I've been encouraging my 2.5 year-old for well over six months to sleep past 4:30 in the morning. He still nurses but was night weaned long ago. He falls asleep easily between 7-7:30 and usually appears tired and ready for sleep by then. Regardless of when he goes down though, he begins to wiggle and kick and ask for boo-boo at the painful hour of 4:30 or 5 if we're lucky. Needless to say, I'm not my best self at this hour!
For 3 months, we tried an alarm clock that turned green at 6 am, the magic hour, but mostly what this seemed to do was encourage him to writhe and jump around in bed, keeping my husband and I awake, from 4:30-6, at which point he was rewarded. In addition to the un-funness of being kept up that whole time, we ultimately felt like the alarm clock was more of a distraction from nighttime sleep than anything else...even with a scarf draped over it, the light was a distracting, bright one.
Along with our sleepless grumpy state, my son himself is obviously tired and cranky once he's fully up, and has begun the unusual habit of taking an additional daily nap around 8 a.m.
Could his own bed beside ours possibly help? Other ideas?
I'm not ready to wean completely yet...I'd rather follow his lead. But I'm beyond ready for another hour of sleep and would be grateful for any suggestions.
Many toddlers actually sleep better in their own bed space so if you're willing to try putting a toddler bed or mattress on the floor next to your bed that could make all the difference for him knowing your're still right there... And talk to him about the change and what you expect from him and involve him in creating the new bed, and empathize w/any feelings that come up. Good luck, Mama!
ETA also if he still wakes early perhaps you can put a basket of books next to his bed or something else quiet that he enjoys for him to do until it's time to get up.
You are not alone. My 27m DS has been waking consistently after 5am since early January.
We have a green light alarm that comes on at 6am too. We night weaned at 22 months and he nurses at 6am. Like you, I'm wondering if the anticipation of the light=nursing has him up so early. It's sad to see him so tired in the mornings!
I'm also thinking of setting up a toddler bed beside our family bed.
It sometimes makes for a crabby start for everyone around here.
It sounds like the toddler bed could help...I'll work on that and if others have luck on that front, please let me know!