You’ve decided – you want to know your baby’s gender! You want to connect with your little girl or boy. You want to know if there’s going to be pee on the floor for the next 16 years or if you’re going to be dealing with your own Sabrina the teenage witch some day! So, when can you find out the gender of your baby?
For the vast majority of parents, you can find out the gender of your baby definitively at birth! However, most parents can find out the gender of their baby from the 18 week scan. The 12 week scan may give you some hints but it’s definitely not 100% accurate.
Can I see my baby’s gender at the 12 week ultrasound?
There are plenty of tales of little tiny penis sightings at the 12 week ultrasound. This is the first real opportunity to find out your baby’s gender but it’s not as accurate as you might think. Just because there’s a little willy on screen doesn’t necessarily mean you’re having a boy! The “girl nub” is a little bump that usually points “up” whereas a penis usually points everywhere (hence the pee on the floor for the rest of your natural life). Depending on your baby’s position and the moment in the pregnancy, a “girl nub” can appear penis-like. Girl nubs can appear enlarged and ill positioned at the 12 week scan. Most sonographers will happily oblige you with a ‘best guess’ at your baby’s gender at the 12 week scan but can only be about 70% accurate. Just because you saw a little willy, doesn’t mean you have found out the gender of your baby definitively!
Why you can’t definitively know the gender of your baby at the 18 week scan
Most parents learn the gender of their baby at the 18 week scan. By 18-20 weeks the baby’s sex organs are developed sufficiently to be identified by the ultrasound and you have a pretty good idea. It’s NOT always definitive though! Penises can still be allusive at this mid stage of pregnancy.
The main reason though, for not being able to determine your little one’s gender at this scan is that your baby just isn’t co-operative! A sleeping baby might be the sonographer’s dream but if your bub is lying just the wrong way, you won’t be able to see his or her genitals and you’ll leave your ultrasound disappointed!
What is gender disappointment?
Gender disappointment is when you finally do learn the gender of your new baby and it’s not what you were hoping for! We all know a family with four boys…. or six girls… and everyone wonders if they kept going trying for a baby of the other gender. First time mums are not immune from gender disappointment. If you were hoping for a girl and a little penis appears on the screen, it’s natural to feel a short period of loss. It doesn’t mean you don’t want that little boy growing in your uterus. He may be a delightful surprise. Read how our community dealt with gender disappointment here.
Gender predictors outside of modern medicine
From wise “old wives” to dream analysis, craving analysis to traditional Chinese practitioners, everyone has an insight into baby gender prediction. Before you start waving a coin on a string over your bump or measuring the roundness of your pregnancy butt, remember that the only real way to know the gender of your new baby is at birth. These can be fun though and there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that they work – there’s a 50/50 chance of success! The Shettles Method of choosing baby gender is based around the timing of conception and is a favourite for predicting baby gender based on when you and your partner got busy. While you wait for the scan that finally tells you your baby’s gender, check out these options for a “good guess”.
So, you’ve tried all the old wives tales and different methods suggested for making a baby boy or getting the girl child you dream of – when can you find out the gender of your baby? Some say 12 weeks, some say 18, some say when your child tells you their gender based on how they feel as they grow. Most importantly, your 12 week and 18 week ultrasound will tell you if your baby is healthy and growing well. That’s what really matters!