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TL;DR : Every registry has its advantages and can fit different needs. Choose the best registry for your needs and remember you can always mix-and-match multiple registries.
You want to give your little one the best beginning possible, and so do your friends and family.
They want to shower you with gifts to help you prepare for the arrival of your little bundle of joy.
How do you make sure you get things you actually need at your baby shower?
You make a wish list, put it on a baby registry and share it with your family and friends.
How does a baby registry work exactly? Do they cost money? Which one is the best for you?
We put together a guide that covers the top baby registry websites and stores in the US.
A good registry makes shopping for your little bundle of joy simple and enjoyable.
You should be able to add gifts with ease. Gift givers should be able to pick out and buy gifts easily.
Going with an online registry from a large online store like amazon that are familiar to pretty much everyone can make shopping easier.
Some smaller gift registries are specifically designed for baby showers. They put all their efforts in creating a seamless and fun gifting experience.
Do you really need eight bunny dolls or twelve swaddle blankets? Probably not.
Cash gifts provide endless possibilities and allow you to use the funds in the best way possible for your needs.
You can use the cash to kickstart your baby’s college fund, pay for baby food and diapers, or pay down larger items on your wishlist.
Some registries like Greatest Gift are built specifically for cash gifts. Greatest Gift turns a transfer of funds into a personal monetary gift with purpose.
Others are built exclusively for items on their stores and may have an awkward cash fund option as a feature.
Pay attention to the cash gifting fees – some may be higher than others.
For the best result, use two registries, one for all the items you want and one as a baby fund registry.
Most stores allow you to register for items that they sell.
Some stores also allow you to add items from any other store, online or brick-and-mortar.
A universal registry allows adding items from any other store or service.
It aggregates everything into one location, providing gift givers with a complete variety of options without going to multiple locations.
It’s hard to tell what you will really need and use. You may plan to bottle feed but end up breastfeeding.
You may discover your baby loves one type of blanket but absolutely hates another.
Newborns can be very picky, but that’s not your fault.
That why you need flexibility.
A great registry has a flexible return policy. Flexibility means you can return or exchange gifts for a long time after the baby shower.
With a flexible return policy you don't need to rush back to stores right after having your baby.
Stores typically accept gift returns and offer gift cards for the store.
What if you don’t get everything on your wish list?
That’s exactly what completion discounts are for.
Many registries give a completion discount to help you buy everything left on your wish list.
Check the fine print of each registry to understand how to use the discount to its full potential.
The details include the discount’s expiration date and how orders you can place with the gift.
Last but not least, one thing to make your wish-listing even better is a complimentary signup gift with fun baby goodies.
Registries want to woo you with welcome boxes and kits filled with all sorts of freebies.
They value their potential relationship with parents.
They offer these gifts as a way to create an exciting and joyful experience for you and make sure you come back in the future.
Time to choose from the best registries out there.
Parents and gift givers who want to invest in the baby’s financial future.
Greatest Gift turns investing in a child’s future into a personal and meaningful gift and continues to show parents how to save & invest for their baby.
Pairs well with your go-to store for baby essentials and enables your family and friends to invest in your baby’s financial future from day one.
Many parents prefer to receive cash as gifts for their babies so they can start saving for future goals.
With Greatest Gift, parents, family, and friends join together to kickstart kids’ financial futures and help them meet financial goals like saving for college, financial independence, or other financial goals they may have.
The easy, fun gifting experience, the personal finance resources for parents, the low fees, and the seamless transfer to the baby’s investment accounts make this registry a must have for every parent out there.
Greatest Gift shows every parent how to start investing for their child's future and provides the necessary tools.
For the best baby fund registry, look no further than Greatest Gift.
Over 100 million Amazon Prime subscribers who are looking for an easy and familiar shopping experience for themselves and their guests.
As the world’s largest online retailer Amazon has one of the largest selections of items to choose from. If that’s not enough, they also provide a universal registry for the things they don’t.
Amazon is the top online retailer for good reason.
An abundance of options, an easy-to-use website, discounts, and a generous return policy make amazon a well-rounded choice.
With over 100 million subscribers in the US alone Amazon provides a familiar and trusted store for your friends and family.
Amazon is not just a baby store. You can add anything from the entire store, even if it’s not directly baby related. Add pillows, books, Tupperware, or anything else that will help your growing family.
We have to note one missing feature is a cash fund gifting option.
Parents who want a modern online registry that has physical stores across the US for easy to make purchases and returns.
Combining an easy online registry experience with over 1,800 physical stores. Great for both the parents and their gift givers, and the parents can continue shopping all of the baby’s favorite supplies after the shower.
Target showers parents to be with piles of deals, welcome gifts, and discounts to make the transition into parenthood affordable.
Target offers a comprehensive service, complete with an online registry and 1800 store locations across the US.
It’s convenient, reliable, easy to use, and has options for all the gifts you need to start your baby off with the essentials and everything else.
Stores offer an added convenience and multiple options to shop and pick up items for people who prefer to go in person to see what they’re buying.
Only thing missing is a cash gifting option.
Parents who aren’t sure what they need and want to find the best products to put on their registry.
