The Case For Waiting

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I know that I’ve made most of these points about waiting to find out our baby’s sex throughout a handful of posts over the last two years, but – I wanted to revisit the topic!  I have several in-real-life friends who are pregnant and about to hit that 20 week mark when you can find out, and they’ve come to me wanting to know, “Should we wait? Would you do it again?”


The short answer is YES!  We were thrilled that we waited to find out Henry’s sex, and we will definitely do it for future babies.

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Here’s my case for waiting:


You can’t go overboard shopping. 


When you know the baby’s sex, you’re going to buy more cute outfits.  I’m sure this is a scientifically proven fact.  Hah.  In all seriousness, ‘gender neutral’ newborn clothes are pretty blah and boring, so there’s not a big temptation to buy lots of stuff.


It’s more economical for Baby #2.


When you’re buying (or given) neutral clothing, you can reuse for it the next baby, regardless of whether you have a boy or girl second.  I know that of course a boy baby can wear a purple heart onesie and of course a girl baby can wear a truck onesie, but again – it seriously cuts down on shopping when everything is more neutral, at least at the beginning.


This extends beyond clothes – there are “girl” or “boy” strollers, car seats, pack n plays… Of course, even if you know the sex of your baby, you can still buy and register for more neutral gear, but I’ve noticed that most people gravitate towards sex-specific gear when they know what they’re having.  (And again, I’m not saying that a baby boy can’t rock a pink car seat…)

It makes birth extra-exciting.


Birth is exciting ALWAYS because you’re about to meet your baby.  But I was extra-excited because I didn’t even know if my baby was going to be a boy or a girl.  Finding out something so pivotal and central to my child was a ‘carrot’ during labor, and it really motivated me to get through the hard parts.  And it was like a double-whammy surprise when he was born.  When Kristien choked out, “It’s a boy!” he was actually announcing a previously unknown fact – pretty cool!


It feels quaint and old-fashioned.


We live in high-speed, technological times.  Not finding out whether we were having a boy or a girl felt… quaint.  Like a relic from the past!   It was fun to know that we were experiencing childbirth like our older relatives.


It’s fun!


I loved the mystery of not knowing whether we were having a boy or a girl.  It was exciting and fun to talk about each scenario when I was 9 months pregnant and ready to pop.  I know that many people think this version of “fun” sounds like torture, but seriously – we thought it was so neat and intriguing not to know until the moment that he arrived.

And now… for some drawbacks!


Not knowing the sex makes it a slightly harder to bond with baby in utero.


I imagine that it’s easier to feel connected to your child before their birth if you know whether it’s a boy or a girl.  It was so hard for me to imagine my baby because I didn’t even know if I should picture a boy or a girl!  Of course, I still loved Henry when he was inside me, I just think you probably forge a deeper in-utero connection when you imagine what life will really look like after they are born.

You can’t go overboard shopping.


Ah, yes.  A drawback and a benefit.  You can’t go overboard shopping, which is nice on your wallet, but it’s certainly not as fun!  Little newborn boy and little newborn girl stuff is totally adorable.  And again, neutral stuff is boring.  So boring.


You don’t get to do a big gender reveal party.


… And that could be disappointing, if you like the idea of throwing a fancy reveal!

It’s hard to get your older children used to the idea of a sibling.


This is just a theory, of course, but I imagine that it’s hard to get your toddler or elementary schooler excited about a baby when you can’t tell them whether they’ll have a little brother or little sister.   Plus – what if your kid really wants a particular sex, and they are disappointed when their sibling is born?!   That would not be a fun hospital conversation.  Better to prepare them for reality sooner rather than later, right?

This is definitely a matter of personal preference – I know some people HATE the idea of a surprise at birth or of waiting to find out.  But I really loved waiting, and like I said, I’ll do it again in a heartbeat!


Did you wait?  Did you find out?  Would you do it differently in the future?  Am I missing any pros or cons?


For more fun baby stuff, here’s my Week-by-Week Pregnancy Posts.



  • Claire March 17, 2014, 9:36 pm

    We waited for #1 and I want to find out for #2 (if/when that happens.) I feel like that’s my reward for waiting for #1.

  • Dana March 17, 2014, 9:42 pm

    We found out and I would find out again!

  • Danielle March 17, 2014, 9:51 pm

    I’m 31 weeks right now and we’re not finding out. I really enjoy not knowing, I think it bothers other people more than it bothers us. I DO agree with you though about not bonding as much during pregnancy… That’s the only reason I wish we would find out but I know it won’t matter as soon as baby is born. Only 2 more months, yay!!

  • Ashley March 17, 2014, 9:52 pm

    My sister waited and it was awesome. Her mother in law and I were the only ones there when my niece was born and we literally cried when we found out. It was pretty special being able to find out that the baby was a girl and then being able to immediately meet her and call her by name. I give my sister major props for having the patience to wait though…I’m not sure if I could do it! Also I found that less people gave her name advice because she did not know what she was having. They were more focused on the well what do you think you are having question.

