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Family dynamics

27th Feb 2019

This gorgeous boy with Down Syndrome is the new face of Mothercare

Rebecca O'Keeffe


Everyone, meet the gorgeous Riley Baxter, from Rochester, Kent.

He’s four-years-old, and is a very hard working model.

Riley, who has been nicknamed “Smiley Riley,” by his parents, for obvious reasons.

Lovely little Riley has Down Syndrome, but that has never stopped him from living up to his potential.

His parents initially feared that people would only ever see Riley’s disability rather than his ability, but that has not been the case.

Riley joined Zebedee Management as a model, and now he’s a natural in front of the camera.

down syndrome

Stuart, Riley’s dad, said:

“After we were told he had Down Syndrome I cried, not for the case that I would love him any less but just knowing how cruel the world can be.”

“That was the first thing that went through my mind but obviously my perceptions were wrong, and wow how wrong I was.”

“There was the fear of the unknown and why this had happened to us, but if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have been upset at all.”

“Riley is getting so much out of life and whenever he accomplishes something it seems that little bit extra special knowing how much harder he had to work for it.”

down syndrome

Riley’s parents lost their first baby 19 weeks into the pregnancy, so he has been an absolute treasure to them both.

His lovely mum, Kirsty, said:

“So for the whole of Riley’s pregnancy I was very anxious, the hospital were really good with us, we had more scans and consultation appointments.”

“Every time I went for a scan, I couldn’t look at the monitor and had to wait for Stuart to tell me it was all ok.”

Riley has modelled for Mothercare, Jools Oliver Little Bird and more.

What an accomplished little dude!