Baby Bucks

Reporter: Sally Obermeder

If people are always stopping you to comment on just how cute your child is, then this could be the easiest money you'll ever make."Last year was the first year we ran the competition and we were overwhelmed with entries. We had close to 3000 entries from all over Australia." says Mara Lee, Editor of Practical Parenting magazine. They're searching for the nation's cutest baby, but this time they're also looking for the cutest toddler and a yummy mummy.

"What are you looking for this year?" asked reporter Sally Obermeder. "We are looking for a toddler that embodies cheekiness, happiness and a great big smile. In a baby we look for big eyes, an engaging smile, and that disposition that enables us to plonk the baby down in front of a camera and get that sunny direct to camera smile that we're looking for."

"So what does it take to become a yummy mummy?" "Well yummy mummys cop a lot of slack you know for being so gorgeous but we thought, there's lots out there, lets celebrate them! We're not looking for a supermodel and it's not all about size, we're after that glow, that happiness that a mum who is genuinely happy to be a mum has."

"So each category winner gets $5000 plus?" "Yes says Mara, and they receive a modeling contract and they get their 1st job as the face of Tommee Tippee baby care products. It's just the thing for babies, toddlers and yummy mummies who won't get out of bed for less than $5000 a day." Supermodel jokes aside, there is great money to made if your child has 'the look'. Michael Spott has run Bratz, a children's modeling agency, for over 20 years.

"So Michael how much money can kids make modeling?" Sally Obermeder asked. "Well there's a great variety possible. We have editorial here which pays $400-500 for 4 hours work, then you have an advertising campaign like these two, they are about $2000-$3000 for 2 to 3 hours and the real biggie here is campaigns like this, for St George, that pays $15000++, that also has a TV commercial attached to it, so that's really where the money is."

"So how much has the highest earner on your books made?" "Our highest money earner would have made around $150 000 in a year and it's quite possible to make that from a 6 months old right up."

Mother of two, Nina knows first hand how lucrative the industry can be. Her 3.5 year old daughter, Sienna is now a seasoned model. "When she was about 8 months old, she did a really big campaign for Bonds, that was fantastic because she ended up being on all the label tags and a lot of the promo stuff in the stores." And now 1 year old Bailey is following is his big sisters footsteps. "He's done a BIG W catalogue that was his first little one, so my mother-in-law went down to BIG W yesterday to get as many catalogues as we could, she was very proud."

For aspiring model parents, Nina offers these tips;"Look sometimes you go but the children are just not in the mood. You leave the house and they're happy, you get there and they're really cranky. They're kids at the end of the day and we can't control their smiles. I think as a mum you need to be really relaxed about the whole situation because if you're relaxed your children will be relaxed, if you're uptight, the kids will be uptight." Good advice. And come armed with a sense of humour because these shoots don't always go according to plan.

More information and the entry form for mums and bubs modeling competition can be found in the August issue of Practical Parenting magazine out now.