  • Ingunn March 17, 2014, 9:54 pm

    I’m currently pregnant and we want to find out. I went through fertility treatments to get pregnant due to unexplained infertility, and after not even knowing if I could become pregnant at all, we don’t feel the need for any more surprises. 🙂

  • Catherine @ foodiecology March 17, 2014, 9:58 pm

    I honestly can see the benefits of waiting (I think I mostly like the quaintness aspect of it) and have friends who have waited, but my husband and I plan to find out around that 18-20 week mark. I’m such a planner (to a fault), that I would probably go insane waiting. But, to each her own; it’s special and exciting either way!

  • ChristineB March 17, 2014, 10:03 pm

    What about the fact that sometimes the u/s tech is wrong? That was a main reason we didn’t find out for our first 2. We ended up finding out for #3 a couple of weeks before he was born due to some possible emdical issues that actually didn’t happen, but knowing the sex was necessary. I know the chance of them being wrong is pretty small, but we’ve had friends that it happened to, and it was hard on them. My older boys were always excited when I was expecting even though they didn’t know if their new sibling was a brother or sister. I don’t think it was an issue for them at all, but they were young. Two, and then 5 and 3.

  • Nancy March 17, 2014, 10:05 pm

    Totally thought at the end of the post you were going to tell us you were pregnant with Baby #2.

    I’ve never been pregnant before – but I think I’d do the same as you and wait til birth to find out the sex. It’s so fun, and one of life’s nicest little surprises.

    • Caitlin March 17, 2014, 10:14 pm

      Awwww sorry to disappoint. Nope! 🙂

    • Anne Weber-Falk March 18, 2014, 9:29 am

      HA! So did I!

  • Lindsay March 17, 2014, 10:39 pm

    We didn’t find out with #1 and we aren’t finding out with #2 but we suspect that we are having another girl based on timing and we just had our 20 week ultrasound and well it just seems like it might be a girl again (which we are happy with and would be happy if we are having a boy as well!) While we ultimately don’t have a clue I would be more surprised to have a boy but well it’s just going to make this birth even more interesting!

  • Carly March 17, 2014, 10:54 pm

    We waited, and we are so glad we did!

    Not only did it drive my mom nuts (she kept telling us if she could have known for my brother and me, she would have!) but my wife ended up having a c-section. It took all the tension out of the room when our OB and nursing staff were quizzing us on all the “old wives tales” gender tests-did my wife’s face change, was her nose bigger, did her butt seem bigger, all these silly questions kept us guessing and relaxed until suddenly the doctor was holding up our son. We would never have traded that experience and moment of revelation for anything!

  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun March 17, 2014, 11:02 pm

    I don’t have kids YET. I love the idea of not finding out but I don’t think I could do it. I am in awe of your for waiting that long but I just think the waiting would drive me insane – I guess we will find out one of these days 🙂

  • Sue March 17, 2014, 11:30 pm

    We have a 2 year old, and didn’t find out what her gender was before she was born. I felt similar to you, it’s just a nice surprise at the end. And I agree with others, sometimes it’s other people that make you feel bad about it, for example, my in-law: they wanted to know the sex,names, Etc

  • Christine @ BookishlyB March 17, 2014, 11:32 pm

    I’m 33 weeks along and we definitely found out. My husband is doing a gender-specific mural so we really needed to know (we would have done Alice in Wonderland if it was a girl, but since it’s a boy we’re doing Where the Wild Things Are, with a lot of blue and grey accents).

  • Anne March 18, 2014, 2:54 am

    Having had ZERO children, I can’t say what I have done, but I would really like to wait. This is a discussion my husband and I have, because he wants to know. I agree that the doctor or u/s tech could be wrong, although I think that’s less of an issue these days than when we were born. I keep telling Matt that it’s one of the last few surprises in life, but he keeps retorting that it’s a surprise if you find out at 20 weeks, too.
    I guess we’ll have to decide one way or the other.
    And my version of a gender reveal party is when the kid comes out, and they say “Oh there it is (or isn’t)!”

  • Tara March 18, 2014, 3:11 am

    I was 13 when my youngest sibling was born. I wanted a little sister so badly ( I already had 2 little brothers). Long story short, the baby was a boy. It was 1995, so my parents didn’t know in advance and I found out bc as I waited to be picked up, the school secretary asked if I was excited about my new brother. You know what? I wasn’t. I wanted a sister. But if I would have found out at 20 weeks in utero or by the secretary or by meeting this amazing human that is my brother it wouldn’t matter. Net result is an awesome person that you get to know. So focus on the other things but big sis/bro will be fine.

  • Jess March 18, 2014, 3:31 am

    We found out via 20 week ultrasound with our first and at 11 weeks with our second (via fetal DNA genetic screening). We are planners so we had to know. We did keep their names a surprise for our friends and family though!

  • Jaima March 18, 2014, 6:39 am

    We waited and will again in the future! I agree that it made the birth experience that much more amazing!

  • Runner Girl Eats March 18, 2014, 6:43 am

    I am no where near pregnant but I will absolutely find out. I already can’t wait to know. I will def keep things pretty gender neutral still but I think it will help me prepare for everything.

