An exclusive society is growing much larger today: leap year babies.
Yes, those bundles of joy who perplex birthday-party-planning parents will arrive. Soon, they too will learn to endlessly explain that their birth date is a calendar quirk, on a day that is added every four years to keep the calendar in line with Earth’s movement around the sun.
A baby has about a one in 1,500 chance for an arrival today.
(Unless you have some cosmic connection to the date like members of Norway’s Henriksen family, into which three siblings were born on three consecutive leap years in the 1960s.)
This year, it’s expected they’ll be significantly more births than in 2000 and 2008 because the once-every-four-year day is midweek. That means labor and delivery wings will be fully staffed and host more scheduled deliveries.
(There’s about a 50 percent higher chance of birth on a weekday than weekend according to the National Vital Statistics Report.)
Unlike other holidays, though, there’s some debate about whether parents are more or less likely to request leap year deliveries.
The Honor Society of Leap Year Babies would have you believe there’s an inherent pride that comes with the distinction.
Last leap year, however, a statistician ran the numbers for the Wall Street Journal and found that leap babies are even rarer than they should be, suggesting that parents tried to avoid the day (and the later complications: What to say to the eight thousandth person who asks, “What is leap year?”).
Are you or do you have a leaper? Has your experience been good?