Even as Singapore welcomed its final Golden Jubilee babies on Thursday night, the first children of 2016 were already waiting to come into the world when the clock struck midnight yesterday.
One couple had to rush to hospital eight days earlier than planned.
Born at 11.16pm on New Year's Eve at KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH), Ansley Soong is believed to be the last SG50 baby in Singapore, after checks by The Straits Times.
The boy weighing 3.5kg is the fourth child of taxi driver Shaun Soong and administrative assistant Tee Bee Ling, both 40.
"I feel lucky as I get to have the SG50 Baby Jubilee gift set," said Ms Tee. "Being the last baby of the year has its benefits; for example, he gets to study a year earlier than if he were born in January."
Every Singaporean child born in 2015 receives the SG50 gift set, which includes a medallion, shawl, baby sling, set of baby clothes, nappy bag and family photo frame.
"I hope he grows up healthy and can contribute to the nation," Ms Tee added.
Mrs Josephine Teo, Senior Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, visited the Soong family and two other families of babies born on New Year's Day at KKH.
Senior store specialist Rudy Marwan, 25, and Ms Khairunnisa Anwar, 23, a project assistant in the airline industry, welcomed their first child Khairy Rusyaidy, weighing 3.4kg, at about 1.30am at KKH yesterday. "I felt scared during the delivery, because he is my first child and I don't have any experience," said Ms Khairunnisa. "But I am also excited and I feel so blessed. He is so cute."
Several hospitals had babies born near midnight and Evan Tan, a 2.7kg baby boy delivered at Thomson Medical Centre, is believed to be the first of 2016.
Mrs Teo, who assists Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean in overseeing the National Population and Talent Division, shared about her visit to KKH, as well as old photos of her with her children, on a new Facebook blog she started yesterday called Our Singapore Family (#OurSGFamily).
She took over the population portfolio from Ms Grace Fu last October and decided to set up the blog to share her insights and observations after meeting people to understand their views on marriage and parenthood. Mrs Teo told reporters that last year's birth figure is still being calculated, but added: "I am hopeful that the total number of Jubilee babies will be about the same or more than that in 2014."