Baby and Toddler of the Year 2012 winner is Riley-Jay Kerswill
WITH a beaming smile spread across his adorable little face, Riley-Jay Kerswill wraps his fingers around the trophy.
For him, it is just a shiny new toy – but to his mum and dad, it means the world.
From more than 1,100 entries, Riley-Jay has been judged winner of the Mail's Baby of the Year competition.
Mum Jodie Chilvers, 20, is proud of his success.
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"When they said he had won, I just didn't know what to say," she said.
"He doesn't know what it means now but he will be happy when he gets older because I will tell him about it."
Jodie, of Dayton Road, west Hull, said when she told Riley-Jay's dad, Jamie, he was over the moon.
"His dad was overwhelmed," she said. "We're really happy he won."
The couple won £1,500 and they plan to invest the money in their baby's future.
"We're going to put the money in a trust fund for him, so when he gets older he can do what he wants with it," Jodie said.
Riley-Jay came top in the up to nine-months-old category. And judges picked him out as the cutest baby overall.
Lee-Anne Jackson, of Krispy Creme Doughnuts, helped to choose the winner.
"Riley was a proper cheeky chappie and didn't he know it," she said.
"He was certainly a baby who loved the camera."
The annual Baby and Toddler of the Year competition saw hundreds of parents head to St Stephen's shopping centre in Hull to get pictures of their little ones taken.
The competition was held between Monday, May 7, and Saturday, May 19.
There were four age categories – up to nine months, ten to 18 months, 19 to 36 months and three to five years.
The best baby won £1,500 and three runners-up bagged £500 each.
For Kelly Scott, 27, seeing her daughter Lillia Chaikin win the ten to 18 months category meant an awful lot.
Her baby was born two months early and Kelly's health was badly hit.
"I was quite poorly during my pregnancy and Lillia had to be delivered early," she said.
"Before she was born I went into heart failure and I've lost a lot of my vision.
"It was more touch and go for me than for her. She's been a bit of a fighter from the start."
After struggling into the world, Lillia has been impressing families all over Hull.
"We get stopped by strangers in the street who say how lovely she is," her mum said.
"We think she's gorgeous but everybody thinks their baby is gorgeous."
Kelly is going to save her £500 winnings for her daughter's future.
"We're going to put it in a bank account for her for when she's older," Kelly said.
Lillia will be her only child. After her birth, doctors told Kelly she would not be able to have any more children.
"That makes Lillia even more special," she said. "And not just for me and her dad either – she's the firstborn on my side of the family.
"We've had a lot of support from our family and friends, and they appreciate how special she is too."
Kelly and her partner Marc, 27, celebrated their daughter's first birthday at home in North Ferriby on Monday, July 16.
The last year has been a tough one but things are picking up for the family.
"She's doing everything and more a 12-month-old should be doing, the doctors say," Kelly said. "I've had quite a lot of good news recently regarding my health.
"Winning this has topped it all off. It's the cherry on top of the cake."
The Mail's promotions co-ordinator Simon Wright said: "We had more than 1,100 entrants and thanks to terrific support from St Stephen's, Jst4Fun and Anthony Goldthorpe Shoes we were able to give away more spot prizes and free gifts to all that entered than ever before.
"As always, we had some very worthy winners – and we hope to make next year even bigger and better."
Tyler Burrluck won the 19 to 36 months category after being entered by dad Matthew, who lives in Woodlands Road, west Hull.
And Libby Gawthorpe won the three to five years category after being entered by mum Stacey Bell, of Springfield Road, west Hull.
The competition was judged by Lee-Anne Jackson, Jst4Kidz manager Bridie Winter, Anthony Goldthorpe Shoes manager Lindsey Levesley, the Entertainer Toy Store's assistant manager Karen Woods and Reel Cinema assistant manager Claire Smalley.