Advanced search

Pregnant? See how your baby develops, your body changes, and what you can expect during each week of your pregnancy with the Mumsnet Pregnancy Calendar.

August v September: does it really matter?

(43 Posts)
Annie456 Mon 08-Aug-11 12:38:30

I'm sure this has been done to death somewhere on here but am really interested as it completely applies to my situation.

We started TTC at the point where I said to DH "if I become pregnant now, we'll have a September baby..." (I know, I know) so we did...and I became pregnant first cycle. Only I hadn't doe my maths properly and my EDD is Sept 2nd and hospital (scan) EDD is 28th August...only a few days but a whole school year. In my heart I want the baby to arrives soon as poss so I can meet him / her but my head is convinced that sept would be better. I have absolutely no control over it now but would be interested to hear about any experiences people have relating to the academic differences between Aug / sept children (FWIW I am an early sept baby which may be why im so interested..)
Ps please don't flame me, my baby willbe completely loved and adored no matter when he/she is born and all that really matters is whether he/she is healthy!!

rosyhillbaby Mon 08-Aug-11 13:07:04

Of course August babies are likely to be smaller and less developed when they start school, especially in Foundation Stage. However, in my experience as a teacher, by the time they get to year 2/3, the most important factors in their educational development come from home environment - getting enough sleep, help and support from home (with behaviour and basic skills) and diet. These are down to you, not their birthday, and I have August babies in my year 3 class who are much more capable than some September/October ones.

MrsBloomingTroll Mon 08-Aug-11 13:07:18

DD1 is a July baby and I'm about to have DC2 this month. We had issues trying to conceive so we are just delighted to have a family, the timing was irrelevant in the end.

DD1 is not yet in school but the good thing about a July/August baby is that you save money on Pre-school childcare. That said, DD1 is quite weeny compared to her Pre-school classmates and has struggled a bit.

All of that said, I am a May baby myself and was always top of the class....FWIW!

PinkFondantFancy Mon 08-Aug-11 17:19:00

I am an August baby and I don't recall it causing me any problems at all. At the end of the day you don't have much control over when the little one will decide to arrive anyway, so I wouldn't give it any more thought

TheProvincialLady Mon 08-Aug-11 17:28:39

First babies are often late. August babies do worse statistically, but a supportive home life trumps most things. My DS1 was due in August but born in September and I am very glad because he wasn't near ready socially to go to school last year - but the other children from my antenatal class all did and are doing well, even if a couple of them had a difficult start. One of them hit the ground running though, so you just can't tell. Nit much you can do now, anyway!

GeneralDisarray Mon 08-Aug-11 17:29:46

Statisically it makes no difference to academic/career success if that's a worry?

LittleWhiteWolf Mon 08-Aug-11 17:34:05

My birthday is the 28th of August and its great! grin I've not been affected majorly by being the youngest in my year. DD is a July baby and although she's only 2 and not in school yet, I don't forsee any problems.
As its your first baby it'll probably be late. Mine was due on the 1st and came on the 10th so bear that in mind!

neolara Mon 08-Aug-11 17:41:38

Statistically, summer born babies do worse than autumn born babies academically and in sports. Of course there will be some summer born babies who do fine and there will be some autumn born babies who struggle, but ON AVERAGE, summer born babies do worse. The kids in my dd1's Year 2 class who are in the top sets are predominantly still those who have birthdays early in the year. Unfortunately, I think that as the kids get older, staff are much less aware of who is old and who is young in her class.

My dd1 is a July birthday and born early so I became a bit obsessed by this issue for a while. My dd2 was due Sept 5th but as others had arrived early I was bracing myself for another child who was young-for-year. On 31st August as I was just about to pop, there was an article on the BBC news website about whether 31st August was really the worst day of the year to be born. Unfortunately, the general consensus seemed to be that yes, it was. Fortunately, IMO, my dd2 arrived on Sept 2nd. I think there will be challenges for her in being so old for her year, but IMO this is infinitely preferable to being the younges.

happydaysahead Mon 08-Aug-11 18:34:10

My DS is going into Year 6 and an August birthday and it has always been and still is a struggle for him. I think it does make a difference and for boys and first borns I think especially.
He finds the work tough and is one of the smallest in the year still andhe is definitely more immature.

