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Don't Find Out Your Unborn Baby's Gender!

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Guest blogger Jill Simonian: If God wanted us to know the sex of our babies before they are born, He would've made a window. I'm going to make a playfully arrogant claim that people who insist on finding out the gender of their unborn babies don't like to have a good time. As someone who was recently granted her wish of having a girl, I will unabashedly urge pregnant women everywhere to NOT find out the sex of their babies before the birth.

ultrasound scans of unborn baby
Most people think I'm crazy for thinking this way. Throughout my pregnancy, friends asked, "Don't you need to know to prepare?" Prepare for what? It's a baby. It will eat, sleep and poop, regardless if the room is pink or blue. It won't know what color its blankets are, and it won't care! I'm not being heartless, just practical. I love my little girl, and the fact that she wears white and green newborn outfits does not make me love her any less!

Three reasons to keep your baby's gender a mystery:
1) For the spectacle of it all. It's fun! Never underestimate the element of surprise. Even the most jaded friends and family will be much more intrigued about your pregnancy. Everyone will have a wacky old wives' tale to tell you (i.e., how you're carrying, if you're "glowing" enough to be having a boy, what your Chinese birth chart says, etc.). Be enigmatic. Keep all parties guessing -- including yourself! Every single person in my husband's family insisted I was having a boy. When my little girl was born, I couldn't help but gloat just a little. It was like a game for all of us. There are too few surprises these days ... give yourself just this one. There is no other "wow" moment that compares to the "It's a ..." announcement in the delivery room. (If you're like me, it might be the only motivator that gets you through delivery with some sanity.) Also, it will be as fascinating to others as it is to you. People will be calling, e-mailing and traveling from miles away asking if it's a boy or a girl. It sounds cheesy, but it's true. Trust me.

2) For practical purposes. You will get gifts that you actually NEED. Think about it: Will you really use those fifteen hot-pink tutus or duplicate train sets that people carted to your baby shower because they all knew what you were having? The last thing I wanted to spend my hard-earned money on was a bunch of boring swaddling blankets, burp cloths, onesies and Diaper Genies. Let others spend their money on the useful stuff. Then, you can have fun getting those adorable tutus or snazzy train sets once the baby gets here. And if you plan on having more than one kid, those unisex items will come in handy years down the line. (Green looks great on most everyone.)

3) To keep your priorities in check. The silly things I thought about early in my pregnancy dissolved. Rather than focusing on pink princesses or blue cars and spending a ton of money to decorate a room I'd eventually have to change, I instead found myself thinking about important things, like how lucky and blessed we were to be having a baby. Why ruin the purity of pregnancy with commercialized crap? I'm usually not so Zen, but this I feel strongly about. Not knowing the sex will keep you grounded.

So, it's settled. Finding out the sex of your baby before it is born is ordinary. Surprising yourself and others is extraordinary. Whether you agree or disagree, I'll make my final point: I didn't find out, and I got what I wanted. The only way for me to deal with myself was to make the commitment to NOT FIND OUT. My friends thought I was nuts. Now I think it's one of the best choices a pregnant woman can make, regardless of whether she's hoping for a certain sex or not.

next: Holiday-Shopping Lessons from My 11-Year-Old
35 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anon December 9, 2010, 4:02 AM

God gave us the brains to invent sonograms and decide for ourselves.

I liked knowing ahead of time. I think it’s up to the parents.

Anonymous December 9, 2010, 4:58 AM

I have 2 and I wish I could have waited for the surprize with the 2nd baby. I don’t plan on having a third, but I know 100% I wouldn’t want to know the sex. Wait for the surprize!

Steph December 9, 2010, 6:44 AM

I’m all for anyone doing whatever they wish. We waited with both of ours and that’s what was right for us. I loved the anticipation and finally finding out.

But I also know that when I’m chatting with a pregnant woman, *my* first question is, “do you know what you’re having?”

Heather December 9, 2010, 8:54 AM

It took my husband and I two years to get pregnant, I was expecting and hoping for a boy. Because we spent enough time in anticipation we decided to find out what we were having. Pro, it was a girl, total shock, this gave me the chance I needed to deal with and get over the disappointment of not having a boy. (boys tend to be more prominent in his family, and he’s in the military, so having a mini him meant a lot to me.) In the end I was and still am so happy to have my little girl! Cons, we should have kept it from everyone, as, instead of getting a lot of what we needed, we got a lot of what people wanted to get us. I didnt plan on doing special colors for gender, and I hate pink! We kept it practical despite knowing what we were having, it is possible. Should we have another one though, itll be a surprise, if we can hold out. I say to each their own, everyone has their reasons and those reasons work best for them.

