The world has seen a few revolutions along the years, but nothing comes close to the present day ‘sleep revolution‘ we are seeing. Business leaders are not talking about more hustle for productivity, they are now talking about more sleep. Between staring into screens, working in shifts and juggling multiple roles, our sleep quality has drastically plummetted in just one generation.
Talking of sleep, one of the most sleep-deprived groups are new moms. Between trying to make sense of the(highly communicative) infants and getting their bodies to heal, moms are forever exhausted. Their sleep deprivation affects their social lives, sometimes even their relationships, not to mention the mothering itself.
However, it doesn’t have to be.
Meet Joanna Clark, a nationally recognized pediatric Sleep Expert. Joanna has made it her mission to help moms tenderly teach their children the “skills of sleep” so they can beat the haze of overwhelm and wake up rested night after night. Like many others who found a way to help others after finding a way to help themselves, Joanna’s journey into Sleep coaching began as an overwhelmed mom.
Kidskintha had a brief chat with Joanna. Read on for some great nuggets of ‘Sleep Wisdom’.
Hi, Joanna! You have a very unique area of expertise, dealing with child sleep. Tell us about your foray into this area?
I once was a sleep-deprived, frazzled and utterly confused mother because my child was not sleeping or napping well and I was desperate to find a solution. I found Kim West and her book Good Night Sleep Tight. This gentle and accessible methodology was a lifeline out of my own most-challenging time—and helped me and my daughter get the rest we needed and I was finally able to enjoy my parenting life.
Consequently, I became deeply passionate about helping children and parents get the rest they need—so that they can be their very best selves: mind, body, and soul. After all, as Thomas Dekker said, “Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” So in July 2011, I became one of the first graduates of Kim West’s Gentle Sleep Coach℠ Program. With proven, evidence-based methods, an expert, signature process, and full-service support, I help parents tenderly teach the “skills of sleep” to their child. I do not advocate “cry-it-out”, in fact, my guilt-free, gentle sleep coaching process is based on attachment theory and is an amazing, results-based alternative to other sleep coaching methodologies.
I have helped over 800 families reclaim peaceful nights and joyful days, that’s over 2400 family members who are now living a well-rested life. After all, a good night’s sleep is fundamental to family happiness and it is indeed the gateway to the keys to life: health, harmony, and vitality!
On the need for Sleep Revolution
That’s amazing! How do you work with clients?
Sleep Matters…To Everyone! I am on a mission to ensure that no parent endures the pain of sleep-deprivation, overwhelm, and relentless questioning of their self-worth as a parent because they have a child that does not sleep through the night. I expertly guide all these families through my signature guilt-free, gentle sleep coaching process resulting in easy, drama-free bedtimes, peaceful nights, reliable naps, confident parenting, and more marital harmony. My goal is to help parents gently teach their children the “skills of sleep” so that their child has lifelong healthy, sleep habits.
Strategies for a Successful Sleep revolution
Do you have special sleep strategies for children with various conditions( colic, sick, hyperactive, etc)? Do you do special programs with parents for children with various conditions?
As a Gentle Sleep Coach,℠ I’m part of a worldwide network of sleep coaches who partner with pediatricians, doulas, and lactation specialists and other specialists that care and support families. Because every family is unique, my training in infant, baby, and child sleep is comprehensive and ongoing, following the most current science and research in the fields of sleep medicine, child development, and maternal support. I work with families with babies newborn to 6 years of age that have sleep struggles. I always do a full case history assessment to determine if there are underlying medical conditions that are inhibiting the child’s ability to learn the skills of sleep (self-regulating, self-settling and self-soothing.)
If I suspect a medical condition, I do refer out to the aforementioned providers that can help manage the medical condition that is inhibiting optimal sleep patterns. Once the medical condition is managed, the parents can come back to me to work on the behavior modifications necessary to encourage sleep enhancing routines and skills for restorative sleep.
How strong a role does sound/music play in your strategies?
The role of music and sound does have a role in my practice based on the parent’s preference and the temperament of the child. The use of sound/music is determined based on the families individualized sleep plan. Because I work one-on-one with clients, everything in their sleep plan is customized and is directly related to their family values and dynamics and preferences.
