After you start officially showing, random people you don’t even know will all start to ask you the same question – “Do you know yet what you’re having?” Then, when your belly gets even bigger, they’ll ask you “Is it a boy or a girl” assuming you know the answer. There are quite a few great reasons for not finding out the gender of your new baby.
2019 Update – I’m now pregnant with baby #4 and we’ve kept the gender a secret for 2 and found out the gender for 2. My stance on this has changed slightly – here’s why…
Should I Find Out the Gender of My First Baby?
My stance on this one has remained the same.
Especially if you’re going to have a natural childbirth, my best advice is to keep the gender of your baby a secret.
There’s already so much excitement surrounding your first baby, and especially if you plan to have more than one, you will NEVER get an opportunity for a surprise like this again.
I’ve had three natural childbirths and with the third, I knew I was having a little girl.
We were SO excited to meet her!
It was so much easier to get through natural birth with my first two because I couldn’t wait to get the baby here and find out what “it” was.
I know, I know. When you don’t find out the gender, people call the baby an “it” for lack of a pronoun. I’m honestly fine with that.
Should I Find Out the Gender of My Second Baby?
I’m going to say this one depends on a couple of things.
How old is your first born?
If they’re old enough to really understand the difference, maybe you’ll want to find out the gender to help make the transition easier.
It’s far easier for a toddler or young child to wrap their mind around the baby when they know if they’re having a brother or sister.
Plus, it’s much easier to get any disappointment out of the way while you’re pregnant so you can help redirect some of that negativity and turn it into something good.
When I got pregnant with our second baby, our first son was only 9 months old.
We knew we’d have about 17 months between our oldest two – but we also knew we would try for four babies total.
That meant it didn’t matter if this baby was a boy or a girl – we both kind of wanted another boy since they’d be so close in age, but we wouldn’t have been disappointed either way.
To this day, I honestly believe I wouldn’t have been disappointed no matter what gender any of our kids were.
What If You’re Disappointed About the Gender of Your Baby?
Especially if this is your last baby, you may be disappointed about not having the boy or girl you always dreamed.
One of my coworkers confided in me when I was pregnant that she regretted finding out the gender of her third baby after keeping the first and second a secret.
Her sister had convinced her that she was missing an opportunity to bond with her unborn baby not knowing the gender.
She found this not to be the case at all and was very disappointed when she found out her last baby would be a boy.
Deep down, she’d always wanted another girl.
I think this can go either way.
Personally, I think it is best to get any disappointment out of the way while you’re pregnant.
If this is definitely your last baby, you might consider finding out the gender if it really matters to you.
How Do You Avoid Finding Out the Gender at Ultrasounds?
Be sure to tell your ultrasound technician that you don’t want to know the gender, and remind them a few times throughout the exam.
I’m sure this might get a little annoying for them, but if it’s really important to you to keep the gender a secret – don’t leave any room for error.
My husband and I always pushed our foreheads together when they warned us we might be able to see the gender on the screen.
Holy crap was it so hard to not say “okay okay just tell me what it is!”
For our first two, we stayed strong and didn’t find out the gender until they were born.
They were both boys.
I felt like I knew they were boys from about 16 weeks, but it was such a relief when they were born to finally know.
It’s the best surprise in the world. Nothing compares.
Why We Decided to Find Out the Gender of Our Third Baby
When I got pregnant with our “third” baby, it was an extremely emotional time for us.
I miscarried our third pregnancy and we were devastated.
When I found out I was pregnant again, I didn’t even tell my husband.
I called our midwife and told her that we were out of town, but I wanted a blood test to confirm my hcg level and to see if it was rising consistent with a viable pregnancy.
That hcg came back later that day – 7.
That’s extremely low.
I was maybe a week pregnant.
Two days later, it has to almost double…we were hoping for a 14.
Two days later – the hcg level was 40.
We were slightly hopeful, but braced ourselves for another miscarriage and worried every single day of that first trimester.
The week before my 16 week ultrasound, I told my husband I had a feeling this baby was a girl.
He didn’t believe me.
I decided then and there that we would find out at my ultrasound, but I didn’t tell him my plans.
The video from that ultrasound and the tears of happiness in my husband’s eyes will forever be one of my favorite memories when the words “IT’S A GIRL” came up on the screen.
