Drumroll, please! The 2018 Gerber baby is Lucas Warren, an 18-month-old with Down syndrome from Dalton, Georgia. Lucas is the first Gerber baby with special needs since the contest first began in 2010. "We are extremely proud to see how many people Lucas will touch over the next year," Jason Warren, Lucas's father, told Parents.
Lucas's mom, Cortney, posted a photo on Instagram using the contest's hashtag and was shocked to hear the news that he came out on top from the more than 140,000 entries. "We think Lucas won because of the absolute joy his smile brings and the way he lights up a room," says Jason. That's exactly what Gerber saw too. The winning photo was selected based on the core judging criteria of visual appeal, expressiveness, and consistency with Gerber's heritage, which is grounded in recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby.
Over the next year, Lucas will appear in Gerber's social media channels and be featured in Gerber advertisements. But he's accomplished a lot already by appearing on national and local TV segments. Lucas's parents will also receive a $50,000 prize, which they hope to put toward his education.
When the smiley baby isn't wooing over the media, Lucas loves playing at home with his puppy and piano and perfecting his clapping and waving techniques. We can't wait to see you on our social feeds, Lucas!