So one morning he wakes up at 5 am and I do what I can to put him back to sleep. Then it happens again... and again! and my patience and kind and loving heart isn't so loving any more. I am tired dangit!
I problem solve a bit for a few nights and nothing I do seems to make a difference. This kid has somehow changed his entire sleep routine, to the minute, in one nights time. How does one even do that?!
I decide to try wake to sleep again. It backfires the first couple nights and I am frustrated. Instead of waking up ever so slightly and going back to sleep, he wakes up and stays awake for hours. I am even more exhausted than previously. I decide to leave things alone and see what happens. He wakes up at his usual morning wake time again and I have some hope, then he is back to 5 am (arg!). So I decide to change the timing a bit. I move the wake to sleep to an even earlier time when he will be in a deeper sleep and more likely to nod off back to sleep and also not fully wake up. And it worked! I'm back to my 7:30 sleeper again after a few nights of this. Wake to sleep to the rescue again! Best of all, he is much happier and has less separation anxiety since he started sleeping all the way through the night again.
As you can see, things aren't always perfectly peachy for me. My kids still have the occasional sleep struggles (just like any other kid-don't you be fooled!) and I have to problem solve and use some trial and error to solve the problem.