Should you find out the gender of your baby?

In this article we look at the pros and cons of finding out your baby's gender. We'll try and answer the question of should I find out the sex of my baby?

Find out baby' gender?

Since the advent of ultrasound scans there has been a debate amongst parents-to-be as to whether it is better to find out the gender of their unborn baby or just wait and see.

In the UK expectant mothers are offered a detailed scan at around 20 weeks. The purpose of this ultrasound scan is to make sure your baby is developing normally.

Also known as the anomaly scan this checks the baby's size, position and also if you are carrying more than one baby. Determining whether you are having a girl or a boy is really an added bonus of the 20 week scan. If you would like to know your baby's sex then let the sonographer know. However, some hospitals have a policy of not telling patients the sex of their baby.

Whether you want to know the gender of your baby is a matter of personal preference. Are you the kind of person who shakes the present to try and find out what it is, or do you prefer to wait for the surprise?!

Statistically speaking there is a fairly even split between those who do and those who don't want to know. A recent survey in America found 47% didn't want to know 51% did (Gallup poll). Interestingly the survey found it was men who were more likely to want to wait to find out and younger parents were more inclined to find out the sex.

Pros and Cons of Learning Baby's Sex

Before you decide one way or the other about finding out your unborn baby's gender have a look at our list of advantages and disadvantages.

Reasons to find out

The main reason given for not finding out the gender of your baby is saving the surprise. Well, there are still plenty of other surprises and things to look forward to when baby arrives. So just get on with it and find out now!

  • You will only have to spend half as much time choosing your perfect baby name!
  • Knowing whether your baby is a girl or a boy can make the whole thing seem that bit more real. It may help you feel that you know your baby better already and this will strengthen the bond.
  • You can get on with planning for baby's arrival. E.g. decorating the nursery, buying clothes and toys etc.
    Friends and family will also have a clearer idea of what to buy.
  • It can be easier for older siblings to understand that they are getting a baby brother or sister rather than just a baby.
  • If parents really have their heart set on a boy or a girl it can prevent disappointment at the birth. It will give time to allow parents to accept this.
  • Sometimes you just want to know! There's nothing wrong with showing a healthy interest in finding out everything you can about your baby. Making it that bit more real might help establish an even stronger bond.

Reasons to wait

Back in the old days, before ultrasound, there was no way of knowing your baby's sex before it was born. At any rate you couldn't change it so people just got on with it!

  • The main reason people will give for waiting is the surprise factor. How much more exciting it is to call up friends and family to tell them it's a girl or a boy.
  • Does it really matter? Whatever sex your baby is it won't make you love them any more or less.
  • You won't be overrun with pink or blue presents.
  • It's fun guessing. All the old wives tales like dangling a ring over the bump to see which way it goes. This can help include all the family in the experience.
  • They could be wrong. Sexing the baby using ultrasound isn't 100% reliable. Sometimes it isn't even possible if the baby is in the wrong position.
  • Not knowing can help prevent expectations.

Perhaps the only remaining stumbling block when deciding on whether or not to find out is if you and your partner can't agree. The only suggestion here is for the one who wants to know to find out and promise not to tell the other partner - good luck with that!