Gina December 9, 2010, 9:34 AM

You need to accept that this is YOUR opinion. I’m glad the decision you made of waiting to find out worked so well for you. I’m sure it also worked well for many others. But others still are very happy with their decision to find out early. One size does not fit all.

McMomOf4 December 9, 2010, 9:38 AM

I have four daughters and that includes a set of TWINS. I didn’t find out on the last 3…yes, even the twins…and it was the MOST FUN on their ‘birth’days to find out what they were! And it seemed to make it exciting for everyone else, too! We loved the calls and texts of “What did you have?”
And it was all my husband’s idea. :)

KS December 9, 2010, 10:05 AM

Here is one of those times where your annoying advice is just going to make people not want to talk to you. If you enjoyed not finding out the sex of your baby that’s great. However it is simply an opinion. Trying to back up your opinion with GOD just makes your argument invalid.

Jennifer December 9, 2010, 10:13 AM

Ditto what KS said.

Anonymous December 9, 2010, 11:11 AM

Do what you will but with me I wanted to be surprised- I knew all along that he was going to be a boy, just felt it. I figure there are very few surprises in life that is one of them. You have a 50/50% chance, I preferred to not know, plus man did that make people mad and shocked that I did so!

ss December 9, 2010, 12:42 PM

It’s a surprise whenever you find out the sex of your baby. My surprise was no less special than yours because it came in the middle instead of at the end.

It’s not necessarily true that you’ll get more practical gifts if you don’t know the sex. I know several women who wound up with dozens of yellow & green blankets and towels and no practical stuff at all when they did not find out the sex.

To say that people who find out the sex of their baby early don’t have the right priorities is incredibly ignorant. I decorated my son’s room in green and yellow because I knew we’d be having more children. I did the same with my registry. Wanting to know had nothing to do with being able to focus on blue things and boy toys and everything to do with wanting to know as much as I could about the child growing inside of me. Just because you know the sex of your child early does not mean you “ruin the purity of pregnancy with commercialized crap”. That is incredibly insulting.

The whole “if God wanted us to know he’d give us a window” argument doesn’t hold water. He DID give us a window. It’s called an ultrasound. Saying we’re not “meant” to know just because earlier generations didn’t know is like saying we shouldn’t use penecillan or x-rays or electricity because earlier generations didn’t have those things so therefore we’re not “meant” to have them.

I don’t try to talk friends who want to wait to find out the sex of their child in to finding out early and I don’t appreciate it when people try to talk me into waiting. It’s a personal decision and neither is wrong.

aditi December 9, 2010, 1:04 PM

we didn’t find out on our first who is now 9 weeks and what an amazing surprise!! there’s not much in life that genuinely can surprise us at this age - why not be excited for ONE more reason the day your baby is born?!

Anonymous December 9, 2010, 1:20 PM

It’s great that it worked out so well for you, but to claim that any family who disagrees doesn’t know how to have a good time and is just plain wrong is downright obnoxious. I also am highly skeptical that people are more excited for you when they don’t know the gender. Some of my friends and family opted to make it a surprise and I don’t recall feeling anymore enthused about their babies.

I wanted to find out what I was having with my first baby but he had his legs crossed all during the ultrasound so we were surprised. I had been secretly hoping for a daughter and admit that I was a little disappointed when he was born. I hated myself for it but I couldn’t help it and eventually it did pass. With our second I was even more hopeful because I knew it would be my last chance to have a daughter, but at least I found out ahead of time that we were having another boy. It made such a difference to be able to adjust my expectations beforehand and work up to being genuinely excited for our little boy to arrive. I can see where this might not be the best approach for everyone but for me it was definitely better to know.

Anonymous2 December 9, 2010, 2:09 PM

“If God wanted us to know the sex of our babies before they are born, He would’ve made a window.”

