9 benefits to not finding out the gender of your baby and keeping your baby’s gender a surprise!
So you’re pregnant, and not finding out the gender of your baby sounds exciting to you. But you are feeling society’s (and your mom’s) pressure to find out the sex of your expectant baby. Everyone wants to know so they can start shopping for your sweetheart to come.
And while you are pleased for everyone’s excitement, you aren’t really sure if you should ask the doctor at your next ultrasound appointment for the baby’s gender.
What’s a hormonal and excited pregnant mama to do?
Take it from this experienced mom, wait.
I am going to give you 9 benefits of why it is fun, and might even be best, for your family to not find out the gender of your baby.
1. The Most Magical Moment of your Life
The moments you have been waiting 9 months for are arriving! After you lie there waiting for your baby’s healthy cry to ring the air, you exhale and relax. Then your Husband, Mom, Doctor or Midwife will turn to you and say your baby “is a _______”! This is the most exciting, MAGICAL MOMENT of your LIFE. BELIEVE ME! IT IS BLISS!
Doesn’t matter if you deliver via emergency cesarean like I did for my first born (“IT’S A GIRL!!”) or through a VBAC where two years later, I labored for hours and pushed (“A SISTER, Yes!!”).
Or 11 years later when I delivered our third and last child and my husband was so stunned, he could not speak. So that my mother turned to look at me and whispered through tears of pure joy, “IT IS A BOY!!”
It is the most MAGICAL moment of a lifetime and something to treasure with anticipation.
There is no way on this green and blue earth I am going to believe that same feeling is accomplished with an ultrasound tech telling you she sees a wee-wee! Sorry to burst your bubble. Just cannot be the same. Or reading it from a paper, or cutting into a cake. I don’t care how much fanfare you try to artificially build into that situation.
Nothing beats meeting your baby for the first time and seeing right then and there what you and everyone else have been guessing about for months. I knew in my heart of hearts, (I guess I always knew for each one of my babies) and it is so cool to see if your mommy instinct was right.
2. Do not open until Christmas & don’t ruin the Surprise
Would you open up your Christmas present a month early? Or your birthday present three months early? That kind of ruins the surprise doesn’t it?
SAME WITH THIS! We get so few surprises in life. Especially the good kind. And boy, girl, they are both good surprises! Every well-balanced mom will tell you that.
So let the anticipation build and give yourself the best gift ever, the feeling of the moment of delivery and announcement of your beautiful baby.
Speaking of this, what if you (or your husband) have dreamed of a girl your whole entire life, your heart is set on it, and you end up disappointed that you are carrying a son? That gives you months to mull and wallow in your disappointment.
This is such a sad situation, and it happens quite often. This feeling of disappointment could be completely reduced from months to only seconds when you set eyes on your sweet baby boy (or girl). Do you get what I am saying here?
Very few mothers will look into the eyes of their baby and be disappointed. All those preconceived notions fly out the window.
Not so perhaps when you find out months in advance. Now you have to get over it the hard way. Meanwhile, all that ill will is dripping out all over your developing baby? Not a good start.
Try to avoid this potential heartache, if you foresee it being a problem for you in any way, and wait.
3. Your baby’s labor and delivery can go faster somehow
The anticipation of finding out your baby’s gender after all these months, and the excitement to finally meet your baby can make pushing and delivery go so much faster for some reason.
It’s like Christmas morning with the best possible gift waiting for you to open it. The anticipation gave me the will to carry on through the pain and the effort.
I couldn’t wait to find out, it’s like I knew that it was just minutes and I was so excited that I found the strength to continue.
I’m not sure what the motivation is for a mom who already knows. Besides stopping the pain! And meeting her baby for the first time, of course!
But having that surprise waiting at the end can be very, very motivating.
4. Keeping your baby gear and nursery colors neutral can be a good thing
You will thank yourself later on that you didn’t buy a raspberry colored stroller for a girl you when you end up with a son two years later.
Be smart and make all baby gear purchases in neutral colors like turquoise, green, purple, yellow, red, white, black, and gray.
And ease up on all the gray while we are talking about it. Gray is a bit depressing if you are completely surrounded by it, but it does play well as a neutral backdrop you can accent with fun colors later. Still, it beats everything bubblegum pink colored for a girl. That can get old fast.
As a point of curiosity, the favorite colors of my each of my daughters growing up were red (everything red, mind) and blue. And our son is in a room with light pink walls that used to be my office. Now he has no preconceived notions about pink as a girl’s only color, and really, who cares!
5. Your baby’s clothing should not need to conform to gender stereotypes so early in life.
You will realize very quickly that gender-neutral creams and whites are sweet, cool and very appropriate newborn clothing. All those rompers, sleepers, and onesies in ivory and white are going to look so darling on your new sweetie. Girl or Boy.
