After her initial astonishment wore off, we asked mom, Natasha Mickel, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, why she decided to enter our cover contest and what it felt like to find out Chase, 11 months, had won.
Why did you enter the contest?
I wanted everyone to see how happy Chase is all the time. My hope was that someone would see his photos and think his smile was just as contagious as I do.
What was your first thought when you found out he'd won?
I was in complete shock! At the shoot, I kept wondering how anyone could ever choose just one winner—all the babies were so cute!
What was your favorite part of your trip to New York?
Taking Chase to St. Patrick's Cathedral, Rockefeller Plaza, and FAO Schwarz. I love seeing his expressions as he experiences new things. I also enjoyed meeting all the other parents and children at the photo shoot.
Do you think you'll enter Chase in more contests or get him into modeling?
I haven't really thought about entering him in any more contests, but a modeling career could be a good way to earn extra money for his education. Now that he's won it may give us extra motivation to seek new opportunities.
Favorite activities: "He loves playing with his toys, listening to music, and practicing walking with us. He also always laughs when we play peek-a-boo."
Favorite part of his trip to New York: Playing with the huge Patrick the Pup stuffed animal at FAO Schwarz.
Favorite foods: "He likes sweet potatoes, bananas, and peas, surprisingly!"
Name: Colton Locke, 8 months
From: Pelham, Alabama
Mom's travel tip: "Do what you can to stay hands free. A cross body bag and my Ergo baby carrier are my necessities. While I love my jogging stroller, a lightweight umbrella stroller or Snap 'n' Go is better for trips. And don't forget necessities! You don't want to be stuck looking for a store if you run out of diapers, formula, or toys." Stephanie Locke
Name: Macey Szlag, 8 months
From: Columbus, Ohio
Mom's travel tip: "Pack as light as possible! And I love our front-pack carrier for traveling." Tara Szlag
Name: Taylor Lamb, 11 months
From: Newton, North Carolina
Mom's travel tip: "Pack everything in easy-to-carry cases, like a backpack. It's way easier than trying to lug rolling luggage or a one-handled suitcase while also carrying a baby or pushing a stroller. Another great help: Have several smaller cases inside the large ones to organize toys and food and make them easier to find quickly." Deborah Lamb
Name: Nikolas Ramirez, 13 months
From: Chino, California
Mom's travel tip: "I breastfeed Nikolas during take off and landing to keep his ears from popping. During this trip, Niko, wasn't interested in the toys I brought, but his snacks and the plastic cups from the airline did spark his interest! We also timed our departure around his naptime, so he slept for an hour." Paola Lontok Ramirez
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