Q. For the last month, our 2 1/2-year—old son has started waking up around 3 in the morning, wide awake. After he finally goes back to sleep, he wakes up for good at 6:30 a.m. Before this started, he slept through the night until 7 or 7:30 a.m. His afternoon nap is now a good half-hour shorter as well. I think he's overly tired, and this is why he is waking up during the night. Consequently, I think he needs to go to bed earlier. My dear husband thinks the opposite and wants to make his bed time later. Please tell us, who's right?
The real problem here is that your husband is having difficulty accepting that in a happy marriage, the woman rules. He doesn't yet realize that admitting this reality will make for a happier marriage; thus, a happier man.
Concerning sleep and youngsters, the general rule is that the later a young child stays up at night, the less well the child will sleep. Being overtired is the biggest cause of sleeplessness and restless sleep in small ones.
Having said that, there is no guarantee that putting your son down earlier in the evening will solve the problem. He may be making a transition in his sleep habits, one that will work itself out in a month or so. Nonetheless, I'd put him to bed no later than 7:30 in the evening, if for no reason other than providing the two of you with more child-free time.