Gerber baby logo. Credit: Gerber.
Gerber baby logo. Credit: Gerber.

The 2023 Gerber Baby, Madison “Maddie” Mendoza, burst onto the scene with her enchanting demeanor and resemblance to her mother, during her debut on TODAY. Born to a military family, with her father serving as a doctor and lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, Maddie’s victory in the competition left her family overjoyed and stunned. Radiating joy and charisma, ten-month-old Maddie charmed everyone during her TODAY appearance.

Maddie’s parents acknowledged her resilient spirit and independence, showcasing how she overcame birth-time breathing complications and even removed her oxygen tubes.

New Gerber Baby Maddie with her dad Jun, an Air Force lieutenant colonel and doctor, and her mom Crystal, a dentist.
Credit: TODAY/Gerber.

Her military family background added significance to her win, as it shone a spotlight on the sacrifices of military families. Gerber’s President and CEO, Tarun Malkani, was thrilled to choose Maddie as the 2023 Gerber Baby, appreciating her magnetic appeal.

Besides her Gerber Baby 2023 crown, Maddie earned the “Chief Growing Officer” title, received a year’s supply of Gerber products, a fresh wardrobe from Gerber’s clothing line, and a $25,000 cash prize. Gerber also donated $25,000 to March of Dimes and $5,000 to Operation Homefront in her honor.

Maddie Mendoza, the new 2023 Gerber Baby, loves being the center of attention, her parents say.
Credit: TODAY/Gerber.
Maddie Mendoza, the new 2023 Gerber Baby, loves being the center of attention, her parents say. Courtesy Gerber

Maddie’s resemblance to her mother, Crystal, was striking, prompting her grandmother to mistake a 1987 photograph of Crystal for Maddie. Crystal and Maddie’s father, Jun, both first-generation Americans, are proud parents, with Jun serving 16 years in the U.S. military.

Since its initiation in 1928, the Gerber Baby contest has been celebrating diversity and inclusion. Past winners include Lucas Warren, the first Gerber baby with Down syndrome in 2018, and Isa Slish, the first with a limb difference in 2022. The tradition continues to delight, beginning with Ann Turner Cook and now, adorable Maddie.

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