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Having a registry allows you to keep your baby gear shopping list in one place, lets your friends and family know exactly what you want — down to the brand and model — and can help you save on the overwhelming cost of everything you’ll need for baby. But where to register can be a complicated question. You can try a few different baby registries at your favorite big-box stores, or you can go all-in on one registry with everything you need. (And if you want our personalized recommendation for the best places for you to register — as well as what you should put on your registry — check out BabyCenter’s Baby Registry Builder.)
Many moms-to-be already have an Amazon account, so creating an Amazon Baby RegistryOpens a new window can seem like a natural choice. With Amazon, you have access to almost all of the brands and products you love in one convenient place. Plus, you can get discounts, free samples, easy returns, and free two-day shipping on registry items. Read on to find out why we think it’s one of the best baby registries.
The benefits of an Amazon baby registry
Completion discount: When you register with Amazon, you’ll get something called a “completion discount,” which gives you 15 percent off all eligible items. You’ll get the email 60 days before your due date and you have up to 90 days after your due date to take advantage of it. That means you can save the big-ticket items — like the crib, car seat and stroller — until about eight weeks before you’re due or even do a big order after baby has arrived. Amazon allows you to apply the discount to up to two orders of up to an aggregate of $2,000, which means you can save up to $300. (Just note that your registry must be active for at least two weeks to score the discount.)
Free 365-day returns: If you don’t like one of your gifts, you can return it up to 365 days after the date of your shipment. The best part? You get a credit, and the gift giver never finds out! Keep in mind that baby products purchased by you, the registry owner, can be returned within 90 days.
Free two-day shipping: Prime members automatically get two-day shipping for free on their orders. If you don’t have Prime, you can take advantage of the free shipping perk by making sure your registry orders are more than $25.
Welcome box: The Amazon Welcome Box is a great way to get some free stuff (and who doesn’t love that?) while trying out brands that you normally wouldn’t buy. It includes products for mom and baby (most are sample size) that you can test out after your little one arrives, valued up to $35. The mix of products in every box is a surprise, which adds to the fun. It doesn’t come automatically when you sign up for your registry, though. You need to be an Amazon Prime member and complete 60 percent of the checklist created when you register (more details on that below). Someone also has to have made a $10 purchase from your registry.
How to create an Amazon baby registry
Once you get to the main Amazon Baby Registry pageOpens a new window, click the “Create a New Baby Registry” button. You’ll be prompted to put in your name, address, expected due date and shipping address, as well as some preferences like who can see your registry. That’s all you need to do to create a basic registry. If you want to personalize your registry, there’s a section for optional information. You can include let Amazon know if this is your first child, note your baby shower date, and write a cute message to family and friends who check out your list. Amazon includes a helpful sample note where parents-to-be can tell gift givers the color of the nursery or, for instance, that they prefer compact items because their apartment is on the smaller side.
Once you have the registry ready to go, it’s time to add products. You can add them from the individual product pages or look at Amazon’s Registry Checklist, which shows you popular products without ever having to leave the registry page.
Using your Amazon baby registry
We created our own Amazon Baby Registry to find out how easy the process is. Spoiler: There were some hiccups with the setup, but overall it’s a good system. If you want to make the process as hassle-free as possible, check out BabyCenter’s Baby Registry Builder, which tells you if Amazon’s registry service is right for you, then lets you instantly add our product suggestions to your Amazon registry.
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If you don’t use BabyCenter’s Baby Registry Builder, you may be wondering: Where do you sign up? The Amazon homepage is a busy place — with plenty of products and deals that are begging you to click — which made it tricky to find the sign-up page at first. We finally found it by hoveringover “Accounts & Lists” (where you usually sign in), clicking “Find a List or Registry” and clicking “Baby Registry” in the top navigation. Alternatively, if you simply search “baby registry” in the main search bar, the sign-up page should pop up.
Once we got to the sign-up page, the rest of the registering process was a breeze. We put in all our info — name, address, due date — and had a brand-new registry. We used the registry checklist to add our favorite products — from carriers to bath toys — right within the registry page. We could add everything we wanted by simply clicking a button, and we never had to navigate away from the list.
How to use the baby registry checklist
The Registry Checklist is listed under the “Checklist” button in the top navigation. It has twelve different product categories — with themes like “Feeding” and “Nursery Bedding & Essentials” — that help you sort through what you need. If you click on each category, you’ll see another list of subcategories (yes, there’s a ton of stuff to sort through here — if you want a registry checklist that’s personalized for you and less overwhelming, check out BabyCenter’s Baby Registry Builder).
A whole page of items appears, depending on the products you’re looking to add. Each product box has an “Add to Registry” button that allows you to quickly add items that you’re interested in. If you need more information about a product, click on the product for a full description, reviews and more.
Once you think you’ve registered for everything you need in a subcategory (strollers, for example), you check the box next to the subcategory name (or, it’s automatically checked for you by Amazon as you add items in that subcategory to your list). Amazon keeps track of how much of your checklist you’ve completed. (You’ll need to complete 60 percent of the list to qualify for the welcome box.)
At first, the checklist can seem quite daunting, especially if you start with the major purchases. There are a lot of products to choose from and so many categories to cover. But here’s a trick: You don’t have to pick a product from every single one. Just check the box and Amazon will mark it as complete. Amazon’s system is pretty great; you will probably need something from every category — you just need to decide whether you want to register for it on Amazon or get it another way.
How to return a registry gift
To return a gift you received from your registry, head to your “Thank You & Returns” section and pick the item you’d like to return. If your loved one went off-book and got you something from Amazon that wasn’t on your registry, you can return the item through Amazon’s Online Return Center.
- Free shipping and a completion discount that can save you over $300.
- Almost everyone has an Amazon account, which makes shopping easier.
- You need to sign up for a Prime membership to get the most benefits.
- It’s confusing to qualify for the welcome box, and can be an investment if you’re not a Prime member.
- It’s hard to find the sign-up link.
Overall, the discounts and convenience make having an Amazon Baby Registry worth it, especially if you’re already a Prime member. Most of your friends and family are probably comfortable buying from Amazon, since they likely do it on their own quite frequently. Amazon can even wrap their gift for them. It’s a win-win situation for you and all the generous gift givers in your life.
The welcome box is fun to receive, but you won’t get any samples that blow your mind (although, free stuff is free stuff).
There’s no reason not to register with Amazon, frankly. Even if you use it as your personal baby gear checklist (you can set it to private) and buy a stroller a month before your due date, you’ve saved money. You have no obligation to create an exhaustive list of stuff or complete your Amazon checklist to the fullest. The features are there for you to take advantage of if you want. And that’s one of the best parts about the registry: Whether you do the bare minimum or include everything you need on the list, it works to fit your needs.
This article originally appeared on What to Expect.