Babylist is a modern tech company that focuses exclusively on babies and parents, creating the best experience for new parents.
The guides, checklists, product reviews and price comparisons, combined with the universal registry features make this one of favorite registries.
Babylist focuses on babies and parents.
They sell products directly on their website, but also allow you to choose items from any other website. You can even add whole registries to make things as simple as possible for your gift givers.
Their checklist, guides and example registries really help think of all the right things you’ll need and make sure you’re getting only the best products for your little one.
With Babylist, you can also register for favors and help from your friends and family. They can select coupons for pet-sitting, delivering meals, or diaper deliveries.
Since the Babylist cash fund feature is limited and doesn't offer an actual payment solution, Babylist doesn't have cash fund fees. Instead, gift givers that choose to use Paypal to give cash gifts can expect to pay the Paypal fees - 2.9% +0.30 cents for a gift given with a credit card, and no fee for gifts given with bank accounts.
Gift receivers will face no fees if they withdraw their gift funds to a local bank account. They may pay a fee if they choose to withdraw to a card or check, or if they require the money more urgently.
The Walmart frequent shoppers that have a store near them.
Walmart’s premium and everyday brands at their affordable prices won’t break your or your guest’s bank.
Walmart’s 4,500 store locations and low prices are a big attraction parents across the country.
They have a wide variety of products to offer for the whole family and home. And, with the price match guarantee you won’t need to drive around town to find the lowest prices.
Overall the registry seems like a good fit for Walmart loyal customers. But, other than that they are missing competitive features like cash gifts, universal registry, completion discounts and welcome baskets.
Parents who want to sync multiple registries to one page for their family & friends.
Get all the perks from the other registries while providing a single page registry for your guests.
MyRegistry offers a universal registry service that makes things easy for gift givers.
You can sync up existing registries from other websites, add any item from any online store, or add items from brick-and-mortar stores by taking a picture and uploading it through an app.
MyRegistry isn’t a store though, and that does have a few downsides. You won’t be able to make returns through them, and there won’t be any perks for future purchases.
Although they have an option for a cash fund, you’ll need a PayPal account to access your gift funds. Your gift givers will have to pay a relatively high fee for cash fees. There is a $3.95 fee for cash gift transactions up to $100, $4.95 fee for cash gift transactions $100.01 - $200, $5.95 fee for cash gift transactions $200.01- $500, and $6.95 fee for cash gift transactions $500.01 -$1000.
On top of that, PayPal will take 2.5% of all transactions.
Overall MyRegistry is a good universal registry, fit for parents who want to register with multiple registries or stores.
Unfortunately buybuy Baby's parent company, Bed Bath and Beyond, has declared bankruptcy and is going out of business.
All store locations are scheduled to close down and the online store is closed for business.
The company's assets are being auctioned off to other companies.
As such, we no longer recommend attempting to register with buybuy Baby.
Yes, most baby registries are free to use. In fact, many registries even offer gifts and promotions to new registrants to encourage them to use their services.
Gift registries help parents ask for gifts that they actually want, reducing gift return rates. They help parents share their wish list with family & friends and provide stores with new customers at lower marketing costs.
There are a few factors to consider when choosing a baby registry.
Look for ease of use for yourself and for gift givers.
Add a cash gift option to allow endless possibilities. Choose a registry with a good cash gift experience like Greatest Gift.
Read the find print of the return and exchange policies.
Finally, look out for discounts and perks.
Some gift registries offer welcome packages and gifts for new signups as a way to promote their registry. These gifts typically include goodies for both the baby and the parents.
While there are no rules when it comes to timing of setting up your baby registry, most parents-to-be wait for the three month mark, and some even wait until they discover the sex of the baby.
Complete your wish list before you send out your baby shower invitations if you want to give guests enough time to shop.
Make sure to take a few weeks to set it up properly and list all the things you really want.
The timing to share your baby registry is easy.
If you send out invitations to a baby shower, simply add the registry information there.
If not, send out the information when you share the news about your new joy.
You can also share when you have your first event for your little one.
Lastly, you can share when you’re asked about the best options for baby gifts.
Everything you need and want for you baby. The broader you make your wish list, the more options you give your family and friends to give as gifts.
Make sure to add items of different price levels, and don’t forget to add a cash gift option!
Financial gifts can kickstart your baby’s financial future or help you purchase large ticket items.
Find more ideas for baby shower gifts here.
The best way to share is on the baby shower invitation.
Most registries will offer a gifting page that you can customize and share with guests.
Add the gifting page URL to the invitation to let your guests know what they can bring.
If you’re not having a baby shower, you can always share your registry with a baby announcement.
Lastly, you can wait for people to ask what they can get you.
I love how easy it is to give a meaningful gift to the kids and tots in my life!
It means a lot to me that I can contribute to their future, and Greatest Gift makes the experience seamless and fun.
Our son just turned two. We created his gifting page with Greatest Gift and shared it on the birthday evite. The results were amazing! We received 12 gifts that will be going to his college fund and savings.
Love this platform.
We have a 2-year-old and another baby on the way, and we love Greatest Gift’s discover section. I look forward to learning about the right financial tools to help build their future and set them up for success financially.