Boy or girl – 29 signs during pregnancy

Are you having a boy or a girl? We've got 29 theories that claim to predict the sex of your baby before it's born. But how reliable are they?

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Finding out you’re pregnant is pretty exciting stuff – and it’s usually not long before the question of whether it’s a boy or girl usually pops into our minds.

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While you can’t be totally sure until your 20-week scan (and not always then, either!) there are lots of gender prediction tests and theories out there that claim to be able to reveal your baby’s sex before its born.

We’ve divided the theories into groupings:

  • scan-based
  • telltale body signs
  • emotional signs
  • ancient charts
  • old wives’ tales
  • home tests

– and below you’ll find 29 signs / tests that claim to show if you’re having a boy or a girl.

Do note: Generally the only way you’ll really know whether you’re having a boy or a girl is on the day they arrive, so we’d say have fun with these but don’t put too much faith in them.

Scans to tell if you’re having a boy or a girl

A number of gender prediction tests involve looking at images taken from your 12-week dating scan to work out whether your baby’s a boy or a girl (note: your sonographer won’t actually be examining your scan to work out the sex of your baby at this stage). They include:

1. Nub theory

This one involves looking at your 12-week scan, and making a note of the rather intriguing ‘angle of the dangle’.

This is to do with how the genital tube (before the genitals are fully formed) is angled compared to your baby’s spine.

2. Skull theory

This one says there’s a difference between how a boy’s skull and a girl’s skull looks in the womb.

If you’ve already got your scan picture you can use it try and work out what you’re having.

3. Three lines

In the NHS, using the 3 lines – or ‘potty’ shot – at the 20-week scan is the main way a health practitioner will look to see if you’re having a boy or girl.

So it is, in fact, a key way to tell whether you’re having a son or a daughter before your baby actually arrives.

4. Heartbeat 

As well as seeing your baby at the 12-week scan, you should hear their heartbeat too – and get an idea of how fast it is.

Some of the mums on our forum reckon the speed of your baby’s heartbeat – whether slow or fast – indicates a boy or girl.

Find out more about fetal heartbeats in this YouTube video

Telltale body signs

Some gender prediction tests are based around what the baby does to your body.

Changes to your skin, hair, or what you bump looks like – are all said to reveal whether you’re having a boy or a girl, according to these theories.

5. How you’re carrying 

A classic ‘sign’ of what you’re having is how you’re carrying – ie if you’re bump’s ‘all in front’ or more around. You’ll definitely have strangers telling you whether it’s a boy or a girl with this one.

And some of our forum mums agree: “My mum thinks the way you can tell is by where your bump lies. If it’s really low down by your pubic area: boy, high up under your boobs: girl,” says gsmummy55.

“She has two daughters and said we were high up, and she was convinced I was having a boy because he was so low and always has been. Turns out she was right!”

6. Morning sickness

One theory goes that you can tell you’re having a girl if you have bad morning sickness. Dr Geetha Venkat, Director of Harley Street Fertility Clinic says: “Hormones can make women very poorly and if your baby is a girl, there will be an increased level of oestrogen within your body, which can often lead to sickness.

“That being said, we have seen many women suffering from this problem who have gone on to have boys, so again, this is not a definitive identification tool.”

7. Changes to skin and hair

Some people think that changes to your skin and hair are indications of the sex of your baby: you get dull skin/ acne with a girl, and  with a boy, according to this theory, you’ll get shiny hair.

8. Breast size

If your left breast is bigger than the right when pregnant, apparently this means you’re having a girl. If it’s your right breast that is bigger – you’ve guessed it – you’re supposedly having a boy.

9. Nipple colour

If you find your areolas become really dark and almost brown – this test says it’s because you’re expecting a baby boy.

10. Dark lines on your belly

If you’ve noticed a linea nigra (a darkish line stretching down your belly) and it comes as far as your belly button, it’s said to be a sign that you’re having a girl.

If it stretches past your belly button, however, it’s a sign you’re having a boy.

11. Blood pressure

Believe it or not, this theory says you can predict your baby’s sex 26 weeks before conception based on the mum’s blood pressure.

Home tests

There are a few tests you can take at home that people say can help you predict if you’re having a boy or girl. We’ve included a ‘chemistry’ one here – and others you can do on your own that rely on your body to tell you if you’re having a boy or a girl.

12. Baking soda test

This test claims to use chemistry to help reveal whether you’re having a boy or girl. It’s all about how your urine reacts with baking soda – and the claim is that whether there’s a fizz or not will reveal your baby’s sex.

But you need to make sure you’re doing it right to get the most accurate result.

