This Is the First Gerber Baby With Down Syndrome & the Internet Is Ecstatic


Gerber/Facebook

Every year, baby food giant Gerber holds a highly anticipated contest to choose a new Gerber Spokesbaby to represent the brand. It's a coveted title that comes with a cash prize and the opportunity to appear in a year's worth of advertisements. This year, more than 140,000 babies competed for the title, and the winner is making headlines for more than just taking home the prize. Lucas Warren, a 1-year-old from Dalton, Georgia, was just named the first-ever Gerber Baby with Down syndrome.

  • Bill Partyka, CEO and president of Gerber, told Today.com it was Lucas's bright smile that captured their attention.

    "Every year, we choose the baby who best exemplifies Gerber's longstanding heritage of recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby," Partyka said. "This year, Lucas is the perfect fit."

    More from CafeMom: Why This Dad Shared a Photo of His Brother With Down Syndrome Holding a Newborn

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  • The iconic Gerber Baby has graced Gerber's packaging since 1928, but eight years ago, the brand started holding a contest to find an annual spokesbaby.

    Lucas's mom, Cortney Warren, told Today.com she decided to enter her son in the contest on a whim, after a relative showed her an advertisement for it. She posted a photo of Lucas on Instagram using the contest hashtag, and later the family was notified that Lucas won. The 1-year-old will be featured in ads across Gerber's social media, and he'll receive $50,000, which the family say they're going to put toward his education.

  • Parents across the Internet are thrilled with Gerber's choice.

    Many are calling it a win for the representation of all kids with disabilities. Katie Driscoll, the founder and president of Changing the Face of Beauty, a nonprofit organization that advocates for equal representation of people with disabilities in the media, wrote on Facebook, "Thank you Gerber for seeing the value in our community!"

  • On Twitter, one mom pointed out that Gerber babies are often considered the "ideal" babies, and now the ideal is more inclusive of all kids.

    Another person tweeted, "My brother will be 32 Saturday and has Down syndrome. Loved seeing beautiful baby Lucas become the next Gerber Baby on the Today Show!! Seeing the acceptance and love for those with DS grow from where it was 32 years ago makes my heart so incredibly happy!!!"

  • Lucas's dad, Jason, tells Today.com he hopes his son's time as the Gerber Baby will change the way the world sees kids with Down syndrome.

    "We're hoping this will impact everyone -- that it will shed a little bit of light on the special needs community and help more individuals with special needs be accepted and not limited," he said. "They have the potential to change the world, just like everybody else."

    CafeMom reached out to Jason and Cortney Warren but they did not immediately respond to our request for comment.

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