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Pregnancy: When to find out the gender of your baby?

Posted by Becca on 1/28/2015 to Mom Madness
gender reveal

Pregnancy: When to find out the gender?

Back when my mom was first having children, discovering the gender before birth wasn’t very common, and I’m not sure it was even an option when she was pregnant with me. I’m the oldest of seven and I believe the first time she discovered the gender of one of my siblings, it was her fifth baby. Even then, the ultrasound gender predictions was a gamble. They said my sister would be a girl but we didn’t bank on that. I was still hoping for a boy, truth be told.

Nowadays, when 20 weeks comes along and you get “the ultrasound,” most people just expect you’ll ask to know whether it’s a boy or a girl. In fact, ultrasounds are so good now that you actually have to look away when the technician examines between the legs! We found out the gender with both babies and I could definitely see it for myself with both my daughter and my son.

Generally following the ultrasound, people have elaborate gender reveals. From parties, to colored cakes, to photographed envelope opening and even sky writing (if you’ve watched 19 Kids and Counting you’ve seen it!), discovering the gender can be a real blast!

There are definitely pros and cons to discovering the gender early, and I have my opinions on why both 20 week and 40 week gender reveals are great. Bonding...maybe?

I think this is just me but I felt that I bonded with my babies in the womb just a little more once I discovered their gender. This is not to say one doesn’t bond with babies whose gender isn’t known. I have absolutely no idea if that happens because I’ve never done it!


If you know the gender ahead of time, you can prepare with pink or blue. Wait, is this a good thing or a bad thing? Well, that’s up to you! When we discovered our first child was a girl, I still wanted to get lots of gender neutral things so we could use them for all subsequent babies but all my friends and family went pink crazy on me so that for the first 9 months of her life my daughter didn’t have an article of clothing to wear that wasn’t pink. If you don’t know the gender until birth, you’re more likely to get what you registered for because people can’t impulse by when they see that adorable football player sleeper or the super frilly Sunday dress. You’re also more likely to get lots of clothing that can be worn by all your subsequent children! I have boxes and boxes of Bunny’s clothing in my basement that were ready to be used if Bear would have been a girl, but since he was a boy, they are still gathering dust.

The excitement

So, when do you want to experience the excitement of knowing if you’re going to have a mini­she or a mini­he? Well, my pregnancies are so awful that I needed something to look forward to early on. For us, it was a no­brainer to choose to find out at 20 weeks.

My husband was weary of doing my work and his, waking up at ridiculous hours of the morning to make me a breakfast might curb the nausea, and of coming home to a wife who was already asleep every night. I was tired of obsessing over ways to keep my food down every moment of the day, feeling like I had the neverending flu, and of having to tell my 3 year old daughter that I was too sick to snuggle her. Again. The 20 week gender reveal was a light at the end of the tunnel for us We needed that pick me up. Still, how fun would it be to have this additional bonus added moments after you’ve just completed the most difficult task of your life? I’d imagine it would be a wonderful surprise, the anticipation you’d feel with those final pushes while waiting to see if it’s a boy or a girl waiting to emerge.

The second child

If you didn’t discover the gender of the first child before birth, you probably won’t need to discover the gender of the second because you’ll have plenty of neutral things for him/her to wear and use. If you’re like my husband and me and you couldn’t wait until 40 weeks, it might be nice to discover the gender of the second at 20 weeks because you have lots of pink or lots of blue and you want to know if you’ll need to buy stuff or if what you have will suffice. We did discover the obvious, though, when our son was born into our very, pink world: babies don’t care what color their sleepers and blankets are. Duh! Now that we have one of each(and we know that babies don’t really care about color), I’d like to experience what it would be like to wait until 40 weeks for a gender reveal.

Either way, at twenty weeks or forty weeks (or maybe forty two), you will discover the gender of your baby and it will be a joyful occasion. There are pros and cons for each, but they all boil down to being prepared for taking care of a baby and really, babies don’t actually need that much when they’re young. In the weeks before both of my children’s’ births, when I was stressing over having everything we needed, people always joked around with me that babies can sleep in a dresser drawer or a cardboard box if you need them to. They really don’t need all the paraphernalia we supply them with so early on!

I think a gender reveal at any time is a blast. I’m glad we found out early with our first two and should we ever have a third, I hope I will be patient enough to try a gender reveal at birth.

How and when did you find out your baby’s gender? Do you wish you had done it differently? Why?



