When searching the interwebs, there is no shortage of lists of things you’ll need to welcome your baby. I prefer items that are essential – I mean really essential – seeing that 1) I don’t like too much clutter and 2) I have a small space. With those two in mind, I wanted to share my essentials list – this is an essentials list for JUST newborn babies (you’ll need more stuff when they’re a bit older) -hopefully this will help you out if you’re got limited space!

Also just a quick note, for all the links below I do not get commission or money on it, just wanted to share my faves 🙂


Although I’ve bought a crib already, I kind of wish I held off on it because it’s best for baby to sleep in the same room as the parents for the first couple months. This is where the bassinet comes in handy. You can get one that fits on your bed or one that’s on a stand that you can put next to you when you sleep.

Portable Changing Pad

Although it’d be nice to have one central place to change baby, any surface that’s safe can be turned into a changing area – all you have to have is a changing pad. You’ll need to get one for when you’re on the go, so this is one of my essentials. My diaperbag came with a portable changing pad, but I also really like this one: SnoofyBee just because it keeps baby’s hands away from the situation happening down below.


Babies are messy and you’ll want to separate your babies clothes from your own for a long while. It’s best to have a separate hamper for baby – be sure to read the tags of your clothes, clothes, blankets to make sure you’re cleaning them properly!

Diaper Pail/Liners

Ok, so its not really an essential for many people, but because we have a small space and smell could be an issue (especially in the summer time), I’m putting this as an essential. We were given the Diaper Genie and I’m going to love it, keeping the odor away. You can also put baking soda at the bottom of your diaper pail to help with the smell. This is the Diaper Genie.


Infant Car Seat

This is absolutely essential – if you don’t have a car, you STILL need one (for a taxi, etc).

Backseat Mirror

If you do have a car, this is also an essential. This is the best way to keep your eye on baby when you’re out and about.


This is kind of debatable, but it’ll greatly depend on whether you’re a person who likes going out and will get use of it. The reason I think it’s an essential for me is because I’d like to continue taking walks in the summer months, walk over to my parents place (which is 10-15 minutes away!) and going out to see friends. Strollers are not cheap and for the most part, you can keep your baby in it’s car seat if you’re going short distances. Brian and I went for a stroller that can convert for newborns to toddlers, we also bought an adapter for our baby car seat so that if the chubs is sleeping, we can snap it into the stroller without disturbing them too much. This is the one we went with: Diono Quantum Stroller.

Diaper Bag

Again, very useful if you’re going to be out and about. Always good to keep diapers, balm/lotion, wet naps, extra clothing and any other items to soothe your baby in it. This one is similar to the one I have.

Baby Carrier/Wrap

If you’re not a big fan of strollers, you can always wear your baby. I’d love to wear my baby if I’m able to. It’s easy to throw into your diaper bag if you buy a wrap but you can always get a baby carrier as well.


Nursing bras

You’ll definitely need a couple of these if you plan to breastfeed.


If you’re a working mom or need to feed your baby formula, you’ll need several bottles to keep them going. I think 6-7 would be worth investing in. There are a lot of accessories you can get for bottles (drying rack, sterilizer, warmer) but a lot of these seem excessive, especially if you dont have a lot of space. You can buy containers that you place nipples and bottles in and throw into your dishwasher (just make sure they can go into the dishwasher), and you can definitely use a big pot and boil water to sterilize your bottles.

Burp cloths

Babies are messy (didn’t I say this already?!) – you’ll probably want a couple of these when they spit up more than you were expecting.



Babies are messy. They will have to go through a lot of diapers. You can do regular disposable diapers or cloth diapers.


You can either use wet naps or re-useable cloths (just make sure you keep em clean) to wipe your baby.

Diaper Rash Cream/Balm

Because babies’ bottoms are always wet, you’ll want to keep some of this on hand. You can use Vaseline as well.


Infant tub

Babies will need baths and it’s much easier to handle a baby in a confined space as opposed to a regular tub. I’ve seen some people give their babies in their sink – I wish my sink was big enough to accommodate my baby!

Hooded Towels

To keep baby warm after the bath!


You’ll want gentle ones for when you’re washing your baby’s delicate skin.

Baby Shampoo/Body Wash and Lotion

To take care of baby’s skin, you’ll want to use a gentle shampoo and body wash and follow up with lotion. I’m starting off with Honest baby shampoo and body wash and this organic lotion.

Baby-friendly Laundry Detergent and Cleaning Products

Best to do your research and see how sensitive your baby’s skin is. I’m starting off with Nellie’s laundry detergent and Honest cleaning products.

First aid/health care kit

If you don’t want to get a full first aid kit dedicated to baby, I’d suggest getting a thermometer, dropper, nail clipping set and brush as the most essential items.



Since newborns grow so quickly, don’t dwell on getting so many newborn clothes. I think a safe bet is 7 of everything – onesies, sleepers, tees/pants and some socks/booties and scratch mitts. Of course, you’ll want a jacket or more socks and mitts if it’s the winter time. But since summer is around the corner, I’m looking more at lighter wear that will still keep my baby warm.


White noise machine

Brian snores, and I might just try one out if the baby can’t sleep through it.

Air Purifier

Because I am a bit of a germophobe, this is on my list of things to buy. Not essential, but just for safety and peace of mind for myself.


I made a trusty lil graphic here to make my post concise: 

dee's baby essentials for small spaces newborns