Do you have an action plan if your child needs immediate emergency care?

What if your mama gut instinct contradicts the specialist you are consulting with?

And if your kid gets hurt, should you really drive to a children’s hospital if it’s further away than the good hospital down the street?

Dr. Kurt Newman, CEO of one of the top children’s hospitals in the country and pediatric surgeon extraordinaire, shares life lessons and life-saving tips from his new memoir Healing Children: A Surgeon’s Stories from the Frontiers of Pediatric Medicine (Penguin Random House, June 2017).

For generations, our esteemed guest has healed children, empowered families, and improved the pediatric medical system. Your heart will melt from the lesson he shares from a date night gone wrong with his future wife. And you’ll get revved up when we discuss how the proposed health care plan directly effects children in this country.

No matter your kids’ ages, this episode will make you a better mama bear when they need you most!

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Atomic Moms Podcast | Host Ellie Knaus | Motherhood |


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And in case you were wondering if we have the most QUALIFIED GUESTS ON THE PLANET on Atomic Moms, we do. Here is Dr. Kurt Newman’s Bio:

Kurt Newman, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer, is a surgeon and a recognized leader on pediatric health issues, nationally and in Washington, D.C.

Since becoming CEO in 2011, he has fostered a culture committed to advancing care and research by putting patients first and actively championed innovations in research, operations, and clinical care. He has forged creative and productive partnerships with other health systems in the region, with government and community entities and with industry, at the local, national, and global level. He is also a strong advocate for expanding mental health access for kids and has led two national forums on this issue.

Dr. Newman joined Children’s National as a surgical fellow in 1984, becoming the Surgeon-In-Chief and Senior Vice President for the Joseph E. Robert, Jr. Center for Surgical Care in 2003. He was instrumental in developing the vision for the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National, inspired by the audacious goal of making surgery for children minimally invasive and pain free. When the Institute was made possible in 2009 through a transformational $150 Million gift, Dr. Newman served as its Founding Vice President.

Currently Dr. Newman serves as the Chair of the Children’s Hospital Association Leadership Committee on Advocacy and Policy and as a member of the Board of Trustees. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the District of Columbia Hospital Association and a member of the Commonwealth Council on Childhood Success in Virginia. In addition, Dr. Newman serves on the Board of the Economic Club of Washington, Greater Washington Board of Trade, Federal City Council, DC Chamber of Commerce, and Fight for Children. Previously, he served as a Board Member of Commissioners of The Joint Commission, a member of the Board of Governors of the American Pediatric Surgical Association, and as Chair of the Surgery Section of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dr. Newman is a Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Public Health. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received his medical education at Duke University. He completed his surgical residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and also served as the Arthur Tracy Cabot Fellow at Harvard Medical School.

He is the author of Healing Children: A Surgeon’s Stories from the Frontiers of Pediatric Medicine by Penguin Random House.

With hundreds of thousands of readers, JANNELLE HANCHETT is a force of nature, fearless in her authentic viewpoint, her hilarious trucker mouth, and deep-rooted connection to what matters in life. This mother of 4 has had her writing featured in Brain, ChildUnworthy, and Scary Mommy, among others. For those Renegade Mothering | Janelle Hanchett : Mom Friends, Parenting Styles, Addiction | Atomic Moms podcast | Host Ellie Knaus | Motherhood |of you in search of your own mom squad, we talk to Janelle about her viral blog: “The No-Bullshit, No-Drama Friendship Manifesto”, the unspoken understanding between best mom friends, and how to cultivate your ultimate mom support system. We also share why neither of us has chosen a definitive parenting style (or parenting team) and how whenever we think we’ve figured out something as a parent or take parenting credit (lets say for our kid sleeping well, or our pregnancy going smoothly), we end up having to make adjustments or swallow humble pie with the next kid. Most importantly, Janelle opens up about her struggle as a young alcoholic mother as revealed in her essay, “We Don’t Start with Needles in our Arms“. If you know anyone touched by addiction – and honestly, who hasn’t been? – I urge you to hear what she shares on this podcast.
Love, Ellie Knaus 
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Atomic Moms Podcast | Host Ellie Knaus | Motherhood |

