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What To Do With Your Babies "R" Us Gift Cards, Because Time's Running Out

I’ve been a Toys “R” Us Kid for as long as I can remember. It was such a special treat to go there, even just to look around. And when I became pregnant back in September, I was ecstatic to be able to venture into the Babies “R” Us store to finally register for my own items — after spending years of buying gifts for others. With the closing and liquidation of the Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores though, pregnant women everywhere (including myself!) are wondering what to do with Babies "R" Us gift cards, since it looks like Babies "R" Us won’t be around much longer.

While we're on the topic, I’m also curious about the registry rewards gift cards, where you get a gift card worth 10 percent of the amount spent on items purchased from your registry, and a 15 percent "completion discount certificate" to help you finish buying everything on your list. These were some of the main reasons we decided to register only at Babies “R” Us, in addition to nostalgia, to be honest. And boy, was that apparently a mistake. Hindsight, am I right?

According to a USA Today article, Toys “R” Us, and Babies "R" Us “will be honoring gift cards for the next 30 days.” But the article reported, “It was unclear if Babies "R" Us gift cards could be used for online shopping.” For more information on the registry’s outlook for the future, Romper has learned that the online store and registry will stay open for a few weeks, but we were not able to confirm a closing date for either.

As far as the state of the registry rewards gift cards and discounts, the Babies “R” Us representative has not yet responded to Romper’s request for comment on this particular concern at this time. However, in a separate Romper article discussing what happens if you have a registry at Babies “R” Us, it was reported that several employees and managers in Brooklyn who were contacted were very candid and said to “transfer your registry to Target.” And to not purchase a Babies “R” Us gift card for anyone at this time — even if they registered for them.

USA Today reported that the Toys “R” Us company had “initially hoped they’d be able to keep 400 stores open, but realized it didn’t have enough cash to preserve that many.” And that the company is expected to “run out of cash” by May of this year. CEO Dave Brandon told USA Today that he’s hoping some buyers will be interested in buying the assets and the company is keeping the Babies R Us registry and web stores available “for the time being” in case that does happen.

A couple of weeks ago, at seven months pregnant, I had a mini panic attack in the middle of our closest Babies “R” Us, while hoping to take advantage of some of the deals they were having and get a few bigger-ticket items, like a swing, bouncer, crib, etc., off of our registry. The store was in complete disarray, and everything had been picked clean. And worse, nothing we registered for was available at the store. My dad called me on Monday to tell me he went to the Babies “R” Us by his house to get some stuff off of our registry, and they were out of everything, too. Last night, we checked online and our crib was discontinued, even on Amazon, and the bouncer and swing were nowhere to be found. Cue panic again. And I know other women in my position are fretting, as well.

My husband and I are taking those Brooklyn employees' advice going to register at another baby store on Saturday, a week before my baby shower, and encourage invited guests to not purchase gift cards for us from Babies “R” Us at this time. Good luck to all you other mamas out there dealing with this stressful mess right now on top of all the other stresses pregnancy brings. I feel you.

Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.

Editor's note: This article has been updated from its original version.