  • Krista March 18, 2014, 7:04 am

    We waited to find out with #1 (it was a girl!) and we are now expecting #2 in September. The Dr. could have told me the gender last week. I feel like it’s one of the only happy surprises left in life, so we are happy we did it and look forward to finding out whether baby #1 will have a baby brother or sister this September.

  • Lauren March 18, 2014, 7:25 am

    Oh I don’t know how you did it girl! I would want to know my baby’s occupation if I could. 🙂 We are a few weeks away from finding out the sex and I know it’s going to be such an incredible moment! Both of us are so so excited for it! But I can definitely see how exciting it would be to wait as well!

  • Autumn March 18, 2014, 7:54 am

    I am just about 21 weeks. We will not find out the sex. It is so weird not knowing if there is a little girl or boy in there. 20 moore weeks to go and we will know. Looking forward to it.

  • Elizabeth March 18, 2014, 8:32 am

    We found out with our first two and with this little blessing we are waiting for the birth. I have mixed feelings about it. On on hand, I am super excited about having the “it’s a ” moment in labor and delivery. However, it has been a bit more difficult connecting to this little one in utero.

  • Sara March 18, 2014, 8:35 am

    We DID find out 🙂 I kind of want to wait with no. 2 (when that happens) but my husband doesn’t want to wait. I kind of liked knowing. I actually didn’t feel that big of a bond until my son was actually born. I was too much of a worry monster! Yay, babies!

  • Sara March 18, 2014, 8:37 am

    We have found out what we are having because it helps me to bond with the baby. We have a 3.5 year old daughter and she really wants a boy, but we are having a girl, she even went so far as to tell me that we already have a girl and her name is Katie, hopefully she’ll change her mind once the baby is born in less than a month.

  • SaraJoan March 18, 2014, 8:59 am

    We found out for all of our kids. First time around, we both wanted to — I really, really was hoping for a daughter and felt I would need all the time possible to adjust my mindset if I was having a boy (variant on your sibling supposition). After that, I was ambivalent, a little leaning towards not finding out till the birth — but my husband really, really wanted to know. He was always hyper-aware of the intrinsic unpredictability of pregnancy and birth, I guess he felt like this was one small area in which he could KNOW what to expect. It seemed a reasonable thing to me to go with his preferences/needs in this.

  • Katie F March 18, 2014, 9:24 am

    I am currently pregnant and we are waiting to find out! I have an eight year old son who desperately wants a baby brother and one of the main reasons we are waiting is because of that. When my sister found out she was pregnant with a girl not a boy my son literally shunned her for weeks… and never really bonded with her baby UNTIL she was born then he didn’t care that it was a girl he was in love with her. I have had many people advise me to find out so he can adjust… but I know my son and I know if we find out we are having a girl he will spend the next three months feeling very disconnected from me and this baby…. but when it comes out and I actually have a baby to hand him he will really care less if it’s a boy or girl! We are very content not knowing… it’s the rest of our family that is going crazy!

  • Anne Weber-Falk March 18, 2014, 9:27 am

    We were surprised for our first and found out for our second. We decided to find out for our second because EVERYONE in our circle of family and friends wanted to know. We figured since we waited to find out for our first child and our Emma was a bonus baby that we would go ahead and find out. It was still a surprise for us as we didn’t know until the doctor told us. It was also a lot of fun being in the ultrasound room all dark and staring at the monitor very excited with the anticipation of finding out.

  • Anna March 18, 2014, 9:33 am

    My parents waited to find out about my youngest brother. I was ten at the time, already had three brothers…I wanted a sister so badly. No such luck! I cried when my dad told me “it’s a boy!” Now I have four brothers. At least I’m the princess!!

  • Tanya March 18, 2014, 9:41 am

    We waited with all three of our children and I’m glad we did. It was more fun for us. Our first was only 16 months when his sister was born, so he didn’t really think about brother or sister, he was just excited there was a baby inside mom. Those two were 3 and 4 when their little brother was born and they were equally excited. It’s true there were many months of toddler speculation about boy or girl, but it was awfully cute.

  • Sharon March 18, 2014, 9:54 am

    I’m currently 31 weeks pregnant with our first (and maybe only) child. We are not finding out while two other couples in our group of friends are due around the same time both found out. I’m hoping the anticipation of finding out will help me get through labor!

  • Heather March 18, 2014, 9:59 am

    We found out both times and would do it again in a heart beat! It is really important to me to speak to the baby by name as soon as possible so I can’t see myself ever waiting until the birth. I also am not a fan of gender neutral baby stuff. It seems like it is all grey, yellow, or green. I think your are right though about the shopping being more in control if you don’t know, but with the second, if you find out you are having the same sex it really cuts down the need to shop or to worry if you will have enough. I had girls both times and I really loved knowing my second was a girl because I had all the clothes and other items she would need on hand. I realize like you said, boys can rock the pink and girls can rock the blue, but I am definitely into all the traditionally girl colors for girls and the traditionally boy colors for boys so I like knowing for that reason as well.