Leela R
Date: 1/28/2015
We found out the gender of our first, but if we have another I'd really want to wait to see what that's like.
Cheri P.
Date: 1/29/2015
I totally understand why people want to find out the gender but I also like waiting until the baby is born - it's so much more exciting and surprising! We bought all gender neutral baby gear, etc for our first child who is a boy and now baby #2 is on the way and can use everything. The only things resting on the gender are clothes and accessories. But those things can be worked out after words.
Beth R
Date: 1/30/2015
We didn't find out the gender with any of our 3 kids. I am so glad we didn't. It was so exciting and really motivated me when I was pushing :). I understand why most people do, for us, there is nothing more exciting then having my husband tell me once the baby is here :)
Holly G.
Date: 1/30/2015
We waited until he was born, too. I love surprises and suspense. :)
Priscilla Wong
Date: 1/30/2015
We found out by looking at the monitor...I guessed it was a boy at 12 weeks....lets just say he was moving around a lot and gave us quit the view.
Maggie M.
Date: 1/31/2015
We found out with our first at 20 weeks or whenever I ended up having that ultrasound. With my second we didn't find out until he was born. I thought it was overrated to not find out to be honest. People made it out to be this awesome fun thing but it was just . . . meh. . . . I'm currently pregnant with my third and when the time comes for the mid ultrasound I'll find out. Unless of course the babe doesn't cooperate. ha!
Keara B.
Date: 2/1/2015
I really wanted to find out the gender of both my babies as soon as possible. I like to plan, and I did not want to have a ton of gender-neutral stuff for my little one. Plus, I agree with you- I felt more bonded once I knew the gender of my kids. :)
Faye D.
Date: 2/2/2015
I found out when my baby was 20 weeks at her body scan ultrasound.
Erin P
Date: 2/3/2015
we found out at the anatomy was pretty obvious.
celyneet Jusino
Date: 2/3/2015
I found out with my daughter 10years ago and again with my son who now 6 months if we have another I would like it to be a surprise :)
Melissa McCarty
Date: 2/3/2015
I wanted to keep the gender a secret for my second but my husband wanted a boy so bad, he said there's no way we weren't finding out. It was a boy! Lol I'm glad we found out because he would've been annoyed at not knowing for that long 9 months.
Theresa Hover
Date: 2/6/2015
It's a hard decision, but I think we're going to wait to find out the gender of our first baby. I like the idea of getting more gender neutral stuff as gifts, and designing a gender neutral nursery.
Kait WK
Date: 2/8/2015
We found out at about 18 weeks and I'm glad we did. It gave is time to prepare for our babies arrival, such as designing their room, figuring out their name, getting clothing and toys! We will definitely do the same with the next babies too
Candice Balser
Date: 2/12/2015
I couldn't do it! I couldn't wait the whole forty weeks without knowing. The anticipation would drive me nuts. Also, I would want to see all of the ultrasound and not have to look away to avoid seeing the sex.
Renee H.
Date: 2/13/2015
With our first, we found out at 24 weeks since at 20 weeks, she wasn't cooperating. With our second we found out at 20 weeks and he was very cooperative. lol
Shilo Wheatley
Date: 2/13/2015
We couldn't wait to find out the gender of my 4th child. We drove 2 hours away and paid for an elective ultrasound at 14 weeks to find out he was a boy! Lol I had to prepare and went straight to shopping for a newborn boy, only to find out a few months later he would be born my biggest baby and didn't fit in anything newborn... Lol
Date: 2/15/2015
We found out the gender for our first child, and I think that we would find out again for any other children we have. It's one (exciting!) way that we can start getting to know our baby, by finding out the sex. The answer doesn't matter - it's the joy of knowing for us.
katie m
Date: 2/21/2015
We found out our baby's gender at birth! This wasn't what we were going for we had 1 ultrasound with her legs crossed and 2 ultrasounds she was already turned face down.
Camille W
Date: 2/23/2015
I'm due with my first next month and we're waiting to find out the gender. My husband really wanted to find out but I managed to convince him. I had several reasons, one of which was not being inundated with blue or pink stuff! I think that would have driven me mad. In any case, I think we'll find out earlier for the next one :-)
Monica Powell
Date: 3/1/2015
We have never found out the genders of our babies. Love the surprise!!
Erin B.
Date: 3/25/2015
We haven't found out the sex of either of our babies, due with #2 in July. We love the surprise! Plus I wanted all of our "gear" to be gender neutral anyway so we wouldn't have to buy all new stuff for the 2nd baby if it was the opposite sex. Not to mention we didn't get a ton of clothes at our baby shower but more of the stuff that we really needed help getting. It seems at a lot of showers I have been to where the sex is known its overtaken with gender specific clothes and blankets.
Mary Schuh
Date: 7/16/2015
I would love to NOT find out one time, but my husband is very anti-not knowing. So, oh well....
Jilliann M
Date: 8/10/2015
We found out with both of our kids. We ended up with two girls so if we have another we'll probably find out again. Now if we had a boy and girl first we might've left the others a surprise since we'd already have the stuff for both genders!

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