Hong Kong welcomed its first baby of 2018 just seconds into the new year on Monday – followed by four others within an hour. A boy, weighing 3.45 kilograms, was born eight seconds after the clock struck 12 to Imma Chan and Pan Cheung at Hong Kong Baptist Hospital in Kowloon. He was one of three children born in the first minute of 2018. Chan, a first-time mother in her 30s, said the birth in the new year came as a surprise because the due date was December 30. “I think the baby chose the date himself,” said Chan, an engineering director. Her husband Cheung hoped their son, who has not yet been named, would grow up in a more peaceful social environment. “There are many disputes in society now, and I hope he will grow up happily in a world with fewer disputes,” said Cheung, who works in property management. Chan also hoped the boy would make “a contribution to society”, on top of being a meek and loving son. Just 50 seconds after midnight, the first girl of 2018 was born to Rebecca Yau and Ken Chan. The child, their second, weighed 2.6 kilograms and was also born at Baptist Hospital. Yau, a 33-year-old administration director, said they named the girl “Ka-lam”, which means beautiful gems in Chinese. The birth of Ka-lam, who arrived 17 days earlier than the due date, was unexpected for Yau and Chan. “In the future, when we count down to the new year every year, we will think of our Ka-lam coming to this world with a cry,” Yau said. Her 36-year-old husband said he hoped Ka-lam would grow up in a place “full of love and hope”. Chan, an accountant, believed Hong Kong “still has room to improve”, especially on “basic matters such as health care”. Born at the stroke of midnight, first baby of 2017 followed by three others within an hour “I hope Hong Kong society will become more harmonious with less rage,” he said. The couple had thought of emigrating before their first son was born, as they worried the local education system was too stressful. But they were reassured when they saw the child of a good friend enjoying a local kindergarten. The couple now hope they will not be pushed too much by external forces and hope to provide Ka-lam with a happy childhood. The second arrival of the year, another boy, weighing 3.69 kilograms, was born in the 28th second of 2018 to Shan and Samuel Bradley at Matilda International Hospital on The Peak. “It’s an amazing surprise,” new mother Shan Bradley said. “Because the due date was the 23rd, we thought he was going to be a Christmas baby.” The British couple named their first child “Jasper Seresin”, after one of the Three Wise Men who visited Jesus after his birth and a place they visited together. Shan Bradley said she hoped Jasper would live “a happy, full and contended life”, and the couple would support him no matter what his personality or interests were. Why shaving your baby’s head will not promote hair growth The couple moved to Hong Kong four years ago and planned to stay for the “foreseeable future”. Shan said: “There are complex political situations in most countries, and we are not particularly worried about him growing up in Hong Kong.” The Bradleys, both 34, met when they were both studying arts in university. Working in the creative industry, the couple are keen to sign their son up for a British education that also encourages creativity. The fourth child of the new year, a boy weighing 3.28 kilograms, was born on the 14th minute at Matilda International Hospital, followed by a girl in the 48th minute at Princess Margaret Hospital in Kwai Chung.