Returning Baby Shower Gifts [Etiquette, Policies, Receipts]


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Parents often spend hours creating the perfect registry prior to both a baby shower and the birth of their newborn. So what are parents to do when the items they thought they so desperately wanted for their little one end up not meeting their standards and need to be returned? 

If you need to return baby shower gifts to popular stores like Target, Walmart, Amazon, or BuyBuyBaby, you will usually find extended, simple return policies for items purchased through your baby registries. Meaning, the items you previously desired but have now discovered are unnecessary, low quality, not the right size, or any other possible problem that may prompt a return, can likely be returned for store credit or exchanged for an alternative item.

For some stores, even diapers are included in these more lenient return policies, even diapers that were not listed on your baby registry. Read on to learn more about the specifics for baby registry and diaper returns at popular stores such as Target, Walmart, and several other retailers with both in-person and online stores.  

Returning baby shower gifts to Target

Target has one of the best and most lenient return policies for items purchased through their registry system

Target’s website states that items purchased through your registry can be returned for up to one year after the due date (or event date as they call it) that is listed on the registry. These items need to be unopened and in their original packaging and you must return them using the registry return barcode that Target provided you. Simply access the barcode via your registry account and have it ready to be scanned in-store to complete your return or exchange.

In most cases, registry items will be refunded in the form of a gift card, allowing you to still purchase any item that you may still need for your little one. However, if you simply need to exchange the item for a different size, color, etc. you can exchange the item as long as you have a gift receipt or your registry barcode.

A great perk to receiving store credit for any returned item?

Your gift giver will never know that you opted for another item and you will still be able to use the monetary gift from them to purchase a more suitable item for your little one thanks to the Target gift card you receive when returning registry items. 

Can you return baby shower gifts to Target without a receipt?

If you have no proof of purchase, Target can often provide a merchandise return card that can only be used in-store, unlike their gift cards that can be used in-store or online. Merchandise return cards are only issued for non-receipted items purchased at Target and Target.com. 

Can you exchange diapers for a different size at Target?

Similar to the general return policy, Target tends to be lenient on their diaper returns.

While there is no specific information regarding diapers on their website, Target often accepts returns on diapers following their general return policy (90 days) or their registry return policy (one year), depending on how the items were purchased. An exception to this rule is Up&Up brand diapers, which always have a one-year return policy, regardless of how they were purchased, as they are a Target owned company.

Speaking from personal experience, Target will often allow for exchanges on diapers even without a receipt. Customer service will either issue a gift card for the cost of the diapers or they will allow for an exchange for a larger or smaller size depending on your specific needs and reason for returning the item to Target. Target will also accept boxes of diapers that have been opened, as long as you provide a receipt for your return or exchange.

Another great aspect of Target’s return policy?

The items you return, opened or unopened, can be returned to any Target store. So if you happen to take a box of gifted or recently purchased diapers with you on a trip only to discover they no longer properly fit your little one (I may be speaking from personal experience on this one as well), as long as you have access to the receipt for these diapers, Target will issue a refund or exchange at any location, even if it is states away from where the item was originally purchased. 

Returning baby shower gifts to Walmart

When it comes to returns for registry items, Walmart is not nearly as lenient as Target and actually offers one of the strictest return policies for baby registries that I’ve come across in my research. 

Walmart’s registry return policy follows the same guidelines as their regular return policy meaning your items can be returned, with a receipt for up to 90 days following their purchase. Walmart notes that gift receipts can only be obtained when a registry item is purchased in-store, however, the order number for the item purchased off your registry (which can be found by accessing your registry online) is needed in order to process the return.

Walmart’s website does not state how the return will be handled, however, most Walmart returns for diapers can be completed as an exchange or a return for store credit. They note that this policy follows the general Walmart rules which means general returns, such as registry items can be returned for store credit or an exchange. 

Can you return baby shower gifts to Walmart without a receipt?

Unfortunately, a receipt or order number is required in order to return registry items at Walmart. Their website does not provide information on how to exchange or return an item that does not have a receipt or an order number.

However, they do mention “manager discretion” throughout their varying FAQ pages which means the policies may vary from store to store. 

At the end of the day, it will never hurt to attempt to return or exchange a gifted item that you know was purchased from Walmart. If you try, you may find that the store management will be willing to work with you on a solution in order to keep your business within their store.

Always be sure to be polite with store representatives but don’t be afraid to be assertive either.  

Can you exchange diapers for a different size at Walmart?

