A VERY special group of babies were welcomed into the world on this year's Leap Day.

Born on a leap day, these little Leapers or Leaplings - as those born on February 29 are named - are in the rare position of celebrating their official birthday every four years, and will have the choice to celebrate their birthday on either February 28 or March 1 in the coming years.

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals' (WWL) first Leapling was Avery Rita-Rae, who was born at 6:01am on the Thursday, February 29, weighing 6lbs 15oz.

Her proud mum said: “It’s quite special having her born in a leap year, everything has come together, so she was definitely made to be born into the world today.”

READ > Teen one of trio who sneaked into garage to steal motorbike

Leigh Journal: Avery Rita-RaeAvery Rita-Rae (Image: WWL)
Laura McCormack, mother of baby Tomás, who was born at 10:33am, said: “Tomás was due on the March 7, but being born on this unique day is even better!

"His dad is born on the longest day of the year on June 21, which is an astronomical event that occurs when the sun reaches its highest point.

"So, Tomás being born on a leap year is special to our family.”

Leigh Journal: Tomás McCormackTomás McCormack (Image: WWL)
Along with Avery and Tomas, five other babies were born at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary.

Divisional Director of Maternity, Cathy Stanford, said: “It is a pleasure to support every parent’s journey with us, here at WWL’s Maternity Unit, and the birth of a baby is always a precious time for the family.

"It is particularly fascinating to think of those born on a leap year and whose birthdays will only fall once every four years.

"Congratulations to the families of all our leap year babies.”