Six reasons not to find out the gender of your baby

boy or girlR and I decided not to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. This approach was a surprise to friends, family, colleagues and readers who know I’m so type A I practically plan a bowel movement.

We’d never discussed which side of the baby gate we fell on that one, but it turned out we both wanted to wait.

And it was awesome — the most sensational surprise of my life. But that’s not the only reason to wait.

  • It drives other people batty. Most can’t comprehend how you could possibly hold out for nine long months. They act as if you’re doing them a disservice — or lying when you say you really, truly don’t know. What about clothes, they ask, and the nursery? That’s what neutrals are for, baby. But how will you plan? Um, I’m pretty sure all babies — boys and girls — wear diapers, and sleep in a crib, basinet or cradle. Those items aren’t gender-specific.
  • You won’t be inundated with pink, or blue or dolls or My Little Pony or cars or GI Joe or, well, anything society has determined is “girlie” or “boy-like.” Instead, you can stick to practical purchases and items on your registry – like Pampers with the wetness indicator or Gerber’s nipple stick.
  • People entertain you with their predictions. Strangers point at your belly and declare what’s tumbling in your uterus. They share all their old wives tales like “a girl steals your beauty,” “boys cause morning sickness,” “you carry boys in the front, but girls make you gain all over” or “the heart rate is lower with a boy.” Thousands — literally — thought I was toting a bambino. Only R and my sister considered otherwise. I had wicked all-day sickness my entire pregnancy (and afterward_, gained only in my stomach and the baby had a lower heart rate at each appointment leading up to delivery. The beauty thing is debatable.
  • No gender-reveal cakes or silly parties — just nine months where you and your partner can wait and anticipate.
  • Labor is … exciting. You aren’t just waiting to meet someone you know something about (gender is a big “something”), but rather experience a 100 percent unknown. Hearing R say “it’s a girl” was more exhilarating than ziplining 200 feet in the air through the jungle on our honeymoon.
  • It’s fun, and old fashioned. Technology is wonderful and medical advances are life-altering, but not knowing a baby’s gender is so seventies, and so fabulous.

14 thoughts on “Six reasons not to find out the gender of your baby

  1. Betty

    I have found if the sex is known, at showers they family receives mostly gender specific clothing – not the stuff you really need .

    Interesting enough, my daughter is holding out to the end, and her husband knows – I can’t imagine being the person that knows. It’s working for them.

    Even to the time I delivered #1, the nurses in delivery were expecting a boy – she’s a beautiful woman now.

    I love that it was such a great experience for you when you were told – a moment you shared as a family. Better than a zipline – who knew?

  2. AKL

    Not finding out the sex of our daughter was the best for all of the reasons you listed. I also found it was so helpful for getting through those last few uncomfortable weeks (months). We haven’t found out for #2 either- this kiddo is due in 2 months, so the wait is almost over!

  3. jv

    We didn’t find out for 1 and just found out number 2 is due in September. We are not going to find out either for all of the reasons you mentioned above. For some reason though I feel if I was having twins I would want to know at least if they were 2 of a kind or one of each….but I don’t know why.

  4. K

    I am in complete agreement on this one! We never found out (all boys) and I remember my oldest – he was born and no one, not even my husband said if it was a boy or girl – I had to ask! LOL

    and yes – that is what greens and yellows are for. So many people just cannot fathom how you can’t find out – I love surprises. I always said if God wanted you to know he would have put a window in your stomach.

    The other thing that used to tick me off was when they would ask what names we had picked out and we never told. People would get miffed we wouldn’t share until the baby was here!

  5. Sue

    Even the Ulltrasound Tech can misread if it’s a boy or a girl. I had a friend that was told she was having a boy and she was fine even though she already had 3 sons. It was confirmed on every visit. Family went ahead and bought all boy things, nursery was decorated in shades of blue. Day of Delivery comes and out pops 9 lb 12 oz Ashleigh Nicole. Talk about a surprise! The scramble was on to redo the nursery, return baby clothes and buy things in pink. She since has had two more kids and never asked the gender again. Total is 4 boys and 2 girls. They are done!!!

  6. Miss Erin

    I don’t know what my significant other thinks yet, but I’d like to know the gender for the first baby and then let the second one be a surprise.