Finding Out the Gender for Older Siblings
This is the main reason we found out the gender of our 3rd and 4th babies.
Our oldest was 2.5 when I got pregnant with our daughter.
I knew it would be a much easier transition for both of our sons if they knew whether they were having a brother or a sister.
After having both experiences, I can still say there’s nothing like having that surprise at the birth.
What Do I Tell Other People When They Ask About the Baby’s Gender?
My response for our first two pregnancies was always “we don’t know, we decided not to find out.” Some people congratulated us on our determination, other people responded “oh my God, I could NEVER do that!”
They’d say “I’m a planner”, “I need to shop!” “But how will you decorate the nursery?”
These were pretty easy for me.
I’m a planner and a control freak too, but I honestly didn’t want to know the sex of the baby I was carrying.
How will we decorate the nursery? We bedshare, so we’ve never decorated a nursery.
Our babies all share our master bedroom with us and we’d have it no other way.
Or if you’re way less type A – these adorable gender neutral decorations are the solution you’re looking for if decor is a huge deciding factor for you.
Right now, you can get a gender neutral pregnancy pillow for $50 off using my link – simplelivingmommy50 – by clicking here. A pretty awesome deal if you’re pregnant enough to be freaking uncomfortable – I couldn’t have survived my 3rd trimesters without this thing!
If you’re pregnant and are coming up to that appointment where you can find out if you’re carrying a boy or a girl, PLEASE take a minute and consider just for a second, holding off finding out what you’re having.
Reasons Not to Find Out the Gender of Your Baby
- It’s the one big surprise you actually get in life. With our first son, we had been purposely trying NOT to get pregnant, and then found out we had a little one on the way. It was the best surprise ever and we truly had no idea. Usually though, you’re trying to get pregnant or at least not preventing it. You might be excited to get that positive pregnancy test – but probably not completely surprised.
- You can still shop! There are tons of unisex options out there, or you can do like my husband and I do – buy for both! We have always wanted 4 kids, so whether baby number 1 was a girl or a boy, we knew we’d probably end up using stuff for both genders at some point. Plus, we shop for most of our things at yard sales and thrift stores, so there really isn’t a huge expense to buying both boy and girl options.
- You’ll end up with tons of gift cards and cash. At our baby shower, we ended up with lots of amazing gifts, but I’d say more than half of those who came gave us gift cards or just cash as a gift. This was the biggest blessing because we had no idea what we actually needed for a baby! We returned a lot of things and ended up with still more gift cards. We actually STILL have a few of those gift cards from that shower 17 months ago. You can buy what you actually need as you realize what supplies you really need as a parent.
- It helps you bond with baby on a different level. Not knowing what you’re having lets you make decisions about the baby’s personality without imposing any typical gender roles on the baby. It’s easy to say “he’s going to be a brute” when you have a really enthusiastic baby kicking all day or “she’s going to be a dancer.” When you don’t know the sex, you are just filled with wonder about what this little personality growing inside of you is going to turn out to be.
- You won’t be disappointed. Of course you’re going to love this baby no matter what! There’s just something about not knowing for sure what you’re having until you actually are holding that little person in your arms that is just so incredible.
- It will drive people crazy that you won’t find out the sex of the baby and people will accuse you of knowing and just not sharing it with them. Take back control of your own pregnancy and stand up for what you really want if that’s to have a surprise in the delivery room.
- Other people will be jealous. I’ve talked to SO many moms who said “I wish we would’ve done that!” when told that we weren’t finding out the sex. I always tell them to do it if they have another baby – you won’t be disappointed!
- Most importantly – It makes labor and delivery easier. Yep, I mean it. It really does. When I was delivering my son without any pain medication at all, all I kept thinking was “I’m about to find out what this baby is!.” When I felt like I couldn’t push anymore I kept saying to myself “the sooner you push this baby out, the sooner you find out what it is!” It’s one of my biggest tips for getting through natural childbirth.
- At the very least, consider keeping the gender between just you and your partner. It was just us and our boys that knew I was carrying a little girl during our third pregnancy. This time, everyone knows baby #4 is a girl.
Did you find out the sex of your baby when you were pregnant? Do you think you could make it through a whole pregnancy without caving and finding out what you’re having? Let me know why or why not in the comments!