I don't think you need to limit his nap yet. Dd2 is 18 months, she is in bed by 630 or 645, asleep by 7pm and wakes around 7.30am ish. She naps for 2 hours 12.45 to2.45.
Dd1 is 2.10 and starting to drop her nap, but is exhausted so on no nap days goes to bed at 6.30pm and up at 8 am. I always find that if she goes to bed later, ie after 715 pm, she wakes earlier, ie before 7.
It seems to me that sleep begets sleep, it is not helpful if they are overtired and although I always worry if I out the dds to bed earlier than usual, they never wake early and actually often sleep in longer.
OP have you tried a high carb snack just before bed?may be waking earlyish if hungry so a snack like toast/ bagel etc may fill him up ( this would be as well as normal milk). Dd is 2.5,bed at 7.45 and usually have to wake her at 7.30. She has a nap of 30 mins every few days but is sort of outgrowing. She wakes happily every morning but is grumpy as hell when woken from a nap, always has been.
2.5 yr old DS bed at 7.30 (asleep by 8) awake and chatty at 6-7am. Naps for 1.5 - 2 hrs during the day. Sleeps from 12-4 on weekends as we cuddle up in a big bed and he swims on weekends. At nursery they think this much sleep is ok.
Thanks all for replies. On phone so can't name check.
He has a law supper at about 6 normally as nursery give them tea about 3.30. He's usually ready for brekkie at 7 but not crying for food iykwim?
Weirdly he didn't wake up until 7am today after going to bed at 7.45. Introduced pillow and duvet in prep for him having a bed in a few months' time so unsure if that contributed? He also had a good 1.45 nap yest too.
It's all so baffling!!!
I'm still taking away from this that he sleeps less than most his age which is interesting.
Usually not less than 9 hours after she went to bed (I am very lucky). So if she goes to bed late, she wakes up late. If she goes to bed at a sensible time (ie before 9), she will sleep until 8 am. She also has a 1.5 hour nap in the afternoon.
I do feel for the parents of early risers. My oldest child didn't get up appallingly early but he was never a great sleeper and rarely went to sleep before 10 or 11 at that age if he'd had a daytime nap. He never seemed to need more than 8 hours sleep until he was past 16.
I wouldn't shorten his daytime nap and I think putting him to bed a bit earlier will probably help. I think the norm is 10-12 hours at night and 1.5-2 hours during the day.
The other thing I thought of - and this is a bit random - is that grizzlyness and dark circles under the eyes are both signs of dehydration. Could it be that he's really thirsty when he wakes rather than being tired?
Mine are both 7pm - 6.30am sleepers so they aren't mythical (but I'm lucky, I think!)