Sonny McLeod, the 2024 Gerber Baby.
Courtest of Gerber & the McLeod family

The 2024 Gerber Baby Has Been Revealed

“He lights up every room he enters!” his mom Dominique says.

by Kaitlin Kimont

And the winner is! The 2024 Gerber Baby has been decided and congratulations are in order for 1-year-old Akil “Sonny” McLeod from Arizona. Sonny managed to win over the panel of judges, which included parents of previous Gerber Babies for the first time, with his big happy smile and his family can’t wait to spread the joy he brings them with the rest of the world.

“Sonny has a smile and unique presence that should be shared. He lights up every room he enters!” Sonny’s mom Dominque McLeod tells Romper. “I think it’s important to spread love and positivity, and we’re most excited to share Sonny’s light with families everywhere.”

The proud mom says she was inspired to enter Sonny into the contest after missing the deadline with their first child, daughter Sage. “We didn’t get an entry in on time,” she says. “When we had Sonny, everyone kept telling us he was so cute he could be the Gerber Baby.” This time, however, she was on it and Dominque says she didn’t tell anyone, including her husband Akil, that she had submitted Sonny’s photo earlier this year. “I didn’t even tell my husband when I initially sent in Sonny’s submission because I wasn’t sure we had a chance of being selected but now, we’re all very happy that I did!”

And a few months later... Dominique found out that her little boy had won the 14th annual Photo Search.

Courtest of Gerber & the McLeod family
Courtest of Gerber & the McLeod family
Courtest of Gerber & the McLeod family
Courtest of Gerber & the McLeod family

“After 14 incredible years of Photo Search, this year, we are grateful our former Gerber Baby families could join us in selecting Sonny as our 2024 Gerber Baby. Sonny immediately captured our hearts with his joyful smile and his family’s heartwarming demonstration of what it means to grow with love,” Chandra Kumar, president of Nestlé Nutrition, said in a press release.

Dominque tells Romper Sonny can’t resist giggling when people make funny faces. He also loves “playing peekaboo with his sister” and “tickles make Sonny laugh endlessly.” Sonny is also a helpful little boy these days. “Something that’s become a staple part of our day is the kids ‘helping’ me while I make dinner,” Dominque says, adding that “Sonny likes to play with spare pots and pans” while she’s cooking.

Sonny and his family live in Phoenix, where temps are currently hovering between 90 and 100 degrees, they’ve found ways to beat the heat. “Sonny loves to play outside with the splash pad — a perk of our Arizona weather!” Dominque shares.

Over the next year, Sonny will be the face of Gerber. “We look forward to all the adventures in the year ahead collaborating with Gerber to share his sweet smile with families across the country,” Dominque said in a statement. As the winner of the 2024 Gerber Baby contest, Sonny and his family also receive $25,000 from the company and a year’s supply of Gerber products.

An exciting time for sure, and the family is ready to celebrate. “If even one person’s day is made better by seeing our sweet Sonny,” Dominque says, “that’s something worth celebrating!”