11 Gender Prediction Traditions From Around the World
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One of the most exciting parts of pregnancy is trying to figure out if you’re having a girl or a boy. Typically, expecting parents can find out of the gender of their child by week 20 of pregnancy during the anatomy scan—or sometimes during a blood test around week 10 or week 12. (Learn more about prenatal genetic testing.)
But in those weeks leading up a baby’s gender is anyone’s guess. And it turns out, making those guesses can be quite fun! We’ve rounded up a few entertaining and interesting gender prediction tests and traditions parents have used around the world. (But it should go without saying that these are for fun, and your prenatal care provider will be able to provide the official word on whether you’re expecting a boy or girl.)
Age-Old Gender Prediction Traditions
Morning Sickness and Gender
Although there’s not substantial science to back this gender prediction method, some believe that the amount of morning sickness a pregnant person has will determine gender. If you’re sick and turning green at every whiff, then you’re having a girl. If morning sickness blessedly passes you by or you have few problems in the puke department, then you’re having a boy. (Feeling nauseated? Here are a few ways to ease morning sickness.)
Sweet or Salty Pregnancy Cravings
Brace yourself for comments if you reach for those pickles. According to some, your pregnancy cravings are directly related to gender. Some say that craving salty or savory foods means that a baby boy is on the way. If you’re craving sweets then you’ve got a girl on the way. (Psst! No matter what you're hankering for, we found healthy ways to satisfy every pregnancy craving!)
The Pendulum Gender Prediction Test
Expecting parents have been trying this gender prediction test for centuries—though there is some question about where the tradition originates from. The parent-to-be is asked to lay on their back while someone takes a wedding ring and hangs it from a string. Then the string is dangled over the pregnant belly. The movements of the ring-weighted string will determine the gender of the baby, in a tradition known as dowsing. If the ring swings in a circular motion then it’s a girl and if the ring swing is a straight line then it’s a boy.
Chinese Gender Prediction
Chinese mothers have long used a gender prediction chart to figure out if they’re having a baby boy or girl. Invented 700 years ago for the imperial family in the Qing dynasty, the Chinese gender prediction chart is incredibly simple and fun to use (even if it’s not supported by science!). By lining up the mother’s lunar age at conception against the Chinese lunar month at conception a parent can see if they are having a boy or a girl…in theory! You can try it yourself to see if it was accurate for you:
Mayan Gender Prediction
Similar to the Chinese gender prediction chart, the Mayans also had their own calendar-based logic to figuring out a baby’s gender. This baby gender prediction method is based on the month of conception and the mom’s age at conception. If both numbers are either even or odd then it’s a girl. But if one of the conception numbers is odd and one is even, then the baby is a boy. For example, if you are 33 and conceived in March (the third month), this method says you’re having a girl (both 33 and 3 are odd). If you’re 33 and conceived in December (the 12th month) you’re supposedly expecting a boy (odd age + an even-numbered month). Easy-peasy!
More Gender Prediction Tests From Around the World
Moroccan Gender Prediction
If a pregnant person lays on their back and someone drops an insect on their belly, they can figure out the gender of the unborn child based on how the insect lands. If it lands on its feet, then congratulations, it’s a boy! If the bug lands on its back, then it looks like there’s pink in your future. (The question is…would you be willing to let someone drop a creepy-crawly on your pregnant belly?)
Hungarian Gender Prediction
Speaking of creepy crawlies, this method says if a parent-to-be gently pokes their finger into the center of a spider web and then pulls their finger out to reveal a hole, they can predict the gender of their child based on what the spider does. According to Traditions and Superstitions in Obstetrics and the Care of the New-Born in Hungary by Rudolf Temesvary, if the spider does nothing then a girl is on the way, but if the spider repairs the hole, then you can expect a boy.
Brazilian Gender Prediction
Brazilian folklore says that if an expecting mother cooks up a chicken’s heart then she can be certain to know if she’s having a boy or a girl based on how the heart reacts to heat. If it opens or splits or expands during cooking, she’s having a girl. If the heart doesn’t open or split or expand, she’s probably having a boy.
French Gender Prediction
French women can thank a 15th Century book of folklore called The Distaff Gospels for this one, apparently if a mother’s footsteps tend to start from her right foot, then she’s likely having a boy. If she starts walking with her left, then she’s having a girl.
Scientific-Sounding Gender Prediction Methods
The Ramzi Gender Prediction Method
This method uses an ultrasound photo from a scan as early as 6 weeks to predict a baby’s gender based on the placement of the placenta. This theory was developed by Dr. Saam Ramzi Ismali, who believes that if the placenta is developing on the left, you’re expecting a girl. If it’s growing on the right, a boy’s on the way. This theory was first explained in a research paper published on a website called ObGyn.net. However, while that sounds like it might be legit, it’s important to note that this site is a media website—not a scientific one (for official, vetted info, you'll want to visit the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' site: acog.org). And the paper published was not peer-reviewed. What’s more, additional studies have not been able to support these findings—or any gender prediction this early in pregnancy. Of course, if you’d like to give your ultrasound a close look, by all means, go ahead…but hold off on buying that pink or blue gear until you can do a more reliable test.
The Nub Method of Gender Prediction
Here’s another method that involves an ultrasound photo…but this one uses a 12-week scan. Basically, the nub method of gender prediction says that, if you catch a shot of your baby in profile and look at the area between the legs, you’ll see a small nub (the tubercle—a part of a developing baby that eventually becomes a penis or clitoris). If that nub is at a 30-degree angle or higher, it’s a boy. If the nub is horizontal or pointing down, it’s a girl. There’s a little bit of science to back this up. In a small study in 1999, researchers found that the nub theory was 70% accurate at 11 weeks and 98% accurate by 13 weeks (a slightly larger study in 2006 yielded similar results). But an even bigger, more recent study found that the nub theory was not a reliable way to predict gender. You can certainly ask your ultrasound technician and OB/GYN for their thoughts, but at this stage in the game, you’re better off either doing a blood test (which is conducted around this time and is very accurate), or holding tight until your 20-week anatomy scan.
Final Thoughts on Baby Gender Prediction
As you can tell, baby gender prediction traditions have been around for centuries! Trying to predict the gender of your baby can be a lot of fun. Once you find out your baby’s gender for sure you can get serious about choosing a baby name (check out our list of best baby names for some adorable inspo!) or plan a gender reveal (if that’s your thing!). Some fun ideas for sharing your news:
- Gender Reveal Cakes to Share Your Sweet News
- Gender Reveal Games That Will Make Sharing The News Extra Fun
- Unique Gender Reveal Ideas to Celebrate Your News
And while you’re waiting to learn your little one’s gender, you can get busy crafting the perfect baby registry. The Happiest Baby Registry makes it easy to add SNOO—as well as all the things you want from your other favorite shops—and let your loved ones chip in on your most-wanted gifts!
Have questions about a Happiest Baby product? Our consultants would be happy to help! Submit your questions here.
Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.