Boy or girl – 28 signs during pregnancy

We've got 28 theories - some based in science, some from an expert, some old wives' tales, and some from our very own mums...


For lots of us, while finding out we’re pregnant is pretty exciting stuff in and of itself, very soon indeed the question of whether we’re having a boy or girl usually pops into our minds.


While you can’t be totally sure until your 20-week scan – and, even then you might not be able to tell, plus, it has to be said, sometimes a gender prediction from a professional could be wrong, too – there are lots of tests and theories out there that claim to be able to predict your baby’s sex. 

We say claim because, if we’re honest, most of them are what we’d term old wives’ tales – though a few do have some basis in science.

Still, lots of our mums have tried and tested them and say they worked for them – so you might want to have a go, and get your partner and friends involved in trying to work out whether you’re having a boy or a girl – even if it’s just for fun.

Am I having a boy or a girl? 27 ways to tell….

1. 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….

2. Baking soda test

An old wives’ tale – this one says it’s all in the fizz. But you need to make sure you’re doing it right to get the most accurate result….

3. 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. Why not check the accuracy by trying your own mum’s lunar age and your birth month (and seeing if it says girl, obvs?)

4. Nub theory

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

5. Skull theory

Another one that’ll mean taking a closer look at that 12-week scan pic. If you’ve already got your scan pic why not have a look at what the theory says about it and make a guess

6. Pendulum test

Even celebs have tried this one out – Jools Oliver famously gave it a go with baby number 5. Give it a swing and if it goes in a circular motion it’s a….


7. 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. 

8. 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. WHHHAT – how does that work?

9. 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.”

10. 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.

11. Heartbeat 

Some say the speed of your baby’s heartbeat – whether slow or fast – indicates a boy or girl – lots of our mums have chatted about this on our forum.

13. How you look  

If you’re loving your shiny hair – the old wives’ tale says it’s a boy. Dull skin and acne – it’s a girl.

 14. 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.


15. 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!

16. 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 age of the mum at conception with your baby’s birth month.

17. 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.

18. 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 guessed it, you’re supposedly having a boy.

19. Shape of your face

If your face is rounder and fuller, then old wives’ tales 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!

20. Mood swings

If you suffer from severe mood swings, 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!

21. 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.


22. 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.

23. Nipple colour

If you find your areolas become really dark and almost brown, the old wives’ tales say it’s because you’re expecting a baby boy.

24. 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!

25. 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.

26. 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.

27. 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.

28. Holly Willoughby’s hand test

holly hand test

Discussing a nude bump shot from Serena Williams on This Morning, presenter Holly 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.

Real mums share their theories

“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.

“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!” gsmummy55

“They say if you crave sweet things (as I did) you’ll be having a girl, and I am. but don’t really know anything else!” Mummy_Gracie

“I read that boy sperm swim faster but don’t last as long and girl sperm are a bit slow but hang around for days. So you’re right that if you know when you ovulate you may be able to predict the sex.

“But if you had sex three days before and on the day then it could be either a girl (still hanging around) or a boy (swimming fast)” diggys_mum

“I’ve found it follows family. I know I’m having a little boy because my mum had really bad morning sickness with both me and my younger sister, but none with my brother.

“I had no morning sickness or nausea at all (Lucky me!) and my 20 week scan confirmed it!”

“I’ve found it generally follows in a family pattern so ask any sisters,”  says mummytobe6.11.12

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