Having a due date during the coldest month in the northern hemisphere means you have plenty of excuses to snuggle up—but the perks to a January birthday go beyond that.

If you're starting off the new year with a new baby, consider yourself lucky: Science shows being born early in the year gives people a leg up on competition when it comes to sports, academics and even fame. But you already knew you had a little super star, right? 😉

Here are some other joys to January birthdays:

They are good-natured
Babies born in the midst of winter don't run as hot as those born during warmer months, according to a 2014 survey—which also found winter babies self-report as generally less irritable than peers.
They are on track to sports stardom
According to one study from our mates down under, there were 33% more January babies than "expected" in the Australian Football League. Said co-author Adrian Barnett from Queensland University of the theory behind this, "If you were born in January, you have almost 12 months' growth ahead of your classmates born late in the year."
They are more likely to be doctors
Researchers across the pond found that January babies are more likely to be general practitioners—as well as debt collectors—than people born at other times of the year.
Or they could become a celebrity
One study published in the Journal of Social Sciences found a disproportionate number of celebrities claim the Aquarius astrological sign—meaning they were born between January 20 and February 18.
They will be a Capricorn or an Aquarius
Speaking of astrology (and depending on how loosely we're talking science), a January baby is either a Capricorn or an Aquarius. For those born under the Capricorn sign, tradition says to expect a romantic, practical old soul. Meanwhile, babies born later in the January are considered to be independent deep-thinkers who love helping others.
Added perk: You get bargains on those birthday presents
With the holidays over, stores offer some of their lowest prices of the year—which mean January babies can expect lots of presents on the table at their birthday parties. (So they should feel no shame in asking for the cool toy a friend from school got over winter break.)

Best of all, having a January birthday means something to look forward to during the long days of winter—and yet another good reason to come together as a family.


[Originally published January 3, 2018]

When I was expecting my first child, I wanted to know everything that could possibly be in store for his first year.

I quizzed my own mom and the friends who ventured into motherhood before I did. I absorbed parenting books and articles like a sponge. I signed up for classes on childbirth, breastfeeding and even baby-led weaning. My philosophy? The more I knew, the better.

Yet, despite my best efforts, I didn't know it all. Not by a long shot. Instead, my firstborn, my husband and I had to figure it out together—day by day, challenge by challenge, triumph by triumph.


The funny thing is that although I wanted to know it all, the surprises—those moments that were unique to us—were what made that first year so beautiful.

Of course, my research provided a helpful outline as I graduated from never having changed a diaper to conquering the newborn haze, my return to work, the milestones and the challenges. But while I did need much of that tactical knowledge, I also learned the value of following my baby's lead and trusting my gut.

I realized the importance of advice from fellow mamas, too. I vividly remember a conversation with a friend who had her first child shortly before I welcomed mine. My friend, who had already returned to work after maternity leave, encouraged me to be patient when introducing a bottle and to help my son get comfortable with taking that bottle from someone else.

Yes, from a logistical standpoint, that's great advice for any working mama. But I also took an incredibly important point from this conversation: This was less about the act of bottle-feeding itself, and more about what it represented for my peace of mind when I was away from my son.

This fellow mama encouraged me to honor my emotions and give myself permission to do what was best for my family—and that really set the tone for my whole approach to parenting. Because honestly, that was just the first of many big transitions during that first year, and each of them came with their own set of mixed emotions.

I felt proud and also strangely nostalgic as my baby seamlessly graduated to a sippy bottle.

I felt my baby's teething pain along with him and also felt confident that we could get through it with the right tools.

I felt relieved as my baby learned to self-soothe by finding his own pacifier and also sad to realize how quickly he was becoming his own person.

As I look back on everything now, some four years and two more kids later, I can't remember the exact day my son crawled, the project I tackled on my first day back at work, or even what his first word was. (It's written somewhere in a baby book!)

But I do remember how I felt with each milestone: the joy, the overwhelming love, the anxiety, the exhaustion and the sense of wonder. That truly was the greatest gift of the first year… and nothing could have prepared me for all those feelings.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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My husband and I always talked about starting a family a few years after we were married so we could truly enjoy the “newlywed” phase. But that was over before it started. I was pregnant on our wedding day. Surprise!

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