    I do really believe in that whole, baby boys look like basketballs and baby girls stretch out more thing. . .I’ve also noticed women having girls look more unhealthy in general than with boys. But you totally broke my stereotypes, because you looked fantastic and the baby bump was basketball-shaped. Go figure!

  7. BakingSuit

    That Guy I Married and I are currently at odds if we want to find out when the time comes. (I’m not pregnant yet, but we’ve talked about it.) I just feel like I can’t know or I’ll make up my mind too much about who they “should” be. Also, my family puts money on it if you don’t know and I’m not above a little wagering. 😉

    There’s a distinct possibility that when the time comes we’ll fight about this (Silly, I know. I’m pretty adamant about my decision on this one though.) so I might have to tell him he gets to find out before hand and I pick the name or we don’t find out and he gets input in the name.

  8. Denise

    I am in complete agreement with you! I have four kids and never found out ahead of time with any of them what their sex was. To me the surprise was half the fun. I had a gut feeling with all four and I was right each time (one girl, three boys; in that order). Now not only do they find out the sex, but have reveal parties to tell the sex and the name! Years ago, when I was having my kids at least they held out on telling the name until the baby was born!

    Once my kids were born, it was so much fun calling my family and friends to say, It’s a boy.girl! And we named the baby X! Call me old fashioned but I am so glad I did not find out with any of them. I just do not think it would have been as much fun!

  9. Amy

    Agree with all of your reasons- I never officially found out either but had a “feeling” about all 3 (and was correct). A baby is a baby & will survive on only the necessities for at least 6 mos, regardless of the color of those items. It’s the ultimate surprise in life! I’ve actually gotten bored listening to all the details of the child who is already named, has a wardrobe, theme etc before even being born(sometimes many months before…snoooooozzzze! Once you find out, just the weight and time of birth can be announced..? Big whoop lol

  10. Meg

    To put a different perspective, I am due with my first in May and we decided to find out. I think it was a great thing to look forward to half way through the pregnancy (especially after the difficult first trimester!). I don’t think that there is a right or wrong way of doing things, to each there own! If my husband wanted to wait, I totally could have. But now that we know I think it makes it all the more real and I can say “she” instead of “it” or “the baby” when referring to her, haha!

    I plan on registering for mostly gender neutral baby items, because you never know what the next baby will be and I don’t want EVERYTHING pink…though I’m sure I will end up with tons of cute girly baby clothes, which is fine by me :-). As for having something exciting to look forward to when the baby is born…..I’m thinking that just HAVING a baby is exciting enough! I can completely see how not knowing the sex would heighten that, but I don’t think it makes it any less exciting if you already know.

    The one thing that has been annoying though, is when anyone over the age of say….30 asks me if I know what I’m having and I tell them” yes, it’s a girl”…they are soo obviously let down and disappointed that I am not waiting to find out. I mean, really?? Just be happy for me!

  11. Sarah

    I loved not knowing the sex of my baby! It did drive everyone nuts and I loved that too! I thought if people didn’t know what I was having they would be more likely to buy stuff off the registry and this was our first so we needed everything for baby… It didn’t help! Everyone was so convinced I was having a girl I got a lot of pink and purple and flowery items… And I had a boy! People will think what they want and pressure you for names, you just have to stick to your guns and look forward to the moment after delivery when you find out the sex of your little one 🙂

  12. ETB

    I am due in September and I will be finding out as soon as humanly possible what the sex is. I’ve already designed the nursery (it’s gender neutral), but I am a tad OCD with planning. HOWEVER, I know of two women personally that were told it was a girl in the ultrasound and ended up having boys, so nothing of ours will truly be boy- or girl-centric. Plus, I want things to last through baby #2 without worrying about the sex.

  13. Katherine

    We didn’t find out the sex of out baby and it was the most wonderful surprise, my best friend was pregnant at the same time and they knew they were having a girl, decorated the nursery, had her name picked out before she was even born and it was just so boring! The poor mites life had already been decided before she was even born.
    It drove everyone nuts trying to guess! And at the end of a 44 hour labour me or my partner were so amazed with our baby we didn’t even look too see what the gender was! Everyone was convinced we’d have a boy and was shocked at us having a girl! People rush out and buy things anyway so why wait? Why so people have to have everything “planned” just be patient and enjoy the surprise!


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