Some couples want to know as soon as possible whether they’re having a boy or a girl. Ultrasounds can be used to detect your baby’s gender after 18 weeks gestation, says the American Pregnancy Association.
But some parents-to-be find it hard to wait that long. So, they use other tricks to guess their baby’s gender.
Even though these tales may not be 100% accurate, neither is the ultrasound. If nothing else, these myths can at least give you a good laugh.
Your actions can predict your baby’s gender.
Yes, an old wive’s tale says that if someone asks you to show her your hands and you hold them out palms up, you’re pregnant with a girl. Palms down means you’re expecting a boy.
Or think back to the night your baby was conceived. If you were the less-stressed partner at the time, you’re having a girl. If your man was more relaxed, then it’s a boy.
Your body can predict whether you’re having a boy or a girl.
A well-known tale is that carrying your baby low means it’s a boy, but high means it’s a girl.
Another myth says that if you develop a linea nigra—that dark line down the middle of your belly—and it runs from your belly button downwards, you’re having a girl. But if it runs from your pelvis up to your ribcage, you’re having a boy.
Another baby can determine your baby’s gender.
Here’s a good one: Have a boy toddler come over and spend some time with you. If he’s interested in your belly, you’re pregnant with a girl. But if he shows no interest, it’s a boy.
If this isn’t your first child, think back to your previous child’s first word. If it was “dada,” you’re having a boy. If it was “mama,” expect a girl. If it was neither “dada” nor “mama,” you’ll have to turn to a different myth.
Numbers can determine your baby’s gender.
There are tons of number-related tricks that claim to help you find out whether you’re having a boy or a girl.
One of the more popular ones goes like this: If your age and the year you conceived are both even or odd, you’re having a girl. If one is even and the other is odd, it’s a boy.
Those are just some of the wacky “methods” of determining your baby’s gender. Other myths actually go against what science knows about pregnancy.
Beware of these:
The eye dilation test
Look at yourself in the mirror for at least a minute. If your pupils don’t dilate, you’re having a girl. If they do, you’re having a boy.
Fact: Your pupils usually dilate when they’re exposed to dimmer light. That’s because they need to get bigger in order to take in more light and help you see better.
If you’re pupils don’t dilate when you’re looking in a mirror, it may simply be because there’s enough light nearby. Or you’re simply standing at the right distance from the mirror to not need them to get bigger.
The dry hands test
This myth says that dry hands during pregnancy mean you’re having a boy, but soft hands mean you’re having a girl.
Fact: Dry, itchy skin is common and perfectly normal during pregnancy, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Think about it this way: If your skin is normally dry but you use a lot of lotion, that doesn’t mean you’ve changed the gender of your baby from male to female.
Male weight gain
Another funny myth says that if the baby’s father gains weight while you’re pregnant, you’re having a boy.
Fact: Some men do gain weight during their partner's’ pregnancy—it’s called Couvade syndrome, according to a February 2013 article in Medical Science Monitor.
But there’s no evidence linking this condition to an increased likelihood of giving birth to a boy.