Most people work their entire lives for distinction and acclaim.

The first baby born in Salt Lake County on Jan. 1 will receive immediate recognition - and much more.Thanks to Salt Lake merchants, there will be gifts galore for parents and child in the 1989 first baby contest, sponsored by Newspaper Agency Corp.

Winner of the contest and gifts will be the first baby born Jan. 1, according to the time entered on the birth certificate. Babies born by Caesarean section will not be eligible.

A list of Jan. 1 births will be collected by the Deseret News and The Salt Lake Tribune from county hospitals, including University, LDS, Pioneer Valley, Cottonwood, St. Mark's, Holy Cross, Jordan Valley and Alta View.

If a baby is born elsewhere, both papers must be notified before 7 a.m. on Jan. 1 for the baby to be eligible. The birth must be registered immediately by the physician with the Salt Lake County Board of Health.

Merchants participating in the 1989 contest include: Shopko, $50 gift certificate; Allied, $25 gift certificate; Little Caesars Pizza, a year's supply of pizza; Farrs Jewelry, $20 gift certificate; Dick & Jane Shop, Renzo shawl from Italy; Foodtown, one case of diapers.

Pioneer A-1 Moving, $49.50 worth of moving; Strawberry Patch, $20 gift certificate; Dominos Pizza, a year's supply of pizza; Smith's Food King, $25 gift certificate; Nutri/System, free 25 pound program; Baby Boutique, $50 off any crib purchase; Albertsons, $25 gift certificate; Heaven Sent Baby Boutique, $25 gift certificate; Freckles & Frills, $25 gift certificate.

Murray Theater, annual pass for parents; Artistic Images, complementary mother/baby photo session; Granite Furniture, $50 gift certificate; Brown Floral, floral arrangement in a basket; Blackett Computer, $90 in computer Easy Educational software; University of Utah, two gymnastic tickets for Utah State vs. Iowa; Imperial Diaper Service, four weeks free diaper service.

Senti-Metal, one free baby shoe bronzing; Rock-a-Bye, Small Talk baby diary; the Philadelphian, lunch for parents; Good Earth Natural Food, $25 gift certificate; Stevens Skin Care, $50 worth of products; Screenplay Video, movie tape of Cinderella; Just Kids, one pair of shoes; Dress to the Nines, monthly gift certificate; Camera Den, $30 gift certificate.