Earlier this month we reported on the midwife who’d issued a plea to couples about refraining from having unprotected sex over Christmas. The reason? September is THE most popular month to have a baby and midwives are struggling to cope with the boom.
But there is an advantage to having a baby in September because turns out September-born babies are more successful students than their peers.
New research from the National Bureau of Economic Research has revealed that how old a child is when they start school can have a substantial effect in their cognitive development from age six to 15.
And this can not only have an impact on how well a child does at school, but also their chance of going to college and the likelihood of committing juvenile crimes.
So why do babies born in September fair better?
It’s all to do with when children start school. The cut-off point for children starting in reception is September 1st, which means that babies born in September are usually the eldest pupils in their classes, which gives them that slight developmental advantage over their younger classmates.
It’s not the first time September babies have been hailed by science as being potentially more successful than their spring and summer-born peers.
According the BBC, who analysed data obtained from Oxford and Cambridge universities under the freedom of information act, children born in the autumn were 25% more likely to get an Oxbridge place compared to summer-born applicants. Winter and spring births were 17% and 15% more likely to get places, respectively, than their summer-born peers.
Babies born in Autum/Winter may have an advantage over their summer contemporaries in the sporty stakes too. In his book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell found that most high-achieving athletes were born between September and December.
He suggested that this could be explained because children born between September and December are physically more advanced than the summer-born babies in their class.
But before you resign yourself to only ever having a baby in September, consider the fact that there are other factors at play in terms of development and not all babies born in September will go on to be super brains and/or sports stars.
More likely, it just means that being born and starting school later could have a positive impact on how prepared they are for their academic experience.
So while you probably shouldn’t actually try to plan having a baby in the month that’s most likely to give them a learning leg-up, it is interesting to note that starting school that little bit older might not be such a bad thing.
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