1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Can Twins Have Different Birthdays?


Updated July 10, 2014

Twin girls (6-8), close-up
Dave Nagel/Iconica/Getty Images

For the most part, twins and multiples share the same birthday. After all, twins are defined as two offspring born together. That means the same day, right? Not necessarily!

Multiples are generally born only a few minutes apart. If delivered by c-section, the interval between births is usually only a minute, maybe two. The interval is generally longer for vaginal deliveries, ranging from a few minutes to more than an hour. In modern times, if the time period extends much beyond that, doctors elect to perform a c-section for the second baby, fearing distress or the risk of infection. However, some studies make a case against this practice.

But there are exceptions to the rule that twins have the same birthday.

Delayed Interval Births

In some cases, a delayed interval birth takes place when one multiple is delivered prematurely, but doctors are able to halt labor and keep the remaining multiple(s) in their mother's womb to grow and develop. Some of these multiples - twins, triplets or more - were born days, weeks or even months apart.

Close to Midnight

The difference between today and tomorrow is literally a matter of seconds. Plenty of babies are delivered in the middle of the night. So babies that are born close to midnight may arrive on different days. For example, Twin A may be born at 11:59 pm on one day while Twin B doesn't make an apperance until 12:01 am, which would be the next day.

This can create some interesting dilemmas. For example, Lexus and Amber Conway who were born either side of midnight on August 31st and September 1st. Unfortunately, September 1st is the cut-off date for starting school in their area, so only the first-born twin would turn five in time for the start of kindergarten.

Twins Born in Different Years

There have even been cases of twins born in different years. In 1991, Susan Goddeke went into labor on December 31st. She gave birth to baby Katherine at 11:56 pm, but baby Jessica wasn't born until 12:14 am ... on January 1st, 1992. A similar situation occurred in 2006-2007 in Boston to the Hoenig family.

As 2009 drew to a close, the Velasco family welcomed premature twins. Tiny Marcello Velasco was born in the last few seconds of 2009, then Stephano arrived just after midnight -- in 2010. The decade-divided duo were born ten weeks early and delivered by cesarean section.

To top it all, there are twins born in different millenia. Aaron and Luke Hegenberger are only eight minutes apart, but they were born in proximity to the turn of the millenium in 2000. Aaron arrived on New Year's Eve, 1999, just a few minutes shy of midnight. And in the first few seconds of the year 2000, his twin brother took his first breath.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.