussy. Help your baby wind down for a nap by creating a calm environment. If he/she is having trouble falling asleep, try some skin-to-skin time or a swaddle.

A Bigger Issue

If the basics are all handled, there may be a larger problem at play. Assess your baby to see if any of these might be an issue:


Acid reflux can cause discomfort after feeding. Try smaller, more frequent meals. Keep your baby upright for a while after meals and try wearing them in something like this so they are upright longer. Talk to your pediatrician about potential remedies.


Sometimes, increased fussiness can be a sign of an allergy or sensitivity. A lot of babies can’t handle dairy very well, so pay attention to any patterns if you are breastfeeding, like a bowl of mac and cheese leading to an extra fussy night. If you start to pick up on things like that, you may just need to cut out certain foods until your baby is a little bit older. If you are formula feeding, you may need to talk to your pediatrician about trying a new kind.


Colic is basically the name given to when healthy babies cry intensely for extended periods of time. No one knows the exact cause of colic, but soothing techniques like gentle rocking or white noise may help. You could also try holding your baby to your chest so he or she can be soothed by the sound of your heartbeat, just like in the womb. Swaddling can comfort baby, as can going for a walk or driving. Some studies suggest that probiotics may help reduce symptoms of colic in some babies by promoting a healthy balance of gut bacteria. Talk to your pediatrician about whether probiotics may be appropriate for your baby.

Soothing Techniques

Whether or not you have successfully diagnosed the problem, these tried and true soothing techniques can work wonders for settling a fussy baby.

Recreate Womb Life

Your baby just spent 9 months in your womb, and the outside world is loud and cold and can be scary. Often, the best way to soothe a fussy newborn is to recreate the womb experience as much as possible by wrapping the baby up tight, in a swaddle or a baby wrap, holding him or her close to your chest to listen to your heartbeat, rocking or swaying (just like baby experienced whenever you walked around while you were pregnant), and shushing or white noise. 

Let Baby Suck on Something

Some babies find sucking comforting. Many little ones suck on their hands in the womb, so they crave the same stimulus outside the womb. Offering a pacifier or feeding can help soothe them.

Skin-to-Skin Contact

Holding your baby close against your skin can help regulate his or her body temperature, heart rate, and breathing and help baby feel safe and comfortable.

Give the Baby a Massage

Gently massaging your baby’s back, tummy, arms, and legs with baby-safe oil can help relax their muscles and soothe any tension or discomfort they may be feeling.

Take Baby Outside

Sometimes, a change of scenery can help distract and calm a fussy baby. It is amazing what the outdoors can do to calm a fussy baby and a stressed mommy!

Soothing a fussy newborn requires patience, observation, and a bit of trial and error. Remember, every baby is unique, so what works for one may not work for another. Trust your instincts, stay calm, and don’t hesitate to seek support from healthcare professionals or fellow parents if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Before you know it, you’ll become a pro at soothing your little one’s fussiness, and those precious moments of peace and contentment will be well worth the effort. Let me know if you have any questions about my tips for soothing a fussy newborn in Frederick!

Book a Photo Session to Remember the Sweet Moments Over the Fussy Ones

While newborn fussiness will one day be gone, photos of your baby in his or her earliest days will stick around forever. Newborn photo sessions are some of the most special photo sessions, because they are so tiny for such a short period of time. If you are in the Frederick, Maryland, area and looking for a newborn photographer, I would love to chat! You can check out my work here, and let me know if you have any questions at all.