Since the dawn of time, women have dreamed up extraordinary ways to predict the gender of their unborn babies. We’ve compiled 11 of the most engaging ways to get intimate with your baby bump and make that ultimate guess; is it a boy or a girl?
Some are totally scientific; some are a little more “out there,” but all of them make for fascinating reading. If you or anybody you know is expecting a little one, then read on and get some inspiration! Which methods would you try?
1. The height of your baby bump
The wonderful women of the past swore by this rule. If an expectant mom is carrying her baby bump high on her abdomen, then she’s got a baby girl bun in the oven. If she’s carrying her bump low, then it’s a boy!
2. The shape of your baby bump
If the high/low factor doesn’t convince you, then take a look at the shape of the bump instead. Folklore suggests that a perfectly round bump heralds a boy, while a wider, more spread-out bump means a little girl will be joining your family.
3. The old “wedding ring on a string” gimmick
This trick has fascinated the families of expectant moms for centuries. Thread the pregnant momma’s wedding ring onto a string and hold the string over her prominent belly. If the ring swings in a circular motion, folklore says it’s a girl; if it swings side to side like a hypnotist’s pendulum, that means it’s probably a boy.
“Don’t get up too fast when it’s over,” Today advises, or hello dizziness!
4. The morning-sickness gauge
The first is the worst when it comes to trimesters. If you’re going to experience morning sickness, then it’s likely to be at its worst during these first 12 weeks. But if it’s really bad, guess what? At least it means you’re having a baby girl!
If a pregnant woman feels fit as a fiddle from the get-go, rumor has it she’s carrying a little boy. It’s not conclusive, of course. “Some women have an easy time with [morning sickness] the first pregnancy,” says Atlanta OB-GYN Dr. Michael Randell, “and a terrible time with the next, even when their kids were both girls or boys.”
5. Sugar, spice, and all things nice
You’ve heard this old nursery rhyme, we suppose? If you crave sugar, spice, and all things nice during your pregnancy, it’s believed that the gender of your baby is a girl. On the other hand, if you’re craving snips, snails, and puppy dogs’ tails (what are snips, exactly?) then guess what? It’s a boy!
Disclaimer: if you’re having a serious savory moment, then ditch the snips and snails; we’d recommend a nice sandwich instead!
6. Counting by (Mayan) numbers
The Mayans, masters of prediction that they were, patented their own formula for determining the gender of an unborn baby. Look at the year of conception, they said, and the mother’s age at the time of conception. If both numbers are even or odd, then the Mayans believed the woman was expecting a girl, say The Gender Experts.
If one number is even and one number is odd, it’s the opposite!
7. “Linea Nigra”
Yes, that’s the scientific name for the dark line that some women develop running straight up their abdomen and through their belly button. If the line stops below the belly button, however, a woman is said to be carrying a girl; if the line continues above the belly button, then legend has it a little boy is responsible!
8. Pimple power
There’s an upside to pregnancy pimples after all; they might just help solve the boy/girl conundrum. A glowing, clear complexion is thanks to your burgeoning baby boy, whereas if you’re suffering a dull and pimple-scarred complexion, then blame the extra X chromosome (sorry, girls!).
9. The rest test
The way you sleep can apparently help determine the gender of your baby. Clock your sleeping position the next time you wake from a nap. As myth would have it, left-side sleepers are expecting a baby boy, and right-side sleepers are nurturing a little baby girl. If you can’t remember, well … that’s what partners are for!
A pregnant woman’s center of gravity goes haywire as the baby grows of course. But undue clumsiness might just be explained by the energetic little boy in your uterus! If your level of clumsiness doesn’t change, however, then you might be welcoming a girl on the big day.
11. Fetal heart rate prediction
We’re slowly crawling back into the realms of rational science, because this one requires a stethoscope. Generations of intuitive women insist that if the baby’s heart rate is fast (think around 140+ beats per minute), then it’s a girl. Below 140 beats per minute and their bets would be that it’s a boy.
Dr. Randell, however, remains unconvinced. “A fetal heart rate is variable,” he says, “and can change day to day, or even beat to beat.”
If all else fails … ultrasound
A 20-week ultrasound scan is usually able to detect the gender of your unborn baby. Of course, mistakes can still happen (med techs are only human), so always pay attention during later ultrasounds in case you need to start rethinking those baby names!
There’s something for everyone in this science-meets-folklore bag of tricks. Which methods would you use to investigate the gender of your baby?