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Leap Day babies born at UHS

March 02, 2020

A New Berlin baby will have a birthday only once every four years.

Birthday parties every year, of course, but fewer birth dates than most people.

Seven-pound, 20-inch Josiah entered the world at UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital at 12:02 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 29, making him one of the first Leap Year 2020 babies in the United States.

He is the son of Michael and Joyce, who live in New Berlin.

Josiah was the first Leap Year newborn at the Norwich hospital in 20 years, the Maternity Department reported, making his arrival all the more special.

Michael and Joyce said they were a bit apprehensive about their son’s birth on the once-every-four-years date of Feb. 29, but have since come to embrace it.

“At first I really didn’t like the idea, but now that I have had some time to think about it and take a deep breath and hold him in my arms, I am very excited and have accepted it,” Joyce commented.

Michael said, “I know he is a special boy, and having him on the 29th is just more proof of that.”

Ross Baxter, MD, who delivered Josiah, is one of five obstetrics providers in Norwich, and has been delivering babies at UHS Chenango Memorial and other locations for a number of years.

“I had delivered babies on every major holiday except Halloween and Leap Year, until now,” he said. “When the nurses took the official time and it was just after midnight, I knew we had a special delivery.”

So how to celebrate a Leap Day baby’s birthdays?

“Just like his brother and sister that he has waiting for him at home, we will have a birthday party every year,” said Josiah’s mother. “But we’ll probably celebrate his birthday on March 1, except for those special years when there is a Feb. 29 on the calendar.”

Josiah wasn't the only Leap Day baby born at UHS though. 

Sophia Reily weighed in at seven pounds, .31 ounces when she arrived at UHS Wilson Medical Center at 10:16 a.m. on Leap Day, Saturday, Feb. 29.

Her parents, Greg and Stephanie, of Greene, have promised her a birthday party every year, even though she’ll technically have a birth date only once every four years.

“We were a little worried about how we were going to celebrate, but we’ve decided to make it the last day of February each year, whether that’s the 28th or 29th,” Stephanie said.

Feb. 29, also known as Leap Day or Leap Year Day, is a date added to most calendar years that are divisible by four, such as 2016, 2020 and 2024.

A Leap Day is added to various solar calendars (calendars based on the Earth's revolution around the Sun), including the Gregorian calendar standard in most of the world.

(above) Josiah with mommy and daddy Michael and Joyce. (below) Sophia Reily with mom and dad Greg and Stephanie.