Your friends and family will shower your baby with goodies and have lots of fun shopping once they get word baby is born. Let them have fun.
You will have your shopping opportunity later on (once all the showering of gifts is over).
Trust me, at around 9 months you will be able to do all the baby clothes shopping you want because your baby will be old news! Sorry to burst your bubble there too, but it is the hard truth.
You don’t need to load up the closet ahead of time with pretty frilly, rayon dresses your newborn daughter WILL NOT WEAR. Don’t be mad at me, I’m trying to help here. And no newborn boy should be forced into baby-sized trousers and vest with a tie. Save it for the 1-year old pictures.
So let your friends and family do the shopping for you once your baby is born and you can take over later. You actually have a lifetime of clothes shopping ahead of you, so I think you’ll be okay.
Bonus Pro Tip: if you chose to ignore all this and find out the sex anyway, do yourself the favor of NOT removing the tags on all the clothes you will receive. JUST IN CASE you need to make a return trip to the store to switch out all that black, grey and navy blue robots, sharks and alligators for some purple and soft yellow flowers, pink hearts and white bunnies. Trust me, go gender neutral while they are babies. There is time for all that gender stereotyping later.
6. Picking out names is the fun part
Picking names for a boy and a girl is a lot of fun. But do not get married to your choice. You might not use any of those names anyway.
For each of my children, I had a couple of names on the short list going into delivery. I did not use any of those for my girls.
I looked at those babies once they were born and said, you are not a “——-“. That name does not fit at all.
With my son, we went back to a name that I had on the boy list months earlier but that got brushed aside. I am so glad I didn’t commit until I saw his face. And actually, the name we chose fit his birth story perfectly. How would we know that at 20 weeks gestation?
Allow yourself to look at the circumstances of the entire process and chose a name that fits your baby’s personality, which could never be revealed 3 months ahead of time.
Do not Commit
And picking a gender-neutral name may be all the rage right now but you might look at your son when he is born and decide he is not a Taylor. Doesn’t fit his personality at all.
What if you already told everyone ahead of time? What if you have 3 embroidered baby blankets, a painted mural in the nursery and 5 items all with Taylor printed on them?
You will have to think long and hard about changing your baby’s name from Taylor to Jack because you will be too far in at that point. How is he supposed to reckon with that choice you made at 5 months pregnant when you never even laid eyes on him?
A name that you had second guesses on but felt you had to stick with because you already told everyone?
Don’t commit to anything ahead of time.
And God forbid the worst happening. Please don’t make anything permanent concerning your baby until your baby is safely in your arms.
7. Let others have some excitement too!
No one is as excited as you think they should be when they ask what you are having and you tell them. The response is always, “Oh how wonderful.” Or “that’s great, you must be so excited.” or “yay.”
Compare that to how you felt finding out what your cousin had when your aunt tells you over the phone. Its like, “YAY!!!! YES!!!! I knew it!!!!! That is so awesome!!! A GIRL!!!!! OOH, I won the baby gender betting pool! Cough-up! I knew it!!”
See the difference? Everyone exclaims their joy when it’s announced at birth. Let them have that moment.
8. Ultrasound techs have been known to get it wrong AND that is NOT THEIR JOB.
If ever the ultrasound tech is wrong, I sooo pity you, Sister! Enough said. And seriously, that is not a pressure they deserve. Their job is to look for the health of your baby’s heart, that her brain is growing properly, and her femur is the right length.
Not to verify with absolute certainty that your baby’s umbilical cord is not a penis, based on what direction your baby decided to position herself at the time of your appointment.
Then the ultrasound techs get pressured to make a call, write it on a card, for an expectant mom to take to a baker to make a cake for a gender reveal party she is having that weekend. What if on the next ultrasound they see things a bit clearer based on the baby’s position then?
Oops! What then, my friend? Whomp, Whomp!
I have had every ultrasound tech I ever saw thank me for not finding out the gender and eliminating that pressure put on them.
9. The reward of your patience will be worth it.
Everyone exclaims their joy when your baby’s gender is revealed and announced at birth. Let them have that moment. And more importantly for you and for baby’s father, let yourselves have that moment too! You will NEVER, EVER forget it.
It’s hard to give up control. Believe me, I know. We want to know everything that’s going to happen, ahead of when it happens. Raising a child is an exercise in giving up control. Start now, by releasing control over nature.
Allow yourself to let this life-changing event become the best surprise of your life!
Chandra is the chocolate-chip loving mother of 2 teenage girls who started over again with a baby boy in her 40’s! She is the author of The Mom’s Playbook to Conquering Softball Season. She gives other moms the tools they need to prepare their daughters for real life. Her content is centered on helping girls grow up to be well-rounded, equipped, expressive, confident, intelligent, capable, kind and independent.