Why Is My Baby So Fussy?

Bringing a newborn into the world is a remarkable journey, filled with so much joy and wonder. That being said, most new parents find themselves at one point or another asking the question, “Why is my baby so fussy?” It’s a common concern as you navigate the intricacies of caring for your baby and deciphering the foot causes behind your little one’s fussiness.


In this blog post, I’m going to go over: 


Why is my baby so fussy?


How do I soothe my fussy baby?


What can I do to help my fussy baby sleep better?


Let’s get right to it!



Why is my baby so fussy?


Newborn babies are newcomers to this world, and everything around them is brand new and can be sometimes overwhelming. Remember, their tiny bodies are undergoing rapid growth and development. This can lead to various discomforts. Here are a few common pain points to consider:



Due to babies having a very new and developing digestive system, gassiness is a very common culprit of fussiness and difficulty sleeping. But know that there ARE things you can do to cure, soothe, and relieve a gassy baby. For seven effective ways to help a gassy baby fast, click here to check out this other blog post!



Mom Kissing Baby | The Peaceful Sleeper




Reflux is such a hot topic in the baby sleep community because even though it affects so many newborns, it can still sometimes be hard to identify. Nighttime sleep can be particularly tough because there is more crying, less sleep, and they’re uncomfortable after those middle-of-the-night feeds. If you think your little one might be struggling with reflux, click here to read my other blog post about what reflux is and how you can help your little one.


Tongue and Lip Tie

Tongue and lip ties can cause fussiness and negatively impact your baby’s sleep because they may affect whether they’re getting good full feeds, gas, and reflux. If you suspect a tongue or lip tie, talk to your pediatrician, a pediatric dentist, or a specialist!


Developmental Milestones/Growth Spurts

As your baby grows, they start to hit those exciting developmental milestones and learn so many new skills. Things like rolling, sitting up, crawling, etc. can keep your baby up at night. Whatever skill they are trying to work through, give them plenty of time during their awake time to work on it. The sooner they learn their new skill, the sooner they’ll be back to getting good sleep!


If you haven’t already, download my FREE Ultimate Naps Guide. It’ll give you all the knowledge you need to help your baby (or toddler) take great naps! Download for free here 💤



When your little one’s teeth start coming in, it can cause them some pain and discomfort – it’s the worst! The good news is, there are things you can do to help soothe and comfort your baby until those teeth are done coming in! Click here for all my teething tips in my “Teething Sleep Regression” blog.



It’s one thing to be sick, and it’s another when your poor little one is sick. Oh, and when you’re both sick at the same time?? That’s a special kind of hell. Babies definitely get more fussy right before they get sick. My biggest piece of advice is to give them as much comfort as they NEED. 


When you are tuned into your baby and their needs/sleep nuances, you can best discern these needs. Click here to check out another blog post with six tips for helping a sick baby feel better. 


Why Is My Baby So Fussy on YouTube | The Peaceful Sleeper

Click here to watch “Why Are Newborns Cranky Sometimes?” on YouTube.



How do I soothe my fussy baby?


The good news is that there are plenty of things you can try to help soothe your fussy baby. Here are some of my all-time favorites, adapted from Dr. Harvey Karp’s 5 S’s, plus my 6th “S”.


The 6 S’s of Soothing

  1. Swaddle – for newborns who are not rolling! Click here for a tutorial on how to nail the perfect swaddle on Instagram!
  2. Shushing – making a whooshing sound with your voice or using a sound machine is super soothing because it reminds them of their time in the womb
  3. Side Position – hold your baby snug to your body to mitigate the Moro reflex
  4. Suck – sometimes babies need some support using the pacifier…so don’t give up right away if your little one doesn’t seem to love it at first
  5. Swinging – babies love motion! You can gently jiggle your baby against the side of your body. This helps soothe them because as you gently swing them side to side, their eyes move in the same way they would during REM sleep
  6. Stroke – the eyebrow stroke is seriously magic. Stroke across your baby’s eyebrows or from their eyebrow down to their nose. This gentle motion feels nice on their face and encourages their eyes to close


If you haven’t already, download my FREE Ultimate Naps Guide. It’ll give you all the knowledge you need to help your baby (or toddler) take great naps! Download for free here 💤


I go over other tips and tricks for calming fussy newborns in another blog post – click here to check it out!



Baby Hand in Mom Hand | The Peaceful Sleeper



What can I do to help my fussy baby sleep better?


The main reason fussiness might be affecting your baby’s sleep is overtiredness. I mean, I totally get it! I’m also a little more cranky when I’m not getting the right amount of sleep I need.


Here’s how it works: If we don’t get our little babies to sleep before they become “wired and tired”, it is SO much harder for them to settle. The key is to watch for sleepy cues and get our babies to sleep once we recognize them in our little ones – before they become overtired. Signs of overtiredness include:

  • Fussing
  • Rubbing eyes
  • Tugging on ears
  • Arching back
  • Flailing


If your baby is overtired, it’s time to pull out all the stops. By this, I mean using those six S’s to help get your baby to sleep. 



Mom and Dad Holding Baby | The Peaceful Sleeper



Recap on Why Is My Baby So Fussy?


In this blog post, we’ve tackled the common question, “Why is my baby so fussy?” Now you know why your little one might be so fussy, and some of the best tips and tricks for soothing your little one. If for any reason your mom-gut is telling you that the fussiness might have a different underlying cause, please talk to your pediatrician! You know your baby best.


If you need support with your baby’s specific sleep needs or have any other questions about navigating fussiness, we would love to work with you. Click here to hop on a call with one of our AMAZING Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultants!


Whether your little one is a newborn (0-4 Months Content Library), 4-24 months (4-24 Months Content Library), or a toddler (2-5 Years Content Library), we have the resources you need to get your family the sleep you all deserve!

Christine Lawler

Christine Lawler

MS, LMFT, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant

Hi! I’m so glad you’re here! I’m a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, practicing for over 13 years. I’ve set out to do ALL of the research and I created a method to optimize baby sleep that is tuned in, empowering and WORKS. There absolutely should be joy in motherhood, and I have learned that every baby CAN get better sleep!

Read more about my team here.

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