As noted above, Walmart does allow for exchanges on unopened diapers as long as you have a receipt and are within their 90-day window for returns and exchanges. Unlike Target, it appears from their website that they will not accept returns or exchanges on opened diapers that you are not satisfied with. However, some locations may only accept open diapers per a manager’s discretion. 

Returning baby shower gifts to Amazon

Amazon, similar to Target, is providing new parents with an easy and extended return policy for items purchased from their baby registry. 

According to Amazon’s website, returns on items purchased through a baby registry are eligible for return for a full calendar year following the receipt for the item. However, items that were purchased by the registry owner only have a 90-day window for returns. Meaning that if you took advantage of the 15% off deal that Amazon provides for their registry users, then you will need to pay closer attention to your return deadlines if any of the items end up not meeting your standards or are no longer necessary. 

Amazon makes the return process easy and provides step-by-step instructions on their website for returning registry items. Simply go to your registry, click the link for thank you list & returns, click on the item(s) you wish to return and follow the remaining instructions provided by Amazon.

Amazon also provides online and telephone customer service representatives who can help streamline the return process for you. 

Can you return baby shower gifts to Amazon without a receipt?

Unfortunately, Amazon does not provide instructions for returns that do not have a receipt. However, with how Amazon is designed, it is unlikely that you would not be able to access your registry in order to return any item that was purchased off of your registry.

Amazon does note, that items that are sold as a “gift” on Amazon require an order number for the return to be processed. So while registry items provide ease of use when it comes to returns, “gift” items that are purchased separately from the baby registry may not be as easy to return. Meaning you would likely need to contact the gift-giver for the order number if a return is necessary. 

Can you exchange diapers for a different size at Amazon?

Amazon notes that specific items within their “Baby Store” are eligible for return or exchange within 90 days of purchase. Per Amazon, these items need to be unopened and in their original condition in order to be eligible for return or exchange. 

Unfortunately, Amazon does not list which items in their Baby Store are eligible for this deal. Meaning that, if diapers were purchased or gifted as part of your registry, it is unclear which return policy these items would fall under and it is likely that you would need to contact Amazon customer service for more information. 

Returning baby shower gifts to Buy Buy Baby

Buy Buy Baby, the only specialty baby store on the list is another store with a new-parent-friendly return policy for both registry and non-registry items.

While the standard return policy at Buy Buy Baby is 180 days for most items (some items as specified on their website have alternate return policies), items purchased through a registry have an extended return window of one year following the date of purchase. These items that are new and unopened may only be returned for Buy Buy Baby store credit. 

However, Buy Buy Baby does accept returns on items that have been used if they do not meet your satisfaction. Customer Service will need to be contacted to discuss further which items this policy covers and which items it does not.

Buy Buy Baby even allows for returns of items without a receipt! While they will do their best to track down the original record of purchase using the credit card or bank account used to purchase the item, if they are unsuccessful their website states that they will provide store credit for the current asking price less 20%.

The 20% is deducted due to the frequently used coupons  they offer and that they note they “assume most customers take advantage of.”  In other words, Buy Buy Baby will issue a partial refund on items without a receipt to protect themselves in the event that the item was not originally purchased in their stores.

It is important to note that several items including customized nursery furniture, monogrammed, and embroidered items are final purchases and not eligible for returns. So make sure these are items that you are set on before you consider listing them on your baby registry, or else you will be stuck with them for the foreseeable future! 

Returning baby shower gifts to Babylist

While Babylist may be one of the most popular registry building websites, returns for items purchased through their platform maybe a little bit more tricky than if you opt for a registry through a single store such as Amazon or Target.

Babylist allows those who purchase items from their registry to decide which store they will buy the product from. While some of their items are Babylist exclusives and can only be purchased through the Babylist Store, there are many items that are available from Target, Amazon, Esty, and Walmart just to name a few. With so many options, it’s no wonder returns could get tricky.

If the item was purchased through the Babylist Store, returns are easy. Simply return the unopened, unused item to Babylist within nine months of the purchase date. Babylist even includes a step-by-step guide with screenshots that shows you how to initiate the return of an item purchased on their website.

Unfortunately, if your item was purchased through another store, then the items are subject to the return policies and procedures of the store from which they were purchased. Meaning, you may get stuck shuffling around from store to store attempting to return items. Or even worse, you may find yourself unable to return items in the event that you missed their return deadline or their store does not allow returns, as is the case with many Etsy shops or customized items.

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Josh

I'm the dad in charge of Natural Baby life. With 10 years of parenting experience across three children, I am constantly learning how to raise children more naturally. I'm passionate about doing whatever it takes to raise a happy and healthy baby! Find out more about me here.

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