How do you typically work with people? What is the best way to reach you?
Blissful Baby Sleep Coaching works with families to expertly “hold their hand” while implementing customized, guilt-free, gentle sleep coaching services (I do not advocate cry-it-out) for children newborn to 6 years of age.
I use proven, evidence-based methods, a unique signature process, and full-service phone and Zoom video conferencing support to help parents tenderly teach the “skills of sleep” to their child resulting in easy and calm bedtimes, quiet, peaceful nights, reliable naps, more confident parenting and marital harmony.
I offer a 30-minute Sleep Strategy Session so parents can talk to me live in a ZOOM video conference so we can dive into the sleep concerns and then parents can gain perspective & insight into their child’s sleep struggles. This is a unique opportunity for concerned parents to talk to a tenured sleep expert to get reliable and accurate information about the right, next best steps to establish healthy sleep habits for their child.
After this conversation, if parents feel they need more support than together, we develop and implement a customized sleep plan to help the child to independently fall asleep and stay asleep. I teach parents how to provide reassuring, parentally supported, gradual change that results in improved sleep habits and a well-rested family. My guilt-free, gentle sleep coaching process is designed to minimize tears and frustration. Gentle sleep coaching promotes good sleep habits and builds a parent-child bond. The sleep plan and pace are customized to the child and to the parenting philosophy. I follow the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for safe sleep practices, so you’re always in good hands. I “hold their hand” by telling parents exactly what to expect and how to attend to your child at bedtime and during night wakings, as well as how to handle naps. During the implementation of the sleep plan, parents benefit from daily phone/zoom coaching from me depending on the support package. I review sleep logs daily in order to evaluate progress and pace and provide step-by-step, day-by-day adjustments. I guide parents through a proven system to increase confidence, consistency, collaboration with your partner, and—ultimately—sleep success.
My website is Blissful Baby Sleep Coaching https://www.blissfulbabysleepcoaching.com.
I can be found on Facebook: at https://www.facebook.com/blissfulbabysleep/
I can be found on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/blissfulbabysleep/
Please contact me at email@example.com or 858-224-3637 if you need any other additional information.
Anything else you want to tell us?
My journey to being a pediatric sleep expert began nearly 9 years ago when I was one of the first 50 Sleep Coaches in the country to be trained and certified in the most comprehensive, cutting-edge training and certification program, the Gentle Sleep Coach program. I have worked hard to grow my knowledge and my client successes and thus I have gone on to be recognized as one of the Top 200 Sleep Consultants in the US by Tuck and I am the Featured Child Sleep Expert in the #1 International Amazon Best Selling Book, The One Thing Every Mom Needs to Know. I am also honored to have been chosen 3 separate times for Red Tricycle‘s Most Awesome Award for Parent Education Classes (2016, 2013, 2012).
I’ve been featured in many publications such as Romper, The Lifestyle Section of More Content Now, Bayou City, Complete Wellbeing magazine and MEL Magazine. I am a featured as a sleep expert on the Parent Savers podcast and was also featured on Engel Jones on 12 Minute Conversations, as well as, ChatZ From the Bridge with Deni Carruth.
While awards and recognition certainly make me feel wonderful, I find the greatest joy in helping my clients reach their sleep goals so that everyone in the family feels well-rested, refreshed, alert, and cheerful.
A word on what you like about Kidskintha?
I am very impressed that your focus is on helping millennial parents adapt to non-stop demands and responsibilities to raising children while at the same time trying to honor being a more conscientious parent by actively seeking information to educate themselves and make informed choices for themselves and their whole family.
I know there is so much conflicting information on the internet about sleep. My goal has always been to be an accurate and reliable resource for families to get information on sleep. I want them to be able to talk to me live in a sleep strategy session so they can understand sleep as it relates to their specific, unique situation. I want to offer them informed choices on how to move forward. I want parents to know they do not have to do “cry-it-out” with their child and that there is hope and help available. I believe it is so important for parents to know they have an alternative choice to make restorative sleep a possibility and priority in their family life.
I am happy there is a parenting site and blog where the conversation is around how to learn and grow as a parent by making informed, conscious choices for themselves and their family.