I’ve never been a team green mom. I suppose that’s where my ability to relinquish control to the universe and celebrate patience ends. Despite having a pretty strong grasp on the importance of not forcing gender stereotypes onto a child, I still find myself wanting to know every time whether it’s a boy or a girl.
Baby number four is on their way and yes, even when it’s number four and you’ve already been blessed with both boys and a girl, people ask: what are you hoping for?
In truth, I’m hoping for a baby.
I’m hoping for a pregnancy with no complications that leads to the most beautiful home birth ever. I’m hoping for a pregnancy that sustains and a child that breastfeeds well and thrives. Perhaps I have the luxury of having this hope merely because I have both sons and a daughter. So, I know what it’s like on both sides. But I’ve also lost babies, and I’ve planned for a birth that didn’t do entirely as I had hoped.
Nonetheless, I knew early on during this pregnancy that should I be blessed with a healthy baby, this might be the perfect time to sign myself up to be a lab rat.
It’s probably the only experiment I’m down with during pregnancy, so I hope you find my explorations through the many myths surrounding baby's gender as entertaining as I did.
Here are the results of 21 gender experiments I tested while waiting on baby number four. At the very end, I'll share with you the real gender of my baby, which you can cross-compare with the rest of the gender tests considered to be "old wives tales."
21 Ah, The Ramzi Theory
The Ramzi Theory claims that the location of where the fetus is implanted in comparison to the developing placenta’s location can tell us boy or girl.
The caveat? It must be done on ultrasound between six and eight weeks and must use blood flow contrast.
Anything outside of such is null and void.
It’s common to find women in pregnancy groups touting pink or blue based on a still image, but sorry mamas, those don’t count.
Without blood flow contrast, there is no way to know where the chorionic villi—the place the placenta will eventually form—is. That whole “transvaginal vs abdominal and one is a mirror image” thing?
Also false. The tech can flip the image any time through either method.
Verdict: For us, during this pregnancy, based on using Ramzi the correct way, all signs point to BOY.
20 Ring, Ring!
Let’s call this one an old wives’ tale more so than a theory. Legend has it that if you tie a string to a ring and dangle it over your belly, the direction in which it moves will tell us whether the baby is a boy or a girl.
No laughs necessary. As silly as this sounds, many moms take it quite seriously. Okay, that may be wishful thinking again. I can’t help but think of the science behind Ouija boards and the evidence that our hands can subconsciously be directed to move the oracle.
Verdict: Part of me thinks the same factors may be at play here. Or, it’s a completely random joke. Either way, for us, the ring test claims GIRL.
19 Not Just For Baking
Many really seem to want to believe this one. Maybe because it costs 99 cents for a box of baking soda and we can literally pee all day.
Who knows? The theory claims that a mother pregnant with a boy will see fizzing in her urine, while a mother pregnant with a girl will see no real effect. Truth be told, there’s no science behind this at all.
Fetal DNA can only be extracted from maternal blood, not urine. Baking soda is an alkaline substance. How acidic your urine is will be what causes—or does not cause—a fizzy reaction.
Nonetheless, it was all in the name of fun and our baking soda sample didn’t do squat!
Verdict: Thus, sodium bicarb claims GIRL.
18 The Beat Of A Heart
Multiple studies have shown this one isn’t true, but we know how studies can be manipulated.
So, I thought I’d put it to the test myself.
During pregnancy with number three, the baby’s fetal heart rate was around 155-160 at 10 weeks along. The old wives’ tale would say this meant girl—and he is most certainly all boy.
This time around, it’s been steady around 140-150. So, this old and often tested theory points in the same direction for us again this time around. But it wasn’t accurate last time.
So, who knows? In truth, the fetal heart rate starts out under 100 bpm and slowly increases before plateauing for most of the duration of pregnancy.
Verdict: Nonetheless, the old wives would tell me our baby on board is a GIRL.
17 Girls Steal Mom’s Good Looks
Many mothers lament over this one and insist their daughters stole their beauty.
My experience thus far has been just the opposite. I had fairly decent skin and a pretty good glow going with baby number one, which was my daughter. My hair rocked, too.
Baby number two—my first son—completely changed the texture and coloring of my blonde locks, making one side of my head behave differently than the other and turning my hair a brassy tone that I still hate when looking back at pictures. My skin was far from perfect as well.
With number three, I saw some of the worst breakouts I’ve ever had, but it was another boy. This time around, it’s a tough call because my skin is fairly clear and my locks are great.
Verdict: My experiences would say girl, but legend would claim BOY.
16 Sauerkraut, Anyone?
This theory instructs moms to put red cabbage in a pot, cover it with water and bring it to a boil—then reduce to a simmer. It takes roughly 10 minutes for the cabbage to cook to the right consistency at this point. Once it turns a deep purple hue, you should be good to go.
