Montae Warner, the territory’s first baby of the new year, was born in the early hours of Jan. 2. (Photo: GIS)

On Jan. 2, Montae Warner decided to enter the world a week early, making him the Virgin Islands’ official first baby of the New Year.

Montae’s mother, Shianne Kuntz, gave birth shortly before 1 a.m. on Jan. 2, according to the BVI Health Services Authority. The baby weighed six pounds and eight ounces.

Ms. Kuntz said she was “amazed” that he arrived so quickly, given that her due date wasn’t until Jan. 9.

“Everything happened so fast. It was unexpected,” she said. “I am excited and waiting to see what the future has in store.”

Christmas baby

Christmas Day was also particularly joyful at Peebles Hospital this year, as Bryant Alexius Frometa was born shortly after noon on Dec. 25 to Mabel Neddall and Bryan Frometa.

He weighed in at eight pounds and six ounces.“We feel so happy,” said Ms. Neddall, adding that she nearly forgot it was Christmas.

Mr. Frometa echoed those remarks and said he was looking forward to watching his son grow up.

Gretchen Hodge-Penn, director of nursing services, was similarly pleased.

“The birth of our holiday babies is something that we look forward to every year,” she said. “We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas. He was the gift to the world. Having a healthy baby was the best gift these parents received.”

She added that the BVIHSA presents a gift basket filled with useful baby items to each family.

“The parents are always surprised and appreciative,” she said. “On behalf of the BVI Health Services Authority, we would like to extend blessings for many years of good health, love and happiness to the families of these precious children.”