I read a lot of books when I was pregnant and post-partum. One that I read was called The Happiest Baby on the Block. There was a lot of interesting points, but the one that stuck out to me was the 5 S's; swaddle, side, sshhh, swing, suck.
Swaddle. This was a life saver for me! My midwife was the first to show me swaddling. Being a new mom and not knowing much about babies, I found this fascinating! But Ethan always seemed to get out of his swaddle, startle in his sleep and wake up. Happiest Baby has an awesome step by step diagram on how to swaddle. I've been teased by friends on how tightly I swaddle. But neither of my son's ever wriggled out! I've tried the Swaddle Me velcro wrap, never worked. I liked the larger thin flannel receiving blankets. Here's a video tutorial.
Swaddling was awesome for me because both kids flailed around while eating. This calmed them down, and they slept better.
Side, Swing, Sshhh. These I usually did together. Even when I hold newborns, I find myself instinctively doing the side, swing and sshhhh.
Suck. This is the cherry on top for a baby. It can be a finger, pacifier, or food source.
This totally work for me to calm my babies. My second is naturally sensitive, so there was no curing his innate fussiness. But this calmed him enough to have a meal and give him moments of happiness.