I had a very similar routine with my two and also experienced early waking. I read somewhere that it was all down to teeth! But that doesn't help you in the meantime. The only thing I might look at in your routine is bringing bedtime forward. What about tea at 5pm, bath at 6, milk at 6.30, in bed by 6.50. I have read a few times that bringing bedtime forward not later encourages a better morning wake-up time. Something to do with sleep cycles, in that if they go to bed late and are overtired they come into their deep sleep cycle earlier and therefore early morning light sleep earlier and consequently wake up before you'd like them to.
It's worth a shot. As I say, both mine did wake early for a number of months and DD2 (now 21m) probably got to 7am starts after 12m, maybe a bit later than that but we did get there!
Both of my babies were Gina Ford babies. Dd was fantastic with it, ds struggles a bit as his routine goes wonky due to nursery runs etc for older sister. He is 9m and naps between 10-11, then 1:30-3:00. In bed by 6:30. To break the cycle, cut the afternoon nap, try super early night. 5:30 / 6:00pm.
I have a couple of questions though:
Do you have a pitch black bedroom? 5-6 am waking can be related to morning light coming through. Most fabric shops has black out curtain fabric and gaffa tape it to the window frame if needed to. I heard Gina Ford consultancy don't send the consultant out unless ou installed the proper black out curtain.
Do you wake her at 2:30? Perhaps if she can sleep longer, let her sleep a bit longer until 2:45 or even 3. Then cut the late afternoon nap definitely. Try dinner at 4:30/5:00pm, bath by 5:30-6:00, milk and and in bed by 6:30, definitely by 7:00 at latest. I agree 5h is way too long for a wake time. In the afternoon, I would cut back on vigorous activities and have a mellow walk or gentle play to make her last longer.
Early night does not always make the baby wake early. It gives them more restful sleep cycle than just passing out and going into deep sleep being over tired.
What goes on between 5:45-7:15? Often that is when the dad comes home and that just stirs things with too much excitement. Sorry dad, but it just does not work....
Try giving your girl more carbo throughout the day, definitely more for dinner, and by this I mean mashed potato, or polenta, rice (try softly cooked paella rice than basmati) something filling for longer. I noticed pasta does not keep my lil man full for a long time. Also around that time my milk supply was getting low (due to me being tired) so I introduced top up with formula.
I love Gina Ford, but sometimes, I felt their natural cycle was pushed a little too hard. Check out baby whisperer online forum and see a sample routine for 8m baby. I found through my babies that 7:00pm - 6:30/7:00 am night sleep would still work as long as you don't let your lil one sleep for more than 3h during the day in total, no matter when you put them to bed and as long as he was awake after 3:00 pm.
My 8 month ok has been waking between 5-6am for the last 2 months or so. She is not waking for a feed, she stopped feeding at night when she was 5 months ish. She will babble etc and then start crying. On advice of hv, we try not to intervene but may 'check in' on her if the crying is severe (every 10mins)Since we have done this, she doesn't really cry full pelt but may just winge and moan. Sometimes she falls asleep and wakes a short while later. I am worried that this is now a habit. I leave her in her cot til al least 6.30.
She goes down at 8pm and settles quickly to sleep, sometimes she is asleep during last bf. I have tried all sorts and looked at her whole routine. Currently our routine is loosely this (Gina Ford)
5-6am waking 7am bf 8am breakfast 9.30/9.45 nap for 30 mins 11.30/11.45 lunch 12.30/12.45 nap for 1 and half to 2 hours 3.00 ish bf 4.45 nap for 15 mins 5.45 dinner 7.15 bath feed and bed for 8.00
I wondered whether I should go down to 2 naps but she wouldn't be able to last 5 hours before bed time. I pushed nap forward to 9.30 and keep it short on purpose as I don't want her to use it as an extension of her night sleep. But tbh she is pretty tired all the way to lunchtime as she can be up from 5.30am. She has only slept through till 7 a handful of times.
Tearing my hair out as dont know how to break this cycle of emw and it's been going on for a while! Would really appreciate some advice. x x