  • Christine J March 18, 2014, 10:00 am

    We found out in the very first second that we could! I’m currently 27 weeks with our second SON….and I DO NOT like being pregnant. I’m just not one of those women who enjoys it or who feels like I’m doing it well. Finding out the sex of the baby has really made it more (positively) emotional for me, has allowed me to let go of some of the things I dislike about the 9-10 month ordeal…and imagine a life with two brothers. I believe it is TRULY a personal decision. I love that my husband is on the same page as I am (I think he truly knows how impatient I am anyway, and waiting wouldn’t be an option! ha!) I truly admire those of you that do wait, don’t know how you do it! But I wouldn’t change how we’ve done things for us. Congratulations to all the new and expecting moms out there! Toughest job IN THE WORLD!!!!! No question! And I like to consider myself a “working”, “independent” woman, so I’ve had some good experience. Yay mommies!

  • Ali March 18, 2014, 10:01 am

    I think for baby #2 we’re going to wait to find out the sex! We have a boy now and lots of neutral baby gear, so I feel like whatever the baby is will be just fine! They are sharing a room too, so I won’t even need to decorate a room or anything. I think it sounds fun too.

  • Rebecca March 18, 2014, 10:02 am

    My cousin is due in June and her son (4?) has been asking for a baby for like a year. When she told him he was going to be a big brother to a baby, he didn’t believe her!! I don’t know how he’s doing now that she’s almost to her due date and they’re getting clothes and diapers and stuff, but it was funny. He’s getting a baby brother. She had a gender reveal party a week or two ago, and then posted the results on Facebook for those of us not around for the party.
    I don’t get the hooplah over a gender reveal party. Just have a baby shower where you tell people to bring either gender-specific or gender-neutral clothing and toys??? Plus not everybody can come, so somebody’s missing out on the fun announcement party and you have to tell them some other more boring way later.
    My supervisor’s daughter is having a baby, and they’ve already said they’re having a girl and included that on the baby shower invites. Easy-peasy way to let everyone know at once.

  • Teresa March 18, 2014, 10:10 am

    My sister waited with both of hers and we all loved it! The first pregnancy we were convinced was a boy, so when he came we were excited but we also suspected. The second time around we were convinced it was a boy again because she carried the same way and had a very similar pregnancy. So when they said it was a girl we were so shocked and then surprised and then excited that it made it all worth it. However, I will say, that since we were “so convinced” it was a boy the second time around, my nephew did get used to calling the baby bump Grayson because he knew that would be the boy name. So much so that he called his little sister Grayson for a few months after she was born. We talked about boy names so much more because she already knew what she would name a girl from the moment she decided to have children. But he has adjusted 🙂

  • Rachel W March 18, 2014, 10:12 am

    Having done both ways– I loved all your points and agree on them, but I have a few comments. We did not found out with my first. Because of waiting– we named both a boy and a girl. (I was hoping for a boy but thought we’d have a girl). When it was a boy– I was so overjoyed. However– since we’d named both a boy and a girl and I had months of not knowing and bonding with the idea of both… I really felt like I was missing someone when we came home. I couldn’t shake it. Even now 3 1/2 years later, I still think of my girl. So we found out with my second son and only named a boy. It was much better and did not take away from the surprise at birth because I still got to meet a new child and discover how he looked and his personality, etc. If we have more kiddos, I will find out again for that reason too! Its not something Ive seen anyone else mention before…

    • Laura Ann March 18, 2014, 10:45 pm

      Wow, I’ve never heard this perspective before. Very interesting. Thank you for sharing this.
      I found out last week, and honestly, I’m missing the not knowing part. But, this makes me see it another way. I could totally see that happening to me too.

    • Tricia March 19, 2014, 8:16 am

      I completely agree with this. See below but they were wrong and told us girl and then it was a boy. Luckily we found out before I delivered but I definitely felt like the girl baby like died or something. It was very bizarre to me.

  • Katie A March 18, 2014, 10:21 am

    We just had a baby girl in January and waited to find out. My husband had to do a little convincing, but I ended up loving it and we will for sure do it this way for future babies! I do agree with the bonding point, but I’m curious – will it be different for subsequent babies because I know first-hand how easy it is to love and bond with baby once he/she is here?

  • Army Amy March 18, 2014, 10:23 am

    My parents waited to find out when they were pregnant with me and my siblings. My mom’s case is that there are few real surprises in life and that you should enjoy them when you can.

  • Aishah @ Coffee, Love, Health March 18, 2014, 10:27 am

    I hope this baby talk is preparing us for an announcement from you soon 😉 we already love Henry videos, imagine what it will be like seeing Henry as a big brother!! Oh my gosh, too cute just to even think about! <3

  • Joy March 18, 2014, 10:36 am

    I don’t have any children myself, but my sister has three children and she waited for each one. It was so exciting (for the whole family!). I think her reasoning was that there are so few true surprises in life, why not have birth be one of the big ones.

