Parenting

Is it a boy or girl? Fun and silly old wives' tales about predicting a baby's sex

No, these aren't scientifically accurate. But you're probably going to hear about them during pregnancy anyway.

Boy or girl?

Old wives' tales are a fun, if unscientific, way to answer the question that's on many expectant parents' minds. Ever since people started having babies — so, ever since people started — moms and dads (and grandparents and aunts and uncles and random strangers) have wanted to know if it's a boy or a girl.

The only REAL ways to find out are scientific methods, like ultrasound (which can have a margin of error, especially if a boy is “shy” in the photos), amniocentesis, or non-invasive genetic testing that can tell parents the baby’s sex as early as 10 weeks into pregnancy.

Back in the day, they didn’t have these scientific tests — and they still wanted to know. So, people came up with theories and superstitions, and handed them down through the generations. Many of those superstitions are still with us!

Of course, now we know that gender isn’t always binary, it can change over a person’s lifetime, and someone’s biological sex at birth isn’t necessarily what their gender identity will be. Some parents even raise their children without any assigned gender. Still, most parents are curious to find out whether it’s a girl or a boy.

Parents might want to find out the sex to decide on a baby name or plan their nursery decor. Some moms find that knowing the baby’s sex helps them feel bonded with their child before birth. And, of course, people are just plain curious. Others prefer to be surprised at birth: There’s no right answer, and it’s a personal choice.

Whatever the reason, and maybe while you wait for modern science to give you the answer, these superstitions and old wives’ tales can be fun. Here are some unscientific, old-school methods for figuring out if it’s a boy or a girl.

12 old wives’ tales about having a boy:

You didn’t experience morning sickness in early pregnancy.

While many will confirm that “morning sickness” is a misnomer, as nausea can occur all throughout the day (and sometimes all throughout the pregnancy), people thought that being less nauseous was a sign of a male child. (Moms of boys wish this was true!)

You are carrying the extra weight out front.

Belly shape is a common theme when it comes to gender prediction guesses.

Your belly looks like a basketball.

Round and sticking out? Many will guess that you’re having a boy.

You are carrying low.

Even the height of your belly will be open to predictions.

Your areolas have darkened considerably.

Oh yes, there are other body parts to analyze, too.

You are craving salty or sour foods.

Have you noticed a hankering for salt and vinegar chips? According to myth, that may be a sign.

You are craving protein — meats and cheese.

A steak and mac and cheese are also on the “boy” list, say the old wives.

Your feet are colder than they were before pregnancy.

Pack some extra socks, apparently!

The hair on your legs has grown faster during pregnancy.

... in case you were keeping track.

Your hands are very dry.

Somehow, little boys affect your skin dryness, according to these legends.

Your partner isn’t gaining weight.

Even Dad Bod could be seen as a gender predictor.

Pregnancy has you looking better than ever.

If you’ve got that sought-after glow, people may predict you’re having a boy.

12 old wives’ tales about having a girl:

You had morning sickness early in pregnancy.

One of the first obstacles for a mom-to-be may be morning sickness. About 90% of pregnant people experience it, according to Dr. Daniel F. Roshan, board certified obstetrician-gynecologist at Rosh Maternal and Fetal Medicine in New York City. And it actually affects girl and boy moms equally.

You are carrying the weight in your hips and rear.

The belly-carrying myths around your baby’s sex extend to your whole body.

You are carrying high.

Baby girls are higher up, so goes the popular myth.

Your belly looks like a watermelon.

Get ready for lots of analysis around your bump shape.

You are craving sweets.

Sugar, spice and everything nice is a sign of X chromosomes, apparently.

You are craving fruit.

A hankering for berries and apples is on the “girls” list, so they say.

You crave orange juice.

Your morning OJ is also an indicator, if you believe the old legends.

You don’t look quite as good as normal during pregnancy.

Sigh, try to ignore the “stealing your beauty” line from your mother-in-law.

You are moodier than usual during pregnancy.

Or this may just be a sign of pregnancy generally.

Your partner is gaining weight.

If Dad is packing on the sympathy pounds, people thought that was a sign of a girl

Your face breaks out more than usual.

Isn’t pregnancy fun?

Your breasts have really blossomed!

And then there are the perks!

Just a reminder, these signs are not science-based and are just for fun.

This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY:

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