teethingI feel like when I was pregnant, I was just so focused on being pregnant, pregnant, pregnant that I didn’t give much thought to what would happen after “boy meets world.” Obviously, I pored over parenting websites and all of the crazy baby stuff I needed to learn, like sleep, feeding, safety, etc.

When other things came up out of the blue, or rather, like a fist in the ass, I was entirely unprepared for them. I’m talking about maniacal teething babies and growth spurting monsters, people. We’ve all been there before, and it certainly ain’t pretty.

I really didn’t read much about how insane teething and growth spurts can be, until it happened to me. Maybe I just turned a deaf ear and was hoping to live on in my ignorant bliss, but few months into my new baby, I was like, WTF is wrong with him? He’s eating all the time, he’s fussy, he’s waking up from naps early, he sucks!!!!

So I googled all the symptoms (minus the sucking part) and found out about something called growth spurts. Apparently, they are a real thing that happens at set times, and your baby will act like a demon spawn until they pass. Well, that is my loose interpretation anyway.

KellyMom says this about growth spurts: Common times for growth spurts are during the first few days at home and around 7-10 days, 2-3 weeks, 4-6 weeks, 3 months, 4 months, 6 months and 9 months (more or less). Babies don’t read calendars, however, so your baby may do things differently.

Wait, I don’t like this one bit. So you’re saying that my baby may or may not act insane at these potentially predictable times, but then again, maybe not? And also, these important times of change masked as extreme irritability may last anywhere from two days to more than one week? I didn’t sign up for this!

My husband and I got to the point where any time our sons were acting out of sorts, which was about six days out of the week, we would blame it on a growth spurt. Basically, growth spurt was our excuse for not having any effing clue about how to handle a baby that was crying uncontrollably, and eating like a maniac, and screaming intermittently throughout the night.

If a growth spurt had just passed, we called it teething after the age of four months or so. My second son has had two small teeth poking through for a few months, and he has also taken to yelling for absolutely no reason at the top of his lungs at various times throughout the day. Just one long yell, and then silence. If this is what teething and growth spurts look like, it’s more frightening than I ever imagined.

(photo: Getty Images)