Boy or Girl? 19 Funny Myths for Predicting Gender
Every grandma and mother-in-law thinks they have a few tricks up their sleeve to predict whether you're going to have a baby girl or boy.
Over the centuries, these old wives tales have been passed down through generations and often reinforced by anecdotes (I told you it would be a boy!).
Some of these gender prediction methods might actually have legitimate biological underpinnings, but most are just about as good as the flip of a coin! It's definitely more accurate to estimate what your baby will look like using a genetics calculator!
Either way, they're fun ways to make guesses and predictions, and maybe inspire some friendly betting on whether you'll have a little son or daughter! In the meantime, you can check out our list of gender-neutral baby gifts, and if you're feeling lucky, our lists of baby boy gifts and baby girl gifts!
Here are 19 Fun Ways to Guess Boy or Girl!
These are in no particular order - they aren't better or worse than each other. With some exceptions for a couple clues that actually might have a sound basis in science.
If each one has just a sliver of truth, it could be fun to see how many you get!
#1 - Carrying Low or High
In fact, it's so easy to use and commonly known that you might even have random strangers let you know their guesses, for better or worse!
Here's how it works: if your baby bump is sitting low, you're more likely to be carrying a boy. If your baby bump is higher up, you're more likely to be carrying a girl.
If you're carrying right in the middle, all bets are off! Realistically, all bets are off either way, as this method has no scientific basis!
#2 - Linea Nigra Height and Color
You know that dark vertical strip emerging on your belly? That's called the Linea Nigra (meaning Dark Line).
This old wives tale suggests that the higher the linea nigra extends up above your belly button, and the darker it is, the more likely you are to have a boy.
This story might come from studies showing that the linea nigra might reflect sex hormone differences, but it seems like it's really more a matter of mom's age during pregnancy.
In the below photo, notice how the linea nigra goes higher than the belly button and is darker? That suggests she's having a boy!
#3 - Faster Heart Rate?
One old wives tale proposes that the heart rate of a female fetus is faster than a male fetus.
While there is no scientific evidence for this difference, many moms-to-be report that they felt a difference in the intensity or speed of the fetal heart rate when they had a boy versus girl.
One study from the Imperial College School of Medicine tested whether the differences moms are perceiving might be due to changes in heart rate variability.
Heart rate variability is the peak to peak interval between successive heart beats: if it's high variability, that means some heart beats are close together and some farther apart. If it's low variability, that means the heart beats tend to be similarly spaced from one another.
But that study also found no differences in any heart patterns between male and female fetuses. Not to be a party pooper, but that strategy doesn't seem to work very well either!
#4 - What Beautiful Hair!
If you can't make it through your day without someone commenting on how healthy and shiny your hair looks, you might be having a boy!
This old wives tale suggests that your hair will shine like a Pantene commercial if you're having a boy, but may get dull and dry if you're having a girl.
There's no scientific basis for this suggestion, but we do know from studies that hair can look different due to changes in cortisol levels during pregnancy, but these happen whether you're having a girl or boy.
#5 - Having Cold Feet (and Hands)
Not that type of cold feet!
Actual cold feet, and cold hands, have been suggested as a sign that you're carrying a boy. This myth isn't super common in the USA, but it's very strong in some Eastern cultures.
Realistically, if your feet or hands are cold during pregnancy, it's more likely that you're not getting enough blood flow to your extremities.
You might want to get up and do some light activities to get your blood flowing! You also should call your doctor if the issue persists.
#6 - Morning Sickness Intensity
One pregnancy myth suggests that the likelihood and severity of morning sickness, especially during the first trimester, increase when you're carrying a girl.
This one might actually carry some truth. In a recent review of this research, women who had severe vomiting and nausea during pregnancy were 50% more likely to be carrying a girl.
However, note that this pattern was only for women with severe enough (and not just in the morning!) nausea and vomiting that they needed to be hospitalized.
So at an extreme, it might be meaningful, but in most normal pregnancies it's probably not worth much.
#7 - Salty and Spicy Food Cravings
This old wives tale says that moms carrying a boy will have an insatiable craving for spicy and salty foods.
Indian food, chocolate-covered popcorn, a burger with pepperjack cheese? Count me in!
There's no strong scientific evidence that food aversions or cravings during pregnancy have anything to do with the sex of the developing fetus.