Cross your legs until Sept if you can!!!

Annie456 Mon 08-Aug-11 19:37:36

Some really interesting comments, thanks. I'm a bit confused about those who say "statistically it makes no difference" and those who say "statistically it DOES make a difference". Can you elaborate on these statistics?

Also, any teachers / parents who have experience of summer babies succeeding or not succeeding, are there trends you have noticed (factors such as mothers working v staying at home / importance of education within the family / education levels of parents / first born, second born etc?)

Just trying to get my head around any elements that I can control in the event that DS arrives early!


Poweredbypepsi Mon 08-Aug-11 19:58:48

I have a September born daughter but my youngest is august born. I can't imagine her being a whole year younger thanh dd1 startin school it seems so tiny!. Having said that I wouldn't go as far as to plan my pregnancy around school dates as I was born end of august and although u did struggle (I am told I dint remember) in the early years I was well caught up by junior school.

DoubleDegreeStudent Mon 08-Aug-11 19:58:49

Not much of any use to say, but I'm a September baby and my boyfriend is an August baby (15th and 12th, so nearly an entire year between us) and we're doing the same course at university. He is leagues ahead of me in terms of grades, and is getting lots of interviews for jobs afterwards (which I am not). My mum was SAHM and my dad worked, both his parents worked. I went to private school, he went to a local Catholic school. I don't think his birthday has held him back!

I don't think being older has disadvantaged me either, by the way, I just think this is a nice example of how once you're older it really stops making such a difference.

clam Mon 08-Aug-11 20:05:37

It's DS's 15th birthday today. He has therefore always been one of the youngest, and smallest as it happens, in his year. It's been absolutely fine - he's just taken a couple of GCSEs early, and the one that was modular involved him taking the first paper 3 months after his 13th birthday! Crazy. But at least I know he's been challenged academically all the way through.
He gets a bit fed up at being the last one of his mates to be able to do certain things each year, such as get into films, and he will be one of the last to be able to take driving lessons, but that's just life.
Anyway, as you've said, there's sod all you can do about it anyway. Try to relax. It is what it is.

Paschaelina Mon 08-Aug-11 20:09:49

If it means anything I had a 2nd Sept EDD last year, both scan and dates agreed. My Boy eventually arrived on the 11th, so it was fine. I now face the "1st birthday of the school year" problem, where he doesn't know anyone and I will be inviting the whole class, I guess. hmm

I know it wouldn't have mattered either way but I was really really against having a CS because they tend to bring you in at 39 weeks.

allthefires Mon 08-Aug-11 20:24:35

Paschaelina- we have that problem re invites this year too!

Fwiw my September born boy who is a few weeks younger is more than ready for son but doesn't start proper school til next year unlike his younger friends- some of whom are really struggling.

ThierryHenryismyBoyfriend Mon 08-Aug-11 20:31:09

Is there any chance that you can hold your child back a year if you're worried that they may not be ready for school when they're due to go?

My son is born mid February and the cut off is the end of February (Scotland) and a significant number of teachers we've spoken to have said to us it's better to hold them back a year as it's not just when they start school that is can be noticeable. They said you need to consider what age they'll be when they leave school.

Not sure this helps but good luck.

tory79 Mon 08-Aug-11 20:40:07

I am a 31st August birthday. My mum tells me it was never an issue in terms of schooling and tis true, I am very intelligent smile The only time it ever bothered me was when everyone else was starting to learn drive and turning 18 etc, and now we are way past that and all in our 30's and I love that I am the youngest grin

Obviously when you are talking 4/5 year olds that year can make a massive difference - after all, it is 20/25% of their lives - but I think its very much an individual thing - plenty of September babies no doubt have their own struggles.

