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Jayne Havens is a certified sleep consultant and the founder of Snooze Fest by Jayne Havens and Center for Pediatric Sleep Management. As a leader in the industry, Jayne advocates for healthy sleep hygiene for children of all ages. Jayne launched her comprehensive sleep consultant certification course so she could train and mentor others to work in this emerging industry.

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Growing a Sleep Consulting Business While Working Part Time as a SLP with Nicole Roth

Growing a Sleep Consulting Business While Working Part Time as a SLP with Nicole Roth


Nicole is a Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant through the Center for Pediatric Sleep Management. Seven years as a Speech Language Pathologist and two kids later, Nicole found that she could combine her love for working with children with her new passion, getting kids to sleep. She enrolled in CPSM and later started her company, City That Sleeps

With a background in Speech Language Pathology, Nicole understands how to meet families where they are and gently guide them to make the progress they desire. Growing a Sleep Consulting Business


On this episode of the Becoming a Sleep Consultant Podcast, Nicole shares:Growing a Sleep Consulting Business

  • How she integrates her knowledge and experience as a SLP into her work as a sleep consultant Growing a Sleep Consulting Business
  • That blocking her time and making routines for herself are the key to juggling both her family and work obligations 
  • That the satisfaction that she gets from helping families is what drives her to work hard to grow her business Growing a Sleep Consulting Business

Links:Growing a Sleep Consulting Business

Website: City That Sleeps
Instagram: @nicole_rothh

If you would like to learn more about the Becoming a Sleep Consultant, please join our free Facebook Group or check out our CPSM Website.

Book a free discovery call to learn how you can become a Certified Sleep Consultant here.


Transcript:Growing a Sleep Consulting Business

Intro: Welcome to Becoming a Sleep Consultant! I’m your host Jayne Havens, a certified sleep consultant and founder of both Snooze Fest by Jayne Havens and Center for Pediatric Sleep Management.

On this podcast, I’ll be discussing the business side of sleep consulting. You’ll have an insider’s view on launching, growing, and even scaling a sleep consulting business. This is not a podcast about sleep training. This is a podcast about business building and entrepreneurship.

Nicole is a Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant through the Center for Pediatric Sleep Management. Seven years as a Speech Language Pathologist and two kids later, Nicole found that she could combine her love for working with children with her new passion, getting kids to sleep. She enrolled in CPSM and later started her company, City That Sleeps.

With a background in Speech Language Pathology, Nicole understands how to meet families where they are and gently guide them to make the progress they desire.

Jayne Havens: Nicole, welcome to the Becoming a Sleep Consultant Podcast. I’m very excited to be having this conversation with you today.

Nicole Roth: Thanks for having me.

Jayne Havens: So before we get started, tell us a little bit about what your life looked like leading up to you becoming a sleep consultant.

Nicole Roth: So before I was a sleep consultant and before I was a mom, I was a speech language pathologist, which I still am. However, I worked full time in an elementary school. So that was like 7 AM to 2:30, five days a week. Then two days a week after school from 3 to 6, I was working at a private practice. So it was super fulfilling but it was so, so hectic and busy. I was just like work, work work.

Then I had my first son, and I decided to only work at the private practice two days a week. So I wound up just kind of having the shift in my work schedule and how much free time I had. Then I got pregnant again with my second, when my first was nine months old, and then entered the two under two life from there.

Jayne Havens: Then you have all of this going on. You have this crazy busy life. You’re working around the clock. You have two under two, and you decided to add ‘Certified Sleep Consultant’ to your resume. How come?

Nicole Roth: Everyone always says like, “You’re so crazy. Two kids — one kid, one on the way. You’re becoming a certified sleep consultant. You’re already a speech pathologist. What are you doing? You’re nuts.” It didn’t feel that nuts at the time. But when I had my first son, I had no formal sleep training. I only had Instagram and whatever everyone was telling me to do. And so I tried the classic one-size-fits-all approach. And it didn’t work.

He was not sleeping, and I was devastated. I missed my old life so much. I missed my sleep. I missed my routine. I missed my schedules. I missed going out with my friends. I felt like I couldn’t do any of that because I had to be back to feed him three times a night. I was going to be so tired if I didn’t also go to sleep at 7 PM. And so I wound up.

My friend had hired a sleep consultant, and I was just complaining to her how hard this felt. He’s eight months old. I wanted him to sleep through the night. At that point, it wasn’t really in the cards for me to hire my own sleep consultant. So she kind of was my support system and gave me her tips and tricks. I wound up getting him to sleep through the night at eight months. It was her support that really was like, “Oh, I can do this for other people. I would love that. I love helping people. That’s what I do for a living. So let’s turn this into another living.” One more thing. Why not?