There is some research, however, suggesting that food cravings and aversions are more likely in women who adhere to cultural norms regarding food during pregnancy.
#8 - Craving Sweets During Pregnancy
This one might actually carry some degree of truth according to some research!
Recent research suggests that it's more likely for women carrying a girl to have a sweet tooth during pregnancy.
And women who craved fruits and vegetables during pregnancy were more likely to be carrying a boy.
So while your cravings are unlikely to accurately reflect whether you're going to have a girl or boy, they might give a little hint in that direction!
#9 - Sleeping on the Left or Right
One old wives tale suggests that pregnant women will sleep on different sides depending if they're more likely to be carrying a boy or girl.
Specifically, this myth suggests that women carrying a boy are more likely to sleep on their left. Women carrying a girl are more likely to sleep on their right.
There is some research suggesting that sleeping on one side or the other is more comfortable for different people (with the left side being a slight preference overall), but it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the sex of the fetus.
#10 - All About that Bass?
Another myth suggests that pregnant women who gain weight in different areas of their bodies are more likely to have a boy or girl.
Women who gain more weight in their hips, butt, thighs and face are more likely to be carrying a girl.
But if you only seem to be gaining weight in your belly area, you're more likely to be carrying a boy.
We couldn't find any science suggesting there is any truth to this, but we did find some evidence that women carrying a boy tend to have some hormonal changes that can cause them to gain more weight during pregnancy. But it wasn't specific about where exactly that weight would be gained.
#11 - Dry Skin
This is another one without any scientific basis - that women carrying a boy are more likely to have dry skin.
In reality, most pregnant women report some dry skin and itchiness during at least one of their trimesters.
According to some research, pregnancy causes a stretching and expansion of skin that can cause reduced oil production and dryness.
Definitely invest in some good, thick, belly butter!
#12 - OMG You're Glowing!
This is similar to the beautiful, shiny hair myth above.
In this old wives tale, women who have glowing skin are more likely to be carrying a boy.
Are people telling you how amazing you look, that you're glowing, or blooming? Well, that was thought to be a sign you're having a boy.
Just like the story with the hair, there's no truth to this one!
#13 - Put a Ring On It!
This one might have been written by a palm reader, it's definitely one of the strangest myths on this list!
No offense to palm or tarot readers, of course.
Anyway, this one says you need to take a strand of your hair and hang your wedding ring on it.
Then, hang that above your belly and watch what it does. If it spins around in a circle, you might be having a boy!
Yup, it's really that ridiculous. You're probably better off keeping the ring on your finger or putting it in a safe place!
#14 - Lopsided Breasts?
This old wives tale says that if one of your breasts is larger or sagging lower than the other, it can indicate the sex of your fetus.
If your right breast is larger, you're more likely to be having a boy. If your left breast is bigger, it's a girl!
Remember, if you're looking in the mirror this can get confusing! Almost as confusing as this old wives tale itself!
#15 - I'm Breaking Out!
If you're suffering with outbreaks of acne, one pregnancy myth says that you're more likely to be having a girl.
Truth be told, many pregnany women suffer with bouts of moderate to severe acne, largely due to hormonal changes and oil production in your skin.
But none of that has anything to do with the sex of your baby!
#16 - My Pee Looks Strange!
Another old wives tale says that if your urine is darker or brighter than usual during pregnancy, you're more likely to be having a boy.
If your pee looks pretty clear, a little cloudy, or light yellow, you're probably having a girl.
In reality, according to research urine color has way more to do with hydration status than anything else. If your pee is darker than normal, drink more fluids!
#17 - Pillow Talk
This one is just as ridiculous as the swinging ring.
Look at your pillow when you wake up, and break out your handy-dandy compass.
If your pillow is facing north, you're probably having a boy. Facing south? More likely a girl.
Don't have a compass? Don't worry, this old wives tale is complete nonsense!
#18 - Your Lovely Baby Bump
Is your belly perfectly rounded like a basketball?
Then you might be having a girl.
Is it larger, lower, and wider? Probably a boy.
This one is similar to the carrying high or low myth, both of which are ridiculous!
#19 - The Ramzi Method
This one is a lot of fun, and involves looking at your baby's first ultrasound.
It's based on basically non-existent science, but it's a fun method.
We describe the Ramzi Method in full here!