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Harker Heights Evening Star

Journey being Journey

Journey being Journey

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Jonathan Oliver

There have been many times during the past 11 months of Journey’s life when her mom and I have asked ourselves “why is she doing that?”, “Is that normal?”, or “Do you think she is ok?” The answer is usually yes.
Why does Journey arch her back and throw herself backward when she’s upset? This didn’t really start until she was around 9 months old. Simply put she isn’t able to control her body when experiencing her emotions. “Virtually all babies go through this phase,” says Bob Sears, a pediatrician in San Clemente, California, and the author of many parenting books. He states “So even though it’s not safe for your child to launch herself backward out of your arms, she doesn’t have enough control to stop herself.” The only time this can sometimes become an issue with Journey is after she has eaten because this can cause her to vomit a little bit of a food. If her mother and I are in the process of passing Journey off between one another we both are extra careful in holding her because her quick movements could cause her to be accidentally dropped. Overall according to, this is all very normal, “but if your child is like most, the back-arching sessions signal nothing more than your child’s growing independence and signify that her emotional development is right on track. So brace yourself and hang on: This won’t be the last time you’ll have to remain calm as your child’s temper flares out of control.”
Why does Journey suddenly wake up crying in the middle of the night? At this stage in Journey’s life the sudden waking up can be attributed to two main factors. First is separation anxiety and this typically occurs when one of us is out of the house for a considerable amount of time, like a week ago when my wife was out of town for a week studying for her cardiology boards. This sometimes happens when both of us have been on a vacation and when we return home on the first night back she will sometimes wake up in the middle of the night crying. The next reason that this sometime takes place is because Journey is teething or some other form of development maturity is taking place in our little sweetheart. According to “It’s very common for even the best sleepers to suddenly start having problems, whether it’s trouble falling asleep at bedtime or abruptly waking up during the night. Starting at age 6 months, separation anxiety can cause babies to wake up crying more than once during the night. Don’t be surprised if your anxious baby does this and wants only you – or only your partner. Other common causes of night-waking in previously good sleepers include illness or a looming developmental leap. In those cases, there are a couple of things to try, in addition to treating the fever or throat or ear pain that’s making your sick baby uncomfortable.” We typically let Journey sooth herself back to sleep.
Finally why is Journey stuck on wanting to drink her bath water? Yes. “Many parents say their baby is interested in drinking bathwater,” says pediatrician Tanya Remer Altmann, editor of The Wonder Years: Helping Your Baby and Young Child Successfully Negotiate the Major Developmental Milestones. Altmann recommends discouraging this behavior, but says you don’t need to be too concerned about it. More than anything Journey is just being Journey. It’s not like we’re going to allow her to drink any real serious amount. She more just wants to suck on her bath towel that’s wet.
This is a great opportunity during bath time to teach Journey a new skill. “The bath can be the ideal place to teach your child to drink from a regular cup,” says Altmann. Offer up filtered or cold water from the sink faucet and let your child practice sipping from something unbreakable. If he dribbles, it’s one place where it really doesn’t matter.

All of these questions that come to the surface when experiencing the life of our little girl are normal and adds to the joy that we continue to find while on this journey.

Jonathan Oliver is an experienced motivational speaker, life coach, and author. He is the CEO of his company Higher Enlightenment which strives to create a world of truth, love, and faith. He was born and raised in Texas and now lives with his wife and their first child Journey in Owasso, OK. He is a first time stay at home dad. His contact information is on and follow him on facebook at


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