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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 11 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.

A baby registry is a list of items that a set of future parents would like to have for their future baby. Online baby registries can include links to purchase items and/or the ability to purchase items directly through the registry.

A baby registry can act as an organizing tool. It’s a way to help their friends and family meet their needs and to ensure new parents don’t get duplicates.

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.

There are several different types of baby registries:

  • store-specific baby registries: These registries will only allow you to list items sold in a particular store (e.g., Buy Buy Baby, Target, Walmart). Occasionally, this type of registry even requires guests to visit a store in person to make a purchase.
  • universal baby registries: These registries allow you to list items from any store in the world.
  • service baby registries: Instead of just physical items, parents-to-be are able to list donations for meal services, childcare, and other services they’ll want after their baby arrives with these registries.

When deciding which baby registries should make the cut for our list, we looked at the amount and types of products available. We also heavily considered what parents-to-be are saying about their experiences using different baby registries. Finally, we considered any extras each registry offered like extended return policies, product discounts, reminder emails, and goodie bags/freebies.

Easiest baby registry to use

Amazon Baby Registry

Pros:

  • lots of different brands and products can be included on your registry
  • 10 percent off any items left on your registry (15 percent off for Prime members)
  • allows for group gifting and up to 365 days on gift returns

Cons:

  • no physical store to view products in before registering
  • need to be a Prime member for many of the benefits

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 — coffeemakers, books, sheets… it’s all fair game to add to an Amazon Baby Registry.

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

Features and callouts

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: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.

Best baby registry for nursery decor

Pottery Barn Kids Baby Registry

Pros:

  • can include items from stores in the “One Registry Collective,” which includes Williams Sonoma and West Elm
  • receive a registry completion discount of 20 percent off products for 2 months prior and 6 months past the chosen event date
  • free virtual baby registry consultation and the option to personalize items with baby’s name

Cons:

  • can be tricky to determine who sent a gift
  • no group gifting or freebies offered

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.

Features and callouts

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:Extensive — 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 2 months prior and up to 6 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 your baby’s name.
Universal registry:No, but you can add items from Pottery Barn’s sister brands, Williams Sonoma and West Elm.

Best baby registry for the essentials

Target Baby Registry

Pros:

  • free registry returns for up to a year
  • the welcome box offers $100 of freebies
  • offers the option to add items from other websites

Cons:

  • some parents complained about issues with returning items bought online
  • target prices aren’t always as cheap as Amazon and some other retailers like Walmart

Target is a great one-stop-shop for most folks, and expecting parents are no exception. In addition to the 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.

Features and callouts

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. Eight 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 the baby. The discount expires 6 months after your due 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.

Best baby registry for low prices

Walmart Baby Registry

Pros:

  • price-match guarantee with most retailers for items on the registry
  • free welcome box for creating the registry
  • wide range of brands available to be included on the registry

Cons:

  • no group gifting option
  • no discount for completing the registry
  • no ability to include items from other stores on the registry

Walmart is known for its 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.

Features and callouts

Return policy:Free returns for up to 1 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.

Best baby registry for cash gifts

MyRegistry.com Universal Baby Registry

Pros:

  • can include items from any store on the registry even if they don’t have a website
  • option to register for cash gifts (there are fees involved, though)
  • lets you synch registries, so you’ll still get the discount benefits those store registries offer (e.g., 10 percent on Amazon, 15 percent on Target)

Cons:

  • have to go through individual stores and their return policies for any returns
  • no freebie samples when you register

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.)

Features and callouts

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. (How cool is that?!)

Best baby registry for discount bonuses

Buy Buy Baby Registry

Pros:

  • able to return items for up to 1 year
  • 15 percent discount on remaining registry items
  • free shipping for your baby’s first year if the total of gifts purchased is more than $1,500

Cons:

  • can’t include items from other stores on the registry
  • have to pick up goodie bag in store if you want it

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 & Beyond family, coupons for 20 percent off 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.

Plus, 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!

Features and callouts

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:Yes.
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.

