THE first baby to be born in County Durham in the 2020s only just managed to claim the record.

Freya Collier arrived in the world at two minutes past midnight on New Year’s Day, weighing in at a healthy 8lbs 4oz.

But in fact the new born baby should have been an early Christmas present for her parents, Kevin Collier, 35, and Qi Zhang, 33, from Framwellgate Moor, near Durham.

Her due date was Christmas Eve but when she still had not arrived after a week doctors brought the expectant mum into the University Hospital of North Durham to be induced.

They tried twice on New Year’s Eve before Ms Zhang finally elected to have a caesarean section.

Ms Zhang, who is originally from Shanghai in China, came over to study media at university in Newcastle and works at Fenwicks department store in the city while her partner is an obstetrician.

She said: “I am not doing too bad because I had the C-section – my partner has said it is like I am still 25 weeks pregnant.

“I think my daughter looks like her paternal grandad. She is very cute.

“I think for every parent, after nine or ten months of pregnancy, it is a relief for her to be here safely.

“I have invited my mum to come over help out. She is from China and that is where her home is.”

Some seven hours after Freya was born, the same labour ward welcomed Ivy Rose Lumley into the world.

Weighing in at 7lbs 7oz, she was born at 7.14am to parents Jonathan Lumley, 32, and Emma Famulok, from Spennymoor.

The couple already have four daughters between them aged three, six, eight, and thirteen, so little Ivy will not be short of babysitters as she grows up.

Mr Lumley, a mechanic, said he was "buzzing" at Ivy's arrival, admitting he is completely outnumbered by the six females in his household.

In Darlington, hairdresser Jamie Allan, 27, and her partner Craig Bennett, 31, welcomed their daughter, Daisie, into the world.

She arrived at 1.23am weighing 7lbs 6ozs and had also been due on Christmas Eve.

Ms Allan said: “It has been a very dry Christmas – it has been torture.

“She is worth it though. She is just so cute. My family can’t wait to meet her.

“I am just so glad that she is here and is happy and healthy.

“Everything is perfect so it is a great way to start the New Year.”