Log In

5 Steps to Calm a Crying Baby

Crying Baby

After hours of trying to soothe your crying baby, you must be wondering if there is any calming magic trick you don’t know about. You must be desperate to know how to get your fussy newborn to calm down and sleep. If we received a penny for every time we get asked this question we would be driving a ferrari :).

FULL DISCLOSURE: These are not our tactics! Dr. Harvey Karp created the 5 S’s of soothing a crying baby.

What are the 5S’s?

The 5 S’s are:

  • Swaddling
  • Shushing
  • Swinging
  • Side/stomach Position
  • Sucking

Following these techniques will calm a crying, colicky baby effectively and quickly.



  • Tightly swaddle your baby.
  • We’re big fans of the swaddle and there’s a reason.The swaddle mimics the mother's womb making them feel cozy & comfortable, secure, and also helps calm the Moro reflex while babies try to sleep
    It also helps calm that startle reflex and helps them sleep better. 
    Note: Babies shouldn’t be swaddled all day, just during fussing and sleeping.


Side or Stomach

  • Hold your baby on their tummy or side; lay them over your shoulder; or lay them across your forearm with your hand supporting their head. (Yes, while they are still swaddled.)
  • Important: Side/stomach is never for sleeping. 



  • When you make a loud shhh sound, you get pretty close to the blended sounds that your baby is used to while in your womb.
  • Research shows that controlled in-and-out breath sounds can alter a baby’s heartbeat and improve their sleep patterns. 
  • Playing white noise is very effective in helping a baby to settle quickly, both for night sleep and sleep during the day.



  • Movement is a great way to calm a fussy baby.
  • Start off by supporting your baby’s head and neck. Sway back and forth about an inch and add a touch of bounce. Keep your movements small.
  • Never, ever, shake your baby. Shaking can lead to brain damage and even death.



  • Sucking is “the cherry on top of the icecream” of calming. 
  • A baby’s instinct to suck is evident from the moment he or she is born. Sucking from the breast is how a baby finds food – and it is deeply calming.
  • Pacifiers should be introduced only when breast feeding is firmly established.
  • *Not all babies like pacifiers and if your little one doesn’t, that’s ok.  


For more newborn tips, support, and more from Todspot, join our Happy Newborn community. Todspot also offers Private Consultations!  You’ll learn everything you need to know to develop healthy sleep habits from the start.