  • Leah March 18, 2014, 10:41 am

    I have a daughter who is one week older than Henry and we didn’t find out what we were having. I have my 20 week ultrasound for number 2 in a few days, and we’re not finding out with this one either. I agree with all of your pros – especially the carrot during labor!! Although it does make choosing a name that much harder… My husband and I have a hard time agreeing on names, and needing to chose one for a boy and a girl is tough!

  • Verna March 18, 2014, 11:04 am

    You only have to come up with ONE name!! We have the hardest time agreeing on names and only having to choose one helps. Haha! I can barely get my husband to even talk about names before our ultrasound when we find out the sex.

  • Ashley March 18, 2014, 11:05 am

    We waited with our first child, and are planning to wait with #2, who is currently still baking. I love not knowing! It’s so awesome, but everyone does think we’re crazy. The reasoning I think is the silliest is when women say “I couldn’t do that, I’m too much of a planner.” Um, me too? You’re still planning for a BABY! Haha 🙂

    I do think the not being able to tell older siblings is a drawback. My daughter is a little to young to understand (she’s 18 months now, will be almost 2 when newbie arrives), but if she were a bit older it would be harder to help her bond without knowing. Right now she doesn’t even understand the concept, but as we get closer/she gets older/I get bigger that might change, though.

    Waiting is awesome, I encourage everyone to do it!

    • Ashley March 18, 2014, 11:08 am

      Forgot to mention – so the first trimester screen is now done differently at my OB’s office, now the blood test is much more accurate. They can actually detect fetal DNA in the blood draw so can tell you the sex with 100% accuracy at that 11-13 week mark. When I told the phlebotomist that we didn’t want to know the sex, so to leave it off the report, she went on and on about how she thought it was so great that we were waiting. She told me that some women get the screen done specifically to find out the sex, that they’ll come in and tell her they’re there for the “gender test” instead of the screen the blood draw is actually for. Insanity!

  • Marci March 18, 2014, 11:22 am

    I waited to find out and will do it again. For me, it kept me calm. It was so exciting to wait and have that to look forward to. It definitely bothers others more than me. People are shocked.

  • Katie March 18, 2014, 11:27 am

    We found out with our daughter and in a month or so will most likely find out with our second. I like the idea of waiting until the baby is born but ultimately I’m just too curious! We have mostly gender neutral big items, but if the baby is a boy this time around I’d like to be prepared with clothes & also help my daughter prepare for a brother or sister. I will say it was awkward to find out lying on a table when I could barely see my husband, so this time we are having the tech write it down and put it in an envelope and we’ll open it later that night without a stranger in the room 🙂

  • FitBritt@MyOwnBalance March 18, 2014, 11:55 am

    You are so on point! There was just a segment on the Today Show about this topic this morning!

    I don’t have any kids yet but I would probably want to find out! I’m terrible with secrets and it would eat at me.

  • Jules March 18, 2014, 12:12 pm

    So, would you consider skipping your ultrasound entirely? In low risk pregnancies, it’s technically unnecessary, but everyone has one. (Including me, we weren’t cool enough to wait to find out!) Anatomy scans are important, but I was surprised to learn I didn’t have to have an ultrasound. I know you are on the crunchy side– would love to hear your thoughts!

    • Caitlin March 18, 2014, 12:29 pm

      Probably not. I did try to skip unnecessary ultrasounds because they were expensive! But I liked the reassurance the scan gave me, even if I knew it wasn’t perfect.

    • Brenda March 18, 2014, 10:28 pm

      In my experience, anatomy scans are vitally important. This fall, I was having a perfectly healthy, normal pregnancy or so my doctor and I thought. At the anatomy scan, we learned that I had a severe complication that gave the baby a 1 in 5 chance of making it to viability. Without that ultrasound we never would have known. I only became high risk after the ultrasound.

  • Amanda March 18, 2014, 12:28 pm

    I’m surrounded by pregnant ladies lately, from co-workers to friends, and the topic of finding out the sex of the baby comes up often. I love your pros and cons list. They both make so much sense to me. I don’t know if I could wait though, I’m so impatient!

  • Mary March 18, 2014, 12:32 pm

    I waited too!! BEST surprise/moment of life… it really was!! But I am a very patient person, so I could have waited for yearrrrrs. Well wait for my future babies too, hands down.

    In my area (Ontario, Canada), I learned that apparently it’s popular to find out but then tell the whole world that it’s a surprise. When I told ppl we didn’t know they were all like… “Ok, so you really do know, you’re just not telling us?!”

    Also, a cool fact about ultrasounds around here. If you tell them you don’t want to know, they don’t even write the gender on the report. My doc told me it’s a one shot deal, so you can’t change your mind later and ask, because they don’t know either!

  • Erin March 18, 2014, 1:10 pm

    I waited for #1 and it was great. For #2 we found out. We were in the process of moving and I wasn’t going to move all of the girl stuff if I didn’t need to, so we found out. In this circumstance I would make the same decision again. However, if we hadn’t been in that situation, I think I would have waited and been happy with it.

  • Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork March 18, 2014, 1:20 pm

    We don’t have kids yet, but both my husband and I are adament about waiting to find out the sex. With so many things known today, I think not knowing the sex adds to the magic of it all; it’s just another exciting thing to learn about the child you carried for nine months. Thanks for this list–had never consider the cost savings aspect (and we’re all about that!).

  • Miriam March 18, 2014, 2:05 pm

    I found out the gender 2 weeks ago (I’m at 22 weeks now) and I could not have waited any longer, so certainly not until birth! I’m having a baby boy. I did a “gender reveal” cocktail with family, I bought blue balloons and ribbons to decorate the nursery and kept the door close until everyone was there. It was hard keeping the secret to us for only 4 days (between the ultrasound and the cocktail)! But bottom line, I think that to know or not to know is a very personal question! Something you should agree on with your partner that say. 

  • Amanda K. March 18, 2014, 2:08 pm

    I’ve heard that finding out makes it especially easier for the daddy to bond; makes sense to me since mama is bonding throughout the pregnancy with feeling the baby move/etc.
    We waited with my first, found out with my second and I REALLY liked waiting. I wanted the IT’S A BOY/GIRL moment (which we didn’t really get since my son wasn’t breathing, so they whisked him away and i was laying there saying, “is it a boy or girl? boy or girl!” ha!)
    I definitely agree that it’s a surprise whenever you find out, but after the emotional experience of labor, it’s an even bigger surprise!

  • Coco March 18, 2014, 2:31 pm

    I definitely think waiting is so much fun! My best friend is 24 weeks pregnant right now, and she and her husband are waiting–it’s a lot of fun! I always think it is creepy when people call the baby by its name once they find out the sex–those tests aren’t always right, and it always makes me paranoid that if you rush into knowing the sex and the name, something bad will happen. Plus, then there is literally NO surprise for your family and friends. At LEAST keep the name a surprise from others! That’s just my two cents. I know that my fiance feels adamantly about waiting to find out, and so do I, so that is what we will do down the road.

    • Courtney! March 18, 2014, 4:25 pm

      I totally agree about especially not sharing the name! What fun is the baby announcement when everyone knows exactly what to expect?

  • Kate March 18, 2014, 3:25 pm

    It drove our family nuts when we waited to find out with number 1…hubby wanted to know but I sided with the old-fashioned-ness reasoning. Also, I felt like it would help with labor! With #2, we were also planning to not find out…concerns about my health and baby’s health led to extra ultrasounds, and this made the neonatal specialist feel the need to alert us to what baby was in order to make us aware of his concerns. We did not tell the rest of the family that we had found out, though, as at the actual “anatomy u/s” they already knew we hadn’t (we were both fine!). So when #3 rolled around, we were a little ambivalent about finding out, but I was convinced it was a boy, and since it was our last baby, I wanted to have time to prepare myself mentally if I was going to be a mom of 3 boys 😉 also, from a practical standpoint, many of our gender neutral items had been replaced by boyish ones, and I felt that I could go ahead with more boy items instead of neutral ones. It was a lovely surprise to find out my little men were going to have a sister :). The excitement of seeing if our little lady would look like her brothers carried me through delivery!

  • Lara March 18, 2014, 3:37 pm

    We found out before birth and I am 99% sure I would do it again! My sister and sister-in-law both didn’t find out, and it drove me insane 😉 #controlfreak

  • Jackie March 18, 2014, 3:42 pm

    We waited with our first (a now 2-year-old boy) and are also waiting with our second (I’m 24 weeks now).

    I agree with all the pros & cons. I would also say it’s easier to not know with the 2nd – because basically, when you’re chasing around a toddler, thinking about every little detail of your pregnancy just isn’t a huge priority.

    And we’ll see when this baby comes out, but my son doesn’t seem to care about the gender; when discussing it with him, we talk less about the baby and more about HIM as big brother. Whenever we see babies, he doesn’t care if it’s a boy or girl (he probably doesn’t know, actually), he just says, “baby – so cute,” ha.

  • Heathers Looking Glass March 18, 2014, 5:15 pm

    We are def. finding out, and having a gender reveal party my parents are throwing us…but it doesn’t have to be fancy, ours is just going to be a BBQ with family and a few neighbors. I don’t really like surprises, I have this need to know everything and have some control issues 🙂

  • Leah March 18, 2014, 5:38 pm

    I have two little girls. First pregnancy we found out and I loved it! Didn’t regret finding out whatsoever. Second pregnancy we decided to wait, for fun and something different for the second child (everyone says second babies it’s all like been there done that). So, having had both experiences – finding out AND waiting – if we ever have a third baby we will probably find out again!

    I have to say though, NOT knowing did help me get through a drug free labour… I just wanted to know girl or boy already!!! haha. So I do agree with you on that aspect.

    But the bonding with baby, I think was easier when I knew I had a little girl in there.

  • Amber K March 18, 2014, 5:40 pm

    There’s just no way I could wait. I’m entirely too impatient for something like that! It would drive me insane. I admire that other people can do it, but it’s not for me!

