Newborn babies cry for a reason, they have few needs but they can’t take care of any of them without you!
Usually, the baby is hungry, uncomfortable, cold, overstimulated, or even just needs to be held. As new parents, we usually go through this list until we find the solution.
But what do we do when nothing is working?
With three children of my own, I certainly had moments as a new mother when I had tried everything and nothing seemed to help and I just didn’t know how to soothe my baby. It’s very easy to doubt yourself and your abilities and choices at times like these but we’ve all been there. I promise!
As a newborn photographer for the past 7 years, I wish I’d known some of these tricks back when my kids were babies! Some of these things I did, but I didn’t know why they work so well!
My family and my newborn clients call me the baby whisperer. I can get even the fussiest baby to sleep! When my little sister had her first baby, I’d even volunteer for night duty with the baby, because getting a baby back to sleep doesn’t scare me a bit.
For newborn sessions, remember that asleep isn’t always the goal! I loooove awake baby images so much.
It’s nice to get both though!
If the baby is fed and has a clean diaper, one (or all of these combined haha) of these tricks might just work for you!
The first thing to try is to swaddle the baby reasonably tight. The baby might cry while being swaddled but will calm down really quickly once the swaddle is secure. This is the first thing I usually try!
There is a magical spot right above and between the eyebrows on the lower forehead. Stroking downward to the nose and back up usually gets even the fussiest newborn to fall asleep super quick. This trick is sooooo helpful.
Shushing should be done nice and loud, close to the baby’s ear so she can hear it over her crying. You can vary the sounds by adding womb noises and a heartbeat. There are apps that mimic wombs sounds too! I find shushing or singing usually works the trick.
Newborns have just spent months being jiggled about. Use fast, small movements to jiggle the baby to sleep. Firm pats on the back like when you’re burping a baby can also help them sleep. Seems counterintuitive but it totally works!
Sucking is an obvious one, but still so important! Letting a baby suck on a pacifier, or a bottle, or even nurse again until sleeping can sometimes be incredibly soothing to the baby.
LASTLY… to repeat... a sleeping baby isn’t the only cute thing! Awake baby pictures are usually my favorite!