And then I found out I was pregnant with my younger son, and I knew that there was a maternity leave, another maternity leave on the horizon. I decided like this, what better time? A new little baby that I can sleep shape. I’m going to do it right this time. So I went for it. I said to myself, “You know you’re going to be certified before this kid comes out. So when he comes out, you do all the things you learned. See if it actually works.

Obviously, lo and behold, it does work. He slept through the night like a perfect little angel by eight weeks. Then I was like “Yeah, let’s get this thing going.” I started my business. He was born in mid-November. And by mid-December, I had my first-paying client. So that’s crazy. But here we are. It’s another thing on my resume, a certified sleep consultant.

Jayne Havens: Let’s shift gears a little bit. I want to talk about your connection in speech language pathology, and then also as a sleep consultant. How does that all connect? Where does it all come together for you, your work that you were doing before you started sleep consulting? How does that relate to the work that you’re doing now?

Nicole Roth: Just in general, working with parents is like just, as you know, such a sensitive time in your life. So I take what I know from working with parents and I translate that to all of my clients, like how I’m talking to them how I’m presenting information gently, not judgmental. So that’s like a huge piece.

But in terms of actual speech language pathology, the toddler crowd and sleep, it’s all language. I actually added a part of my questionnaire that I use with my older kids basically exactly what I ask for a speech client on an evaluation. What is their expressive language like? How do they communicate with you? Do they use words? Are they a visual learner? Do they use pictures? Do they use an AAC device? Are they non-verbal? Then what’s the receptive language like? These are really important because we’re talking about toddler sleep and preschool sleep.

It’s usually like having them understand. This is the routine. This is what comes next. This is what I expect of you. If they don’t understand that, because whether they’re neurodivergent or even if they are neurotypical, how are we getting through to this kid? We’re getting through to them with language. I think it’s such an important component.

Now when I have my toddler preschool questionnaires or I’m talking to them on an intake call, I’m always asking these questions. And parents are so surprised. I’m like, “Oh, yeah, I’m a speech pathologists. I have to ask about this stuff.” Then based on their responses, that’s how I’m creating my plan for them. Maybe I’m helping them make a visual board. Maybe I’m making them make a picture schedule. Maybe they just are verbal, and I can just talk to them all day about it. Based on their answers is how I’m setting them up for success, I guess.

Jayne Havens: I love that. I’ve actually started doing a lot of that myself. I’m working a lot with older kids recently like two and up, which I just love. When I first started as a sleep consultant, I was terrified of this age group. And now I actually prefer like 3, 4, 5, 6, 7-year-olds.

One thing I’m always talking to parents about is that their children understand. Even if they can’t communicate at a very young age — especially with first time parents, I think a lot of first time parents are undermining their child’s receptive language capabilities — starting at a pretty young age, most children, one and up, I think one year olds, they understand mostly everything. And if they don’t, then talking to them about it is what’s going to help them to understand in the future.

A lot of parents with 14-month-olds aren’t explaining things to their babies. When you start narrating the day and what’s going to happen at bedtime — we’re going to do this and then we’re going to do that. Then we’re going to do that, and then we’re going to put you into the crib. You’re going to take deep breaths — all of these things, even if they don’t understand it, that’s how they will understand it in the coming months. It’s so important, the communication piece.

Nicole Roth: It’s so important. Well, you said about the receptive language. When we think about expressive and receptive language, by one, we expect kids to have their first words. To have their first words, you have to understand them, right? So our receptive language is always so much greater than our expressive language. It’s hard when you’re not in this field to look at this little thing that could only say mama and dada, and be like, “They don’t know what’s going on.” But they do. Talking to them even at 12 months old is so important.

Like you said, the only way to teach them is exposure. So you have to be talking to them early on. I say this to parents, and they’re probably rolling their eyes. Like, “This girl is crazy. He is 13 months. He has no idea.” But he does.

Then just something that came to mind was like sign. We’re all about, “Teach your kids baby sign. Teach them the sign for tired. Teach them the sign for more and things that are really applicable to bedtime to limit frustration.” So we talk about that a lot too, which I think is another thing. We think about sign around mealtime. We don’t think about it about bedtime, but it’s so important. So yeah, like you said, they understand a lot more than we think they do. We can teach them a lot too. So it’s super, super important. There’s a huge link here that I think is missing sometimes.