  • Kelly March 18, 2014, 7:26 pm

    I found out and I liked being able to refer to my son as “he” and later by his name. I also needed the “surprise” more in the pregnancy because during labor I was already motivated enough. We registered for gender neutral things and only bought 1 or 2 outfits before he was born, so some of your pros were non-issues for me 🙂

  • Hannah M March 18, 2014, 8:53 pm

    We did not find out the sex of our now 4 month old son, Grayson. It was definitely exciting to imagine and talk about the baby being either gender. We would talk about boy and girl names, what we thought he/she would look like. I loved the fact that it was so old school to wait and our parents were 100% supportive. When my husband announced “It’s a boy!” with tears in his eyes, I thought I would explode with love for him and our new son. If we have baby #2 we may find out just for clothing/accessory purposes, but then again, we may wait!

  • Hannah March 18, 2014, 9:34 pm

    I love this topic! I agree with another commenter who pointed out- it seems that knowing the gender could make it easier for dad to bond. Can anybody shed some light on this!? If he feels this way, then I’ll probably be willing to find out. Otherwise, I would LOVE to wait, and have that “carrot” as you put it!

  • Amanda March 18, 2014, 9:59 pm

    I’m pregnant with my 2nd child and we found out that we are having a second boy. I’m soooooo glad that I did find out, because I honestly and truly believed with all my heart that the baby was a girl. My pregnancy has been so different this time around that I just KNEW it was a girl. I’m really glad I didn’t go through 9 months mentally bonding myself to the idea of having a girl to be “disappointed” on delivery day. Also, because I do already have one son I now know I can pull all of his old clothes out of storage and begin to sort through them for the new baby. (Since we also knew he was a boy beforehand we only have very boy-ish items).

  • Brenda March 18, 2014, 10:22 pm

    We’ve done it both ways. I have to say, not finding out was so much more fun. I loved it and will do it that way again if we have any more kids. One of my favorite parts was calling people and saying, “we had our baby- it’s a BOY!” Hearing people’s reaction was great- everyone was surprised! Another benefit to not finding out was that people don’t really pressure you to tell the name,

  • nancy March 18, 2014, 10:31 pm

    We waited to find out for all 3 of ours and I don’t regret it one bit. We discussed names for both genders and gravitated towards yellow and green for newborn clothes. I loved having the surprise at the end. As I recall the existing kid(s) did not ask whether we were having a boy or a girl. They knew we were getting a new baby and that was enough.

  • Heidi March 18, 2014, 10:42 pm

    Psst Caitlin you know if you REALLY are trying to support gender neutrality/lack of gender stereotyping in your children, then ALL clothing is gender neutral–not just yellows and greens. Trucks can be for girls, and pink can be for boys.

    • Caitlin March 19, 2014, 8:44 am

      That’s what I said in the post 🙂

  • Rachel March 18, 2014, 10:43 pm

    I found out the sex during both pregnancies. There was just no way I could have waited; I’m such a planner! It was still a fun surprise at the doctors office. My husband & I were debating back & forth our guesses up until the last minute 🙂 I liked knowing so I could plan things out, decorate the nursery & pick names. Even though my first baby is a girl, I still bought all major baby gear items gender neutral. And I’m glad I did bc my second child is a boy! We got major mileage out of a lot of stuff. To me buying gender neutral just makes monetary sense; or maybe I’m just cheap? 😉

  • Tricia March 19, 2014, 6:56 am

    So, I have a unique story. We found out with our first and won’t be finding out any future genders. First, we went through fertility treatments – at 28 – to even get pregnant which makes the whole thing that much more special/dramatic/scary. At 18w9d, we had our big anatomy scan. They told us it was definitely a girl. I cried. Not a sob but I thought it was a boy. I wanted a boy. It just felt wrong to me that it was a girl. At 28 weeks, I found out that I had gestational diabetes. That involves all these extra steps and monitoring. At 39w0d, I had a growth ultrasound to make sure the baby wasn’t too big. Turns out, the baby WAS A BOY! We registered for all gender neutral stuff anyway because we aren’t planning to have just one child. So, no I won’t put myself through that craziness again!!!

  • Kelly March 19, 2014, 8:06 am

    We went back and forth on this one. The husband was in the waiting camp and I was in the find out camp. Deep down I suspected we were having a baby boy and I was just dying to find out. At the 20 week mark during our ultrasound when the tech asked us I deferred to the husband and asked him what he wanted to do. In that moment he said he wanted to know. So she told us it was a boy. I asked him later if he regretted that decision and he said no. If we are lucky enough to have another baby I think we may wait to find out…I think it would make birth that much more exciting especially for baby #2.

  • Leigh March 19, 2014, 1:25 pm

    We waited to find out. My husband wanted to know, but ultimately said it was my decision (in the end, he was happy we waited). He was so excited to announce it’s a girl in the delivery room and I’ll never forget that moment! I know it bothered many of my co-workers and family members that we didn’t find out. Oh well.

    We did have several names chosen for either gender. In the end, none of those names worked for our little girl and we chose something completely different. I’m wondering for those of you who found out and called your little one by name in utero, did the name suit them on arrival?

