By the time your baby hits that half-year mark, she’s going to be sleeping a total of about 12 to 15 hours each day. She should be sleeping for longer stretches in one time, usually at least five or six hours. Her nighttime sleep patterns have probably started to level out by the beginning of this stage. If not, don’t worry; they will soon.

Some of you will be very fortunate. If your baby is sleeping between nine and ten hours each night, he’s figured out how to fall asleep and how to go back to sleep if he wakes up. Some babies still won’t sleep more than five or six hours at a time, especially during the beginnings of this stage. Many babies between six and nine months of age will still require a nighttime feeding. Keep in mind that a baby that wakes up at night, especially during this stage, isn’t necessarily hungry.

Babies between six and nine months are figuring out how sleep works. Every night, we all wake up for brief moments. As adults, we’re able to fall back asleep almost instantly. We do it so fast that we don’t even know it. But this is a skill that we mastered when we were babies. We learned to put ourselves back to sleep at night.

Another reason that babies may wake up and stay awake at night is that they’re experiencing so many new things. They’re learning how to do things like sit up, crawl and maybe even walk. Just because it’s bedtime doesn’t mean he’s done practicing for the day. He may just want some extra crawling practice in before tomorrow.

Some babies wake up and stay awake because they’re experiencing separation anxiety. She wakes up, doesn’t see you, and this causes her anguish. Once you enter the room, though, those anxieties are gone and she’ll probably calm down and go back to sleep.