MissMarjoribanks Mon 08-Aug-11 20:41:47

I have a late August birthday and was fine at school, academically. Socially, it was a different matter, but that was nothing to do with being young for my year. My parents were absolutely furious when all the August birthdays were prevented from going into top infants and kept down with the middle infants, (Yr 1/2?), so much so that I was moved. It really depends on the child.

FWIW our TTC timetable, if successful, will give us a July/ August 2012 baby. Both DH and I are happy with that.

PhyllisDiller Mon 08-Aug-11 21:02:47

Every child is different to you never know until they are born I guess. DD is Aug born, I cannot imagine her with a slightly later birthday and having the patience to wait a whole year more to start school, she is dying to start.

Years ago (early 80's) I remember a girl at primary school. She was born on 1st or 2nd September and her mother would bitch constantly about the fact that her PFB DD had been held back and should be doing the things that we were doing! I wonder if times have changed or if this mother was slightly mad?

Mum2be79 Mon 08-Aug-11 21:33:07

Early on in school, statistically it does matter, hence the reason why the government was thinking about allowing summer born children to defer a year when starting school. Not sure what has happened to that proposal as i think it was proposed by Labour???
Imagine a child born on September 1st and a child born on August 31st the following year. They would be in the same year group at school but considering there is massive differences in development at one year/birth, there can be equally massive differences when starting school. The emphasis on can. Of all the children I have taught, the majority of summer born children are usually slightly less able/lower end of 'average' at school but this usually lessens as they get older. I teach Year One and of all the SEN children in my class, 11/13 of them were summer born - July and August born. I soon took some of them off as there 'difficulties' were due to age related development rather than SEN. Now only 7 of those children are classed as 'SEN' as progress has been slow and they have other needs such as S&L.
My niece was born on August 30th and she has a supportive home life and does not struggle. She's not the 'Brains of Britain' in her soon to be Y1 class but she's scored 'average' on her profile and in some instances 1 point below 'average' but is not considered 'low ability' or SEN because the school takes into account her DoB/age.
My advice is not to worry. If she's not ready for some things, she's not ready. Pushy parents can only make things worse for their child and for themselves.

Mum2be79 Mon 08-Aug-11 21:34:10

Sorry 'their' not there. not exactly brilliant for a teacher. I'm putting the time of day as my excuse! blush

neolara Mon 08-Aug-11 23:05:18

Below is a link with a summary of the effect of month of birth on academic success. It shows that being summer born does disadvantage children, although the gap gets smaller as kids get older.

nannyl Tue 09-Aug-11 08:34:48

I too went for an older child in the school year....

knew my baby would be due 13th sep (scan shows 11th) and i am DESPERATE for baby to stay put until 1st September.

We had been waiitng for a few months so as not to have one if the youngest, then got pg at first try.

Im a September baby (13th!!! too) and its what i wanted / planned for my baby.

However im sure the if baby is born on 31st Aug he / she will still be fine.

OH is very sporty, and he is adament that it will be advantagous in PE for baby to be September, I was rubbish at PE / sports (despite being a September baby) so thats not something that worries me at all!

nunnie Tue 09-Aug-11 08:44:12

I am hoping for a 1st of September baby but not for any other reason than if it comes before I will have two children in the same school year blush.
I was an end of July baby and my DH a beginning of July baby and he like the poster above thinks it affects sport development a creates a disadvantage. However my experience is different academically I was behind but when it came to sport I was at the same level if not higher than my classmates.
I put my academic inability down to several worldwide moves throughout my childhood and not settling in a school until 10 years of age (RAF child).

My DH did very well academically but he isn't (erm pretty sure he doesn't come on here so I am safe) the most sporty of men. So maybe it is individual based rather than just a simple birthday thing.

DilysPrice Tue 09-Aug-11 09:08:35

I'm from a family of August babies and I would try to avoid it if I could, especially for a boy - so much playground social status revloves around sport and although supportive MN parenting can iron out academic disadvantage it's much harder to comthe physical

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: