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Leap Day Baby


Updated January 03, 2012

Leap year is a concept that allows us to sync up our calendars back to the sun after gathering slightly more than the 365 days a year that we actually count. So, every four years, and in years divisible by four, there is an extra day, known as Leap Day, added to the calendar. This day is February 29.

This extra day helps us ensure that the calendar days match the actual days. The original concept of the Leap Day was invented by Julius Caesar, though the calculations were done by the astronomer Sosigenes. In the 16th century, Pope Gregory XIII made some further adjustments to what we know now as the Leap Year. (There are a few other exceptions as well to Leap Year rules.)

What does this have to do with pregnancy and babies? Well, every few years, there is the possibility that someone will have a due date of February 29th or that a baby will be born on this day. An interesting side note, some of the pregnancy calculators or calendars that are used in OB and midwifery offices do not always have this day added, for simplicity sakes. So if you have the due date of March 1st in a Leap Year, try the actual math and see if you really have a Leap Day Due Date.

Now, due dates are guesses and babies can’t read calendars, preferring to come when they are ready. But that aside, babies will be born on Leap Day. This doesn’t do anything for the year of birth, because there is an actual Leap Day. (Though there is some talk of altered birth certificates.

Where birthdays get interesting are all the birthdays that follow that are not on a Leap Year. As you can tell, the birthdays officially come around only every four or so years. Rather than have a knock down drag out fight with your soon to be 16 year old child, find out how your state acknowledges Leap Day birthdays. Some allow the parents to choose the date listed on the driver’s license – do you feel closer to February because your baby was born then? Or March 1st because your baby wasn’t born yet on February 28th?

So if you’re due near the end of February or early March in a Leap Year – consider the possibility of a Leap Day Baby.

Upcoming and Recent Leap Years

  • 1980
  • 1984
  • 1988
  • 1992
  • 1996
  • 2000
  • 2004
  • 2008
  • 2012
  • 2016
  • 2020
  • 2024
  • 2028
  • 2032
  • 2036
  • 2040
  • 2044
  • 2048
  • 2052
  • 2056
  • 2060
  • 2064
  • 2068
  • 2072
  • 2076
  • 2080
  • 2084
  • 2088
  • 2092
  • 2096
  • 2104

Readers Respond: Would you want a Leap Day Baby?

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