Whole Parenting Family

3 Reasons Why to Find Out Baby’s Gender

I totally get why people chose to not find out the gender of their unborn child. This is by no means a critique or criticism of that choice. Not at all! I’m just one of those “can’t-wait-for-my-surprise-tell-me-now” kind of people. After a conversation with my doula this morning, I thought this would make an interesting blog post. Here are a few other reasons why I like knowing the gender of the baby.

1) Relating to the child more fully.

We are a gendered species, and I believe that gender spans more than mere physical sex traits. I felt like I knew SuperBoy better in utero knowing that he was a he. We also started calling him his name as soon as we found out his gender, although we kept the name (not gender) to our immediate families. Gender plays a large role in who we are as people, both metaphysically and physically. It helped AA and I feel like we were related to our baby more fully knowing he was him.

2) Preparation for parenting.

Little baby boys generally differ from little baby girls in a few ways: the skills they develop early on, what they are visually interested in, aptitude in general, and the list goes on. You may disagree with this entirely, but this is what we’re going off of as parents from studies and our own experiences. I wanted to know who to be prepared to parent, in a general, vague sense.

SuperBoy has access to dolls, trucks, crayons, books, and musical instruments. He prefers his ball and bat above everything else, but also loves snuggling with his pink & white teddy bear (my old one). I’m not saying little boys only like booming & moving, but my son is super super physically active and also very emotionally attune, which are characteristics linked with little boys. Dr. Sears encourages parents to spend lots of physical touch time with boys, as old-fashioned notions of “boys are tough and don’t need hugs” are damaging to little boys who translate the world far more through physical than verbal cues.

I was convinced I was pregnant with a girl up until our ultrasound. Good thing we found out the gender because we were literally calling “her” the girl name we had picked. And I was dreaming about pink pink pink and tutus. Knowing helped me prepare for more of a moving wrecking ball than a ballerina 🙂

3) Gender-related purchases.

We still painted our nursery yellow and picked mostly gender neutral infant items & bedding, as we hope to have many children and some of whom will (hopefully) be female. But lots of SuperBoy’s clothing and blankets, especially gifts, are blues and more traditionally “male” colors. We even got one of those “wee-pee-pee” little boy covers for changing a child who may spray you when you open the diaper. Which, as a side note, we’ve NEVER had to use as an uncircumcised boy doesn’t have that instant reaction to air that circ’d boys do. People really like buying gendered clothing for you. Really really. So if you’re at all swayed by popular vote on the matter, finding out does make your baby shower attendees happier.

Obviously there’s no right or wrong with this one, but interesting to me as to what motivates people to find out, or not find out!


  1. Elizabeth on October 31, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Interesting about the peepee teepee observation. We’ve never used ours either, and I hadn’t even thought about the uncircumcised factor. Just another good reason, I guess.

    • Novice Natural Mama on November 1, 2011 at 9:26 pm

      Really another good factor for saving the foreskin, and saving yourself from being squirted on!!

  2. SHENA on October 31, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Nothing like this topic to spark a debate! I didn’t find out for 2 of 3 kids and my reasons not to are related to your reasons to know:

    1) Relating to the child fully. Knowing that my first child in utero was a boy left me feeling like I “ought” to know him, but didn’t. I hadn’t met him yet! That was odd. Didn’t like it.

    2) Preparation for parenting. The best way for me to prepare for parenting is to put aside most of my expectations (I’m naturally inclined to prejudge, so there are plenty) and let the child unfold before me, informing my natural instincts with the specifics of who that child is.

    3) I found that not knowing the sex until after birth was a very welcome way to prevent me and others from cluttering up my house with stuff! My “surprise” daughter received plenty of gifts after her birth to make up for the lack of them before. Other than clothes, which are easy to get, I wanted everything gender neutral anyhow for future babies.

    My mom had a great point about this…it’s great that people do both. Finding out the sex reminds our culture that these little preborn urchins are indeed little people; keeping it a surprise helps maintain a sense of wonder about the whole process and the person.

    On a humerous side note, my husband really wanted to know about the current in utero baby’s gender. Since I wanted to be surprised, he tried to convince me that just HE could find out, saying that I could “just leave the room during the ultrasound and wouldn’t have to know anything.” Thankfully it was enough for me to say, “honey, you do understand why that’s impossible, right?” before my intelligent hubby realized he’d taken the argument to the ridiculous.

    (Now in the 8th month he’s glad he doesn’t know, and we’re both increasingly full of anticipation to meet our little one).

    • Novice Natural Mama on November 1, 2011 at 9:28 pm

      I love how all your reasons make sense. This really is the beauty of the topic: all sides and perspectives are correct! And I think you’re right that people love buying gendered baby clothing whenever, before or after. And I think your mom has a really excellent point. Little babies in the womb are people too, right down to their private parts!

  3. mom of 7 on October 31, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I don’t find out the sex of the baby because I love the surprise at the end. After the baby is born,the midwives don’t say anything and let my husband and i look to see if we have a boy or girl. We always call the baby in utero “baby” or some other nick name like “sparky” if they move alot. 🙂 I also feel that bombarding the baby during developmental stages in utero with ultrasounds, can’t be good- but I’m one of those crazy moms who likes the least amount of intervention- no tests, scans, exams. Even the glucose test I take is a “diet” of banana, apple, juice, milk and bread and not the nasty drink they give you! And we also almost never have a name picked out until after the baby is born (my husband hates that!) I’ve had 7 births and have not found out the sex for any of them and I love love love not knowing! And most people are shocked that I never found out!

    • Novice Natural Mama on November 1, 2011 at 9:25 pm

      This is a great way to share being a natural mama–and I LOVE that your glucose test isn’t that terrible orange pop they give you. I’m telling my midwife I want to do it your way! I’m so impressed by your ability to stay in the dark all 9 months–and same for waiting until the name! You’re amazing.

  4. LydiaLydia on November 2, 2011 at 8:21 am

    We found out with four of our 5. The first 3 we really wanted to know, but for our fourth (first homebirth), I wanted a surprise. I loved not knowing, but one thing that did nag at me was how sure my husband was that the baby was a boy. He simply *knew*. I was worried that, if it was another girl (the third in a row) he would be disappointed. Thankfully it did end up a boy and he was very happy with that! Our 5th we were not going to find out, but ended up having a late ultrasound to check for positioning. I’ve seen enough ultrasounds that I knew exactly what I was looking at without being told.

    For our first, I did think it was an important way for us to bond. We had his name picked out early on as well. For the subsequent 4, not so much. None of them were named before 3 days old anyway. I always feel like the baby is a “surprise,” no matter if you know the gender or not. I have 3 boys and 2 girls – they are all completely different from one another. You never know who you are going to get!

    • Novice Natural Mama on November 2, 2011 at 9:46 am

      That’s a genuine worry! (As I also “knew” little J was a “girl” and 9 months of that could have ended in epic failure.) But your husband’s intuition is far superior to my own, luckily. I agree on the surprise factor either way, and that each person is so individual that he or she will be a surprise regardless. What a fun family! 3 boys and 2 girls. I hope we get to have a large family with lots of both genders. Brothers and sisters are just the best.

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