Must Have Baby Items For Your Registry


May 5, 2022

What Must Have Baby Items for Your Baby Registry Do You Really Need?

We’ve created our must have baby items for your baby registry to help you! Having to register for a new baby is a bit overwhelming! If this is your first baby, we have curated an essential list of favorites tested and recommended by myself and many other moms! Often forgotten, are services new parents really need and don’t ask for to make life easier. Don’t be afraid to add these must have baby items to your registry!

Services for New Parents in the South Bend – Michiana Area

New parents really need help! If you don’t have family who can be available during those first few weeks (and even if you do), adjusting to such a big life change as a new baby requires some help. The good news is, I’ve put together a list of resources in the area and I’d love to share it with you! The South Bend and Michiana area has a lot of great resources for you and knowing them before baby is born is key. Even if you’re thinking of having a baby (or another), I have included resources for you!

Fertility Providers

Did you know there are several fertility doctors in the South Bend area? You don’t have to travel to get the help you need like you did when we were trying for our first. Dr. David Parker, Dr. Sink and their team at Saint Joseph FertilityCare™ Center are wonderful and have helped many families in our South Bend and Michiana area. We traveled to Fort Wayne when we needed help and they were wonderful as well at Midwest Fertility. I also hear from my newborn families, they have had wonderful success with Dr. Jarrett and Dr. Provost at the Indiana Fertility Institute. We also have wonderful teams of Ob/Gyn’s in our area and midwives to support you during and after your pregnancy.


What is a doula? “A trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.” – DONA International. After having three babies of my own, I highly recommend having someone who is not your partner to help support you in this process. A doula will help your partner to be more involved in the process of pregnancy and birth through education and guidance. They also can help advocate for you when needed in a hospital birth. Doula’s can answer questions and provide childbirth education to you and your spouse during pregnancy as well.

After birth, they support the new family immediately, with additional services during the fourth trimester. There are even local doulas in the Michiana area who just provide postpartum support – breastfeeding support, help with emotional and physical recovery, errands, meals, light house work and more. What an amazing service I believe every new mom could benefit from during and after pregnancy!

Lactation Consultants

If you’ve decided to breastfeed make sure to reach out to a lactation consultant. You can ask in your hospital to have one come check in on you and your new baby. They are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to nursing a baby. They will help guide you to getting a proper latch, making sure baby is transferring milk, positioning, pumping and answer questions you have . You can even go back and see the hospital lactation consultants after you go home. There are also many private lactation consultants outside of the hospitals who can guide you. Some accept insurance, so their fees are covered – make sure to ask!

Beacon Health System has providers at Memorial Hospital & Elkhart General. St. Joseph Medical Center in Mishawaka has lactation consultants through the Family Birth Place, as well as a Mother’s Support Group. Having someone who will come to your home to help you would be wonderful in those early days after birth. This is where the private lactation consultants are great! If you need help finding a great doula, I have a list available of local Michiana doulas who work with expecting women in the area.


One thing every pregnant mom needs to research is their child’s pediatrician. Now, I know it’s not something you register for…but it’s definitely an important consideration to make while pregnant! Did you know a pediatrician is someone who specifically trained to take care of babies and children? They do a special residency after completing medical school where they learn only about being a doctor for kids. Family doctors are wonderful too, but they take care of adults as well as children.

Locally, we have the only concierge pediatrician in Indiana, Dr. Noeme Adame and she owns Culver Pediatrics Center. The best part for new parents…she makes house calls to your home! You don’t even have to take your new baby out, because she comes to you for well and sick visits. It’s such an amazing service. She also personally answers the families she works with versus going through a receptionist or answering service. It’s truly a very personalized form of care and her families rave about it! She even services the South Bend, Granger and Mishawaka and Warsaw areas, so don’t be afraid to reach out to her if you are looking for a pediatrician.

There are also pediatricians who locally in traditional pediatric practices, such as the South Bend Clinic Pediatrics and Beacon Medical Group Pediatrics with various locations throughout South Bend, Granger, Mishawaka and Michiana area. Marshall County Pediatric Physicians at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Plymouth, Indiana and Woodlawn Pediatrics in Rochester, IN also have several pediatricians on staff.

If you’d prefer a family doctor who can care for you during your pregnancy and after, along with your baby, Dr. Tod Stillson and his partner, Dr. Anthony Witt, at Plymouth Family and Internal Medicine are great. Dr. Stillson and Dr. Witt both deliver babies at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Plymouth. There are other family medicine providers who can also care for your entire family after the birth of your baby in the practice too.


