This is What Expectant Parents Need to Know About Toys R Us Baby Registries

It’s not just generations of Toys R Us kids who are bummed about the retailer’s upcoming closure of more than 800 stores.

Expectant parents are now realizing their baby registries are kaput.

As Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores around the country prepare to liquidate, people are rushing to adjust their methods of requesting baby registry gifts from family and friends.

Melissa Orseno of St. Petersburg, Florida, suspected something was wrong with her Babies R Us registry several weeks before Toys R Us announced its bankruptcy filing.

She spent three hours in the store scanning items she wanted. But she kept noticing things were being discontinued in the weeks to follow.

Then last weekend, shortly after Toys R Us announced it would close all its stores, Orseno logged back into her registry. Every single clothing item was out of stock. She checked again later; the diapers were out of stock, too.

Current Babies R Us registry holders may access their registries, but a press office email autoresponder noted, “We encourage you to save or write down the products on your registry as soon as possible so you will have a list of those products you wanted before the registry is turned off.”

While the store stated that new registries could not be created, the option to do so is still available on the retailer’s homepage.

Orseno said she hasn’t received any notification from Babies R Us about the status of her registry. In the meantime, she’s transferred everything over to Buybuy Baby and told upcoming baby shower guests — she’s due in June — that she’s moved her wish list.

New Parents Must Seek Registry Rewards Elsewhere

Shopping at Toys R Us and Babies R Us came with perks.

The “R”Us rewards program offered one point for each dollar spent at Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores. After earning 125 points, participants received a $5 reward coupon.

The chain’s press office noted that rewards coupons are no longer valid as of March 22; users may see points accruing in their account, although they’re not valid.

Meanwhile, Babies R Us shoppers could earn 10% back on purchases made through their registries. New parents automatically received an electronic gift card about 12 weeks after their baby’s due date.

Endless Earnings e-gift cards will be accepted through April 21. Orseno suspects she’ll never see the $124 she had already earned. She said the rewards program, along with store availability, had made Babies R Us the best choice for her.

Affected stores are notifying customers who have items on layaway, letting them know they have 21 days to pay the balance or get a refund on their deposits.

“If the customers don’t take any action, the liquidators will have the right to sell the product as part of the liquidation after the 21 day notice period,” the email stated.

Gift cards for both stores will be honored through April 21, but all purchases made during the liquidation process beginning March 23 are final sale.

Parents have several alternatives. Buybuy Baby is offering free pacifiers to those who transfer their registries to the store, which is a part of the Bed Bath & Beyond family. The Washington Post also noted that online registry hub Babylist is offering a $10 credit to those choosing their next best option.

Target, Walmart and Amazon also offer baby registries.

Orseno said that while BuyBuy Baby’s prices are slightly higher than Babies R Us, its registry is “so much easier to use. It’s fast,” she said, “and it provides a list for thank-you notes.” She said deliveries from Babies R Us had taken weeks to arrive.

Lisa Rowan is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.