Boy or girl? 10 Old Wives’ Tales for Telling the Sex of Your Baby

10 alternative methods to tell if you're having a boy or a girl

Want to know what sex your baby is but can’t wait until your 20-week scan? Here are our favourite ways for supposedly telling if you’re having a boy or girl.

Before ultrasounds women had to make do with guessing the sex of their babies. We wouldn’t recommend basing your baby shopping list on these theories, but who doesn’t love a bit of the guessing game? After all, you have a 50/50 chance of being correct.

1. How are you carrying?

Surely the most espoused theory and one that means everyone, from your mother-in-law to a complete stranger, feels free to comment on your expanding tummy. Are you carrying all out front and low? Then apparently you’re going to have a boy, while bumps that are higher with the mass spread all over are said to be a sign that you’re having a girl.

2. The wedding ring test

This theory shows its age in the presumption that every pregnant woman is married. If you are then you can test the theory by tying a piece of thread around your wedding ring and hanging it over your tummy. If it swings from side to side then you’re supposed to be expecting a girl, while if it goes in a circle you’re having a boy. Presumably, if you don’t have a wedding ring then your baby is the devil’s spawn.

3. Morning sickness

Have you been feeling sick in the first few weeks or did the nausea kick in after this? Some say that girls make you sick in the first trimester while with boys you don’t feel queasy until a little later. There’s also a theory that girls make you ill in the morning, while boys make you feel sick in the evening. This doesn’t cover those poor women who feel at the mercy of ‘morning’ sickness 24/7, though.

4. How do you look?

This actually happened. In my second trimester I was treated to a pregnancy package at a local spa where I was told by my beauty therapist that I was definitely carrying a girl as she had ‘taken all your beauty’. Far from leaving the spa feeling like a blooming mother to be (as had been the intention) my confidence took a knock again when she dismissed my ‘blurred features’ as further evidence of my baby’s sex. As it turns out, I was carrying a boy.

Many theorists say that women that are carrying girls tend to miss the blooming period altogether, while those carrying boys have full bodied and shiny hair.

Conversely, those pregnant with boys are said to have dry skin and more bodily hair than normal, so perhaps they’re not looking so great themselves.

5. The Chinese method

Used for centuries, this theory is based on the Chinese lunar calendar, which was drawn up 700 years ago and uses the mother’s age at the time of conception (from which it will work out your lunar age) as well as the month that you conceived. If you do choose this method then don’t make the same mistake my other half did and read the chart wrong.

READ MORE: Don’t forget to check out our pregnancy week by week guide.

6. The skull theory

This theory actually seems vaguely plausible: male and female skulls are slightly different and many mums-to-be swear that by looking at the shape of your baby’s skull on the ultrasound picture you can tell if you’re having a boy or a girl. Boys are said to have a sloping forehead and square jaw, while girls have a tapered head and a rounder jaw. I should add that my second baby’s jaw was definitely rounded in my opinion though and it still turned out to be a boy.

7. Listen to baby’s heartbeat

As big a relief it is each time your midwife listens to your baby’s heartbeat, now there’s even more reason to listen intently as many women say that the speed of the heartbeat offers a clue as to the sex of your baby — over 140 beats a minute and some would lay money on you having a girl.

8. Check the colour of your wee

Pregnancy doesn’t exactly make you feel glamorous and checking the toilet bowl for the colour of your wee won’t help but it could offer a clue as to the sex of your baby — if it’s bright yellow then you’re said to be carrying a boy, while dull yellow means a girl.

9. The boob size theory

Most women have one breast slightly larger than the other (we bet you’re going to check them in the mirror now) and one theory that seems more absurd than most is that if your right breast is bigger than your left then you are carrying a boy.

10. Which side do you prefer?

Talking of absurd, among the hardest theories to believe are ones that rely on a lot of chance, including when asked to show your hands whether you present them palms down or up; whether your pillow faces north or south (what if it’s west?); and a particular favourite — the fork/spoon test. In the latter, someone conceals a fork under one chair and a spoon under the other and when you enter the room you are asked to choose a chair. If you choose the chair that is concealing the fork then you’re said to be expecting a boy.

Words by Sally Coffey

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