And the 2017 Gerber baby is... 7-month-old Riley from Lewis Center, Ohio! The adorable, wide-eyed tot was chosen from among 110,000 similarly precious entries—and according to the press release, his parents will receive $50,000, as well as $1,500 in Gerber Childrenswear and the opportunity for their son to star in a future Gerber advertisement as the 2017 Spokesbaby.
But his parents, or at least one of them, thought Riley winning the contest was beyond a long shot.
"Originally, my husband laughed at me for entering the contest because there were so many submissions! Now, we have the opportunity to start a college fund for our beautiful baby boy," mom Kristen Shines said.
She added that his "big, gummy smile" might have been the key to his winning the top honor. Robyn Fitter, senior promotions marketing manager at Gerber, seconded Shines' sentiment: "This year, the judges loved Riley's expression and how well he captured their attention through a simple photograph. We are all thrilled to name Riley as our 2017 Spokesbaby!"
Riley's dad Devin took a more humorous approach to his son's newfound fame, telling People magazine, "He's not going to want to talk to us anymore."
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Find her on Facebook where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of coffee.