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Boy or Girl? Fun Old Wives Tales for Gender Prediction


It’s hard to wait for the big reveal. Is it a boy or a girl? Should you decorate your nursery pink or blue?

Unfortunately, many expectant couples won’t get to find out their baby’s gender until around 20 weeks pregnant. You might be able to find out sooner – if your baby decides to cooperate and make it easy for the ultrasound technician to see his or her privates.

You might not have to wait until your second trimester ultrasound to find out whether you’re having a little boy or girl. If you had an amniocentesis early in the second trimester – they are usually performed between 15 and 20 weeks of pregnancy – you probably already know your baby’s gender.

An amniocentesis is the most accurate way to determine an unborn baby’s gender. The diagnostic test does come with a 1 percent miscarriage risk, so you wouldn’t want to undergo the amniocentesis for the sole purpose of finding out your baby’s gender.

If you don’t know your baby’s gender yet, it might be fun to predict your baby’s sex yourself. Check out these old wives’ tales for gender prediction. Some are weird and offbeat; others are well-known tales. All of them are pretty entertaining.

Are You Carrying High or Low?

You’ve probably heard this old wives’ tale before – how you carry, or how your bump sits on your belly, can indicate whether you should break out the hot pink or baby blues.

Carrying your baby high? Decorate in pink – it’s a girl.
Carrying low? You’re having a boy.

Another similar old wives’ tale looks at how wide or narrow your bump is.

Carrying wide? You’re having a daughter.
Carrying narrow? Congrats to the dad – it’s a son.

While these old wives’ tales aren’t exactly scientific, they are fun. You have a 50-50 chance of being right.

(In reality, the shape and height of your belly is determined by your uterine tone, muscle tone, and your baby’s position. And after your baby drops into the pelvis in the third trimester, it may appear that you are carrying “low.” But all babies drop when you’re close to delivery.)

How Fast is Your Baby’s Heart Beating?

The next time that your doctor pulls out the Doppler to listen to your baby’s heartbeat, you might want to ask what your little one’s heart rate is. According to the old wives’ tale, a fetal heart rate faster than 140 beats a minute indicates you’re having a girl. Less 140 beats a minute means it’s a boy.

This is absolutely a myth. There have been no studies that show that heart rate predicts gender.

A normal fetal heart rate can range between 120 and 160 beats per minute. If you ask your doctor for your baby’s heart rate at each prenatal visit, you may be surprised to see that the heart rate differs from visit to visit. The fetal heart rate varies, depending on the age of gestation (how many weeks along you are) and your baby’s activity level at the time of the doctor’s visit.

How Round is Your Face?

This is a funny midwives’ tale. Legend has it that a pregnant woman with a round and rosy face is expecting a daughter.

Keep in mind that every woman gains weight differently, and water retention can make you look rounder and plumper than you actually are. And the rosy cheeks? Thanks to those hormones in your body.

Sweet or Salty?

Food cravings hit everyone differently, but there is a legend that expectant mothers who are craving ice cream, cookies, and other sweet, sugary desserts are pregnant with baby girls. And if you are craving sour, or salty foods, it must be a boy.

Makes sense right? After all, “What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and everything nice.”

And if you are craving sour, or salty foods, it must be a boy.

As the nursery theme goes, “Frogs and snails, and puppy-dog tails, that’s what little boys are made of.” Frogs and snails does sound salty.

In reality, this old wives’ tale has no bearing on your baby’s gender. Pregnancy food cravings probably won’t predict your baby’s sex, but this legend is fun.

Pee & Drano Mixed Together = ?

This must be one of the strangest gender prediction method, but women have been using it for decades to predict their baby’s sex.

What happens when you pee in a cup and mix a tablespoon of Drano in it? If it turns green, you’re having a little girl. And if it turns blue, obviously you must be pregnant with a little boy, right?

I wouldn’t advise any pregnant woman to do this test. I’ve never tried it myself, but I have heard it can produce toxic fumes. (Toxic fumes can be hazardous to your health, and there’s always the possibility the fumes will find their way into your bloodstream, cross the placenta, and harm your developing baby.)

You might want to get your husband or significant other to mix the two liquids together and tell you the color.

Looking at Numbers

For all you math wizards, you’ll love this next one. According to legend, the Mayans predicted that you could predict a baby’s gender by looking at the mother’s age when she conceived, and the year of conception.

If both years are odd or even, you’ll have a girl. If one number is even and the other is odd, you’re having a boy.

For example, if Sally was 27 when she got pregnant, and her baby’s year of conception was 2011, she’s supposed to have a daughter. Now, if she was 28 when she conceived with the year of conception still 2011, she’ll give birth to a boy.

Which One Will You Try?

All of these gender prediction methods are pretty amusing. Which one do you think you’ll try? Personally, I love the “Carrying High” and “Carrying Low” myth.

About the author: DP Nguyen is founder and editor of Hip Chick’s Guide to PMS, Pregnancy and Babies. She’s an expert pregnancy and women’s health blogger. She is NOT a medical doctor and does NOT offer medical advice. Connect with her on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Adolfo November 10, 2013, 9:56 pm

    Hey there! I’ve been reading your site for a long time now and finally got the
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  • Caroline February 26, 2011, 1:02 am

    On our last daughter, my husband wanted to leave it a surprise. But I just couldn’t! However the first ultrasound said ‘boy’ and then surprise, surprise, we had our little girl!

    Great blog!


  • Nikki February 25, 2011, 2:22 pm

    When I was pregnant with my son, every old wives tale told me I was having a girl. Even my grandmother, who was always right, thought it was a girl. Everyone was shocked when the ultrasound said it was a boy! Leave it to my body to react in the complete opposite of what is expected!

    • Jessie December 14, 2016, 11:51 pm

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