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So, you’re expecting a baby! If you’ve not yet announced the big news to friends and family, get ready for the flood of questions about how you’ll be stocking your nursery and where you’ve registered.

Choosing the best baby registry for your growing family can seem overwhelming — these days there are a lot of features to consider.

That’s why we’ve compiled the specs on seven different baby registries, so you can size them up and find the right fit for you. Read on to learn why you should register and what to consider when searching for the registry of your dreams.

Psst! While you’re here, sign up for our I’m Expecting newsletter to get weekly guidance through your pregnancy.

The phrase “it takes a village” doesn’t just apply to postpartum life.

Regardless of how excited you are, preparing for the arrival of your bundle of joy is a big task. Between large purchases (like a bassinet or car seat) and the nitty-gritty items (all those pacis!), the cost of baby gear adds up at a staggering rate.

Don’t worry — with a registry, you’ll get by with a little help from your friends and family.

It’s important to remember that people in your life want to help you prepare! And, while asking for gifts can be uncomfortable at first, creating a registry is the easiest way to guide folks toward the products you actually want and need for your baby.

When choosing a baby registry (or registries — some parents-to-be create more than one!), it’s important to factor in the following features and incentives:

  • Return policies. Sometimes a gift just isn’t the right fit. How easy will it be to make a return through the registry? Especially if you’re caring for a newborn, you’re going to want this process to be simple and the timeframe to be generous.
  • Brand variety. Some registries offer a wide variety of brand names for each product, while others stick to their own brand and a few others. Consider how important brand names are to you and whether they’re available on a registry before committing.
  • Group gifting. Big ticket items like cribs and strollers can get pricey, so it’s helpful if your friends and family have the option of going in on a bigger gift together.
  • Freebies. When you start a registry, some companies will send you a welcome gift with a few freebies so you can get to know the brands they carry.
  • Completion discounts. As you near your baby’s expected arrival date, many registries will hook you up with a discount so you can purchase any remaining gifts on your wish list. The terms and conditions on these vary from company to company.
  • Personal touches. When you receive a gift, does the registry tell you who it’s from? Are you prompted to send a thank-you note? Little details like that help you stay on top of things when it comes to gift etiquette.
  • Universal registry. The term “universal registry” means you’re able to add items from other retailers to your registry page. It allows for more customization and brand variety across your registry.

Easiest baby registry to use

Amazon Baby Registry

You’re probably already aware that you can find basically anything on Amazon — well, the same goes for Amazon Baby Registry.

You’ll be able to shop a massive selection of products and gear for your little one, as well as items for yourself. Seriously — coffee makers, books, sheets… it’s all fair game to add to an Amazon Baby Registry.

Registering through Amazon also makes it super easy for your friends and family since they’ll be able to shop your registry from their own Amazon account, making the entire checkout process that much easier.

The details:

  • Return policy: Gifts purchased through your registry are eligible for free returns up to 365 days from purchase (the gift-giver will never know you returned!). Baby items purchased by you (the registry owner) are eligible for 90-day returns.
  • Brand variety: Extensive — Amazon carries a huge amount of big baby brand names like Gerber, Britax, Chicco, and more.
  • Group gifting: Yes.
  • Freebies: Yes. When you start your registry, you’ll receive a welcome box of items for baby and parents (valued up to $35).
  • Completion discounts: Yes. Up to 60 days after your baby’s expected arrival date you’re eligible for a 10 percent completion discount on items left on your registry (up to two orders). Prime members receive 15 percent off.
  • Personal touches: Amazon will help you track your thank-yous and, if the gift-giver chooses, provide you with their address.
  • Universal registry: Yes. You can add any item from any retailer to your Amazon registry by enabling Universal Registry.

Start your Amazon Baby Registry.

Best baby registry for nursery decor

Pottery Barn Kids Baby Registry

If aesthetics are high on your priority list, Pottery Barn Kids is a perfect place to register. Their collection of safe, design-friendly furniture, toys, and decor will help you create a seamless, timeless look in your nursery.

Perks of registering with Pottery Barn Kids include a wide variety of Greenguard Gold Certified furniture and organic linens, dedicated sales associates to help with any registry-related questions, and a handy online gift tracker.

It’s worth noting, though, that our Editorial Director used PB Kids for her first child and says they couldn’t tell who the gift-giver was when they received a package — they had to go online to check.

The details:

  • Return policy: You can return or exchange a gift within 90 days from your baby’s expected arrival date or 90 days from purchase (whichever is later).
  • Brand variety: In addition to the Pottery Barn brand, PB Kids offers items from big names like Skip Hop, Medela, UPPAbaby and more.
  • Group gifting: No.
  • Freebies: No.
  • Completion discounts: Yes. For 1 month prior and up to 3 months past your date, you can purchase any remaining items from your registry (and add more!) for a generous 20 percent off.
  • Personal touches: Pottery Barn Kids offers a free virtual consultation with a registry expert to help you decide what you want and need. They also offer the option to personalize gifts (like towels or blankets) by adding baby’s name.
  • Universal registry: No, but you can add items from Pottery Barn’s sister brands, Williams Sonoma and West Elm.

Start your Pottery Barn Kids BabyRegistry.

Best baby registry for the essentials

Target Baby Registry

Target is a great one-stop shop for most folks, and expecting parents are no exception. In addition to adorable decor and brand-name gear, you’ll find all the essentials (like baby shampoo and wipes) you’ll need for your baby’s first year.

If you need a little assistance getting started, they offer an extensive checklist as a guide. Plus, for those who like to shop in-store, Target has no shortages of brick-and-mortar locations across the country.

