New Year's Baby

Nurses General Nursing


Our small hospital recognizes the first baby born each new year. This year baby A was born on New Year's morning, was 31 weeks and was shipped to a larger facility.

Baby B was born by scheduled c/s 1/2/02.

I came to work that night of the 2nd and find out administration has named baby B as the New Year's Baby. Baby A was not expected to make it through the night. They just did it without asking nursing staff how we felt, without talking to any of the parents of either babies (actually the dr told parents of baby B there was another baby, and the parents commented to staff that they felt "strange" about the situation); and without informing the newspaper that there was another baby born earlier fighting for its life. Reasoning for naming baby B was the deadline the newspaper had to meet to submit the info.

In the past we did not have a baby until a week into the new year, so why couldn't it wait to see how the parents felt, see if the baby lived or died? Thats saying if you don't have a perfect baby you don't count. Thats totally taking away from those parents something that made their baby special. It has been an emotionally charged debate among staff, most who feel administration was wrong.

Any objective opinions?

jschut, BSN, RN

2,743 Posts

I feel Baby A should have been named as the New Year Baby. After all, a child was born, whether or not the baby survived the night. That's almost like not recognizing that the child was even here! How sad...:o


6,620 Posts

I am with you. I don't think it is ever appropriate to ignore the birth of a child who dies or is sick. It just makes it harder for the parents to deal with their grief. I think the decision should have been made by the parents of the child.


6,011 Posts


I agree that baby A was the first born. Did he survive? Even if not, then he still deserved to be recognised.

Around here there are some "perks" to having the first baby, such as diapers and gift certificates. Was the hospital pressured by it's donors to choose Baby B?

Baby B was ONE of the first babies born there. Could the hospital have named two first babies of the year, after consulting with both parents?

This is too sad. My prayers go out to Baby A and Baby B and their families.


921 Posts

Baby A should most certainly be the New Years Baby! I have seen this type of thing happen before. For instance we have a baby of the month here. A nice picture gets taken for the newspaper. But, even though 50% of our babies are born to single moms and 50%are Hispanic. The baby of the month is almost always a baby born to a white married couple. They seem to ignore the illegitimate babies, the hispanic babies, the not-so-perfect babies. I find it disgraceful!


2,259 Posts

Specializes in LDRP; Education.

I agree, Baby A is the New Year's Baby - whether the circumstances are ideal or not.

Our year 2000 baby was born to a single, coke addicted mom. Sign of the times - like it or leave it.

Plus, I thought scheduled inductions (including C-sections) didn't count? :confused:


122 Posts

Baby A died the next morning. The hospital is recognizing Baby A with a memorial plaque that will be hung with others in a hospital hallway.

I don't think the hospital was pressured to choose Baby B, but thats a good point...another year the first baby was passed up because his mom wasn't married...and she probably could've used the gift certs, etc more than the married mom. I'm pretty sure Baby A's parents weren't married.

The fact that it was scheduled is another controversy...some are saying this doctor wanted the New Year's baby to be Baby B, he delivered Baby A and Baby B, and was heard saying he wanted the New Year's baby, "but not this one" while in the process of shipping Baby A.

I just hate to see parents that are already hurting, possibly hurt more when they come home to read a big article about the New Year's baby. They could've let the newspaper wait a week, then talk to the parents. Hey, and here's a novel idea: they could've asked the nursing staff, who have taken courses on perinatal bereavement and deal with it on the job, and who interacted with the parents what they thought.

SharonH, RN

2,144 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Geriatrics.

How appalling! It certainly should have been the New Year's baby they would have just had to temper the celebration somewhat in deference to the worried and later grieving parents. As for choosing only the babies of married couples to be the New Year's baby, I too find that troublesome. What type of place is this anyway? They sound awfully biased.


566 Posts

Specializes in ER, Hospice, CCU, PCU.

Baby A was the first regardless of the circumstances. This just appears to be another example of hospital administrations changing the facts to fit their picture.

prmenrs, RN

4,565 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Infection Control.

If it had been "A", a whole lot of people could have been praying for him/her, and supporting the parents. Presenting it like that might make administration realize the "community" aspect of having a baby, if you get what I'm trying to say. It's that old thing about taking a village, etc, etc.

Sometimes I thing people in administration need to take a "humanity" class.

Sorry about the baby. :o

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