Each year, we are delighted and honored to share the sweetest babies with readers in our Annual Cutest Baby Contest while supporting a wonderful organization. All of these children are adorable, and we enjoyed seeing the precious photos that were submitted. 

A big thank you to our judges for their help in deciding the winners: Carl Junction Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Nick Howard; Melissa Williams with Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce; Jill Hickam with State Farm Insurance in Joplin/Webb City; and Mandy Edmonson with Show Me The Ozarks Magazine. 

All proceeds from the entry fees benefit our local Children’s Miracle Network hospital, which is dedicated to supporting sick and injured children. Enjoy the pictures of the cutest babies in the Four States, and we hope their smiles brighten your day!

1st Place  Karson Smith 

With that sweet smile, Karson is this year’s first-place winner. Mom Lindsey and Dad Payton say Karson is the happiest baby and enjoys being outside. Karson has had swim lessons, so he already knows how to swim and loves it. His parents describe him as all boy! He loves monster trucks, baseball and going for rides on the Ranger to feed the cows. Karson also has a big birthday this month, turning two. 

2nd Place Harper Flenniken 


Harper loves going with her mom, Alyssa Olhausen, to work at the coffeeshop every day. She loves seeing the customers and enjoys acting like she is helping mom make coffee. Harper also likes being outside playing in her kiddie pool and splashing in the water. Alyssa says Harper’s favorite time of day is in the evening when her dad, Jordan Flenniken, gets home. She enjoys being pushed on her bike and acting like she is playing video games with her dad.

 3rd Place Lenora Thompson 

Lenora’s parents, Taylor and Grant Thompson, describe Lenora as super talkative, a little sassy, a lot of fun and has a great sense of humor. Lenora loves playing with her dog, Nola. During the summer, the Thompsons take their camper to the lake and go on boat rides. Lenora loves when she is camping and swimming. Lenora also loves her big brother, Greyson. 

Facebook Fan Favorite  Sylas Sumners 

This bright-eyed baby is this year’s Facebook Fan Favorite! Parents Nakiya and Austin say Sylas laughs at everything right now and is an overall happy and fun baby. He enjoys playing with his basketball goal and loves to eat. Bathtime is his favorite, and he is happy when he spends time with his grandma. Sylas also enjoys playing with his three dogs, Iris, Indie and Israel. 

To see all of the entries, see the May 2024 print or digital edition.