Delight for parents as they ring in the New Year with bundles of joy

It was a bumper New Year’s for Hampstead and Highgate’s maternity wards as 18 babies were born on the first day of 2014.

While the rest of Hampstead and Highgate were celebrating the New Year to the sound of champagne corks and out-of-tune renditions of Auld Lang Syne, expectant young couples were awaiting the end of their own nine-month countdown in nearby maternity wards.

The Royal Free Hospital in Pond Street, Hampstead, saw eight New Year babies while midwives at the Whittington Hospital in Magdala Avenue, Highgate, delivered 10 newborns.

Delivered at 04:10am at the Royal Free and weighing in at a healthy 8 pounds 14 ounces was baby boy Oren Joseph Crockford.

Parents Patrick and Zoe, from Kensal Rise, described spending New Year’s surrounded by other newborns as “a steep learning curve”.

“He’s a fantastic baby and we’re overjoyed,” said dad Patrick.

“He was 10 days later than expected so it was completely by chance that he was born on New Year’s Day.

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“The ward was full of first-timers like us and it’s certainly not how we expected to spend our New Year’s Eve.

“Babies seem to be very active in the night so we’ve had our first sleepless nights but when he starts sleeping properly he’ll be the perfect son!”

Just five minutes later and fellow soon-to-be parent Lavina Dmello gave birth to her baby girl Rachel in the same ward, weighing just over six pounds.

And born at just 10 minutes past midnight at the Whittington Hospital, baby girl Jannah could be in line for being one of the first British babies born in 2014.

She weighed in at 5.4 pounds and was delivered to delighted parents Saira and Abdul Samad, who live in Somers Town.

Next door was proud dad Hashim Sharif whose wife gave birth to a baby girl at 04.46am - adding to a total that saw more than double the number of New Year arrivals compared to 2013.