I am biased…but I think you need a maternity and newborn photographer and it should be a must register for item. You think you will remember it all or can do it yourself, but after having three babies myself, I wouldn’t! You are going to want to remember this special time in your life when you are pregnant and just after having your baby! And you’re going to be tired. Growing and birthing a baby are very empowering, but exhausting. Let yourself off the hook and plan ahead to have someone else pamper you with a maternity session when you are 28-32 weeks along and then after you have your baby! You’ll be so glad you don’t have to do it.

Our full service photography studio has everything needed for maternity portraits and newborn portraits. We have gowns for you to wear and all the wraps, hats, headbands and more needed for newborn pictures. With our new Always Images studio in Plymouth, Indiana we are able to bring luxury service to all of the maternity and newborn portrait sessions we do in the studio. Make it even more special, by having your hair and make-up done by one of our trusted Hair and Make-up artists!

When you look at the gorgeous images we create of your pregnancy and newborn baby on your walls at home and in the album with your little one on your lap as they grow up, you won’t regret doing this for yourself. It’s the best registry gift, push present or gift to yourself you can get! If you’d like to register for our maternity and newborn sessions, reach out using our contact form and we can set it up for you!

Must Have Items

There are so many things on my must have baby registry list, but here are a few of my favorites tested and loved by myself and other moms. I’ll be sharing more in a future post too!


One of the ultimate must have baby items is a stroller. Get a good one from the start! If you plan to have more babies, see if there is an option to add on an additional seat. Our stroller collection seemed to grow with each baby as our needs changed. I personally loved the Uppa Baby Vista and my Bob Strollers. We had a single and added a double when we had another little one.

The best travel stroller was the Mountain Buggy Nano which fits in the overhead compartment on an airplane. Being that we traveled lots, this was a great feature for our family. We still use both the Bob and Mountain Buggy Nano even though they are big, when we go on adventures. Disney World is a must and or a museum, just in case their little legs get tired. It’s also perfect to lug all the stuff you bring with kids. Friends of mine absolutely loved their Baby Jogger City Mini, Bugaboo and other Mountain Buggy.

I definitely recommend finding a store that you can try them at. I’m excited for Buy Buy Baby coming to South Bend!! Or try to borrow a friend’s to push around before you make your decision. Remember, your needs will probably change as your family grows, so you may end up with more than one stroller! 

Newborn baby in neutral colors wrapped and asleep in a wooden bowl with teddy bear.

Baby Carriers

A baby carrier is my favorite way to be “hands free” and have my little one snuggled up close. On the go, it was easier to take a carrier than a stroller, as well. There are many out there and many different styles. From soft structured carriers (aka “buckle carriers”) to ring slings, wraps and more. Find a local Baby Wearing group! See if you can try several on or borrow one, as many groups often have a lending library. If you can’t find someone to help you, reach out if you’re in the South Bend area, as I have many to let new Moms try!

I found the Ring Sling easiest during the newborn stage, once I got the hang of it. Then I went to a soft structured carrier. The most readily available carriers are Tula, Ergo (it seems this was the original. I personally fell in love with Kinderpack. What’s wonderful about a Kinderpack, is they have different sizes – from infant to child size – and are very adjustable. I still use our Preschool on occasionally for our littles when they aren’t feeling well.  

Diaper Bags

Go big. Bigger then you think you’ll need for a diaper bag. I promise, you’ll need it…even if you’re a minimalist. I eventually found the Osprey Nebula backpack and it was perfect for my needs for both short trips out and long adventures. I still use it today as a backpack when we go to museums or the zoo to carry snacks, water bottles and a change of clothes if I think we’ll need them. There are plenty of other cute ones out there, but these are my very favorite. 

Sleeping newborn baby holding puppy stuffed animal.

Water Bottle

You’re going to drink a lot of water, so you might as well find one you love and start using it while pregnant. I love the Hydroflasks that can be found at Costco. They are metal and have lasted several years of daily use. I also love the glass Camelback bottles. I’ve dropped mine several times over the years and have been shocked to find they never cracked due to the silicone sleeve around it. AMAZING. Being a fan of Liquid IV, I have one bottle just for that and one I keep only for water. When your little one is ready to start sipping from a straw, the water bottle is the way to go too. Also, a big Yeti cup. If you don’t have one yet, this is your justification. 🙂They are just the best and you’ll keep using it for many, many years.  

Somewhere to Set Baby Down!

You are going to need a break – to eat, shower or go to the bathroom. And sometimes, you just need a break because you need one. It’s ok to use a swing, Mamaroo, bouncy seat, Dockatot or baby lounger.

Are you researching maternity or newborn photos? We’d love to help! 
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