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America's Next Top Baby Model

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Many parents believe they have the cutest baby. Who hasn't looked at a commercial or flipped through the pages of a magazine and said, "Oh, my baby could do that?"

America's Next Top Baby Model

Guest blogger Sibylla Nash: What you really need to ask yourself is "Can I do that?" Because as a parent, you're the one who has to get your child to and from auditions with less than 24 hours' notice, and deal with last-minute bookings and a cranky baby who may not feel like having her picture taken, all while juggling your other obligations.

If you're thinking about getting your mini-me into modeling, here are a few quick tips:

Do your homework. Legit agencies will not charge you. Period. The only thing they take is their 10% commission on any jobs your child books. You don't need professional pictures for your baby, you can take them yourself -- and no, your one-and-a-half-year-old does not need to take any classes (seriously, someone e-mailed me that question).

Be realistic. Everyone's walk to fame is different; don't stress out if your baby is not being called on auditions or if they're going out on a ton of auditions and not booking. It happens. Understand that multiple babies are double- or triple-booked for a job, and whoever is awake and smiling will work. My daughter did a skit for "Saturday Night Live" when she was one and a half, and it took six babies to play two roles.

Location. If you live in a small town, your opportunities will be vastly different than someone who lives in a major city (notably NYC or L.A.). If you live within an hour or two of a big city, seriously think about whether you want to spend your time on the road, schlepping your little one to and from auditions. I'm not saying it can't be done -- we've met people in L.A. who live in Vegas and will drive out for auditions.

Make sure your child is having fun. No one knows their child better than a parent. Your child may be cute as a button, but clams up in front of strangers. Subjecting them to auditions will be torture for all involved. Think about your child's personality before pursuing this. Are they comfortable in front of strangers? Can they roll with the punches? Adapt well to different settings? If so, go for it. Keep auditions in the proper context, and it can be a great learning experience as well as a confidence booster.

Sibylla Nash is a freelance writer, and her daughter has appeared in numerous print ads and commercials, most recently for Orville Redenbacher and AllState.

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