If you've hung out with me for more than 5 seconds since I had Beck or, frankly, for months before I had her, you probably have some inkling of how obsessed I am with baby products. Some hugely useful, some just super cute, some cool as all get-out. I spent a ton of sleepless nights while pregnant researching all kinds of stuff, and our MO when registering was 1. get as much used stuff as we could, 2. save receipts for returns/exchanges, and 3. mid-range stuff that was really well-reviewed was our preference for new stuff.
Before we start, on registries: We registered at Target, Amazon, and BuyBuyBaby. This was for a few reasons. Target is everywhere and everyone loves it, PLUS if we got anything that we really didn't like or couldn't use we could use the return store credit for regular stuff like toilet paper, which is kind of a nice baby gift. Amazon has a great welcome-to-your-registry box that I really wanted AND a good completion discount, but we got exactly zero presents from that registry. I can use the completion discount for up to a year, though, so at any moment I could add a bunch of older-baby stuff and order it for Beck. BuyBuyBaby was a no-brainer when I found out that you can use Bed Bath & Beyond coupons there. They also have a great welcome bag (so does Target!) and the store is just SO nice. They always have tons of stock in the store and the employees generally know what they're talking about. BBB is far and away my favorite place to shop for baby stuff, and don't even get me STARTED on how much better it is than Baby's R Us BUT I think that might be a local thing, our Toys R Us and Babies R Us are in one big store and the employees are useless and it's just really awful, but that might not be the same everywhere, in fairness to the company.