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A New Reason to Try for a September Baby

by Claudya Martinez

Photograph by Twenty20

Could the month that your baby is born be a good predictor of their future success? According to new research from the University of Toronto, Northwestern University and the University of Florida the answer is YES because all signs point to September babies being more academically successful once they start school.

Is it because Virgos are known for being analytical, practical and hardworking? No, it has nothing to do with astrology. It’s about age.

How’s that? Well, researchers studied the educational data of about 1 million public school students born in Florida from 1994 to 2000. In Florida—as well as in 18 other states—the cut-off birthdate for starting kindergarten is September 1.

That means that September-born children are the oldest in their classrooms and therefore the most developed. So it makes sense that a child born in, let’s say, September 2017 will have a more developed aptitude for learning than a classmate born in August 2018. In fact, previous research has also shown that we might be sending our kids to kindergarten too early, before they're able to keep up with the older kids. They even suggested that kids starting kindergarten at age 6 have better outcomes than kids who start at age 5.

Starting kindergarten is tough enough for kids and parents, but there are things that might be harder for younger kindergarteners that few people will warn you about, such as behavioral expectations and social skills. Certainly, there are activities you can do with your child to prepare them for kindergarten. But with the trend of kindergarten being more academic nowadays, rather than a balance between free-play and learning ... that makes it even harder.

The benefits of having a September birthday play out way past kindergarten, though. Researchers found that September babies are more likely to go to college and less likely to go to jail for juvenile crimes.

This is great news for September babies and their parents, but what does this mean for August babies, considering that researchers found that August-born children had lower test scores, are less likely to go to college and are more likely to go to jail for a juvenile crime?

Should you buy your August baby a dunce cap and dress them in stripes just so they get used to their inevitable future? Of course not—these are all just observations made by researchers. Take the information and use it to your advantage. If you have an August-born child, remember that they're going to be among the youngest in their class and might need more help to catch up to their older classmates.

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