No matter how great your baby is at putting themselves to sleep, there are days where they would fuss, whine or cry before they drift off to lala land.
Some parents find this confusing and worrying – “shouldn’t they just go to sleep with no tears by now?”
Here’s the thing with babies. They cry a lot for different reasons. Why? Because they can’t talk!
Crying is a way to communicate, to express, to release pent up big feelings.
When babies cry more intense than usual before going to sleep, it is most likely that they are trying to “release tension” so that their body can relax into sleep.
It could also be that they have been awake for an awfully long period of time, that they have difficulties trying to relax.
From my own personal experience, an overtired baby cries sound like they are struggling. Their head is on the bed and they get into their favourite position to sleep but they keep tossing and turning while crying. Usually with a little soothing and help from me, or sometimes just a listening ear and gentle response such as, “I can see you’re having a hard time to sleep. I’m right here and I’ll help you with that.” does the trick.
An undertired baby on the other hand, would cry like they are ANGRY. “I’m NOT ready to sleep yet! Aaaahhh… turn the light on!!”
It would be helpful to keep track of your baby’s wake time and also be aware of their sleep cues. But sometimes, there are days where we could be wrong and end up trying to put a baby down too early even though they are showing signs of tiredness already.
What do you do if your baby cries angrily for 10 minutes?
If I were you, I would stop trying to make baby sleep and turn on the light. And then connect by smiling, carrying or nursing and then attempt to put down again after say 10-15 minutes.