Life

Meet Maddie Mendoza, the 2023 Gerber Baby

Maddie is a rainbow baby, and her parents are high school sweethearts.

Maddie Mendoza, the 2023 Gerber Baby.
Gerber
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After a quick 10-day search, Gerber found its newest Gerber Baby: 10-month-old Madison "Maddie" Mendoza from Colorado Springs, Colorado.

She's the 13th winner of the Gerber Baby Photo Search. Gerber said in a press release that Maddie "stole the show with her joyful spirit" and "captivating expression."

Maddie's parents Crystal and Jun Mendoza say Maddie loves baby music classes, swimming, hiking with her parents and tasting new foods. Maddie is a "rainbow baby," a baby born after the loss of another child.

"Being a rainbow baby, Maddie has brought us immeasurable joy with every milestone, snuggle and moment spent with her enriching our lives and making every day more meaningful and beautiful," Crystal Mendoza said.

Gerber

From high school sweethearts to long-distance relationship partners, Maddie's parents have been together for a long time — 22 years. Both parents are from first-generation families from the Philippines. Jun Mendoza is a lieutenant colonel physician in the Air Force, and Crystal Mendoza is a dentist.

As a military family, the couple hope to be stationed overseas again so they can teach Maddie about the world, and Crystal says they look forward to "witnessing her grow into a kind, compassionate, strong, independent and worldly individual."

Gerber

This year, parents were also encouraged to submit a photo of themselves as babies in the search, along with their child, to help celebrate the nearly 100 years since Gerber was founded in 1928.

Gerber President and CEO Tarun Malkani says the throwback photo of Maddie and her mom at the same age "brought a smile to the judges' faces," while her story is filled with love, resilience and adventure, which "embodies the spirit of generations of Gerber babies."

As the 2023 Gerber Baby, Maddie will be featured on the brand's social media channels and marketing campaigns. The family also received $25,000, free Gerber products for up to one year, a new wardrobe from Gerber Childrenswear and a few other surprises.

Gerber

To help babies all over the country, Gerber also donated $25,000 to the March of Dimes maternal and infant health programs.

This story was originally published by Kaitlin Gates at Simplemost.com.