When my now-3-year-old daughter was a baby (and even now, if I'm being totally honest), bedtime rarely happened without tears. If I wasn't holding her or nursing her to sleep, she'd wail. I spent hours researching what I could do to get the tears to stop and the sleep to start. In doing so, I learned about a few things you should never do to get a crying baby to sleep, no matter how much you want them (and you) to get some rest. It turns out that there's no one-size-fit all approach to sleep training, and oftentimes, crying is a sign that shouldn't be ignored.
When you're already exhausted, endless tears certainly don't add clarity to the situation. Whether your baby is crying out of fear of sleeping along, pain, sickness, or sheer tiredness, knowing how to best handle the situation when you're just as likely to burst out in tears.
It can be hard to watch your baby cry at bedtime, but knowing what you shouldn't do to "help" them sleep can help you determine what's causing their sleep problems in the first place and ensure that you both have more rest and fewer tears each night.