Watch the baking soda test on YouTube

13. Hand test

Discussing a nude bump shot from Serena Williams on This Morning, presenter Holly Willoughby revealed her own test for gender prediction.

She reckons you can tell by the way your hands are when you cup the side of your bump.

If it’s a girl, your hands will curve round the side of your baby belly (top pic). If it’s a boy, they’ll go slightly inwards.

14. How you pick up a key

You might need someone to keep an eye on how you do this, but, the basics are – pick up a key by the round handle and it’s a boy.

Pick it up by the narrow end and you’re having a girl. Pick it up somewhere in between and it’s – twins!

15. Reflexology

This test involves putting the soles of your feet together and looking at a lump on either your right or left foot to determine your baby’s sex. Our forum mums have actually shared some pics to show what theirs look like.

Ancient charts

Some of the gender tests that claim to be able to predict if you’re having boy or girl are as truly from  old, old days. They generally rely on calendars / date checks – and not a lot of scientific research…

16. Chinese gender predictor chart

This one’s a calendar which is said to reveal the sex of your baby based on the mother’s lunar age charted with the month of conception.

To work out if you’re having a boy or girl, according to this method, you’ll need to cross-reference a few bits of info – like your age at conception and the month you conceived.

17. Mayan calendar

The Chinese predictor chart has become pretty well known now. The Mayan chart is very similar, but not so mainstream.

It involves charting the age of the mum at conception with your baby’s birth month – and looking at odd and even numbers.

Emotional signs

18. Mood swings

If you get severe mood swings when you’re pregnant, it supposedly means you’re having a baby girl.

Although, considering the surge of hormones flowing through your body, we think you’d be hard pushed to find a mum-to-be who isn’t moody or hormonal!

19. Dreams

This old wives’ tales say that if you lie in bed dreaming about little girls, chances are you’re having a boy!

If you dream about boys, it’s a girl you’re likely to be expecting.

Old wives’ tales

As long as women have been getting pregnant, it seems there has been curiosity around what the sex of the baby will be – which is probably why so many theories and tests have sprung up to predict a boy or a girl.

We can’t tell you for sure how accurate any of these are – needless to say there’s a 50% chance they’ll be right! But if you want some fun while you’re waiting to find out if you’ve got a boy or girl for sure – these might just fit the bill.

20. The way you lie down

Apparently, what side you lie down on tells a lot about which gender you’re expecting – if you lie on your left, it’s a boy, if you lie on your right, it’s a girl.

21. The pendulum test

Even celebs have tried this one out – Jools Oliver famously gave it a go with baby number 5. It says that how a pendulum swings over your bump reflects whether it’s a boy or girl.

22. Sweet versus savoury cravings

Whether you’re craving strawberries or salt and vinegar crisps (ie sweet or savoury) is said to be a clue as to whether you’re having a boy – though this one isn’t always a great predictor as actress Katherine Hegl discovered (read the full story).

23. Family line

As your baby’s sex is determined by the sperm, some say looking at your partner’s family is an indication of whether you’ll have a boy or a girl – especially if his male siblings and father / grandfather through the generations had all boys or all girls.

“This is definitely true for my sister, says Tara B on our team. “Her husband’s family had 2 boys down the generations for a couple of hundred years – and she had the same!”

 24. Show of hands

Apparently how your hands look can be an indicator of whether it’s a boy or a girl. Dry hands means a boy – soft hands means a girl.

Another ‘handy’ clue – if someone asks for your hand and you give it to them palm down it’s a boy. Palm up = girl.

25. Count the birds

As well as determining good or bad luck, watching the magpies can be said to hint at a boy or girl.

The old nursery rhyme reads if you see 1 there will be sorrow, 2 – joy, 3 – a girl, 4 – a boy.

26. Shape of your face

If your face is rounder and fuller, then this old wives’ tale will tell you you’re expecting a girl.

Bizarrely, the tale also says that if your nose starts to grow or widen, it means you’re pregnant with a girl as she’s trying to ‘steal’ your beauty!

27. Garlic smell

Eat a clove of garlic and if the smell comes through your pores afterwards, you’re having a boy. If no garlic can be smelt, you’re having a girl.

Hmmm, we’d like to see someone who’s expecting a girl put this to the test!

28. Who instigated sex

If you instigated sex with your partner on the night (or day) you conceived, chances are, you’re expecting a girl. If it was your partner, then it’s a boy.

29. Your partner’s weight gain

We know that partners can gain weight while you’re pregnant (some call it a ‘sympathy belly’!) but the old wives’ tale says that if they put on significant weight while you’re expecting, it means the baby is a boy.

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