He did. It is called an ultrasound! I have 3 children and I am pregnant with my fourth. My husband and I found out the sex of all of my children at the 20 week ultrasound. I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is still a surprise to us and everyone else. People will still be calling and emailing asking what we are having. We just found out a little early. Also, after our first child, it is fun and good for the child to get used to the idea of them having a brother or a sister. Everyone is different. People make their own decisions. Evening knowing the sex of my babies I was still focused on the blessing of having such a miracle and not the “commercialized crap.” People can do both. To make such a general statement is judgemental and close minded.

Andrea December 9, 2010, 2:57 PM

I didn’t find out for either of my kids. It is wonderful to here it’s a girl/boy.It is also great to have to teel people We had a… rather then so and so was born..
My mother did fine not knowing why can’t I. I will never forget my husband telling me what we had. The dr said tell mommy what she has and held up the baby. Wonderful feeling.. It was greta picking out 2 names and I was just gratful to be pregnant and for the baby to be healthy it didnt matter what I got.

Cuckoo December 9, 2010, 3:03 PM

I wanted to know who i was having, not to prepare or for colors or for anything. I just wanted my first born to be a girl. It was a girl. I think knowing the gender is up to the parents. One size does not fit all. I am now pregnant with my second. I thought of not checking, but I think i want to know. This time, we are keeping it to myself. I told my husband not to come for the doctors appointment. I am going to try to keep it from him too. I think I can. I know I can.

Rachel December 9, 2010, 4:30 PM

You’re arrogant and annoying. Not playful. I hate it when people don’t find out just to gain more attention from others (everyone more “interested” in your pregnancy?!). Oh barf.

It’s an exciting moment when you find out, either way. However the birth is exciting whether you know the gender or not…

Tracy December 9, 2010, 10:57 PM

Oh Ms. Jill Simonian, I’m convinced I am not a fan of yours. Although I am 100% in agreeance with what you just wrote in this blog, I am completely perturbed with your hypocracy.

You just said “If God wanted us to know the sex of our babies before they are born, He would’ve made a window.” Yes! I love that statement, however you’re the same person that said the most idiotic things about breastfeeding. Why weren’t you concerned about what God intended there?? Sorry to sound indignant, but it’s obvious that your tone here is very arrogant and opinionated. But in your Formula Feeding blog, you bash breastfeeding moms for guilting you and basically being too opinionated. You also expressed your somewhat disgust with putting your child to your breast. You sound like an ignorant ditz. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. It’s ridiculous to use God’s to justify your theory, then exclude God when it’s not convenient to your beliefs.

Wonderful thoughts in your blog, moronic thoughts in your breastfeeding blog. Get it straight, girl!

wendy Kaufman December 11, 2010, 8:32 AM

I found out ahead of time, and I am glad. I’m not sure why, as an inexperienced first time mom, I doubted my ability to parent a boy well, but the thought did scare me at first, so I’m glad I had the chance to read about it and think about it, and by the time my son was born, I felt much more fully bonded with him that I think I would have if I had kept it a surprise. And, speaking of surprises, I can’t really think of another day in my life that I’d be LESS likely to want a surprise. Everything went according to plan, and I’m very thankful for that. No surprises on that day was fine by me….and now my son surprises me every day!

pharmacy technician December 12, 2010, 6:18 PM

found your site on today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later

Jen December 12, 2010, 11:59 PM

This is definitely one of those to each their own moments. I know you’re being playful when you say “a people don’t like to have a good time” if they find out the gender. They obviously had a good time if they’re expecting…LoL!
But it is certainly different for everyone. If we’re talking about the average pregnancy, then it would be interesting if they waited until birth to find out. But some people do need preparation for different reasons. This idea, a rather fun and interesting one, does not fit every one. It’d be silly to categorize someone as unfun if they don’t believe the same. I found out with my first because I really wanted to know if I was having a girl. Recently, a cousin of mine said she was waiting until labor and it sparked an interest. It convinced me that it would be such a nice experience to find out when the baby is finally born. Just like they did in the old days. But that’s only because I don’t have a preference this time. That’s just the way it is. People have different needs and preferences. It’s not a fad…”hey let’s all wait this time”. It’s a very personal experience for everyone.

But nice idea though. You wouldn’t be the first to think of it and you won’t be the last to try it. I also think that the “people being more intrigued by your pregnancy” is neither here nor there. I know when we’re pregnant we want people to pay attention to us, but people don’t care that much. It’s a little self-centered ….just sayin’!

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