Lucas Warren is the official new Gerber Baby for 2018, and of course, he’s precious. Not only is Warren insanely cute, he’s the first-ever Gerber baby with Down syndrome.
The 18-month-old was announced as the 2018 Gerber Baby on February 7 with an adorable photo of him smiling in a bowtie. Seriously, his smile is so infectious it’s hard to not let out a long “awww” when looking at photos of the new spokesbaby.
Warren beat out 140,000 other babies to be this year’s Gerber Baby, but for his family it means more than a prestigious title and a $50,000 cash prize. His parents Jason and Cortney Warren explained on the Today Show why this opportunity is so “life changing.”
“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,” Jason said. “They have the potential to change the world, just like everybody else.”
The Gerber Baby contest began in 2010, and every year judges wade through thousands of entries to pick the winner. “Every year, we choose the baby who best exemplifies Gerber’s longstanding heritage of recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby,” CEO and president of Gerber Bill Partyka said.“This year, Lucas is the perfect fit.”
Cortney told Today that she hopes this campaign will teach Warren to not be ashamed of his disability when he’s older. “He may have Down syndrome, but he’s always Lucas first,” Cortney said. “He’s got an awesome personality and he goes through the milestones of every child … we’re hoping when he grows up and looks back on this, he’ll be proud of himself and not ashamed of his disability.”