Abby: Kid’s bedtime routines cause mom to lose sleep

Dear Abby
Jeanne Phillips

Dear Abby: After the birth of our son, “Ricky,” my husband insisted he sleep in our bed with us. When our son was 3, I finally put my foot down. Ricky is now 8, and my husband lies in his bed with him until he falls asleep.

Our daughter, “Julie” was born 2 1/2 years ago. She slept in our bed until she was 1, when I moved her to her own bed. She goes down well on her own, but seems to be more clingy (with me especially) during the day.

By the end of the day I’m exhausted, and I do not want to fall asleep in a kid’s bed. Am I wrong for wanting bedtime without kids?

Sleepy in California

Dear Sleepy: According to Los Angeles pediatrician Faisal Chawla, M.D., children form their sleep habits early: “The longer co-sleeping continues, the more difficult sleeping separately becomes. At 7 or 8 months, babies begin to develop age-appropriate separation anxiety. By the age of 1, a routine is usually set in a child’s mind. By age 2, it becomes very difficult to change the sleeping routine because of the ‘terrible 2s’ temperament that begins.’’

Your husband has done Ricky no favors by continuing to lie beside him until he falls asleep. Your son should have started sleeping alone years ago. A boy his age should be able to go to sleepovers at friends’ houses or away to summer camp without having to worry about sleeping because his dad isn’t there.

Dear Abby: My boss and his wife recently hosted an employee appreciation dinner party at their home. Because of limited space, we were asked not to bring children. However, the invitations did indicate “and guest” (or our spouse’s or significant other’s name, if they knew it).

One of my co-workers, a single woman, asked me if I thought it would be OK if she brought a friend. My interpretation of the invite was that if one co-worker couldn’t bring their teenage child due to space limitations, it wouldn’t be appropriate to bring a casual friend.

Appreciation Dinner

Dear Appreciation: When a host issues an invitation that says “and guest,” it means the host is prepared to accommodate whomever the invitee would like to bring. According to my interpretation, it would be wrong to bring a teenager to an adults-only business-related dinner because the younger person would likely feel out of place. However, bringing a companion along would not be considered a breach of etiquette.

Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.