An Interview with Emma Jackson, Sleep Coach of Your Healthy Dreamer
Over the course of my career as a newborn, baby, and family photographer I have learned a lot. This includes lots of tips and tricks to help newborns fall asleep for a session. But the hard work was really and truly on the parents. And I learned that very well after the birth of my twin girls! Sleep management is integral to a happy, healthy life, starting from birth. I am so happy to be able to meet some amazing people. Including those who work to help families and babies with sleep! From doulas, to sleep consultant and coaches, and more, I have met many wonderful resources.
One of these fantastic people is Emma Jackson from Your Healthy Dreamer. She is a certified child sleep consultant and coach. As well as being a mom of two and a licensed physical therapist. Emma was nice enough to answer some of my questions. She was also nice enough to offer my clients a discount code for her services! If you have a child between the ages of 4 months and 5 years and are having difficulty creating healthy and lasting sleep habits, reach out to Emma and tell her I sent you!
What first made you interested in becoming a sleep consultant?
I have always been one of those people that just loves sleep. There is nothing like being in a cozy bed after a long day and then waking up in the morning well rested. Early motherhood was amazing in so many ways, but nothing prepared me for the intense sleep deprivation! It became my mission to learn how to help my first baby learn to sleep well for my own mental and physical well being. Once my own baby was sleeping well, I finally felt like myself again! I enjoyed the time I spent with my daughter even more, and I actually felt like a much better parent. Having some mental and physical energy to draw from seems to have that effect! Soon after, I was simply inspired to learn more about how to help other families enjoy the many benefits of regular, healthy sleep as well.
What is the most rewarding part of your experience as a sleep consultant?
The most rewarding part of any job I have ever had is helping people, and being a sleep consultant is no different. It feels amazing to have the knowledge, skill, and tools to calm parents’ fears and explain how their unique and usually strong willed little one can learn to fall asleep easily, sleep soundly through the night, wake at an appropriate hour, and take long predictable naps each day. I love that I can work with a range of parenting styles and family dynamics and come up with a sleep plan that is easy to follow, always kind to the child, biologically appropriate, and extremely effective.
And the most challenging?
The most challenging part of my job is holding my own boundaries between my personal life and my work life. I care so much about each family I work with and often can’t help but check the digital sleep logs to see if there are any updates first thing in the morning or during breakfast with my kids. I’ve learned that it helps me to be a better parent in my personal life if I make sure to only check on the family’s I’m working with during my set work hours, and focus on the here and now when I’m with my family. Easier said than done!
How has being a mom changed your outlook and how do you use that in your work?
Being a mom has made me a more compassionate, kind, and patient person. Those are traits that feel necessary as a parent, but also when working with other parents who are so full of love for their child, but are also exhausted and oftentimes feeling hopeless about improving sleep. Many of the parents I work with already feel like they have tried it all and are at the end of their rope. It can be an emotionally charged process for some parents, and I completely understand. I have so much compassion for those tired parents, and compassion for their little ones who are so ready to lean into sleep but just need to be shown how in a way that makes sense. This is why I put so much thought and time into working with each family, and aim to create plans and provide support that reflect each family’s unique situation and needs.
What would you like parents to know about you and your work as a sleep consultant?
I would like them to know how much I care! My heart goes out to every parent out there that cares for their child and wants the best for them. This often involves wanting them to sleep well, but also to feel loved and safe at the same time. This is why I use a heavy emphasis on sleep science when creating my plans. This is where the “magic” comes from. I combine sleep science with a personalized approach to meet the goals and logistics of each family I work with along with daily support as they reach their goals. This leads to very positive results!
What can they expect when they work with you?
When working with me, expect to have a very effective sleep plan that has been fully customized for your child and your situation. You can expect to feel like you’re part of a team with me as the sleep expert, and you as the expert on your child. You can expect to feel well supported along the way, and to finish up with a good understanding of how to move forward and maintain healthy sleep habits over the course of the next few months and even years. Most parents end up wishing they had decided to work with me sooner – but the best time to work with a sleep consultant is exactly when you feel ready. It’s never too late to improve healthy sleep habits, and all children are capable of healthy sleep. Even yours 🙂
What are three words you would use to describe your job?
Rewarding, interesting, and valuable!
Thank you so much Emma for allowing us to feature you on our blog. And thank you for all the wonderful work you do with parents and children!
Crabapple Photography is a boutique, full service baby, child and family photo studio. We are located in Andover MA and serve clients from around the area. We serve clients from Boston, to the North Shore, to southern New Hampshire and beyond. Contact Kate today to book your session!