As I'm feeling much more positive now my anti depressant medication is at the right level, I decided it was time to tackle one of the biggest causes of my depression - lack of sleep due to Princess Lollipop!! We had to make changes to our sleeping arrangements anyway, as when LMS moved back in she brought her super king size bed with her! We put that in our room, which meant there was no more room for the co-sleeping cot, and Princess Lollipop would have to get used to sleeping in her new Princess Bed.
I made an appointment with the Health Visitor, not expecting her to be much help as I've found them unsympathetic, and lacking in knowledge or understanding of adoption and attachment issues (which I feel are the main reason for Princess Lollipop's insecurities during the night). However, I was very pleasantly surprised to find none of this was true and the Health Visitor was VERY helpful and understanding :-) She understood my wish to take things slowly at a pace Princess Lollipop can cope with, and made some great suggestions to accommodate this.
We are going to take things slowly and move forward with baby steps. The first step is to get Princess Lollipop to fall asleep in her own bed and to use a Sticker Chart to reinforce her achievements. Unfortunately the day after the Health Visitor's visit Princess Lollipop came down with a bug and I had to delay starting the new regime. Once she'd recovered from the high temperatures and started to eat and drink again, I took her to the Doctor about her constant night time cough and noisy breathing. He prescribed an antihistamine to see if its allergies/hay fever causing the symptoms and it worked, almost immediately. The difference is astonishing, instead of snoring like an old man, or waking up choking as she can't breath through her nose and is sucking her thumb, she slept quietly and soundly :-) The next problem we are battling with is a reoccurance of her constipation and total reluctance to allow anything to pass (as it hurts) which makes it hurt even more :-( I started her back on her Lactulose and that has helped a little, but she is still waking in the night and screaming and flailing for hours, me and Mr Messy are exhausted :-( So I'm renewing her prescription for Senakot and putting her back on that while we clear this "blockage" it worked last time and once she has a few normal poos with no pain she will be fine again. And hopefully we'll all be able to sleep!!
However, despite all of this I started the first step on the way to ending co-sleeping, getting Princess Lollipop to fall asleep in her own bed. She protested by shouting and shrieking loudly, but I still lay her down in her Princess Bed and then lay on the spare cot bed mattress on the floor next to her bed and let her scratch/stroke my arm (which is how she soothes herself to sleep). In spite of all the loud protests she fell asleep within about five minutes. Unfortunately due to the constipation she didn't stay asleep long, and I had to settle her twice more before giving up and getting into bed myself. Then when Mr Messy came up later she woke up and refused to stay in her bed and spent the night writhing, screaming, kicking and flailing around in our bed. However, she did achieve her new challenge so she has proudly stuck her sticker on her new Sticker Chart - well done Princess Lollipop :-)