Jayne Havens: Yeah, I love that you’re using your expertise in that area to really serve your sleep clients at a higher level. It’s fabulous.

Nicole Roth: Thanks.

Jayne Havens: One of the objections that I hear most often from those that are interested in this line of work is that they just don’t have enough time. I’m wondering what your thoughts on this are as someone that has a really full plate and a really hectic schedule.

Nicole Roth: There just isn’t enough time in the day ever. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. It’s hard. Being just a mom is hard. Being just a professional is hard. Then mix the two together, it is hard. I think acknowledging that it’s hard helps me. I talk about this all the time to all of my friends. It’s okay that it feels hard. It should feel hard. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it. We can do hard things.

Like I said before, I’m a creature of habit. I love routine so I just make a routine for myself. I’m like, okay, from this time to this time, it’s the time that I check my emails and do my marketing for sleep. I’m at work for speech from this time to this time. That’s my speech time. And this is my kid time. So I really try to compartmentalize my day and just have dedicated time that I do my things. Weekends, I use them. When my husband’s home and he can entertain the kids, I’ll sneak upstairs and get my me time, which is really going through Facebook and answering questions and doing my marketing.

So yeah, I’m not going to say it’s easy. But a lot of reminders on my phone, my calendar and then just carving out time for each of my things. I don’t work a full-time job as my profession, if you will. That helps. But even if I did work a full-time job, I think it would still be the same. I mean, being a mom is a full-time job. It’s just having that routine in making sure you set up your day in a way that you can fit in all your stuff. Make a to-do list. It’s so helpful for me. As you know, it’s not easy. But it’s worth it. This gives us so much flexibility. And I love that I have that flexibility now.

Jayne Havens: You and I are talking face to face. We’re watching each other on Zoom, but everybody’s going to be listening to this in an AirPod, in their ear or whatever. What I’m thinking is when I’m watching you answer that question, just like your whole face lit up. You were so excited and thrilled to have this full busy life.

To me, it seems like you’re enjoying every aspect of it. You love your speech work. You love your sleep consulting work. You love being with your children. To me, it looks like you’re filling your life with things that fill your cup, make you happy, serve you and your family. It’s very clearly work that you want to be doing. I think that that is really important. Because a lot of people who work full time or part time who are interested in having a side hustle, whether that be sleep consulting or something else, I think sometimes people jump into something because they want to make some extra money, or because they — I don’t know, whatever the reason may be.

I think at the end of the day, to some degree, in order to be successful, you have to enjoy it to some degree. Not everything is puppies and rainbows. Not everything is fun all the time. But I think you have to be passionate about it, and you have to love your work. Because we already have so much other stuff going on. If you didn’t love supporting families through sleep training, you probably wouldn’t do it because you have other stuff to do, right?

Nicole Roth: Yeah.

Jayne Havens: I don’t know. I can just see that sort of exuding through your facial expressions and your mannerisms that you get excited to do this work. I think that that’s a huge component of it.

Nicole Roth: Yeah, I really do. I’m obsessed with sleep. Like I said, since my first son was born, it really changes your whole life. Every single time I have a new client, they’re like, “Oh, this one is different.” I’m like, okay, that’s what they all say. Then you just watch their life transform in front of you. It feels so easy for me to do now. For them, it’s life changing. I live that way for eight months — stuck in this rut where I wasn’t myself, and I couldn’t have any time for myself. I love pulling people out of that now.

Every time I get a new client, I’m so excited. I actually feel so much more joy getting a new sleep client than I do a new speech client, because it’s immediate. For speech, it’s amazing. It’s incredible work, but it can take years to see improvement. This is like instant gratification. It’s just awesome. So I love it.

Jayne Havens: I feel that way, too. I feel that way too with my sleep clients. I just love what I do because I can transform somebody’s life. An entire family dynamic, I can change in usually two weeks or less. It’s just the greatest feeling in the world. It never gets old.

I just wrapped up with a family that was in such turmoil before they started with me. They have a little three-year-old. Their whole family dynamic was entirely upside down. They hired me for sleep struggles. But really, it was so much bigger than that. I just had my wrap-up call earlier today. They just were profusely thanking me for teaching them how to have a better relationship with their child, and how to parent in a way that feels just better for their entire household.

It was just so amazing to see this transformation that happened. I mean, it happened in less than 14 days. We just happened to wrap up today. But we improved things in probably six or seven days. Then the rest of the time was just spent being excited about how great things are. How amazing is that? That’s where our business grows from. Because I know that this family will share my name with their friends who are struggling. I just love that I was able to have such a positive impact on their lives. It never gets old, right?

