Gaze, Hum, and Sing. Eye contact, humming, chanting, and singing all foster connectedness and enrich your relationship with your child. This gives the child the sense that he or she is safe and that the world cares and will respond to his or her feelings and needs. This is important at all times, but especially in times of distress.
Touch. If your baby wakes in the middle of the night, holding her close and soothing her with gentle rocking motions can help calm her. In general, the more you hold and carry your baby and are physically in touch with her wherever you go, the better. The most nurturing and comforting environment for a baby or small child is close to a parent's body or in his or her arms.
Speak in Private. No child likes to be embarrassed or look upset in front of other people, says psychiatrist Eve Dreyfus, M.D. If you want to talk to your child because she seems distressed or is acting out, go for a walk or wait until you're in a place alone together. When you offer criticism, do it gently and constructively.