A four-month-old boy with an infectious smile is Gerber’s newest “spokesbaby.”
Zane Kahin, born on February 3, was announced as the winner of this year’s Gerber Photo Search on the Today show, surprising his parents, Michael and Erin, live on-air.
Making this achievement even more remarkable is Zane’s inspiring birth story. Erin and Mike hoped to have kids, but Erin wasn’t sure of her ability to conceive naturally after undergoing a string of treatments and procedures for breast cancer at the age of 27.
Erin was diagnosed with cancer in her 20s and underwent a double mastectomy, radiation, and chemotherapy. Being a mom was important to her, and she wasn’t sure how those treatments would affect her chances of conceiving.
She met Mike after her treatment. The pair quickly fell in love, and they got married in 2020.
When they decided it was time to start a family, Erin was prepared to go through fertility treatments to get pregnant. But surprisingly, Zane came along with no intervention.
“To our and our doctors’ surprise we got pregnant naturally and pretty quickly,” Erin said.
Little Zane is, indeed, their miracle baby.
“Even though I was high-risk at first, we had a pretty flawless pregnancy and delivery. Now we have this very happy and healthy baby boy,” the proud mom said.
Gerber had to select from over 90,000 photo submissions this year, but it was Zane’s bubbly personality and cute smile that captured their hearts.
The Kahins entering Zane into the competition started off as a joke after the couple was told many times how cute their baby was. Mike said that when Zane was born, their nurse came to tell them how cute he was. A couple minutes later, they heard her say the same thing to another set of parents.
“We were confused!” Mike recalled. “We were like, Is Zane really cute or was the nurse just giving a rehearsed response to all the parents?”
People say every baby is cute, so when Mike came across the Gerber contest, he thought it was the perfect way to settle the score on their son’s cuteness.
Now that Zane is an official Gerber baby, it’s pretty clear where he is on the cute scale!
Along with the honor of having a Gerber baby, the family won a $25,000 cash prize, wardrobe worth $1,000 provided by Gerber Childrenswear, and free Gerber products for up to one year.
The company will also offer a bodysuit and T-shirt design inspired by Zane. For every purchase, Gerber Childrenswear will make a product donation of equal value to Delivering Good, a charitable organization that helps provide new items to people in need.
Zane has big little shoes to fill as the newest Gerber baby. He will be the official “Chief Taste Tester” for new baby food products and the first-ever “Chief Growing Officer” for the company.
According to the Gerber website:
“Zane is a little comedian – he loves to crack himself up and even wakes up laughing. His cheerful attitude, captivating giggles, and playful smile can light up any room!”
His favorite activities are bonding with the family dogs, Rexy and Liv, and sitting in his bouncer.
The original Gerber baby is Ann Turner Cook, the famous face of Gerber products. A family friend named Dorothy Hope Smith drew a charcoal portrait of her as an infant and submitted it to Gerber in 1928 for a contest to find the face that will represent the company.
Ann, now 94, is a retired English teacher and a mystery novelist.
Gerber’s Photo Search was launched in 2010. Since then, the winners have included 2020 winner Magnolia Earl, the first adopted Gerber baby, and Lucas Warren, the first child with Down syndrome to win the title.
“By recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby, we celebrate the diversity of families, whether that’s where we’re from, who our parents are or the circumstances in which baby came into the world,” Mohini Joshi, vice president of marketing at Gerber, said in a statement.
Congratulations to the Kahins on their miracle Gerber baby!
Please share this story with your friends and family.