Old wives' tales and gender prediction theories

boy girl
boy girl 

I will preface this post by saying that my husband and I are choosing to not find out the gender of our child until it graces us with his or her presence.

It's pretty much the number one question I get asked by well-meaning people at the moment.

I don't mind answering that we both are looking forward to the surprise; no, it doesn't make it impossible to prepare; yes, we are sure that we don't want to know; no, we won't be changing our mind on this. Someone once said, tongue-in-cheek, that not knowing the gender makes you push harder, and I like that idea.

Anyway, other than the 20-week anatomy scan that we've got coming up soon, there are a few other ways that people swear you can predict the gender before a baby is born.

Just for a bit of fun, I thought I'd check them all out and see if there's a pattern.

How's the heart rate?

The theory: If the baby's heart rate is less than 140 beats per minute, you're expecting a boy. If it's over 140, you're having a girl.

My results: My baby's heart rate has consistently been more than 155-160bmp.

Prediction: Girl


Blurgh,morning sickness

The theory: The sicker you are, the more likely it is that the baby is girl.

My results: While nauseous for the first 13 weeks, I never actually threw up so I wouldn't really say I was 'sick' (especially compared to some ladies!).

Prediction: Boy

The glowing skin test

The theory: If your skin is smoother and better than ever, it's a boy. If you're breaking out all over, it's a girl.

My results: I've always had bad skin, but strangely, for me, it has been somewhat behaving of late. A welcome side effect of pregnancy indeed.

Prediction: Boy

Baking powder and wees test

Urine + two tablespoons of baking powder in a glass. If it fizzes like a shaken soft drink or the head of a beer, it's a boy. If there's no reaction, it's a girl.

My results: Firstly, ew gross. Secondly, I got over the grossness and did it. It fizzed up like absolute crazy! Quite the science experiment.

Prediction: Boy

Does your bump hang low?

The higher you're carrying, the more chance it is a girl. If it's low, it's a boy.

My results: It's early days but I appear to be carrying low, and at my last midwife appointment, she mentioned it was low.

Prediction: Boy

Mmm, cravings

Pies or cake? If you're craving savoury stuff like cheese, bread and chips, it's a boy. If you're crazing sweet things, it's a girl.

My results: I am a savoury fiend, so I would have to say I'd go savoury for this. But I have had weird one-off intense cravings for certain sweet things. (For example, yesterday I could not get the picture of a huge piece of moist chocolate gateaux cake out of my head. Mmm, cake).

Prediction: Boy (going on the majority of cravings)

Boob growth

If your chest has exploded in size, there's more chance of a girl. If it hasn't changed dramatically, it's a boy.

My results: I had big boobs to start with, but they have gone up at least a size already and appear to be fuller than ever before.

Prediction: Girl

Chinese gender prediction

Harking back to ancient times, this theory involves consulting this chart and working out your age at conception and the month of conception.

My results: At 30 years old, I conceived around the end of January or start of February, both of which have the same results regardless.

Prediction: Boy

Got cold feet?

Apparently if your feet are extra cold, it can be a sign that your baby is a boy.

My results: I am living in my slippers, to the point I jump out of the shower and straight into my slippers ... sometimes without drying my feet off because they're so cold. But then again, I've always had cold feet.

Prediction: Boy


Overall, anyone who has had a baby and tried these predictor tests will tell you that, of course, there's a 50/50 chance of getting them right or wrong.

There are tonnes of other 'predictors' too - the cabbage wees test, the even/odd Mayan system, the garlic test, the key pickup test (one of the weirder ones!), headaches, moods ...

The one I haven't done yet but might give a whirl at some stage for a laugh is the wedding ring test. You just get someone to tie a wedding ring to some string and hold it above your belly. If it goes in a circle, it's a girl. If it swings back and forward, it's a boy.

But overall, one of the biggest predictors, they say, is a woman's gut instinct.

From the moment we found out we were pregnant, both myself and my husband thought it was a boy, which was strange because there is a huge bias towards girls in my husband's profession.

As the weeks pass, however, I'm starting to think it might be a girl ... but maybe that's just me prepping myself for all outcomes.

Either way, it'll be one or the other. Probably.

- Essential Mums