The Maritimes' first baby of the new year didn't wait long to show her pretty face.

At just six minutes after midnight, Alexa Jacqueline Burton was born at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital.

“I've never been happier,” says Alexa’s father, Andrew. “I don't know what else to say."

The first-time parents were hoping to have their baby on New Year’s Eve so that Alexa could grow up going to school with her 2017-born friends.    

But little Alexa had other plans.

"I think it's what she wanted, obviously. She waited until that very minute," says her mother, Amanda.

When Amanda was told to start pushing with about an hour to go before midnight, it dawned on the couple that they might have the first New Year’s baby.

"It almost became like a competition,” Andrew says, “because there were three other people in the labour rooms having babies at the same time … to find out we were the first in the CBRM and then the first in Nova Scotia, it's unbelievable."

Alexa wasn’t quite the first baby born in Canada, with two babies born in Toronto exactly at the stroke of midnight. Both St. Michael's Hospital and Humber River Hospital announced early Monday that they had welcomed new babies at exactly 12 a.m. on Jan. 1.

The first babies in New Brunswick were born five minutes apart. A boy, Mikael, arrived at 5:17 a.m. at the Chaleur hospital in Bathurst just five minutes after a baby girl was born at the Saint John Regional Hospital.

As for Alexa, her dad figures she'll have at least one advantage to being a New Year's baby.

 "She's always going to have a good party, that's for sure," he says. 

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ryan MacDonald.