Odell Backham Jr. and his then-girlfriend Lauren Wood welcomed their son Zydn Beckham in 2022
The Baltimore Ravens wide receiver became a dad when he welcomed his first child with his then-girlfriend Lauren Wood on Feb. 17, 2022, and the athlete immediately fell head over heels for his baby boy.
"For the longest time, I always knew I was going to be a father because of the way that I love kids. They're close to my heart," he told PEOPLE in October 2022. "It was the biggest blessing of my life. I always knew that it would be, but it really hit different when I was actually holding him."
"When I first met him and looked into his eyes — his very soulful eyes, very much like mine — you could tell he didn't know anything about the world ... it's just happiness and joy," he said.
He later reflected on the two milestones on TikTok, alongside a video juxtaposing the win with special moments with his baby boy.
"Me thinking that winning the Super Bowl was going to be the best moment of my life," he wrote on the video. "And then you came along."
Though Beckham and Wood later went their separate ways — multiple sources told PEOPLE of their breakup in September 2023, with one insider confirming that Beckham has been "hanging out" with Kim Kardashian — they remain dedicated co-parents to their son.
Here’s everything to know about Odell Beckham Jr.’s son, Zydn Beckham.
Beckham and Wood announced they were expecting in November 2021
The pair kept the pregnancy a secret until just a few months before Zydn was born, with Wood taking to Instagram to announce the happy news on Nov. 21, 2021. The couple, who had been together since 2019, posted photos from a sweet maternity photo shoot featuring Wood’s already large bump and a handful of emojis. For his part, Beckham commented, “Can’t wait baby!"
The due date was dangerously close to the Super Bowl, and Beckham worried his son might be born while he was playing in the big game. "I don't need you to put that energy in the air about the Saturday night or the Sunday thing,'' he told The New York Post. "I think God has a different plan. I don't need it during the Super Bowl. I want to see my child being born, so I'm on watch."
Beckham then added, per the Associated Press, "Literally my phone is right here just in case, so I'm on call. I'm on watch. I'm on standby."
Luckily, Zydn held off a few more days, and Beckham got to celebrate the victory by kissing Wood’s baby bump.
Zydn was born just a few days after Super Bowl LVI in 2022
Just four days after his dad won Super Bowl LVI, Zydn was born on Feb. 17, 2022. "2-17-22, 0605. THE biggest blessing I've ever had in my life arrived here on Earth!" Beckham wrote on Instagram, posting photos of himself snuggled up at home with Wood and their baby boy.
"A moment I will never forget and cherish forever,” he continued. “Zydn was born at that moment I knew my life changed for the better.” He went on to praise Wood for her strength. “U changed my life forever and delivered the most beautiful gift of all … EFFORTLESSLY! ... I now know with u by my side and holding it down for me, I can get thru anything. I love u so much."
In her own Instagram post, Wood shared similar sentiments about Beckham and gave more insight into her delivery, which she said lasted three hours and was a home birth. “I've been MIA soaking up every min of motherhood," she wrote. “From my birth experience, to sharing exhaustion with the most supportive, loving partner I could ask for, @obj, watching you become the dad I always knew you would be, but actually seeing it happen, I am forever grateful.”
He made his first red carpet appearance at 5 months old
At just 5 months old, Zydn attended his first red carpet event. Beckham and Wood brought him along to the ESPYs, where he matched his dad in a black-and-white tuxedo.
Wood shared photos of the event with the caption “Mi Familia 🖤.”
Zydn is his dad’s biggest fan
Zydn attended several games while in Wood’s tummy, but he went to his first one post-birth at 17 months old to watch his dad’s debut on the Baltimore Ravens. "Zydn's first football game outside of my womb,” Wood captioned photos of her little one rocking Raven’s gear on her Instagram Story.
Four months earlier, Zydn supported his pops when Beckham announced that he would be signing with the team. The toddler, then 13 months old, was seen wearing an adorably oversized jersey and flat-brim hat in photos on Instagram.
His first birthday party was over the top
Zydn turned 1 in February 2023, and his parents went all out for his first birthday party. The Jurassic-themed celebration featured huge dino cutouts, tons of balloons and prehistoric decor, a bouncy house, a ball pit, a photo wall, a dino-themed cake and lots of friends and family. He dressed for the occasion in a little dino jumper and a green bowtie.
“Zydn’s birthday was too lit!!” Wood captioned an Instagram slideshow of the event. “Brought in his first year w/ so many friends & family. He was a ball of happiness all day Decor 10/10 🤌!”
Beckham is a very hands-on dad
Beckham was excited about every aspect of fatherhood, even the less fun parts. “I'm all in. I change the diapers. I get up in the middle of the night," he told PEOPLE. "His mom is still breastfeeding so sometimes I get that duty off, but [sometimes] it's bottles in the middle of the night."
The baller says there's “nothing better for me than my son. I have been waiting on him for a very long time,” which is why he’s excited to be as hands-on as possible, including with dental care. "It's not easy to clean an 8-month-old's four teeth!" he joked.
Of course, there are fun parts, too, like getting to do things he enjoys with his mini-me. For example, Beckham shared a set of photos playing video games with his son on his lap in July 2022. “When he wake up from that nap but it’s only 15 people left 😩😭,” he wrote in the Instagram caption.
Time with Zydn was the silver lining to Beckham's ACL injury
Beckham tore his ACL in Super Bowl LVI, but he saw it as a special opportunity to spend more time with his little one. "I feel like God puts moments in your life for you to be able to realize and be able to focus your priority on other things," he told PEOPLE at the time.
“Being injured and having to sit out this time around and not being at training camp, I never had this exact time period to myself. I get a long time to spend with my son and that means a lot to me," he added.
However, the baller admitted he “missed football” and was excited to get back to the game. When he finally returned to training camp, he was thrilled, but the highlight of his day was still going home to his son.
“As soon as I get home, he'll come give me a hug or lay on me,” he told PEOPLE. “It's just very — words don't do justice for how great that feeling he gives me is … My son makes me smile every single day.”
Beckham is hoping his son will follow in his athletic footsteps
Beckham proudly admits he can “see so much of [himself] in [Zydn],” and already recognizes some athletic prowess in his son. So, does he hope his little one will be a pro football player like him?
"My hope for him is that he'll play the sports that I truly love before football, which are basketball and soccer," he told PEOPLE. "Even my girl was like, 'I've always said my baby can be whatever he wants to be, but after knowing you and seeing how he's moving and acting right now, he's an athlete for sure.' "
"We're thinking and hoping that he'll be the next prodigy," he added.
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