Utah family chooses Leap Day for their daughter’s birthday

Feb 29, 2024, 6:44 PM | Updated: 6:48 pm

DRAPER — Some Utahns spent the extra day of 2024 welcoming a new addition to their family.

Nurse Debra Weight said it was an especially busy day on Lone Peak Hospital’s Labor and Delivery floors.

“You only get to see it, you know, every four years, and so, it’s kind of fun to just recognize that there’s babies out there that celebrate only every four years of their actual day, and then they get to come up with however they’re going to recognize their birthday,” Weight said.

She said, typically, parents don’t want to have their babies born on Leap Day, but this year, one of the hospital’s patients specifically chose February 29.

“With it being an elective C-section, we would just give her a fun birthday,” said mom Jackie Ray. “Why not? If you get to choose the day of their birth, then you might as well give them a fun day to have it on.”

Ray and her husband, Spencer, welcomed their third child, daughter Benson Ray, at 8:08 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024.

“It was very routine and easy, just a nice, quick C-section, and now she’s here,” Jackie said. “She’s just calm. Calm and sweet.”

Jackie Ray with her newborn Benson Ray.

Jackie Ray with her newborn Benson Ray. (KSL TV, Shelby Lofton)

Weight said there were several babies born on Leap Day this year. They add to the hospital’s record-breaking number of babies born this month.

“This is our biggest volume since 2013,” said Weight. “We’re at 166 for this month, and our previous highest was 150.”

Benson’s dad has already found one perk of the holiday birthday, which only comes around about every four years.

“He’s glad she won’t be 16 for a long time because she can never date,” Ray said. “She won’t be 16 until she’s … 64.”

The new parents with their baby girl.

The new parents with their baby girl. (KSL TV, Shelby Lofton)

When she’s older, Benson’s mom and dad will let her decide when to celebrate her big day.

“We’ve thought about it,” Jackie said. “We’ll probably end up doing it on the 28, but if she’s older and she wants to do it on the first or kind of however she wants to do it, or then every four years do something bigger or more fun, we’ll probably do it that way.”

They said they’re eager to start making traditions with their new baby, along with her older brother and sister.

In the meantime, they’re having fun playing with her birthday math.

“When she’s 100, she’ll really be 25, so it’s like you get to just celebrate your 25 birthday when you’re actually 100 years old,” Jackie said.

Though Benson’s birthday will only come around on certain years, it’s a date they’ll never forget.

“It’s definitely been a fun way to celebrate this extra day this year, to have her,” she said.

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Utah family chooses Leap Day for their daughter’s birthday