So, my 3.5 yo is napping less and less frequently these days, which is fine, but I'm having a hard time figuring out bedtime/wakeup/etc. On no-nap days, he is a WRECK by 4/5pm and I usually put him to bed about 6:30-7pm and he is asleep basically before I walk out of the room. And that time from 4pm to bedtime is pretty miserable for all of his - nonstop crying, tantrums, he tells me he wants to go to sleep, etc. (I could probably put him to bed at 5:30, honestly!)

He sleeps through the night but wakes up very early, usually before 6am. Which I guess 7pm-5:30am or so isn't too bad, but 10.5 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period is clearly not enough for him, because often with these early wake ups, he is very cranky in the mornings (still tired). He will be okay for like an hour and then start melting down.

I have tried to push bedtime later, but he still wakes up early and it just prolongs the evening misery. Really, he needs a short nap, but I can't force him to sleep.

Any ideas? I don't mind the early bedtime, but the 5:30 wake ups are pretty rough, plus I think he would feel better if he slept even an hour later.