After week two, Olive started to reveal her pattern of nighttime fussiness. It usually lasts from 6:30 or 7 til 9:30 or 10 at night - and it's like clockwork. We figured it's probably gas, since she strains and loses focus and wails unless she's persistently reined in. It's exhausting to pay such deep attention to her, only to be rewarded with such sadness.
We tried anything we could get our hands on - movement, singing/shh-ing, music, bicycling her legs, I-L-U massage, Mobying, nonstop breastfeeding (MOST frustrating since she'd start crying after a few sucks and in the beginning I thought she was sad because my nipples were too soft/out of milk) ... tummy time, bouncer time, interaction, lights full on, lights fully off, and even swaddling, which rubs me the wrong way. (We had the most success with swaddling, to my dismay, though it didn't work completely.)
Tonight, after much brainstorming, I thought of things that would simply pass the time to make it more bearable for all of us. There it was: baths! We'd only taken two in her almost month-long life, but she's seemed to enjoy herself and I found myself cutting them short myself, not because of her. So tonight went like this:
6:30 (juuust before the fussing started) - 7:30: Cuddling/nursing in the dark, quiet bedroom, until she'd had enough
7:30 - 8:00: Luxurious mama/baby bath with more hot water as needed; nursing, singing, swimming included (she loves supported swimming!!)
8:00 - 8:15: Baby massage with unscented almond oil, focusing especially on her tummy (found some massage moves for digestion - she tolerated them). She really loved lying belly-to-belly while I gently rubbed her back.
8:15 - 10:00: Bite the bullet and swaddle. Nurse more and cuddle. See that it's worth it as babe fusses only once or twice in a nearly two-hour period, and sleeps for a huge portion of it.
FTM here, obviously just learning what works for our girl. Thought I'd share tonight's success in case anyone else's LO is wired similarly! (She's generally very easy-going and observant and happy, so this nighttime stuff threw us for a loop.)