Experts, Influencers, Entertainers & More

The Chicago Baby Show features an array of programming content designed to educate, inform, enlighten, and entertain. Through a combination of expert speakers (discussing everything form gear, to parenting tips, to safety and other hot topics for new and expecting parents) to influencers (providing opinions and recommendations on products, parenting, and more) and entertainers to keep kids happy and engaged, our content provides tremendous value to attendees. Make sure you plan your time to take full advantage of this hallmark component of our event.

2019 Programming is TBA! Stay tuned!

Past Chicago Baby Show Speakers Include:

Lauren Barth Momtrends Media

Lauren Barth
Lauren Barth is currently the Editorial Director of Momtrends Media, overseeing the editorial and content strategy for Momtrends.com and its social platforms. She has represented the media brand as a parenting and lifestyle expert on local and national news, radio, and in digital and print magazines.

Eric Bennion Chicago Dad's Group

Eric Bennion
Eric Bennion is a father and the blog editor/social media manager of the Chicago Dads Group (part of the national City Dads Group organization), a diverse support network for local fathers that hosts educational and community-building events for dads and their children.

Daniella Brown, UPPAbaby Car Seat Advocate

Daniella Brown, UPPAbaby Car Seat Advocate, Instructor – CPST-I
As a parent of three young children, child safety is of utmost significance to Daniella Brown. Dedicated to educating people on the importance of child passenger and car seat safety, Brown has been a Car Passenger Safety Technician since 2008, and an Instructor since 2014, which has allowed her to cultivate her passion and serve as a resource and educator. Having worked in the juvenile products industry since 2007, specifically in the car seat field, Brown brings her seasoned experience of the manufacturing and development process to the UPPAbaby team. She currently serves on the board of the Manufacturers Alliance of Child Passenger Safety (MACPS).

Dr. Daniel Weissbluth

Dr. Daniel Weissbluth
is a board certified pediatrician and the founder of Weissbluth Pediatrics, a nine-pediatrician practice with three offices in Chicagoland. He is an Instructor of Clinical Pediatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, and his areas of interest include the effect of media on the pediatric population as well as healthy sleep habits for babies and multiples. He co-created the Weissbluth Method Infant Nap App (twin and triplet compatible) and the Weissbluth Method Toddler Bedtime App. He co-authored Sleep Consult with Dr. Marc Weissbluth (the author of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins) and currently blogs at Weissbluth Pediatrics. Weissbluth Pediatrics is a full service general pediatrics practice which believes that accessibility, personalized care, and flexibility via technology is the future of health care. “Dr. Dan” lives (and sleeps!) in Chicago.

Julie Burt Nichols

Julie Burt Nichols
Julie ​Burt Nichols​ is ​ the “Wizard” behind the curtain at Twiniversity, the #1 global support network for parents of twins. She loves serving as a resource and support for new parents, soon-to-be parents, and we-want-desperately-to-be parents. Julie ​serves​ as Editor-in-Chief of Twiniversity.com, Account Manager, and Instructor for Chicago Twiniversity ​expecting twins​ classes.​ Julie resides in Morton Grove with her husband and 4 year old twin boys.

Shari Criso

Shari Criso
Shari Criso brings 25 years of experience as a nurse, midwife, lactation consultant, and Evenflo Feeding’s national spokesperson and expert to helps moms reach their personal breastfeeding and pumping goals.

Chad Ekstrom

Chad Ekstrom
Chad Ekstrom has been changing cloth diapers for over 11 years. Father to 5 amazing kiddos has proven to make Chad a bit of an expert in the cloth diaper community. From soup to nuts, Chad has supported Julie (wife to Chad, founder and CEO of Kanga Care, and owner of multiple diaper patents) from the early days of cutting and tracing fabric while making diapers at home, to current day developing of Kanga Care’s international presence by partnering with distributors near and far. Chad is a true Renaissance man wearing every hat it takes to get the job done either at home, at work, or at play.

Melissa Gonzalez Lamaze International

Melissa Gonzalez, LCCE, CD(DONA), Mesa Birth, Lamaze International
Melissa Gonzalez has been teaching Lamaze class in hospitals and in private in-home sessions since 2010. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, two sons, and a pitbull mix named Ruby. The owner of Mesa Birth, she is a Lamaze certified childbirth educator, DONA-certified birth doula, Happiest Baby on the Block instructor, and postpartum doula. Everyone in her family loves babies.


Eirene Heidelberger, GIT Mom
Eirene is a nationally-renowned parenting expert and founder of GIT Mom (Get It Together, Mom!). Through GIT Mom’s 7-step method, Eirene empowers mothers and mothers-to-be by teaching a “mom-first” parenting approach. She is the only parenting coach in the country who advocates parenting techniques that puts the mother’s needs center stage.