The details:

  • Return policy: Target offers free returns and exchanges for a year (!!!) on unopened products you receive from your registry.
  • Brand variety: Very good — beyond Target’s baby brand, Cloud Island, you’ll find items from big-name baby brands like Graco, The Honest Company, and more.
  • Group gifting: Yes.
  • Freebies: Yes. When you start your registry, you’ll receive a welcome box of items for baby and parents ($100 value).
  • Completion discounts: Yes. 8 weeks before your expected arrival date, you’ll receive a coupon for 15 percent off, which you can use twice in-store and once online to buy those remaining gifts and add anything additional for baby. The discount expires 6 months after your date.
  • Personal touches: Target helps you track your gifts and thank-yous online. They also let you customize your registry page with photos, a custom URL, and more.
  • Universal registry: Yes. You can add items from other retailers to your Target registry.

Start your Target Baby Registry.

Best baby registry for low prices

Walmart Baby Registry

Walmart is known for their low prices (it’s in the slogan!), so if you’re looking to stock up without sending your friends and family into sticker shock, consider a Walmart Baby Registry.

And, beyond your registry and shower, if you don’t receive all the baby gear you need, you can show a competitor’s lower price and Walmart will give you an e-gift card for the difference.

However, while they certainly offer great deals, Walmart’s Baby Registry lacks a few perks that other companies offer, like group gifting, a completion discount, and a universal registry option.

The details:

  • Return policy: Free returns for up to one year on eligible items.
  • Brand variety: Very good — Walmart carries big name brands like nanobébé, Joovy, Graco, and more.
  • Group gifting: No.
  • Freebies: Yes. When you start your registry, you’ll receive a welcome box of items for baby and parents (up to $40 value).
  • Completion discounts: No.
  • Personal touches: You’ll be notified digitally when a gift is purchased for you (you won’t receive gift messages in packages, though). Walmart also offers a checklist to help you build your registry and a virtual registry assistant.
  • Universal registry: No.

Start your Walmart Baby Registry.

Best baby registry for cash gifts

MyRegistry.com Universal Baby Registry

Can’t decide where to register? With MyRegistry.com’s Universal Baby Registry, you can add items from any store — including Amazon, Target, Crate and Barrel, and more — to your registry page.

One of the biggest perks of MyRegistry.com is the option to register for cash gifts. It’s an easy way to start putting money aside for a playroom renovation, piano lessons, college, or whatever your heart (and wallet) desires. (Note that cash gifts require a service fee and are subtracted from the total gift amount.)

The details:

  • Return policy: As you cannot return or exchange a gift through MyRegistry.com (you have to go through the store the item was purchased through), the terms and conditions vary.
  • Brand variety: Limitless!
  • Group gifting: Only on cash gifts.
  • Freebies: No.
  • Completion discounts: No.
  • Personal touches: MyRegistry.com lets gift-givers leave a virtual message or “sign” a virtual guest book when visiting your registry page.
  • Universal registry: Yes — you can add gifts from any store to your registry page, even if they don’t have a website.

Start your MyRegistry.com Universal Baby Registry.

Best baby registry for discount bonuses

Buy Buy Baby Registry

If you’re a fan of discounts (uh, who isn’t?) Buy Buy Baby’s registry is going to be right up your alley. Since they’re part of the Bed Bath and Beyond family, 20 percent off coupons are a monthly occurrence, so big ticket items like strollers and cribs will be a little easier to manage.

One of the biggest perks of starting a registry with BBB? If the value of the gifts purchased from your registry exceeds $1,500 (it happens faster than you might think!), you’re eligible for free shipping throughout your baby’s first year.

And, if that wasn’t enough, for each friend you refer to register at Buy Buy Baby, you’ll earn $25 off your next in-store purchase of $100 or more. Sweet!

The details:

  • Return policy: You’re able to return gifts within 1 year of the purchase date.
  • Brand variety: Extensive — baby gear is literally what they do, so you’ll find no shortage of big brand names here.
  • Group gifting: No.
  • Freebies: Free welcome bag of samples and the store’s Baby Registry Guide, available for in-store pickup only.
  • Completion discounts: BBB will send you a 15 percent off coupon for use in stores (and another for use online) several weeks before your date. You can’t combine this with their monthly 20 percent off coupon.
  • Personal touches: Expecting parents are offered a free in-store consultation with a specialist, and friends and family can suggest products to you through the site’s “recommendation tool.” They’ll also help you track thank-yous.
  • Universal registry: No.

Start your Buy Buy Baby Registry.

Best baby registry for parents

Babylist Baby Registry

Your little bundle of joy is about to rock your world, and Babylist goes the extra mile to take care of parents by letting friends and family “register” for things like house cleaning, home-cooked meals, dog walking, and more.

Other unique qualities of a Babylist registry include access to unique gifts from indie artists and a catered experience for parents who are adopting or using a surrogate. Babylist is also the only other registry on this list that offers cash funds.

The details:

  • Return policy: You can return unopened items within 90 days of purchase date.
  • Brand variety: Extensive.
  • Group gifting: Yes.
  • Freebies:Yes — sort of. With a $10 purchase you’ll receive a box upon registering with goodies and coupons for parents and baby.
  • Completion discounts: A one-time 15 percent off discount will become available 60 days before your baby’s expected arrival date. You can use this discount for up to 6 months afterward.
  • Personal touches: There are a ton of resources on Babylist’s website to help you get started, whether you’re a first-time parent or professional toddler wrangler.
  • Universal registry: Yes — link any products or other registries to your Babylist registry for one seamless experience. Cash funds are also an option.

Start your Babylist Baby Registry.