Then, you strain the water but make sure to reserve it as you will mix equal parts of this liquid with equal parts of your first-morning urine.
The theory claims if the water turns red, it’s a boy; if it turns pink, it’s a girl.
But older legends on this theory claim the reverse to be true. So much for putting any faith in this one! Our result? The water turned a bit pink. This one is confusing all around.
15 Cultural Calendars
The Bump thought to verify claims surrounding this theory and found that there don’t appear to be any real origins to this chart at all. I see a lot of moms perform this one incorrectly, likely because so many online charts don’t do it right either.
To do it “right,” Mom needs to input her lunar age at the time of conception, not her Gregorian-calendar age. It’s best to look up a calculator, like the Chinese Gender Predictor.
To preface, this calendar said my daughter would be a boy and my second son would be a girl. I’d love to think this one was accurate long ago when all women still cycled with the moon and had more predictable fertility peaks, but it doesn’t seem all that realistic these days.
Verdict: Based on my date of birth and timing for conception, this baby will be a BOY.
14 That’s Odd!
Some people confuse the Chinese and the Mayans. Let’s not get it twisted. The gender prediction theories attached to each culture are quite different.
The Mayans allegedly practiced a method based on Mom’s age, too. However, it was a bit more simplistic. The theory holds that if a mother’s age and the year she conceives are both odd or both even numbers, then she’s having a girl.
If one of those years is an even number and the other is odd, it’s a boy. The science-minded woman in me says this is a load of malarkey.
It would have told me boy for my daughter and girl for my first son. That said, it’s on point for my third son.
Verdict: This time around, the Mayans would proclaim we are having another GIRL.
13 Catching Some Zzzz’s
Legend has it that if you find yourself comfier lying on your right side, you’re carrying a girl. Thus, the left side—which medical authority touts as superior but few of us follow because pregnancy can be wicked uncomfortable—means boy.
Truth be told, I preferred my right side to lay on with number three and he was a boy. Perhaps I’m just right-handed, right-dominant and working on alignment with my Webster chiropractor.
Who’s to say? Most of us would be sleeping upside down like bats by the end if we could—just to relieve some pressure on our ribs.
Verdict: This time around, I prefer the right again, which legend would hold as being a GIRL.
12 Looking Back To Baby’s Siblings
Legend has it that the hairline of the last child you birthed somehow dictates the anatomy of the next one you conceive.
We know a little too much about sperm meets egg at this point for me to put much faith in this.
Nevertheless, it touts that if the last child born has a hairline that is straight across on their neck, then the gender of the next child is said to be the same as the last. If the hairline has a ducktail, it is said it will be the opposite gender.
My second child has a ducktail alright, and number three was still a boy, despite the theory’s claim he would have been female. Number three’s hairline is pretty darn straight.
Verdict: This theory has us slated to have a baby BOY.
11 The Porcelain Throne Beckons Me
Studies show women who are diagnosed with a severe form of morning sickness known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum are more likely to be carrying girls than boys.
Somewhere along the way, mothers ran with that theory insinuating—incorrectly—that any level of morning sickness means it’s a girl.
Self.com reports as many as 85% of pregnant women have some degree of morning sickness. The Guardian shared the results of one HG study, noting 55.7% of mothers diagnosed with HG had girls, compared to 48.6% of mothers in general.
I was crazy sick with my daughter, back in a time when HG was rarely talked about. I was crazy sick again this time, but I was also very ill with my second son and not at all with my first boy. That said, I never sought a diagnosis for this.
Verdict: Technically, the theory would have it that this baby is more likely to be a BOY.
10 Nom, Nom, Nomz
Pregnancy cravings are one of those perks we all look forward to. It’s like a little reminder that we are carrying a new life inside of us. When I really want a juicy steak, I indulge.
I trust that my body knows what it needs to nourish myself and my child, and it’s telling me so. That said, I am not so sure the same applies to things like chips and cookies. The theory on cravings claims that moms who are in desperate need of salty snacks are having boys and those craving sweets are going to birth a baby girl.
This time around, I have honestly wanted both sides of that spectrum since the intense all-day-long sickness faded. And no, it’s not twins. For us, it’s up in the air.
9 They Didn’t Look Like This Yesterday
Let’s get super TMI for a moment. Most of us experience this during pregnancy. Our areolas darken over time.
From a biological standpoint, this happens to assist baby in the breast crawl, much like the darkening of the linea nigra in women who have more melanin in their bodies. It is hormones like progesterone and estrogen that react to that melanin and cause this darkening.
Those hormones are present throughout pregnancy in copious amounts no matter the gender of the baby.
Don’t worry; they’ll usually fade back to a lighter hue postpartum or when you’re done nursing. Still, the claim is that darkening means boy, and no change means girl.
Verdict: In this case, I should have three boys already and be carrying another BOY.