Nicole Roth: It never gets old. Yeah, I love it every time — the satisfaction I feel when you get on that wrap up call and they’re so happy. You just hear the difference in the mom or dad’s voice also. You’re like, you made it. This is awesome. We’d help them with that, and it just feels awesome.

Jayne Havens: Yeah, I think for many of us, we get into this line of work obviously not for the money but because we’re passionate. As you said, we’re passionate about sleep and healthy sleep hygiene for children. But at the end of the day, this is our business. It’s our livelihood. Our time is valuable. We have kids. Some of us have other jobs. We’re already spread a little bit thin sometimes. I’m wondering if you have any goals set for yourself either in the near future or down the road, or do you just sort of take it day by day and enjoy the ride?

Nicole Roth: In the beginning, I got really caught up in goals. My husband is in finance so he’s like, “Let’s look at this spreadsheet and see what you want to make this year.” I got so caught up in that. I was like kind of obsessing over it. I would be really down when I had a low month. I wanted to move away more from, like you said, the money aspect of it. I’m not necessarily doing it for the money. So why am I obsessed with how much I’m making this year?

But I now shifted gears to where — so I live in Long Island City of Queens which is one stop out of Manhattan. You look out my window, and you see the skyline. So you’re like in New York City, but the Long Island City is such a small town feel. It’s basically like you feel like you live in the suburbs.

My recent goal the past few months has been just to really become a community name. I don’t know any other sleep consultants that live in Long Island City. I feel like I’m one of the only ones. The speech practice I work at is also in Long Island City. So my new goal is to really become like a community neighborhood name. So when anyone is walking around Long Island City and talking about that their kid is not sleeping, or maybe their kid is not speaking, who do you go to? I want to be that person.

You walk around here, and the guy at the bagel place knows your kids’ names. You always see someone when you’re out. While it’s a big city, I really want that in this little subset, this little community, to be the name that everyone says. So I’ve been hanging my little posters at the massage place, the nail salon where I know a lot of moms go, in my speech practice.

That’s my new goal: to just be the name by the end of the year. Like, “Oh, your kid struggling? City that Sleeps. Nicole Roth.” So fingers crossed. I feel like I’m getting a lot of traction. Summer is kind of slow because everyone’s on vacation, or camp, or whatever. So now it’s really ramping up the marketing around this area specifically.

Jayne Havens: I love that. I think that’s totally possible for you. I love that you’re saying by the end of the year — we’re in the summer now — taking the second half of the year to really ramp up your connecting and marketing. Just making those one-to-one connections with as many people as possible is going to be very fruitful down the road. Whenever I make a conscious decision to work on that, I always see the fruits of my labor. It’s just you have to make the decision to actually work on it. And when you do, it always comes back around. So I think that’s a great thing to be working on.

Nicole Roth: Yeah, it’s so true. I had this idea when I first started to do these free webinars, where I would have soon-to-be moms or new moms. I would just do like a sleep shaping webinar. Like, “This is what you could do right now in the 0-to-12-week span.” I set it and I just did it. Then I did my first one, and then I did my second one, and my third one.

Now I do it once or twice a month through these groups. They’re not even just from New York City; they’re from everywhere. But it was the same thing. I just said, okay, let’s just do this. Then I did it and now I love it. So yeah, putting more fliers around and getting my name out there more. I say it and then I just got to go out and do it. It feels good to get things moving for the second half of the year.

Jayne Havens: Perfect. For those listening, where can they connect with you? Do you have a website? Do you have social media?

Nicole Roth: I have a website citythatsleeps.com. City like C-I-T-Y. City that sleeps. Because we’re in the city that never sleeps apparently. But I like to sleep. So that’s where that came from. I don’t have social media specific to my sleep consulting. But I am public, which is @nicole_rothh — because the other one is taken — where I do share some sleep tips and some reviews that I’ve gotten from families. So you can follow me there.

Jayne Havens: Perfect. Nicole, thank you for having this conversation with me today. I can’t wait for everybody to hear your story.

Nicole Roth: Yes, thanks for having me.

Outro: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Becoming a Sleep Consultant Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, it would mean so much to me if you would rate, review, and subscribe. When you rate, review, and subscribe, this helps the podcast reach a greater audience. I am so grateful for your support.

If you would like to learn more about how you can become a certified sleep consultant, head over to my Facebook Group, Becoming a Sleep Consultant or to my website thecpsm.com. Thanks so much, and I hope you will tune in for the next episode. Growing a Sleep Consulting Business

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