My oldest, Tristan, is a March baby, though he wasn’t supposed to be. He came a few weeks earlier than expected after my wife developed preeclampsia. He’s 11, which means he’s kind of at this tipping point. He’s not really a little kid anymore, but he’s also not quite a teen yet. He smells like adolescence, and he’s pretty independent, and yet he’s still naive enough to assume that because he can make his own pancakes he’s qualified to live on his own. But on the whole, he’s a pretty charming little guy.
Now check it out, I’m not the kind of person to invest in astrological signs, or put too much weight on the stars alignment on the day a person is born. Call me a skeptic. But I gotta say, I have recently discovered that there are actual, legit studies around when a person is born that can indicate a number of interesting predictions about your child. As much as I openly complain about my preteen son, I must admit he’s pretty special, and it turns out, some of that has to do with him being a March baby.
1. March babies are more likely to be leaders.
For example, a 2012 study published in the journal Economics Letters found that March babies are more likely to snag that corner office. These researchers looked at 375 CEOs and found that 12.5% of those holding the position were born in March. What’s the link, you ask? According to this study, the correlation is related to school enrollment cutoffs, which often see March babies on the older end of their class spectrum.
As the father of a preteen, I paused a moment there too. My son wears the same grungy jacket and sweatpants every day, and approaching him with a comb feels a lot like I’m approaching him with a chainsaw. However, I must say, the proof is in the numbers. He is often at the top of his class in math and reading, and although his friends eat all the food from my pantry and it drives me bonkers, he does have many of them, and they all seem to admire him in that “I’d follow your advice” kind of way.
2. They are more likely to have better eyesight.
Another study published in Science Daily found that March babies are less prone to myopia. Just a reminder (I needed one too), myopia is a fancy word for nearsightedness. This study looked at nearly 300,000 military applicants and found that summer babies have the highest rates of severe shortsightedness, while spring kids are less likely to have myopic eyes. However, winter babies have the best rates.
Prof. Michael Belkin of Tel Aviv University’s Goldschleger Eye Research Institute said it has to do with the amount of melatonin a child receives due to available sunlight. “We know that sunlight affects the pineal gland and we have indications that melatonin … is involved in regulating eye length. More sun equals less melatonin, equals a longer eye which is short sighted.” Naturally, my son — being the trendsetter that he is — bucked this curve, because he is, in fact, nearsighted. But hey, you can’t win them all.
3. They are more likely to see the bright side of things.
Just to give you an idea of what we’re dealing with here, I’m a short, nearsighted man who went on to have a short, nearsighted son (wild… I know). I hated being short as a child, and I hated my glasses, but I hated contacts even more because they dried out my eyes. Tristan, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. His nickname at school is Little T, and he thinks being the shortest kid in the class is 100% awesome. Turns out his March birthday might have something to do with his optimism, too.
One study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that are March babies are basically born optimists. These researchers administered “temperament evaluations” to nearly 400 university students, and found that March-born kids (and their April and May peers) have higher ratings on the hyperthymic scale as adults, which means they’ve got a positive outlook on life.
4. They can breather easier. Literally.
Naturally, there’s more. One study found that March babies have lower rates of asthma because of they are born during allergy season, and all that exposure pollen during infancy strengthens the immune response.
5. But they might keep you up all night.
Science also suggests that the season in which a child is born can impact their sleep patterns, and children born in the spring and summer are more likely to be night owls.
If there’s one takeaway, it’s this: March babies are pretty special people, and my son is one special little guy. Just like your March baby.