8 When You Can’t See Your Bikini Line
This test boasts that women who experience more hair growth—or faster hair growth—on their legs and underarms are having boys. Those with no change or who see a decrease will have girls.
It’s been a while since I had my first two and I admittedly don’t recall what shaving was like over a decade ago. I do know nothing really changed with number three and he was a boy like I said.
This time though, I am finding myself shaving more often. Sigh, the perils of summertime, bikini lines and a belly in the way.
Verdict: As legend would have it that this little one that is complicating my hygiene routine is a BOY.
7 Mommy’s Having A Bad Day
Moodiness during pregnancy is pretty normal, and any man who is injected with this level of hormonal concentration would react much the same way.
It’s the effect of Mom’s own hormones on herself, rather than baby boys and girls producing said hormones.
So, gender really doesn’t impact this one, but some moms do report extreme mood instability and rage directed at their male partners. This is usually Progesterone Intolerance—a completely separate issue.
I’m going to be honest and say my partner would likely tell you my moods have been all over the place this pregnancy. Bless him, and bless me for dealing with his constantly cycling hormones, too.
Verdict: If we were to believe mood swings always equal female, then this babe should be a little GIRL.
6 Life Could Be A Dream
I certainly didn’t find this theory to be very helpful while expecting our newest bundle of joy. I was surprised with number three to have dreams of his accurate gender from very early on.
Without fail, every dream I had told me baby was a boy. This time around, I started out having girl dreams, but then they switched. They’ve done back and forth the whole time.
Seriously, there’s only one baby in there, so what gives?! My intuition has let me down a little bit on this note, and I’m trying hard to forgive her. Legend has it though that you are actually having the opposite of what you dream. Who’s to say?
Verdict: We’ll shelve this one as UNDETERMINED.
5 A Little Archaeology
The skull theory has grown in popularity in recent years. It claims that the shape of the baby’s skull on early ultrasounds can dictate their genital anatomy before it is fully formed.
It certainly seems plausible that most males would have a squarer chin and broader forehead while females have softer features and a more pointed chin. That said, we also know the skull is made of five bones that eventually fuse together and the formation of baby’s cranium while in utero isn’t set in stone.
And there are certainly females with stronger facial features and males with softer ones. We didn’t have any ultrasounds for this baby during the time frame of 12 to 14 weeks when this theory is deemed most accurate, but we did for number three and it would’ve been incorrect for him.
Verdict: This one will have to sit next to the dream theory on the shelf as UNDETERMINED.
4 What’s A Nub?
We opted out of excessive ultrasounds with this pregnancy since they do pose risks, ranging from delayed growth to developmental disorders and even miscarriage. So, I didn’t get a chance to do this one as it is recommended between 12 and 14 weeks as well.
But theory has it if you draw a straight line through the spine and the angle of the baby’s genital tubercle, an angle measuring greater than 30-degrees means it’s a boy, and less than that means it’s a girl.
We did require an extra ultrasound around 12 weeks with number three and this theory proved to be correct for him.
Verdict: This time, it goes UNDETERMINED.
3 Move Aside, Clogged Pipe
I wasn’t keen on this one at all because the ammonia in urine reacts with chemicals in the Drano that cause caustic fumes. I don’t want to inhale all of that any time, but especially not while pregnant.
So, if you’re going to tackle this one, do it outside and then run indoors like I did to watch from the window.
Using about 2 Tbsp of Crystal Drano in a large glass Mason jar, you’ll need to add roughly 2 to 3 ounces of your first-morning urine and wait. When the chemical reaction subsides, note the color of the solution.
A dark brown hue within 10 seconds or so means it’s a boy. If 10 to 15 seconds go by with little to no change in coloring, it’s a girl. Then call the HazMat team.
Verdict: Our result? GIRL.
2 Mother Knows Best
I may have mentioned above that I’m not too hip on my intuition since I fell pregnant. Normally, that inner goddess never steers me wrong, but between my dreams and gut instincts, I’ve felt pretty conflicted all pregnancy so far.
It leads me to question whether past pregnancies really offered me intuition at all, or whether it was all my own psyche imprinting my subconscious thoughts into my mind and life.
Regardless, my intuition is telling me that this baby will be born safe and healthy at home. That’s more than we could hope for. Boy or girl, bring it on.
1 The Results Are In!
He’s a BOY! While our experiments this pregnancy were by no means official, it looks like Ramzi, Mom’s Good Looks, The Chinese Gender Chart, Baby Brother’s Hairline, The HG Theory, Mom’s tatas, and My Hairy Legs were all in our favor.
What’s even better is how cooperative and easygoing he was during our anatomy scan—even flashing us a peace sign at the end as though he knew we wouldn’t be seeing him again for a while.
This was certainly an entertaining way to pass the time (not that I have much free time), but my gut tells me I’d have been happy either way to see our healthy baby thriving on screen.
So will you.