Being pregnant

12 old wives' tales for predicting gender

Trying to predict your baby's gender? From Chinese Gender charts to decoding your cravings, these old wives tales reveal if you're having a boy or a girl.

12 old wives' tales for predicting gender

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“So, are you having a boy or a girl?” Every pregnant woman has been asked this question—several times. Even if you’re choosing to not find out the sex of your baby before your little one arrives, it sure is fun to guess, right? That’s why we’ve put together this list of old wives' tales for predicting gender. (Remember: There’s no actual science backing up any of these. Plus, the only thing gender tells us is what genitals our kids have, not how they will eventually identify. So it's really just for fun!)

Sweet versus salty cravings

If you find yourself craving all things sweet, that's a sign you're having a girl. Cravings for salty or even protein-rich foods mean it might be a boy. (And if you're craving everything? Well, that just means you're pregnant.)

In reality, pregnancy cravings don't have a clear rhyme or reason. Experts think that pregnancy cravings are linked to factors like nutritional deficiencies, certain addictive food compounds or even social and cultural pressure.

Assortment of unhealthy snacks. Diet or weight control concept happy_lark/ Getty Images

The garlic test

Put this one to the test at your own—and your partner's—risk! If you're able to eat a lot of garlic but not smell like it, apparently that means you're carrying a girl. No scientific study has found any evidence of this, of course.

However, it's not the most far-fetched tale on this list, despite being one of the stranger ones. During pregnancy, your sweat glands become more active, and even the composition of your sweat changes, so your body odor could dramatically increase. Take into account that a lot of people's sweat naturally smells like garlic and voilà, the tale is born!

close up of woman biting into a garlic clove Dimitri Otis/ Getty Images


Morning sickness

Unfortunately, this early pregnancy symptom doesn't tend to discriminate. But if you're suffering from excessive nausea and morning sickness, it's said you could be having a girl. Yet another old wives' tale that has a grain of truth to it!

No, you probably can't predict your baby's gender through your morning sickness. However, a few studies have found links between extreme morning sickness—hyperemesis gravidarum—and factors like first pregnancy, multiple pregnancy and having a female fetus.

Cropped shot of a pregnant woman feeling nauseous LumiNola/ Getty Images

Pregnancy glow, or no

If your complexion is bright and your hair resembles that of a Pantene commercial, you could be having a boy. If that much-talked-about “pregnancy glow” is MIA and you’re breaking out, it may just mean you've got a girl growing. (It's said little girls steal Mom's good looks.)

The truth is, if you do experience that pregnancy glow, you can thank your changing hormones and increased blood flow rather than your child's gender.

Smiling pregnant woman 20-24 year old wearing white stylish dress standing outdoors over nature background close up. Motherhood. Maternity. morrowlight/ Getty Images

Partner's weight gain

As this old wives' tale goes, if your partner is gaining weight alongside you (also known as "sympathy weight"), that could be a sign that you're carrying a girl. (Who wants to go to the gym when there's nesting to be done?)

In most cases, their weight gain has a simple source. Because you're eating for two, there are probably more snacks in the house, or you're just eating bigger meals. Your partner starts to grab a little bit more food here and there and ends up putting on a bit of weight.

Happy couple feeling movements of baby belly of the expectant mother. ArtistGNDphotography/ Getty Images


Moody versus mellow

If you’re feeling more moody than mellow, you might be having a girl. If you’re more chilled out, legend has it you should get ready for a boy. Of course, pregnancy comes with a surge of hormones that are rapidly changing your body. Fatigue hits hard, and insomnia is difficult to handle. Anybody would be a bit cranky under those conditions, regardless of the sex of their child.

pregnant woman feel depression standing in bedroom PonyWang/ Getty Images

The eye test

One of the oldest wives' tales says that it's super easy to predict your baby's gender! Look in the mirror for about a minute. If your pupils are dilating, it means you're having a boy. Pregnancy can cause quite a few eye changes, thanks to changes in water retention and eye dryness, but this tale probably doesn't have much—if any—truth to it.

Close up of beautiful young woman looking in the mirror while touching her face and checking for pimples, wrinkles or bags under eyes during her morning beauty routine PeopleImages/ Getty Images

Carrying high versus low

This gender-predicting legend has spread across the world and persisted for centuries. According to pregnancy lore, carrying high means you're having a girl, while carrying low means it's a boy. While this isn't necessarily true, it's also not necessarily false.

Where your baby bump sits depends on the size and position of your uterus, which depends on your pregnancy stage and your baby's size. Some studies show that male fetuses grow faster and larger than females, meaning your low baby bump might just point toward having a boy.

Cropped shot of an unrecognizable mother to be standing in her living room at home PeopleImages/ Getty Images


The ring test

Out of all of the strange and interesting ways to predict gender, this one is probably the most fun. Tie a ring on a string and hang it over your belly. If it swings in a circular motion, you could be having a girl, but if it's swinging side to side, it means you're having a boy.

In some cultures, you're supposed to use a strand of your hair instead of a string or ribbon, so you might be out of luck if you're sporting a shorter cut.

Light angel magic clairvoyant using pendulum, reading palm to get answers. Talking with spirits concept. Helin Loik-Tomson/ Getty Images

Heart rate

As far as pregnancy legends go, this one is pretty recent. During your next ultrasound, pay attention to the baby's heart rate. If that little ticker is beating faster than 140 beats per minute, get ready for a girl.

The healthy heart rate for a fetus is usually between 110 to 160 bpm, but the higher counts are usually due to the baby's activity level and gestational age. So, while a pounding heart may not reveal the gender, it could predict one active baby.

Pregnant woman doing blood pressure monitoring. Guido Mieth/ Getty Images

Chinese gender chart

Many cultures have their own ways of predicting a baby's gender. According to some legends, this chart was found in a royal tomb in Beijing over 700 years ago. Place one finger on the age you were when you conceived and another finger on the month of conception. Where your fingers meet in the middle will tell you if you're expecting a little boy or girl. Are you ready to try this fun chart out? Find our Chinese gender predictor here.

Pregnant woman using laptop at home damircudic/ Getty Images


Blood pressure before you conceive

This one is a little more tricky to do. A study found that the higher a woman's blood pressure is 26 weeks before she conceived, the more likely she is to have a boy. So if you had a doctor's appointment before you started trying to get pregnant, look back and see what your blood pressure was—it could be the very scientific clue to whether you're having a little dude or dudette.

So, based on these old wives' tales, do you think you’re having a boy or a girl?

Pregnant women measuring blood pressure eclipse_images/ Getty Images
This article was originally published on May 22, 2022

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