Illawarra's baby 'Lamington' the first on Australia Day

Tullimbar Village couple Jonathan and Hazel Munoz welcome their third baby on Australia Day. Little Joelle has a three-year-old brother Jonzel and two-year-old sister Jolea. Picture: ROBERT PEET
Tullimbar Village couple Jonathan and Hazel Munoz welcome their third baby on Australia Day. Little Joelle has a three-year-old brother Jonzel and two-year-old sister Jolea. Picture: ROBERT PEET

The first baby born in the Illawarra on Australia Day was not named immediately, but in true Aussie style she quickly gained a nickname - Lamington, or Lami for short.

Born with a shock of dark brown hair covered with white specks of vernix - the substance that protects babies' skin in utero - Hazel and Jonathan Munoz thought it a fitting moniker for their new baby girl.

"Her hair reminded us of a lamington and so we've given her Lami as a nickname until we pick her proper name," Mrs Munoz said.

"She is our third child and my husband and I have a bit of a tradition of combining our names for our children's names.

"We'd come up with a few options but decided to wait and see whether the baby was a boy or girl and make our final decision."

The newborn, who arrived at 4.15am at Wollongong Hospital, couldn't wait to meet her parents and her three-year-old brother Jonzel and two-year-old sister Jolea.

Due on February 1, she had other ideas.

Mr Munoz, a driver for Illawarra Radio Doctor, had just finished his shift only to have to get back in the car and drive his wife to hospital.

"I started to have contractions and my husband and I ended up getting to hospital around 3am; my waters broke at 4.03am and she was born just over 10 minutes later," Mrs Munoz said.

"I was going to have to be induced early so I'm glad she came naturally."

The early arrival also afforded the couple some special treatment, with some sparkling wine from hospital management as well as a visit from Wollongong Australia Day committee member Robyn Hampton bearing gifts.

"I've got the best job on the committee - welcoming new arrivals every year," Ms Hampton said.

"It's something special we like to do to signify the first new little person born in our city on this special day."

The Munozes received gift vouchers from My Baby Warehouse, Horizon Credit Union, The Palace Hair and Body, Fairy Meadow and a night's accommodation at the Novotel Northbeach.

Mum and dad also received Aussie flags, flowers and another bottle of sparkling wine to share, while their little girl received a commemorative silver spoon and teacup.

● Mr Munoz called the Mercury to share her final name - Joelle - a nice mix of Jonathan and Hazel.