The best baby registry
When you're expecting a bundle of joy, the new member of your family needs plenty of items. Baby registries are a convenient option to help you assemble a definitive list of needs and wants for the baby. It's simple for friends and family to purchase an item, and thanks to the registry's unique organization, returns are easier and faster than ever. You can also take advantage of insider shopping perks once you're registered, from rewards programs to expedited shipping.
Take a look at our shopping guide to help you find the best registry experience. We list our top registries, including our favorite, the Amazon Baby Registry, which has an endless collection of classic and new items worth exploring.
Considerations when choosing baby registries
Types of baby registries
In-store registries are only available in brick-and-mortar locations, so givers and recipients need to travel to one for purchases and returns. They're most convenient if you know the majority of gifters live near the same retail location.
Online baby registries are convenient and easy to maintain, so they've risen in popularity in recent years. Products are shipped from warehouses instead of being kept in stock rooms, so more items and a greater selection are readily available.
Combination registries have a hybrid in-store and online dynamic. Whether you prefer the retail experience or want to manage your items from the comfort of your own home, gifters and recipients have flexible options to suit their shopping preferences.
When comparing products, it's a different shopping experience between online and in-store baby registries. If you want specific, definitive comparisons with product reviews and ratings, online baby registries are the way to shop. For a more personal and hands-on comparison, in-store registries are ideal.
Sign-up perks of registries
Return policies: Once you're registered in some stores or on some sites, you're eligible for special return policies. The return window can be extended, or you may be able to ship returns back to the warehouse or store for free.
Rewards programs: Baby registries often enroll you in rewards programs, which track your spending and purchases through points or dollar amounts. Once you reach a threshold, you receive coupons, cash back, or free items.
Subscriptions: Even after your baby arrives, you need to purchase certain items in an ongoing fashion. You can roll over your baby registry into a subscription service and schedule deliveries for a steady supply of diapers, wipes, or baby detergent.
Shipping: Some baby registries have shipping programs while they're active, including expedited or discounted shipping. They may also offer lower minimum purchases to qualify for free shipping.
Baby registry prices
Because baby registries tend to carry similar products, they generally hover around the same price points. The main difference in prices are the premium brand offerings available at each retailer. Stores with a wealth of premium brands have more expensive items, whereas budget registries include lesser-known, inexpensive brands.
Q. Should I register for twice as many items if I am having twins?
A. Yes -- particularly clothing so you have enough for both babies. This helps to cut down on loads of laundry, too. Other items like diapers, baby wipes, and utensils are also good to double up on. When adding items, make sure you request the correct quantity.
Q. What do I do if I receive a registry item that was recalled? Can I still return it to the retailer?
A. Returns vary between stores, and recalled items can be a gray area in terms of return policies. If the store can't or won't allow you to return the item, the manufacturer should be able to handle reimbursement or replacement.
Baby registries we recommend
Best of the best: Amazon Baby Registry
Our take: Incredible range of product offerings where quality matters and community feedback is valued.
What we like: Free shipping and returns on most items as well as the ability to see customer pictures in some reviews.
What we dislike: If you plan on buying baby items early, your return window is relatively limited, and you could end up with items you don't use or need.
Best bang for your buck: Target Baby Registry
Our take: Moderate range of products with consistent quality across brands. Price ranges to accommodate every family's budget.
What we like: Nationwide retailer, so it's easy for gifters and recipients to buy, return, and exchange almost anywhere.
What we dislike: It's not uncommon to have a registry with many out-of-stock items.
Choice 3: BuyBuyBaby Registry
Our take: Still-growing, less-established registry option that is evolving. Dedicated store offers many varieties of each product.
What we like: Coupon-friendly store with already competitive prices and specials.
What we dislike: Returns could be challenging with some policies.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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