When is the Best Season to Have a Baby?
posted by: gretchen
Because I have eight kids, our calendar is full of red-letter days. Little squares hail their birthdays nearly year-round. With so many kids, it’s easy and natural for me to consider the best time of year to bring a new baby home. When is the best season to have a baby?
I’ll start with summer because my first baby was a summer baby. Experienced women ominously warned that being hugely pregnant during summer would be torturous. Oh, the places you’ll sweat, the swelling you’ll get, the chaffing and the desire to lie naked in a cold empty bathtub chomping on ice as you glower at feet that look like loaves of shepherd’s bread—it’s all true. But the summer baby is worth it. There are advantages.
Once the baby arrives, the logistics are pretty easy. Their wardrobe can consist of light cotton onesies, a diaper, and little else. Bundling is unnecessary. Trips out of the house don’t require layers and layers for the layers. Hat slippage is not a big deal. Their first sights, sounds, and smells might include flowers, fireworks, bbq ribs, and chlorine at the pool. It’s easier to lose baby weight because it’s a great time to get outside and walk it off.
Another advantage of having a baby in summer is the lack of nasty viruses flying around. The warmer months provide a bit of a respite from being inside all the time, which translates to the less-likely chance some dumb clod will hack germs all over your precious newborn in a closed-in space.
One big disadvantage of having a summer baby is the timing of school class cutoffs. These seemingly arbitrary dates are usually set at the end of summer, making the decision regarding when to start a summer baby in school far more difficult. A November baby is rarely held back a year. An August baby is more likely to redshirt because many moms fear their kids being the youngest in class.
I have two kids born during this lovely time of year. Nobody clucks and predicts thigh sweating and bathtub lounging for the fall mom-to-be. Rather, most of the chatter involves Halloween costumes for the pregnant lady that are either hysterical or slightly offensive. The fully rotund belly, as round as a harvest moon, is like a tent pole. It’s a prop. For example, when I was pregnant with our fourth baby, I dressed as an 8-ball. If the baby is born before Halloween, you’ll get asked what he will be for the big night. My answer: A baby. Give him a break. He was only 9 days old. He still had his umbilical cord. Wait! I just realized he could have been a radial tire with the air nozzle.
Advantages of having a baby in fall include knowing your kid will be the oldest in her class, until you realize she will also be the first in her class to drive someday. The days can still be mild with a few sporadic storms to mix up the wardrobe a bit. You can cluster-feed on the couch during a football game and time flies by! Just don’t spike the baby when there is a touchdown.
I was never crazy about having a winter baby. My second and seventh babies were born in January. I worried about influenza and RSV. When my belly resembled the bottom of a hearty snowman, I would fret any time I had to walk on ice or through snow, fearful of slipping and hurting one or both of us. I worried about dressing them in layers, overheating, underdressing, the dangers of wearing coats in car seats. It seems like a perilous time to be new.
But there are many advantages. Mostly, it’s a lovely time to snuggle in and get to know a baby without pressures of summer’s many activities. They are born when the days are short and the nights are long. They seem to blossom into their personalities just as spring begins. Having a baby in the depth of winter means having some sunshine held on your chest. That will keep you warmer than you ever imagined.
Ironically, I have no babies born in Spring. I was born in Spring, however. Judging by photos of me as a newborn, I spent my earliest days lying on crocheted blankets wearing crocheted booties with pom-poms and crocheted sweaters with pom-poms and hats crocheted with more pom-poms. It was the 70s. I probably itched. It was a very itchy decade—for skin and for eyeballs. I can’t think of any drawbacks to having a baby born in Spring because the weather is improving, blossoms explode, lambs romp, bunnies bring baskets, and Mother’s Day celebrates the whole process.
When I look at photos of my mom pregnant with me during the spring, I see no visible signs she was unduly sweaty or swollen. I only see the horrific early-70s maternity clothes and her wide smile. She seemed to be comfortable, happy, and safe from falling icicles and red inner thighs. She wasn’t dressed as a nun or a billiard ball. I consider her belly and the fact I was inside, waiting for my birth, oblivious to the calendar.
Babies don’t really care when they are born, do they? No matter where we are in the yearly orbit, no matter how we are tilting to or away from the sun, we all arrive in our own unique time.
When were your kids born? Does one season stand above the rest for adding to your family?