5 birthday traditions for Feb 29th babies


How many days are there in a year? 365, right? Well, not always. Years that are 365 days are often referred to as “common years”. Sometimes, though, there are 366 days in a year. These years, which have an extra day, are called leap years.

While it might seem strange, there is a reason behind it. It takes roughly 365 days for the sun to orbit Earth once, and for us, that’s the year. Now, notice we said roughly? Yeah, that’s because it takes the earth 365.242190 to go around the run or 365 days five hours 48 minutes, and 56 seconds. We have leap years to account for the extra five hours, 48 minutes, and 56 seconds.

Now, you might say, it’s only a few hours, why do we have to count them? Well, if we didn’t, the way we track seasons would eventually become off-kilter, and we’d have summer in December! Typically, leap years occur every four years, which makes 2024, a leap year. This year, February, which normally has 28 days, has 29.

But wait! There’s more. Whenever we have a leap year, we also have babies born on this very same day. There are roughly five million people in the world who were born on February 29th which is a one in 1,461 chance. 

Some leaders are quite famous, like Ja Rule the hip-hop and rap artist famous for hits like ‘I’m Real’ featuring Jennifer Lopez. These adults or babies, while rare, only get to celebrate their birthdays once in four years. Seems unfair, doesn’t it?

If you’re a parent to a leap day baby, you’re probably wondering what to do for your little one’s birthday. Most people celebrate on the 28th of February or wait for the 1st of March on “off” years, but even if you do that, it still won’t be their actual birthday. So how can you make it extra special despite that? We’ve compiled a list of birthday traditions to make their day memorable.

1. Consider a two-day birthday bash

Sure, it’s all well and good to pick the 28th of February or the 1st of March on non-leap years but, why not make it a two-day celebration to commemorate your baby’s rare birthday? 

Since they can’t do anything on the 29th of February, you could have a party on the 28th, take them out to the park for fun and a picnic, or take them out for a fun day at the movies. On the 1st of March, do pressies and a family lunch at home.

Another great idea is to make the celebration a leap theme. Put up leapfrog decorations, play games like hopscotch or a leapfrog relay, and hire a bouncy castle. You could also include a leapfrog-themed cake or cupcakes and encourage guests to dress up to match the occasion.

2. Leap year birthday bash

When the 29th of Feb finally rolls around every 4 years, have an extra big party. Think themes, balloons, presents galore, a big cake (with four tiers), other little tots, goodie bags, and tons of food.

Invite all your family and friends and go all out! You could even set up a petting zoo, hire a face painter, the classic magician, or ask Dad to dress up as a superhero.

Other ideas include creating an indoor play center or setting up a treasure hunt. Your kid will love it, and you’ll have wonderful memories to share down the line.


Did you know?

Superman might be a fictional character but his birthday is February 29, which is rather fitting for a superhuman. He’d make a great superhero addition to your little one’s birthday.

3. Plan an adventure

You’re never too young to travel the world. If you can, begin a birthday tradition with your little one where you pick a place and go there each year to commemorate their rare birthday. Start road-tripping around the states and move outwards to other parts of the world. 

Even if your baby is too small to remember, you’ll have a blast making memories and sharing the stories with them when they’re old enough to remember. Plus, your little one will become a globetrotter and develop a fondness for travel, which could never be a bad thing.

4. Make a time capsule

Start collecting little things such as baby socks, shoes, onesies, hand prints, etc., and make a time capsule for your baby. As they grow, encourage your little ones to collect items to add to their time capsule each year. When their leap-year birthday comes around, you can open four capsules together, revel in those shared moments, and reflect on happy memories.

5. Gift your little one something special

In many cultures around the world, giving babies gold or silver bangles is a tradition. You could do something similar for your little one, even if they aren’t old enough to wear these special gifts. Bangles, rings, and jewelry often make perfect trinkets that children can appreciate when they’re older. 

Besides jewelry, there are other special gifts to consider. You could begin a memory book, start a journal for your child, or write them letters, things they will cherish later in life and keep always.

While being born on a day that only comes once in four years can be difficult for little children to comprehend, it is ultimately a gift. As a parent, you can teach your child to love and embrace this rare birthday, by making it memorable, fun, and different.

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