Kairi Yang, a 15-month-old from Hickory, North Carolina, was chosen as the 2019 Gerber Baby. And you’ll totally know why once you see her big eyes and smile.

By Emily Elveru
February 26, 2019
Kairi's Winning Photo.JPG

February 26, 2019

Get ready to swoon! The 2019 Gerber baby is Kairi Yang from Hickory, North Carolina. The 15-month-old came out on top of 540,000 entries—the largest in the contest’s 10-year history. “We’re very honored and happy for her to be chosen out of over half a million babies,” says Ying Vue, Kairi’s mom.

And Kairi’s dad, Peter Yang, explains that this honor means even more for their Hmong community. “This is a big step for telling people if they want to do something, they can do it,” he explains. (The Hmong, pronounced mung, are an ethnic group from China and Southeast Asia and have their own language.)

Gerber baby 2019
Credit: Courtesy of Gerber

Vue entered Kairi into the contest after seeing ads on Facebook and Instagram: “We tried to pick photos that showed off her different faces and expressive eyes.” The Gerber team saw just that, too. “As soon as we saw her photo, we fell in love with Kairi’s expressive eyes and angelic face, looking toward the future and being excited for all that it holds,” said Bill Partyka, president and CEO, Gerber.

Her parents needed to keep the win a secret, but when the news broke today, support and excitement from they’re family and friends has rolled in. “A lot of my friends say they need to enter their babies into this contest!” laughs Yang. “But overall they just can’t believe it and are very happy for us.”

As this year's Gerber Baby, Kairi will be featured on Gerber’s social media channels throughout the year and will be awarded a grand prize of $50,000.

Gerber baby at Parents office
Gerber Baby Kairi Yang visited the Parents magazine office. 
| Credit: Emily Elveru

Family is everything for Vue and Yang. They share a home with their parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins and have a cookout every weekend at Yang’s mother’s home. Kairi loves playing outside with her cousins and is mastering the art of climbing on and off the couch, says Vue. 

Right now, Kairi is happiest when she’s listening to nursery rhymes, reading her Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star book (over and over and over again!), or munching on Gerber Graduate Puffs (blueberry is her fave!). As far as her future? “We’re happy with whatever she chooses,” gushes Yang.