10 Minute Meditation for Moms | Jennifer Waldburger | Atomic Moms | Host Ellie Knaus | Motherhood | Parenting |

Need a mama recharge? Jennifer Waldburger’s voice is so soothing in this “mama and baby meditation” it’ll work wonders for you with or without baby. Our recording together was perfectly timed for me because we’ve upped the ante on my bed rest. No more lifting anything, minimal physical movement, and they’ve taken away my car keys! This challenge is giving me a sneak peak of my upcoming Tour de Babyland. You know those hours when you think you should be getting a ton accomplished but you do not have the energy, and there’s no one to talk to but the crazy voices in your head? WELL…this short meditation for moms with young children and babies will help us reconnect with our children and ourselves and regain our serenity (or at least some of our sanity). It’s helping me tremendously and I’m not even doing it with a baby. I just visualize Sabrina at preschool or the little one rocking out in my tummy. xx Ellie

P.S. Get excited! Upcoming podcasts for June include interviews with top child development expert Dr. Harvey Karp (too many books to name) and tips that could save our children’s lives from leading pediatric surgeon Dr. Kurt Newman (HEALING CHILDREN, Penguin Random House). So don’t forget to subscribe!

Atomic Moms Podcast | Host Ellie Knaus | Motherhood |

Calm Mama, Happy Baby | 10 Minute Meditation for Moms | Jennifer Waldburger | Atomic Moms Podcast | Host Ellie Knaus |About our Guest:
“Jen Waldburger, MSW, and co-founder of Sleepy Planet Parenting and co-director of the Mindfulness program at Stephen S. Wise School. Coauthor of the award-winning book The Sleepeasy Solution and Calm Mama, Happy Baby, she has worked with adults, children and families for more than 20 years.”

Waldburger has been our Atomic Moms go-to expert on “Sleep Learning” for our children ages 0-5 and our two part series on “Separation Anxiety”.




10 Minute Meditation for Moms | Jennifer Waldburger | Atomic Moms | Host Ellie Knaus | Evenflow app |

Check out this Meditation App featuring Jen Waldburger:
Atomic Moms Listeners can use code EVENFLOW2017 to get a free trial month!

Let’s chat on social media: Instagram: @atomicmoms, Twitter: @atomicmoms,

Calling all infant, co-sleeper, toddler, and preschooler moms! World renowned parenting expert Jennifer Waldburger ( shares decades of expertise helping families get their zzz’s and regain their sanity. With her gentle and compassionate approach, practical advice, and no judgment attitude, Jen helps us debunk sleep training myths and answers all my questions when it comes to ages 0-5. Atomic Moms listeners still thank us for our first “sleep learning” podcast conversation with Jen two years ago so we figured it was about time for an update!

Atomic Moms Podcast | Host Ellie Knaus | Motherhood |

Wanna listen on the road or on a walk? Download at

In #131, we debunk mega sleep training myths and get important answers.

Where should newborns sleep?

What’s the deal with that new American Academy of Pediatrics first year room sharing recommendation?

What’s the biggest mistake you can make in the early months?

Why the 4 month sleep regression?

How can families transition out of co-sleeping with older children?

When should you ditch the crib if they’re not climbing out of it?

How do you convince a toddler to stay in his own bed?

Are toddler beds worth the cost?

And how do you juggle a new baby and an older sibling when it comes to bedtime?

As always, we cover a lot of ground! I cannot wait for you all to hear all of Jen’s answers and this week’s #mombomb.
x Ellie Knaus

For more information, support and sleep schedules, check out:

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Here’s our first podcast with Jennifer Waldburger:

Here’s our podcast with SleepyPlanet co-founder Jill Spivack and cast of Bravo TV’s There Goes the Motherhood:

About our Guest:

Jennifer Waldburger, MSW, earned her master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she contributed to research with the Mayo Clinic. Jennifer has been working with children and families for more than 20 years, offering private sessions and classes that incorporate mindfulness and holistic practices gathered over 25 years of study on these subjects. She is co-director of the Mindfulness program at Stephen S. Wise School in Los Angeles, serving administrators, teachers, parents, and kids. Jennifer’s passion is to help families to create a loving, peaceful environment in which both kids and parents can thrive.

