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You either like surprises or you don’t.
My husband and I weren’t big on surprises. When we found out we were pregnant with our first child, we knew we were going to find out the sex, and we then did so with our two subsequent children. Other couples can’t fathom finding out, relishing in the delight of that moment when the doctor calls out, “It’s a …”
Whether you choose to find out the sex of your baby ahead of time or not, someone will have a problem with your choice. The funny thing is that those someones include people you rarely see (e.g. the checkout person at the grocery store) in addition to your parents and close friends.
What are the pros and cons of each choice?
Chapter 1. Not Finding out the Sex
“… at my ultrasound, we didn’t ask our baby’s sex. I was never sorry,” wrote Melissa Balmain on parents.com. “True, I got sick of the question that everyone in the world seemed to ask: ‘Do you know if you’re having a boy or a girl?’ I also got sick of my smart-aleck reply: ‘We’re definitely having a boy or a girl.'”
Random strangers are offended when they can’t learn the sex of your baby upon meeting you. It’s baffling, but it’s true.
“More often than not, people would give me an appraising squint. A once-over. A confident smile. Then out would tumble the predictions,” wrote Melissa.
If you didn’t hear old wives’ tales prior to telling someone you weren’t finding out the sex of your baby, the predictions will certainly fly afterward. How you’re carrying, whether you have the “pregnancy glow,” and completely irrelevant comparisons to their own pregnancies will undoubtedly reveal the sex of your child without the need for an ultrasound.
Positives to not finding out the sex of your baby ahead of time include:
- Surprise! Probably the most romanticized surprise on earth – that moment of hearing whether you’ve had a boy or a girl accompanied by his or her first cries.
- Baby shower mystery. You won’t be showered with a sea of pink or blue clothes. This gets even more obscene if you find out your are having a girl. You could have a completely untapped registry, but your friends and family just won’t be able to help themselves when it comes to buying teeny tiny dresses.
- Fewer opinions. Maybe this is wishful thinking, but if your friends and family don’t know what you’re having, they may not weigh in on a baby name. This is something more people do when the baby hasn’t actually arrived yet, which is why some choose to keep the baby name secret.
Chapter 2. Finding out the Sex
As I said before, this is the route my husband and I chose to take. We didn’t see any difference in our level of excitement finding out before the baby was born versus afterward. In fact, my blood pressure was probably better having found out ahead of time. I’m a slightly impatient person.
Positives to finding out the sex ahead of time include:
- Planning. You get to select the room color, clothing options, and a name knowing full well what you will be having.
- Preparing a sibling. If you already have one child, you will be able to better prepare him or her for the future dynamic of your household.
- Bonding. Some say they can better bond with their baby while pregnant if they already know the sex of the baby.
Whichever choice you make, someone will undoubtedly be upset with you. Hopefully that person isn’t your spouse!