Pregnancy, date of birth and scholastic performance

Pregnancy, date of birth and scholastic performance

In this article we discuss how your child's birth date affects their school readiness, and share tips on what you can do to make the most of your situation.

When couples turn to Developmental Expert, Dr Melodie de Jager, and ask “Is there a preferred time of year to fall pregnant?” she does not hesitate to say “Yes, there most certainly is”. That said, we also need to be mindful of the fact that falling pregnant at isn’t always only dictated by a calendar. In this article, we focus on the developmental and educational benefits gained by falling pregnant at a specific time of the year.

Malcolm Gladwell, author of OUTLIERS, says babies born in the first six months of the school year, which is January to June in the Southern Hemisphere, invariably outperform babies born later in the year, July to December.      

If you do the maths and work with the assumption that a healthy pregnancy lasts nine months, and if you would like your Baby to be an ‘outlier’- a child that stands out - then late spring, early summer is not the ideal time to fall pregnant. Instead, falling pregnant in the autumn months will mean you will give birth to a baby early in the new-year. If you are lucky enough to be able to plan your pregnancy and fall pregnant mid-autumn, (once again according to our seasons in the Southern Hemisphere), research indicates your child is more likely to be school ready by the time he or she is 6 years old, turning 7 in grade 1.

What is school readiness?

School readiness means a child is prepared to convert all the multi-sensory FUN experiences of the first six years into abstract thoughts and express it as symbols (including letters and numbers). Typically, children between the ages of five to seven are ready to leap from concrete learning to symbolic learning, if they have systematically and sequentially developed physically, emotionally, socially and cognitively. For all of these areas to develop well, a little one needs time and opportunity to develop.

In the context of this article, the youngest in a peer group automatically points to your child having less time and opportunity to develop. In other words, their peers will be ahead of them developmentally.

My baby was born in the last 6 months of the year. What now?

Babies born later in the year do NOT need more pressure to perform! They do NOT need to reach their milestones earlier, they do NOT need to be 'hot-housed’, BUT moms and dads just need to be aware that their baby will THRIVE with regular massage and a few practical and easy to do *BabyGym activities to develop the brain wiring needed for physical, emotional, social and intellectual development. Multiply Members get up to 25% off BabyGym products and services. Click here to find out more. 


Dr. Melodie De Jager

Founder of both BabyGym & Mind Moves Institutes, Keynote Speaker & Developmental Specialist D.Phil (RAU)

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