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Alexis Hearnden 

We have a 3.5yr old boy who has become an early waker. Used to be an 8am man, now 5.30/6. We dropped his nap in August as bedtime was getting later and later. Has been difficult since as he's v active and not a brilliant eater (loves a snack) so lots of highs/lows (gets too tired to eat too hungry to sleep). Bedtime is about 7.45pm. We have a gro clock but haven't had much success. The problem with all the rational bargaining options is that he seems to be totally at sixes and sevens. Gets v distressed /emotionally fraught/panicky if left. Hits/kicks if I stay. Can't get himself back to sleep until after 8am (only allowed when he's been ill). Happens with or without nappy. Often wakes hungry and does a wee but doesn't seem to help. He clearly needs to be asleep but just becomes demented and doesn't really know what he wants Then lies on sofa under blanket at breakfast table as so tired. Anyone got any bright ideas?

TOP RESPONSE
HomerJ 
You said he's very active? It might actually be worth cutting down on activities. Over-tiredness could actually be an issue. Also, cutting down on snacks would be a good idea (We all love them though!) or at least making sure those snacks are healthy (carrots, etc).
ALL RESPONSES
Mike Tantrum 
Poor you, Alexis. Don't really have any ideas myself (bright or otherwise), but there was a very similar thread to this a while back (including the waking hungry issue) with some useful advice from some of our experts. Link is here: https://tantrum.xyz/parentingBrain/question/150
Anonymous 
Poor little love, that sounds exhausting for him, and also for you. I'm no expert but I'd be tempted to bring the nap back if it is having such an affect on him not to have it. And then perhaps ease it off gently, by shortening it by 10 minutes every few days. Also, how long has this been going on for? As it could just be a temporary thing, with lighter mornings which are confusing for everyone.
Anonymous 
It's been a little warmer recently. Have you checked the room temperature to make sure he isn't too hot? That could definitely affect his sleeping pattern.
Anonymous 
Try an earlier bedtime 7pm. It's hard to do but one of the ways to deal with early risers is a earlier bedtime though it sounds counter intuitive. Also stop snacks. The whole 3 meals 2 snacks weaning advice is messing up the ways kids eat. For many kids - mine included - generally 3 meals will get eaten if they are hungry, not if they know they will get a snack even if they mess around.
HomerJ 
You said he's very active? It might actually be worth cutting down on activities. Over-tiredness could actually be an issue. Also, cutting down on snacks would be a good idea (We all love them though!) or at least making sure those snacks are healthy (carrots, etc).

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