Last week Fatherly reported that kids born in August have lower test scores, are less likely to go to college, and are more likely to be incarcerated for a juvenile crime. And it’s true. But before parents of summer babies start forging new birth certificates, it’s important to remember that being born is August is not all bad. Birth months are mixed diaper bags. Here are some of the more pleasant surprises in the research, to make you feel better about your August babies.
They’re Big And Tall (And Can Crush Puny September Babies)
Infants born in June, July, and August have the highest birth weights on average, and grow into taller adults, a study of 450,000 men and women in the UK suggests. One theory as to why summer mamas yield stronger stock is that women expecting in June, July, and August tend to have more vitamin D exposure during late pregnancy. Interestingly, the study also found that girls born in summer months are less likely to hit puberty early. That’s a good thing, because early puberty has been linked to breast cancer, teen pregnancy, HPV, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and addiction.
Strength In Numbers (Thanks To Winter Cuddling)
Whatever summer babies lack in academic prowess, they appear to make up for in sheer numbers. August is the most popular month to be born, according to 16 years worth of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts suspect this has to do with people spending more time indoors in the winter, just about nine months before August—and that, when people are bored and indoors they tend to have sex and conceive children.
Less BiPolar Disorder (But Alas, More ADHD)
Individuals born in August and September have the lowest incidence of bipolar disorder, compared to people born in January who had the most, according to data on more than 29 million people. The study authors aren’t exactly sure why, but they were willing to throw just about any summer-related factor under the bus—their study implicates seasonality, global environment, climate change, sunlight exposure, and diet. Conversely, studies suggest that August babies are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, in part because they’re sent to school one year earlier than their peers and are often nearly an entire year younger than their classmates. In any case, points for lack of bipolar.
They Feel Lucky (“Well, Do Ya, Punk?”)
People born in August tend to think they’re luckier than winter babies, one 2005 study suggests. Out of 11,672 participants, 47.9 percent of those born between March and August considered themselves “lucky”, whereas only 44.9 percent of those born between September and February said the same. Additional research has linked luck with less anxiety and neuroticism, and higher extroversion. So it makes sense that Woody Allen’s birthday is December 1st.
Sometimes They’re Actually The Oldest And Smartest In Class
After many studies indicated that August babies are at an academic disadvantage because they’re the youngest in their elementary school classrooms, parents became aware of this and attempted to mitigate the effects. Some have started delaying enrollment, while others have splurged on tutoring sessions. Still, most research suggests that holding your kid back usually does more harm than good. Likewise, there’s evidence that many younger kids outperform their older peers in school. The bottom line is that every kid is different, so making actual decisions about your child based on his or her birth month is less science than astrology. August babies may, as a cohort, be academic underachievers but the data also suggest they’re optimistic giants who start puberty late and are immune to bipolar disorder.
Anyway, they give September babies a run for their money.