Find out the sex or wait for the surprise?

If they feel like posing correctly at your scan, the gender of the little person growing inside you can be seen by the time you reach your 20-week appointment. Oh, my days. How exciting!

You’ve flown through the first ‘blooming’ and ‘blossoming’ half of the pregnancy. The thought of becoming a little family, or adding to your existing tribe, is settled in your mind. And now each day brings something new to the adventure.

But the big question is … do you want to find out the sex of your baby now? Or, would you rather wait for the surprise?

There are good reasons either way. And, like choosing the name, it may well have your head playing swings and roundabouts!

If you go ahead and ask, then you can really start planning. You can concentrate on choosing from one list of names rather than two. You can start decorating and thinking of themes, colours, and clothes. And the dream feels more real if you know how family life will look with either Annie or Andrew!

But, is it better to leave it until the birth?

That way, you can keep playing the guessing game and have some fun at the same time!

There’s no definitive right or wrong, and the choice must be down to you, so I’m not even going to tell you how we chose! But how about some ‘find out/don’t find out’ logic to help you decide.

All aboard for the Gender Reveal?

The surprise. Surprises really aren’t for everyone, are they? Being overwhelmed as you give birth is enough for some. Knowing that baby is safe and well is the most important question. So adding an element of surprise when you hear you’ve got a girl and not the boy you secretly hoped for (or vice versa, of course) will be one step too far for some of you, I’m sure!

At least if you find out the sex during the pregnancy, you have time to get used to it yourself and set the expectations of those around you.

Grandparents, Godparents, aunts, and uncles will all want to know. So it would give them time to get used to it too!

Save the sibling tantrum! Giving other little beings the chance to find out whether they are having a new brother or sister before the birth will also allow them time to build up their excitement too. Alternatively, it will give them chance to get used to maybe not having the sibling of their preferred sex!

Early Bonding - Some parents say that knowing the sex of the unborn baby beforehand allowed them to build a stronger bond. They could really start to see their family coming together more as they talked through dreams and plans being able to refer to the baby as “he” or “she.”

Baby Budget - I’ve known friends spend a fortune on white and neutral clothes, yellow paint for the nursery and everything ‘plain’ enough to suit either sex. Then, as soon as their little girl came along, they changed it all; they decided they wanted the ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’ tops, as the plain white baby grows were "so impractical” anyway! And of course, it ended up costing almost twice as much!

So finding out the sex early may just save you from shopping for a whole new wardrobe if you know you can make the most of the ‘hand-me-downs’ from baby #1. But, if you know for a fact that you do need to go shopping, then at least you’ll be ready, build this into the budget, and can start way ahead of B-Day.  

The Fun of the Party! The ‘Gender Reveal Party’... the current craze. They are kind of cute, and it seems all the youngsters love a table full of cupcakes decorated in pink or blue icing; boxes springing open to reveal gender appropriate balloons, or bursting balloons filled with the relevant coloured paper. I’ve even seen a dog being asked to dig up the bone to reveal pink or blue! The gender reveal party allows you to get creative and have some fun with it!

The gift of love - I guess letting people know ahead of the birth gives them chance to choose more ‘gender appropriate’ gifts should they want to. And, if it gives us time ourselves to get used to talking about our little boy or little girl, then it’s fair to say the same for family and friends. No last-minute rush to get the obligatory gorgeous baby girl or beautiful baby boy card.

At the end of the day though, your nearest and dearest will just want to give the new baby their love, no matter what their gender.

And, like I said, I’m not going to sway you. So, like every good argument, there’s 2 sides!

Reasons not to find out the sex of your baby

Ruin the surprise? No! Why would you? Some would say that nothing sounds more adorable than the voice of your partner telling you “Look sweetheart, we have a ….” and you imagine the scene as the baby is handed to you. It could be the biggest and most wonderful surprise of your life!

Gender Stereotypes – all this ‘blue for the boy and pink for the girl’ drives some people crazy! If you think it’s old fashioned and outdated now, why not simply cut it all out by not revealing the baby’s sex. Then you can focus on simply having a healthy and happy baby, no matter what their gender.

Encouraging a bit of ‘neutral’ thinking could benefit you for any future babies... if you can resist spending on more new clothes once the baby is with you!

The Power of Love – would it make you love your baby any more than you already do if you knew they were going to be a ‘he’ or a ‘she’?  I doubt it.

What if it’s wrong? OK, so there’s heaps of old wives’ tales and methods to guess the gender - the cabbage method, the baking soda method – I think I’d prefer ones which didn’t involve getting messy!  So maybe try the ring test or just see how the baby is laying to guess whether it will be Tommy or Tamara gracing you with their presence sometime soon!

But whilst we already know that these aren’t likely to be accurate, even scans have been known to let us down. Baby could be hiding or being awkward in their positioning for the camera. And that could lead to a shock then when they arrive and are not quite what you were expecting!

In that precious moment though of hearing their first cry, is it really going to matter whether you decided to find out the sex of your baby before birth, or not?

Oh, go on then, I will tell you .... I was too impatient, so we paid for the early gender scan so we could find out!!

Whatever choice you make though, remember, you’re not alone.