When a person finally reveals they are pregnant to family and friends, they are immediately peppered with unsolicited advice and an endless stream of questions. “What’s your due date? Here’s the best place to buy maternity clothes. Check out my doctor; they’re the obstetrician you must use. Here’s the best pregnancy meal plan to follow.” Oof. The comments, suggestions, and prodding questions are truly endless. And while most people are merely exhibiting their excitement with their well-meaning opinions, it can feel invasive and overwhelming to an expectant mom. But none of these examples are as annoying as the Olympic sport of everyone asking about the biological sex of the baby or attempting to predict the gender themselves.
The thing is, they can’t help themselves. Before modern medicine gave way to chromosomal testing and ultrasound machines, attempting to guess the sex of the baby was a whole genre of superstition passed down from generation to generation. Like the Chinese and Mayan Gender predictor, different cultures each had their quirky way, using anything from pregnancy symptoms to the placement of the pregnant belly to the hair on a pregnant person’s legs as their very own gender prediction test. And if they were right, watch out! They wore it like a badge of honor as if they willed the baby boy or girl into your uterus.
That said, just in case you’re curious, want to play guessing games at a baby shower, or have a bet going about the sex of the baby with your partner, we have gone ahead and rounded up the most common gender tests according to traditions from all over the world (like the gender ring test!). If you’re looking to have some fun and understand none of these at-home gender tests are rooted in science, why not give the below list a whirl. Either way, it’s a 50/50 chance they’re right.
Gender Tests According to Old Wives’ Tales
Spicy or sweet?
You probably knew you’d have all sorts of food cravings during pregnancy, right? Well, some people believe those cravings can tell a lot about your baby. The gist: if you can’t keep your hands off sweets, expect a girl. If salty and sour flavors are your favorite foods, expect a boy.
Skincare vs. leg hair
One wives’ tale suggests you can tell what you’re having based on your body’s hormonal responses — in some pretty undesirable ways. If your leg hair seems to grow faster and thicker, a baby boy could be in your near future. The idea? Boys cause an uptick in testosterone levels responsible for the added fuzz. On the other hand, frequent breakouts (hello, bacne!) could indicate a little girl. People who believe this suspect a spike in HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is to blame.
Gender ring test
This one is simple and highly unscientific but fun nonetheless. Tie a ring to a string and then lie down on your back. Hold the ring-on-a-string over your belly like a pendulum. It shouldn’t take long for it to start moving on its own. If it swings back and forth, you’ll supposedly have a boy. If it swings in a circle, you’ll have a girl.
Nausea equals baby girl
Women who experience extreme morning sickness are often met with retorts of, “Oh, you must be having a girl.” And while this might be the most annoying old wives’ tale pregnant women are told over and over again, there might be some truth to it. That’s because studies show women who experience hyperemesis gravidarum, an extreme form of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, are more likely to give birth to girls. But there still needs to be more research to say there’s a correlation conclusively.
Low belly or high belly
According to an old wives’ tale, the position of your belly says a lot about your baby. So if you’re carrying high, you’re having a girl. If your belly is low, it’s probably a boy.
If you have acne or rashes during your pregnancy, odds are you’re having a girl. Why? Per this superstition, they try to steal your beauty. And gorgeous glowing skin is a sign you’re having a little boy.
Cold means a cool baby boy
Are you feeling super hot? Congrats, it’s a girl! But if you’re feeling cold all the time? Congrats, it’s a boy!
Heart rate speed
If your baby’s heart rate is slow, like under 140 beats per minute, it’s probably a boy. If the heart rate is fast, it’s most likely a girl.
Your partner’s weight
It turns out dads can gain weight during pregnancy too. If your partner is packing on their own load of baby weight, it may mean you’re having a little girl. However, if their physique stays the same throughout your pregnancy, then you’re most likely having a boy.
Check your pee
The shade of your urine says a lot about what’s going on inside of your body. In terms of checking the gender of your baby, bright yellow means girl, and faded yellow means boy.
Having swollen ankles and legs isn’t ideal, but it’s a rite of passage for many pregnant women. So, if your lower half swells in those places, you could be having a boy.
If you were a clumsy person before becoming pregnant, ignore this wives’ tale. If your “Urkel” levels have increased now that you’re with child, you can blame it on your baby boy. However, if you’re a graceful mama swan during your pregnancy, thank your little girl.
Happy or sad
When pregnant, moodiness is part of the package. If you find your moods have been stable, congrats: It’s a boy. If you have a hard time keeping up with your emotions, you’re probably having a girl.
The legs test
A pregnant woman’s legs can say a lot about the gender of their baby. According to a French wives’ tale, if you gain weight in your legs, you’re having a boy. If you don’t, it’s a girl.