Are You an Expert at Guessing An Unborn Baby’s Sex? (Plus 28 Old Wives’ Tales)

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There are quite a few ways to guess a baby’s sex. As far as concluding whether to expect a boy or girl, you could try the Nub Theory, Ramzi Method, over-the-counter gender test kits, Harmony test or chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis done at a medical facility, and probably some other things I’ve yet to discover.

Old wives’ tales aren’t rooted in any kind of fancy science, but they can be fun to test out. Who wants to get all technical with fun anyways?!

Think you can accurately predict an unborn baby’s sex? Here’s a rundown of many common old wives’ tales that claim to know the secret behind your baby’s sex. You can use these clues along with the comparisons between my first pregnancy with a boy and my second/current pregnancy with a… well, you make the guess and let me know what you think 🙂

I’ll reveal the answer in an upcoming post!

(FYI, it’s the sex not the gender we find out by noting what type of gonads a baby has… though I get how the term “Gender Reveal Party” caught on whereas the potentially confusing “Sex Reveal Party” never will. And another side wondering: why don’t any of these tests account for potential intersex babies?).


Baby’s Heart Rate

THEY SAY: Heart rate above 140 is a girl, below 140 is a boy.


PREGNANCY 1 (BOY) – Heart rate was below 140.

PREGNANCY 2 (???) – Heart rate is above 140.


Morning Sickness

THEY SAY: More intense morning sickness means you’re growing a girl.


P1 – Mild nausea in the first trimester.

P2 – First trimester nausea markedly more intense and frequent


Carrying High or Low

THEY SAY: Low and out front means you’re carrying a boy, high and all over means you’re carrying a girl.


P1 – Carried low and out front throughout pregnancy.

P2 – Carrying higher and wider thus far.


Glowing Skin

THEY SAY: Thanks to a boy for smooth, radiant skin, and to a girl for a ruddy pizza face situation.


P1 – I don’t recall my skin causing me any grief.

P2 – My skin has better integrity now but I credit an improved care regime for that.


Craving Sweet or Savory

THEY SAY: Boys make you crave salty and sour while girls want you to eat all the sweets.


P1 – Craved beans, hot food, dried fruit, and grew averse to seafood.

P2 – Craving cereal, cold food, fresh fruit, and mouth waters over seafood (which I don’t eat now that I’m vegan).


Breast Growth

THEY SAY: Girl hormones give your chest a big boost and boy hormones make them slow to join the overall expansion party. Also, if the left breast is larger say thanks to your girl; if the right breast is larger say thanks to your boy.


P1 – Grew nearly two cup sizes in the first month. (Ah, well if that’s not a pregnancy clue…) Right breast was larger.

P2 – Started to finally notice *something* of a change in second trimester (though I’m also breastfeeding a toddler this time). Left breast is larger.


Foot Temperature

THEY SAY: Boys will give you cold feet.


P1 – I wasn’t paying attention.

P2 – You know, my feet have been pretty chilly… yet also sweaty. (Welcome to a hyperhidrosis life).


Chinese Gender Prediction

THEY SAY: You input a basic age and conception calculation into a Chinese calendar and bam! Gender confirmed.


P1 – Predicted a boy. Correct!

P2 – Predicts a girl. We shall see.


Necklace Test

THEY SAY: Someone holds a necklace over your hand. If it swings side to side it’s a boy, if it spins in circles it’s a girl.


P1 – Didn’t try this because I’ve only recently grown so corny.

P2 – Circles.


Ring Test

THEY SAY: Same concept as the necklace test, only this time hold your wedding ring from a string over your belly.

P1 – Missed out on all this fun last time too.

P2 – Circles. And not as much fun as I dreamed but then again I just did the same test with a necklace.


Key Test

THEY SAY: Pick up a key. Did you grab the big rounded end? Boy! Did you grab the narrow end? Girl! How about the middle? Brace yourself for twins.


P1 – Didn’t try this. I was boring once upon a time.

P2 – I picked up the narrow end because I live on the wild side now.


Mayan Tale

THEY SAY: Add the mother’s age at conception and the year of conception. An even result yields a girl and an odd result yields a boy.


P1 – Correctly predicted a boy.

P2 – Predicts a girl.


Drano Test

THEY SAY: Add a few tablespoons of Drano to a cup of the expecting mother’s urine.


P1 – It never occurred to me to mix toxic chemicals with bodily fluids to scratch my gender reveal itch.

P2 – Turn my bathroom into a chemistry lab by experimenting with noxious fumes in the name of “blue or pink”? I’ll pass.


