Does date of birth matter?

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October 2, 2019
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November 5, 2019

By Dr. Melodie de Jager

Oh YES, a baby’s date of birth matters!


If baby was born premature, baby has ONE date of birth, but TWO ages!

  • A baby’s chronological age is the number of days, weeks, or years the baby is old, calculated from the day baby was born.
  • A baby’s adjusted age is a baby’s age, based on his due date. A premature baby’s adjusted age is used when health care professionals evaluate baby’s growth and development. So, if a baby is 6 months old, but was born two months early, his adjusted age is 4 months, which means mom and dad should expect baby to develop like any full term 4 month old baby. All developmental milestones tend to follow the same time frame as a full term baby if continued medical care is not needed.

Sullivan, an adjunct professor of pediatrics at Brown University found that pre-term babies countered the effects of being born early by displaying a “persistent drive to succeed.” Being born premature may put kids at a slight disadvantage when it comes to certain developmental milestones, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make up for them with the proper support.

When you read: but that doesn’t mean they can’t make up for them with the proper support, read: But that doesn’t mean they can’t make up for them with BabyGym®


Malcolm Gladwell, author of OUTLIERS, states that babies born in the first six months of the year invariably outperform babies born later in the year. With no disrespect to Malcolm, one simply cannot compare a newborn baby with a six month old baby. A newborn baby barely lifts his head or opens his eyes (and focuses) on anything other than mom’s eyes for a few seconds, while a six month old baby is raring to go! A six month old baby has developed such strong brain wiring, that he can turn his head, roll over, grasp and hold objects with both his hands and eyes. Emotionally and socially he is streaks ahead of a newborn baby and those advantages tend to last for quite a few years.

An outlier is an element of a data set that distinctly stands out from the rest of the data. “Outlier” is a scientific term to describe things or phenomena that lie outside normal experience.

In the southern hemisphere babies born in October, November and December – premature or not, tend to need more focused stimulation than babies born in January, February, March because all these babies will be going to Grade 1 in the year they turn seven. In school, they will all be expected to be equally skilled at: sitting up and still, holding a pencil, cutting on a line, waiting and listening the first time – irrespective of date of birth!

BUT, 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 ‘hot-housing’, 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 activities to develop the brain wiring needed for emotional, social and intellectual development.

BabyGym is the ideal non-invasive stimulation programme for mom, dad, nanny and granny to playfully stimulate baby to brilliance! If you are currently doing (not just attending) BabyGym with your baby, WELL DONE! Don’t stop, baby will thank you for it one day.

Every baby milestone is a BRAIN DEVELOPMENTAL milestone – Dr Melodie de Jager

Don’t let your baby skip a milestone. Talk to us, TOGETHER we build a better future!

  • If you are pregnant, click HERE to read more about BabyGym 1, and find a BabyGym Instructor near you so you are ready to boost your baby’s feeding and sleeping from the moment your baby is born!
  • If your baby is six weeks or older, click HERE to read more about BabyGym 2, and find a BabyGym Instructor near you to relax your baby, awaken the senses and strengthen the muscles as soon as possible!
  • If there isn’t a BabyGym Instructor near you, click HERE to order resources online and learn to develop your little one in the comfort of your own home.


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