    • Caitlin March 19, 2014, 2:42 pm

      I always wonder that too!! We couldn’t pick names out in advance regardless because I felt like I had to meet Henry before I could name him.

    • Verna March 20, 2014, 12:57 pm

      We found out with each (3) of ours. We’ve always picked the name shortly after the 20 week ultrasound and started calling the baby by his/her name. It’s always just felt like their name at that point so we’ve never changed.

  • Lydia March 19, 2014, 4:02 pm

    Oh man, I could NEVER wait! I barely made it until 21 weeks. I think for me the deciding factor was being able to bond a bit more with my baby. We struggled through infertility and a miscarriage and I had a hard time imaging the baby as real. After finding out it’s a girl, I find I’m much more inclined to think of it as a baby and my child, and not a fetus I’m taking care of for a bit. It also really helped my husband feel more connected to the pregnancy. I figured pregnancy and childbirth had enough surprises in store for me, I didn’t need another big one, haha. I admire people who can be zen enough to wait though! It sure does make the birth announcements exciting.

  • Emily March 19, 2014, 11:50 pm

    Did you give your baby a nickname other than BabyHTP, like jellybean or starfish so you didn’t have to call the baby “it”?

    • Caitlin March 20, 2014, 12:45 pm

      We just said “he” or “she” interchangeably. 🙂

  • Marie-Sophie March 20, 2014, 6:03 am

    I am almost 9 weeks pregnant and a few days ago I actually asked my mum whether she knew the gender before we were born (before that I just assumed she would .. because you’re right, Caitlin, it’s just the “normal” today). Turns out she didn’t 🙂

    I can’t imagine how absolutely thrilled you must have been at birth! I still have a Little bit of time to decide but my fiancé really wants to know and since I have a high risk pregnancy (for organic reasons) I have a Feeling that it would let me enjoy my pregnancy more, no matter how long it lasts (sounds cruel but I’ve just accepted that things could go wrong but that it would always be my baby so I might as well enjoy the time I have!).

  • Jen March 20, 2014, 6:51 am

    You should get pregnant right now because the whole time baby is in utero, Henry probably won’t be old enough to care if it’s a boy or a girl. We just started telling Wyatt that “baby” is “baby sister” but he really has no clue what that means!

    I was older when my brother was born and my parents had to find out his sex a month before he came because I couldn’t wait to have a baby sister. I still painted his nails when he was 9 months old.

  • Susan March 20, 2014, 11:48 am

    We waited to find out both times and had no regrets. Our older daughter was very excited, even without knowing. Of course, she told everyone it was a girl, and didn’t seem at all surprised to find out she was right.

  • Anna March 20, 2014, 8:28 pm

    I have three kids and waited to find out the gender until birth with all of them! I loved not knowing the gender for all the reasons you listed plus more. Also, the fact that it drove those around us nuts made it even more fun for me!

  • Dennise March 22, 2014, 5:55 am

    Call me old-fashioned. but there’s a sort of magic in that phrase “It’s a boy/girl!” when he does come out. I know it’s weird but it sort of makes me feel like I’m preempting THE BIG GUY UP THERE when we go finding out “prematurely” the fetus’ gender.

  • Ashley March 23, 2015, 3:58 pm

    I’m 36 weeks with baby #1 and am so happy I stuck it out and didn’t find out the sex at the anatomy ultrasound. My hubs wanted to, but I made him wait with me and now we are even more excited for the big day!!

  • Amanda March 24, 2015, 10:03 am

    We are waiting…my due date is in 2 weeks! I am really excited that we did!

  • Anne March 24, 2015, 10:43 am

    I am 30 weeks pregnant with our first, and we do NOT know the sex. During that 20 week anatomy scan, it was a bit of torture. Just had to make it through. My two biggest reasons for not finding out were that
    (A) the ultrasound tech could guess wrong! I went to a baby shower where THREE different people told stories of the ultrasounds being wrong. It was always that they said girl and the baby was a boy.
    (B) it also prevents your friends and family from going overboard purchasing all pink clothes and toys or all blue clothes and toys. This way they help you get your necessary baby items and not frivolous things.

    Can’t wait until we find out our baby’s sex in June!!!

  • Sabrina @ Nutritiously Sweet March 24, 2015, 7:44 pm

    I like yellows and greens so most of the essentials are “gender neutral.” I know I am having a girl and we have bought cute pink outfits but overall everything is still pretty neutral with the exception of a few dress. I’m not thinking for a future baby anytime soon but it just happens that I hate pink and blue lol 🙂

  • Sara March 25, 2015, 3:50 pm

    This is a fun post! I haven’t had a baby yet, but I’ve always known that I for sure want to wait to find out. I think it’s one of life’s most magical surprises. Yes, it’d be hard to wait, but what a fun gift at delivery! One of my fears is that ultrasound techs or doctors would slip and tell you. Does that happen a lot, that they accidentally say “he” or “she” or a random nurse doesn’t realize you don’t know and says something??

    • Caitlin March 25, 2015, 6:49 pm

      My doctor didn’t even write it in my chart so the only one who knew was the ultrasound tech and she was good about not spoiling it.

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