Best baby registry for parents

Babylist Baby Registry

Pros:

  • can include services on this registry
  • allows for group gifting
  • acknowledges different paths to parenting like adoption, surrogacy, etc.

Cons:

  • the checkout process frustrated some users
  • the sample gift box only comes to you if you make a $10 purchase

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 housecleaning, 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 also offers cash funds.

Features and callouts

Return policy:You can return unopened items within 90 days of the 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 a 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.

Best baby registry for splurges

Crate & Kids Baby Registry

Pros:

  • free nursery design assistance from experts
  • offers group gifting
  • 15 percent discount available for up to 3 months

Cons:

  • unable to add products from other stores
  • products tend to be on the more expensive side

Dreaming of a stylish baby nursery? The Crate & Kids Baby Registry has everything you’ll need to make that happen… including free design assistance! You’ll get alerts through the app every time something is purchased off your registry, and a 15 percent discount for up to 3 months after the event date you choose, so you can get whatever items are necessary to complete your vision.

Items tend to be on the more expensive side, but this registry offers group gifting. Users also liked the easy check-out process.

Features and callouts

Return policy:30 days for furniture; 90 days for non-furniture items.
Brand variety:Limited.
Group gifting:Yes.
Freebies:No.
Completion discounts:Fifteen percent discount that’s good for up to 3 months after the event date.
Personal touches:Users can get style and layout help from design professionals. The app alerts every time a registry item is purchased.
Universal registry:No.

Best baby registry for eco-friendly items

The Tot Baby Registry

Pros:

  • offers registry specialists to help with questions
  • 15 percent discount on anything remaining in the registry
  • provides starter registries for those who need inspiration

Cons:

  • no group gifting
  • limited amount of brands available

Want to make sure that everything in your baby’s life is safe and environmentally friendly? This company with an environmentally friendly focus has researched and tested every product on its website.

While the products on the site are eco-friendly, brands are limited and the registry doesn’t offer group gifting. The company does make the setting-up process easy, though, with specialists to answer questions and provide starter registries (including ones from celebrities!) for inspiration.

Features and callouts

Return policy:Up to 90 days.
Brand variety:Less brand variety than most options on our list.
Group gifting:No.
Freebies:No.
Completion discounts:Fifteen percent on any items remaining in the registry.
Personal touches:Registry specialists are available by phone. Starter registry guides include a few celebrity ones.
Universal registry:No.

Best baby registry for cash gifts

Plumfund Babyfund

Pros:

  • can use fund for any items or services desired
  • offers a platform for people to come together to pay for larger items
  • unlike some crowdfunding sites, there are no set-up fees or percentages taken

Cons:

  • you’ll need to purchase any items with the money yourself
  • once givers pay money, there’s no mechanism to get it back or control its use

From the founders of Honeyfund.com, Plumfund Babyfund allows parents to crowdfund the costs of a growing family. Unlike a traditional baby registry, users won’t get items. Instead, they’ll get money!

While this site won’t help with the actual shopping, any new parent can tell you that costs add up fast, so having cash funds for diapers, childcare, and large-ticket items like strollers can take off some pressure. This site in particular stands out because it has no set-up fees or percentages taken.

Features and callouts

Return policy:Givers can only get their money back if their pledge has not been paid yet. Once the transaction is processed, any monetary disputes must be settled directly with the person who received the gift.
Brand variety:Vast — you can fund for anything.
Group gifting:Yes.
Freebies:No.
Completion discounts:No.
Personal touches:Low third-party transaction fees are available.
Universal registry:Yes, but it’s just the money to pay for items or services. The actual item or service will have to be bought with the money separately, not through Plumfund.

Best baby registry for services

SoKind Baby Registry

Pros:

  • can include requests for donations of time, money, talents, and even used items on the list
  • allows for long descriptions of exactly what you’re looking for
  • site includes sample registries for ideas

Cons:

  • doesn’t allow people to buy items directly through the SoKind website
  • will need to do any monetary transactions through another organization like PayPal, which can carry transaction fees

If you’re focusing on the non-material things in life (or this isn’t your first child and you’re looking for physical help more than nursery items), the SoKind registry offers a platform to request time, talents, used items, and even donations to favorite charities. Any favors you can think to request for the labor and postpartum period are fair game!

