Hundreds of babies take their first breaths at Harrogate District Hospital every year but, this week, six of them arrived on a particularly special day.
On Monday, February 29, the hospital welcomed in six leap year babies; three girls, one boy and an identical set of male twins.
Baby Alexa was welcomed into the world by her mother Natalie Traves while Jennifer Marks celebrated the birth of her daughter Emma Marie.
Tanya Gornall and Robert Nelson said they were ‘delighted’ with the birth of their daughter Sophia Nelson and Joel Amoako was born to proud parents Harriet and Isaac.
The identical twins, who are yet to be named by their parents Catherine and Matthew Evans, arrived at 12:14 and 12:15pm, six weeks early.
Catherine and Matthew also have a five-year-old daughter called Isabelle who has yet to greet the family’s new additions but was said to be excited to meet them later that day.
Sally Baxter, sister at the Special Care Children’s unit, was taking care of the premature twins and said she was thrilled for all the parents of the special babies.
She said: “It’s special for all parents, but especially on a leap day. But, it’s also a traumatic experience when a baby has to come to Special Care.
“We concentrate on parents needs and it is rewarding being able to share that special time with them in the days after birth.
”There are only four million leap year babies - or ‘leaplings’ in the world, out of a population of seven billion, so it’s no wonder their parents considered their new additions ‘extra-special’.
But, with the babies only getting to celebrate their birthday once every four years, there was one important question that needed answering.
Jennifer said her baby Emma Marie would have a big part on the 28th because ‘her older cousin Finn was born on that day.
Proud mum Tanya said her new daughter Sophia would also be celebrating her birthday on the 28th because ‘you can’t wait an extra day to have a party’.
However, Natalie said she just ‘hadn’t had time to think about’ what day her new baby daughter Alexa would be celebrating her birthday.