Baby registry is the second largest gift registry market after wedding, estimated at $10B annually in the US. With 78% of the 3.97 million new moms creating a baby registry ever year, baby gifts has become a major business driver for retailers of all sizes.

Lately, we’re seeing a very interesting trend in the baby registry space.

The difference between a wedding registry and a baby registry

In the wedding registry space, we are seeing a trend from ‘need to have’ to ‘nice to have’. Today, couples are getting married later (27 for women and 29 for men) and 3 out of 4 engaged couples live with each other before getting married. In other words, they aren’t looking for the ‘need to have’ items such as dishes and hand blenders. The trend today in wedding registries is towards the ‘nice to have’ su

ch as honeymoon experiences, big screen TV’s and upgraded furniture.

The baby registry space is seeing the opposite trend – babies are being born at later stages and many times couples find themselves in the midst of life with yet another large expense. It’s no more ‘nice to have’ gifts but much more ‘need to have’ necessities such as basic clothing, strollers and even diapers.

One of the reasons for this trend is the fact that the US does not mandate paid leave for employees after giving birth. In fact, this has even become a perk that companies such as Facebook offer their employees in order to retain or recruit talent. Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg led by example and took off two months after the birth of his children (although, granted, probably didn’t really need the pay…)

Paid paternity leave is rare for most employees in the US and part of this ‘need to have’ trend in the baby registry space is new parents looking to subsidize their parental leave.

The baby registry market will continue to grow. But more and more of that growth is within the basic product market and less within the luxury/non-essential market.