Jennifer Waldburger and Jill Spivack, Co-Founders

Our story

 

It all began in the rental office one fall semester at college, when we were both looking for a roommate. Even though we were total strangers, we somehow decided right then and there to live together. In the days that followed, it felt like we'd been sisters in a past life - we started talking and never stopped! We also perfected our sleep skills back in those days, though Jill set the bar pretty high with 14 hours at a stretch on the regular.

Flash forward to 10 years later: Jill was living in New York and Jen in Chicago, both of us working with families as master's-level clinicians. But Jill's then 8-month-old baby, Jake, was a terrible sleeper; this little apple fell pretty darn far from the tree! Being the ultimate self-described "wimpy mommy" who couldn't stand to hear Jake make a single peep, Jill found herself rushing to his side all through the night. Exhausted and overwhelmed, she finally got help from a local parenting center - and lo and behold, Jake began sleeping 11-hour stretches. Life as a mom changed dramatically, becoming much more functional and fun.

Meanwhile, Jen had been busy studying mindfulness, self-regulation, and a vast array of holistic practices, and became fascinated with the integration of spirit, mind and body. As she began weaving these teachings into her work with families, she saw how powerfully babies and children respond to both stress and calm in their family environment. Jen set out on a mission to educate families about the simple practices kids and parents can learn to surf the waves of emotion and sensation in daily life, allowing each family member to be more present and responsive (vs. reactive) and to bring their best self forward.

Both Jill and Jen ended up moving to Los Angeles, and we not only rekindled our friendship but also decided to join forces professionally as business partners.

Having seen too many parents turned upside-down in their parenting journey, we developed a fierce passion for supporting families from every conceivable angle - from children's sleep and a mom's transition to parenthood to child behavior, the couple relationship, and more - so that no parent ever feels alone and overwhelmed. In both our parenting groups and private sessions, there is no topic related to family life - or life in general for that matter! - that's off limits. Navigating family living and relationships well is one of the most important things we can do; it's the legacy we leave not only to our own children but to our entire extended families, the communiites in which we live, and the planet.

Who could have predicted that two young college roommates would one day build our very own company, and establish a brand-new field for pediatric behavioral sleep consultations? We couldn't be more proud of what we've created together, including our growing practice with an amazing team; a bestselling book, The Sleepeasy Solution; our new collaboration with Owlet, a digital interactive sleep program called the Dream Lab; our appearances on media outlets such as Good Morning America, the Today Show, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times; and our contributions as consultants and producers for the Jim Henson Company / PBS Sprout and Comcast.

Whether you're trying to help your child learn how to sleep, understand her needs and behavior, or deal with your own emotional triggers as a mom or dad, our aim at Sleepy Planet Parenting is to shine light on the places where you're feeling stuck, helping you find new perspectives and solutions that make sense for you and your family. There is no one right way to parent, but there is a right way for you, and we'll help you find it - just as we have for thousands of parents over the last 20+ years.

We look forward to helping you nurture a family whose members are loving,  authentic, and self-aware - who deeply honor and value both themselves and others - and who, individually and together, carry a great light into this world.

With love and gratitude,

Jill and Jen

Our Team

Jill Spivack, LCSW

 

Jill is a licensed psychotherapist who earned her masters degree at the University of Southern California and completed a post-graduate fellowship as a family therapist at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Prior to co-founding Sleepy Planet Parenting, Jill worked as a couples and family therapist and group leader at the Soho Parenting Center in New York City. Jill meets with parents in her private practice and in groups to help them to raise their children with love, consciousness and clarity. Jill lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two children and her awesome dog.

Jennifer Waldburger, MSW

 

Jennifer earned her master's degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she contributed to research with the Mayo Clinic. She offers private sessions for sleep and other subjects related to family living, parenting groups, and talks on a wide variety of topics. Jennifer's work integrates both her background in psychotherapy and a deep focus on mindfulness, neuroscience, self-regulation, resiliency, and holistic practices. Coauthor of Calm Mama, Happy Baby and co-director of Mindfulness at several schools, Jennifer's passion is helping both adults and kids to cultivate authentic, heart-centered connection in families and schools.

Randi Singer, MA, MS, LMFT

 

Randi completed her graduate work at the University of Houston and Pacific Graduate School. Over the last 20 years, she has worked with clients and families at the VA and Didi Hirsch in  Los Angeles, as well as in private practice as a psychotherapist. Randi helped her two children learn how to be wonderful sleepers, and as a sleep consultant now greatly enjoys helping other parents and families get the rest they need as well.

Hillary Goldscher, PsyD, MBA

 

Hillary is a mom of two young sons, and is a clinical psychologist specializing in parenting as well as in treating depression/anxiety, the couple relatioship, trauma, and eating disorders. Both in her private sessions and as a parenting group leader, Hillary’s greatest passion is helping families navigate the complex, vulnerable, and beautiful journey of parenthood. Hillary is a renowned expert in the psychology community, appearing regularly in a variety of media outlets, including Fox, CNN and the Dr. Drew show. She is also a regular contributor to several publications, including Self (online), Yahoo, and Fox News.

Hayden Victor, LMFT

 

Hayden, a mother of three who grew up in Los Angeles, earned her master’s degree in marriage and family therapy at USC. As a therapist, teacher and child adovcate, she has been working with children and families since 2003, including at UCLA's Neuropsychiatric Institute, The Help Group, Crossroads, and Pepperdine Counseling Center. Since becoming a mom, Hayden has shifted her passion and focus to helping moms and dads navigate the joys and challenges of family living, leading parenting groups at Piper Preschool. She is currently completing her doctorate degree in clinical psychology at Pepperdine.

Jessica Goodkin, BA - Group Coordinator

 

Jessica received her undergradutate degree in psychology at the University of Washington and is now a student at USC getting her master's in social work. Jessica, who has been working with kids since she was 16, also works at Crestwood Preschool as a substitute teacher and as a classroom assistant in their toddler program. In both her graduate studies and her roles at Sleepy Planet Parenting and Crestwood, Jessica loves learning about the intricacies of family relationships and dynamics. 

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