John Lonergan, Co-Founder & CEO, Big Blue Swim
John spent twenty years in competitive swimming including time as a national-level freestyler for the University of Iowa. He was a Big Ten finalist and trained with Olympic Gold Medalists. After working in trading for several years, John returned to swimming as a competitive team coach and also began teaching children to swim. He founded Big Blue with Chris shortly thereafter. He received his B.A. in Finance and MIS from the University of Iowa in 2002.

Rebecca Michi

Rebecca Michi
Rebecca Michi is a Children’s Sleep Consultant, who prides herself on becoming the youngest Childcare Manager in the United Kingdom for a national childcare chain by the age of 23. Since then, she has worked in a number of different childcare settings with children between the ages of 6 weeks and 8 years old, quickly advancing from Nursery Nurse to Officer in Charge (Manager).

Hillary Scharmann, Founder, Doula & Perinatal Educator, HEART Birth & Baby

Hillary Scharmann, Founder, Doula & Perinatal Educator, HEART Birth & Baby
Hillary Scharmann is the vivacious DONA International trained Doula and Perinatal Educator of HEART Birth & Baby. Since 2012, she has helped over one hundred families to have empowered and informed pregnancies, births, and postpartum experiences. Hillary’s small volume practice focuses on individualized and comprehensive care, priding herself on creating bespoke experiences for families from all walks of life. Hillary is also on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Volunteer Doulas, a birth justice organization providing comprehensive doula support with a focus on vulnerable communities in the Chicagoland area.

Meigan Alexander

Meigan Alexander, Director of Marketing, Ardo
Meigan Powell Alexander is the mother of two boys, a certified lactation consultant and the Director of Marketing for Ardo medical, Inc. Meigan entered the lactation community 5 years ago after giving birth to her oldest son.  She became passionate about lactation and has since breastfed her two boys, become a CLC and started her our in-home lactation support company. Meigan joined Ardo after spending 20 years in the advertising agency world and working with clients such as; NAPA Filters, Benihana, Six Flags, Heineken, Heineken Light and Diageo Brands.

Stephanie Hopkins

Stephanie Hopkins, Babywearing International
Stephanie has worn both her 4 year old and 18 month old since they were born. She has been an educator with BWI Chicagoland for almost three years and has served on the Board of Directors for two. She loves working with caregivers who are wearing for the first time and seeing them get comfortable and confident with wearing their babies. She is also a CBWS trained educator.

Edith Boyes

Edith Boyes, Babywearing International
Edith Boyes has been babywearing for over 4 years. She continues to wear her 4 year old and 1 year old. Edith been a CSV with BWI Chicagoland for 1 year and is currently working on becoming a VBE. Her favorite part about working with caregivers is watching babies soothe and take carrier naps.

Nicole Navarro

Nicole Navarro, Babywearing International
Nicole Navarro lives in Chicago with her family. She is a SAHM of a 4.5 year old and a 16 month old. She has been babywearing since her oldest was born. Nicole has been a member of BWI for 4 years and a volunteer for 2.5 years. Her favorite parts of volunteering are encouraging parents to wear their babies and strengthening their bond while also easing everyday life in the city.

Candie ODell-Scherer

Candie ODell-Scherer, Babywearing International
Candie has been a volunteer with BWI Chicagoland for 3 years. She is a professional nanny and has worn many many babies in 6 years. It’s one of her many nanny tools and her favorite part of wearing is the bond it helps create.

Nikki Patrick

Nikki Patrick, Babywearing International
Nikki Patrick has been wearing babies for the better part of a decade, first as a nanny then with her three children, all since birth. She has been with Babywearing International of Chicagoland since 2015 and has served on the board of directors for 3 years. Her favorite part of volunteering is the look of relief a caregiver has when they find their perfect carrier!

Dr Damian McGee

Dr. Damian McGee, Lurie Children’s Primary Care
Dr. Damian McGee is a board-certified pediatrician at Lurie Children’s Primary Care – Town & Country Pediatrics. Prior to joining Town & Country in 2014, Dr. McGee worked in pediatric primary care for five years and as a hospitalist in pediatric urgent care for three years. Dr. McGee is a mother of three children.

Lurie Children’s Primary Care – Town & Country Pediatrics has three locations and is staffed by 24 board certified pediatricians, 6 certified pediatric nurse practitioners, and a licensed clinical psychologist.

Dr Diane Holmes

Dr. Diane Holmes, Lurie Children’s Primary Care
Dr. Diane Holmes is a board certified pediatrician at Lurie Children’s Primary Care – Town & Country Pediatrics. She brings 37 years of experience as a pediatrician to Town & Country Pediatrics where she has practiced since 1984. In addition to seeing patients, Dr. Holmes serves as the Medical Director of the practice. She has three children and one grand-child.

Lurie Children’s Primary Care – Town & Country Pediatrics has three locations and is staffed by 24 board certified pediatricians, 6 certified pediatric nurse practitioners, and a licensed clinical psychologist.

If you have any questions, please visit our contact page