Mom’s Face Shape

THEY SAY: A face full and round like the moon means you can expect a little lunar goddess. A narrowed, more defined face means you’ll welcome a distinguished little king.


P1 – Rounder?

P2 – More narrow thus far?


Mom’s Acne

THEY SAY: Extra estrogen from girls can result in increased facial spottiness.


P1 – No unusual breakouts worth mentioning.

P2 – Ditto above.


Smell of Garlic

THEY SAY: The expecting mother eats garlic. If a pungency seeps through her pores, she’s cooking up a boy. If she smells sweet, she’s cooking up a girl.


P1 – Not so adventurous, I was.

P2 – Anyone want to volunteer for data collection?


Previous Kids

THEY SAY: If your previous child’s first word was “Mama” you’ve got a girl. If the child’s first word was “Dada” you’ve got a boy.


P1 – N/A

P2 – Big brother’s first word was “Mama.”


Conception Time Activity

THEY SAY: The sex of the person who was more aggressive in the hot moments leading up to conception is the opposite of the baby’s sex.


P1 – I’m guessing I was the seductive aggressor that night since we had a boy and, you know, these old wives’ tales are super duper accurate.

P2 – You know I’d divulge this bit of juicy info, except… I won’t, so you’re welcome.


Mom’s Leg Shape

THEY SAY: If the mother’s legs get heavy and bulky, must be a boy’s influence. If her legs remain lean as usual, must be a girl’s influence.


P1 – Held some swelling in my legs most of the pregnancy.

P2 – Haven’t experienced swelling in my legs thus far.



THEY SAY: Girls cause mothers to be crabbier, more irritable and more emotionally unstable.


P1 – I wasn’t irritable and crabby so much as generally depressed… oh the woes.

P2 – I’m basically sweet as candy. 😀 Moody? Me? Nawww…. Just don’t piss me the fuck off.


Sexual Desire

THEY SAY: Feeling the fire of lustful passion burning within? Extra boy hormones do that. Feeling chilly or neutral at the thought of physical intimacy? Extra girl hormones do that.


P1 – *Enthusiastically raises hand to the first option. Waves it around a bit in case it got overlooked.*

P2 – *Raises hand to the first option without hesitation… Then pauses, realizes this means sacrificing much-needed sleep, and then some mysterious, invisible weight slowly but surely defeats my hand with gravity.*


Dreaming of Baby

THEY SAY: If you dream of a girl baby or stereotypical feminine symbols, you’ve got girls on the brain for a reason. Vice versa for a boy.


P1 – I didn’t dream of his gender/sex before I found out, but I predicted early on that he was a he.

P2 – I’ve dreamed that this baby is a she.


Mother’s Beauty

THEY SAY: A girl baby will steal her mother’s outer beauty and cause her to appear as if she’s been sucked lifeless by a vampire. A boy baby will protect with his manly honor all of his mother’s fresh and youthful vanity.


P1 – My offense at this old wives’ tale makes me feel ragey hormonal. The sexism, the pitting of females against each other, the misogyny… just ugh, who do I punch to make this one go away?

P2 – Well… who??


Toddler Interest

THEY SAY: If a toddler boy shows interest and fondness for a mother’s baby belly, there’s a girl inside. If he’s disinterested or averse, a boy is inside.


P1 – I didn’t hang out with toddlers back then.

P2 – Big brother is excited to meet his little sibling. He gives my belly kisses and hugs often.


Which Side to Sleep

THEY SAY: If an expectant mother sleeps more on her left side, call it a boy. If she sleeps more on her right side, call it a girl.


P1 – It felt natural to sleep on my left side exclusively.

P2 – I can only stand to sleep on my right side.


Show of Hands

THEY SAY: Ask the pregnant mother to show you her hands. If she presents them palms up, she’s got a girl down below. A boy if she presents them face down.


P1 – I didn’t do this or any other test as I’m sure you’ve gathered by now.

P2 – Palms up. Do I get a free fortune telling?


Mom’s Hair Growth

THEY SAY: If the mother’s body hair is growing like it’s in a life-or-death race, she’s having a boy.


P1 – I can’t confirm either way about body hair BUT my head hair did thicken measurably. (Yes, the head is a body part, let’s not get nitpicky so late in the post).

P2 – I don’t habitually strip out all my body hair with the religious fervor I used to so I guess I’ve trained myself to accept hair growth as an unmemorable, unremarkable mammalian habit now.


Mom’s Nose Size

THEY SAY: A nose that has spread means a baby boy awaits.


P1 – Wider than usual. And hella congested.

P2 – Same old nose. Same old blocked airways.


Share your guess in the comments 🙂


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