Co-creators of the award-winning book and DVD The Sleepeasy Solution, Jill Spivack and Jennifer have been featured in a wide variety of media, including Good Morning America, the Today show, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, CBS Evening News, the Chicago Tribune, People, Variety, Parenting, Fit Pregnancy, and the Hollywood Reporter. They are consultants for the hit TV show “The Pajanimals,”  a joint production with the Jim Henson Company and PBS Sprout.

Atomic Moms Podcast | Host Ellie Knaus | Motherhood |
Wanna listen on the road or on a walk? Download at

Funny work-from-home dads & best friends screenwriters Joe Ballarini and Adam Sztykiel (my husband) riff on:

  • how fatherhood has changed them
  • how much us moms scare them
  • and how they’d man-handle the apocalypse (God help us all!).

We also share:

  • Sabrina’s latest antics (!!!)
  • the dads’ opposing views on “maternal gatekeeping”
  • marriage after kids
  • Joe’s epic Dad-urdays with his adorable, half British baby Theo
  • and what they hope to remember most about these intense early years of parenting.

Plus, we talk about the inception of Joe’s brand new middle grade novel series, A BABYSITTER’S GUIDE TO MONSTER HUNTING (published by fancy pants Harper Collins), the first of which will be released this June. Expect to see it in theaters as well, as Montecito Picture Company and Walden Films are producing Ballarini’s film adaptation.

I’m so proud to report that it has fantastically written, funny, and super empowered female leads (#girlpower!), and I cannot wait for Sabrina to be old enough to read it.

Here’s an #atomicmoms parenting question to chew over: would you feel comfortable leaving your child sleeping in a hotel room if you stayed on the premises and had a monitor? Share on instagram (@atomicmoms) and our “Atomic Moms” Facebook page.

Subscribe on! It really helps out our free, self-produced show.


And support the pod by clicking on this link to check out the coolest MOM BED you’ve ever seen:

Moms Need Sleep | Reverie Bed | Atomic Moms Podcast | Host Ellie Knaus |



Joe is a writer on the feature film MY LITTLE PONY: The Movie for Hasbro Studios. He is writing SKYWARD, the true story of two families who escaped East Germany in a hot air balloon for 20th Century Fox with Karen Rosenfelt producing. Michael Keaton is starring in his screenplay IMAGINE AGENTS for 20th Century Fox, produced by SPOTLIGHT’S Michael Sugar. Joe has been hired to adapt the novel, CHARLIE PARIS, for Fox 2000 with Walt Becker directing. He also adapted the graphic novel CARDBOARD for Blue Sky Animation which will be directed by Chris Wedge. Sam Raimi’s Ghost House Entertainment and Lionsgate released Ballarini’s horror comedy DANCE OF THE DEAD, which Joe wrote and directed second unit. New Line Cinema commissioned Ballarini to write the epic MERLIN TRILOGY with Offspring Entertainment producing. Walden Media hired Ballarini to write ATLANTIS with Shawn Levy producing and Dean Parisot directing. Michael Bay and Benderspink are producing his found-footage horror spec, LOCKDOWN AT FRANKLIN HIGH, which Ballarini wrote and sold to Sony Pictures with Federico D’Allessandro directing.  Ballarini wrote and directed episodes of THE ROPES for Netflix which Vin Diesel produced. New Regency commissioned Ballarini to write the biblical epic, THE NATIVITY.
Ballarini wrote for 20th Century Fox Animation’s ICE AGE 4 and EPIC. He also wrote TURBO for Dreamworks Animation.  MODERN FAMILY’S Eric Stonestreet starred in Ballarini’s feature directorial debut FATHER VS SON, produced by Huffington Post co-founder, Michael Huffington. Jerry Bruckheimer purchased Ballarini’s original spec THE RESIDENCE about a paranormalist hired to investigate a haunting in the White House.  Ballarini adapted the science-fiction graphic novel MAINTENANCE for McG to direct and Warner Brothers. Miramax purchased Ballarini’s original spy thriller SPY NEXT DOOR.  Joe is also left-handed.