One downside is that if you do want some physical items, you’ll have to include links to outside websites and givers will have to figure out how to order and deliver it to you themselves. Also, transferring money isn’t straightforward through this website the way it is with some registries.

Features and callouts

Return policy:Since any items requested “new” will need to be purchased through another store, the return policy of that store will determine the return possibilities of that item.
Brand variety:Anything is fair game!
Group gifting:By choosing “unlimited” for the quantity, multiple people can donate items or toward a monetary fund.
Freebies:No.
Completion discounts:No.
Personal touches:Allows for detailed descriptions of what exactly the parents-to-be are seeking (e.g., three vegan homemade meals delivered to the hospital after the birth); site includes sample registries for ideas.
Universal registryYes, can even include services and donations.

NameReturn policyGroup giftingFreebiesCompletion discountsUniversal registry
Amazon Baby RegistryFree returns up to 365 days from purchase (from gift-giver). 90-day returns for items purchased by registry owner.Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.
Pottery Barn Kids Baby RegistryWithin 90 days from baby’s expected arrival date, or 90 days from purchase (whichever is later).No.No.Yes.No, but you can add products from Pottery Barn’s sister brands.
Target Baby RegistryFree returns and exchanges for 1 year on unopened products.Yes.Yes.Yes.Yes.
Walmart Baby RegistryFree returns for up to 1 year on eligible items.No.Yes.No.No.
MyRegistry.com Universal Baby RegistryTerms and conditions vary (you have to go through the store the item was purchased from).Only on cash gifts.No.No.Yes.
Buy Buy Baby RegistryReturn gifts within 1 year of purchase date.Yes.Free welcome bag of samples — for in-store pickup only.Yes.No.
Babylist Baby RegistryCan return unopened items within 90 days of purchase date.Yes.Sort of — with a $10 purchase, you’ll receive a box upon registering with goodies and coupons for baby and parents.One-time 15 percent discount available 60 days before baby’s expected arrival date.Yes.
Crate & Kids Baby Registry30 days for furniture; 90 days for non-furniture items.Yes.No.Yes.No.
The Tot Baby Registry90 days from chosen event date.No.No.Yes.No.
Plumfund Babyfund RegistryGivers can only get their money back if they have not paid their pledge yet online.Yes.No.No.Users can request funds for anything, but will need to actually purchase those items or services from the vender themselves.
SoKind Baby Registry Any items purchased based on requests from the registry are subject to the return policy of the store they are purchased through.By choosing “unlimited” as the quantity for donations, multiple people can contribute.No.No. Yes, but website is focused on services and time-/skill-based donations.

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 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.

When should you start a baby registry?

There’s no hard-and-fast rule for when to start a baby registry. Many parents-to-be wait until the birthing person is about 3 months pregnant. This leaves plenty of time to weed through products and share the registry before the baby’s birth. You may also want to wait until after you know the gender of your baby. Whatever you decide, you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to complete it before any planned baby showers.

When should you share a baby registry?

You’ll want to share your registry with those invited to any baby showers. Information about how to locate your baby registry is typically included in the invitation to these events. You can also share your baby registry information with any family or friends who ask.

What should you put on a baby registry?

It’s a good idea to include a mix of larger and smaller items on your baby registry. Baby registries often include things like: a car seat, stroller, baby monitors, bottles, pumps, and diapers.

Some baby registries allow parents-to-be to include services or list general funds that friends and family can donate to. In these cases, you might want to ask for money towards doula costs or meal delivery services.

What should you not put on a baby registry?

You’ll want to avoid including things that the American Academy of Pediatrics considers unsafe, like crib bumpers or sleep positioners on your baby registry. Depending on how much space you have, you may want to avoid including duplicate items, things that won’t be used frequently, or items that will need to be stored until your baby is older as well. Finally, there’s usually no need to include baby clothing on your registry. You’ll get plenty of outfits anyway!