Once you start imagining your future child, it’s hard not to get caught up in the excitement of what a little girl or baby boy may mean to you.
For this reason, many potential parents look into methods of influencing their baby’s gender or “gender swaying,” and a fairly popular method for doing this is the Babydust Method.
The Babydust method was coined by author and microbiologist Kathryn Taylor. Taylor’s method relies on factors that affect whether an X or Y chromosome fertilizes an egg, chiefly the timing and frequency of intercourse around ovulation and the monitoring of luteinizing hormone (LH) levels beforehand.
Taylor’s own success with her two planned children inspired her to share this gender-swaying practice with other like-minded couples.
Keep reading to learn more about the Babydust method from how it works and its success rate to cautions, expert opinions, and similar conception methods.
How Does the Babydust Method Work?
The Babydust method requires women to chart levels of their luteinizing hormone (the hormone responsible for triggering the release of an egg from the ovary) twice daily for at least 12 weeks before attempting to conceive.
These LH levels can be charted using standard ovulation test strips that detect this hormone in your urine (although the use of official Babydust test strips is encouraged for this method).
By charting LH levels once in the morning and once in the evening for a total of three menstrual cycles, women can determine when the hormone is peaking, which can help them predict their next ovulation.
Pre-empting your ovulation date, the Babydust method then suggests that having sexual intercourse a certain number of days prior to ovulation will help to conceive either a girl or a boy!
Is the Babydust Method Effective?
According to a 2022 report in Newsweek, many couples have experienced a successful gender sway using the Babydust method, while others have found the method has helped them to “conceive faster” and “focus their effort on the right days” according to the author of the method, Kathryn Taylor.
On the Babydust Method Group Forum on Facebook (currently over 54,000 members strong), there have been thousands of reported sways, a trend that claims to have been consistent since the group’s creation in 2017.
Babydust Method Success Rate
According to reported sways shared by couples, Taylor suggests the Babydust method has a consistent success rate of “87% for both girl and boy sways over the past 5 years” adding that these reports are “evaluated to make sure the couple followed the method perfectly.”
On the growing Facebook Group Forum, however, an update to the “About” page cites a success rate of conceiving the desired sex 94% of the time.
Is the Babydust Method Based on Science?
Experts in the medical field would have to disagree. While the timing and frequency of sex are assumed to be integral for gender selection, chief medical officer at NOW-fertility Antoine Abu Musa notes, “there is no scientific objective evidence that it works.”
Both Abu Masa and Dr. Sam Rahman at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine share the view that sex selection is only possible through IVF, specifically using invasive techniques prior to IVF treatment such as flow cytometry and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis.
According to Dr. Rahman, the Babydust method “simply gives you a 50/50 chance,” adding that you have “the same chance of getting a boy or girl as you would if you had sex on any day in the fertility window.”
The Author of the Babydust Method
The creator behind the Babydust method is microbiologist Kathryn Taylor. Taylor’s scientific background and keen interest in biology (a BS in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics from UCLA) led her to become fascinated by the variables affecting whether an X or Y sperm fertilizes an egg.
After 7 months of thorough research in 2011, Taylor began to formulate a method of conceiving that seemed easier to understand and implement compared to existing methods, and in 2012, she gave birth to the baby boy she had planned.
A pre-planned baby girl soon followed in 2014, which prompted friends and family to ask Taylor for advice.
The success of her method led her to publish her findings along with similar ovulation studies in her 2016 book entitled The Babydust Method: A Guide to Conceiving a Girl or a Boy.
You can read more about Taylor’s story and road to the Babydust method here.
The Babydust Method Ovulation Test Strips
In affiliation with Taylor’s Babydust Method, special ovulation test strips with “precise ovulation prediction” have been designed to help women track their cycles more easily.
For best results, these strips are urged for use alongside The Babydust Method book.
These test strips have a sensitivity of 25 mIU/ml (milli-international units per milliliter) for early detection and are made almost twice the width of a regular test strip for easy-to-read line results and a more convenient grip.
How To Conceive a Girl Using the Babydust Method
According to the Babydust method, having intercourse 2 to 3 days prior to ovulation is likely to result in conceiving a baby girl.
How To Conceive a Boy Using the Babydust Method
To conceive a baby boy, the Babydust method suggests having intercourse as close to ovulation as possible — specifically having sex twice 24 hours apart (once on the day of your ovulation and a second time the day after).
Studies referenced in Taylor’s book have suggested that the difference in frequency can have an impact on the uterine environment.
In this case, studies have revealed that “two acts of intercourse 24 hours apart will alter this environment in favor of a Y sperm.”
Cautions When Using the Babydust Method
It’s important to be realistic about what you are asking of your body when using the Babydust method.
Many women using this technique have urged others to always combine Taylor’s Babydust Method book with the recommended Babydust test strips for the best chance, and even then, don’t raise your hopes too high.
If you’re not successful on the first try, one Amazon customer advised “adjusting the timing by 24 hours on your next cycle and trying again”
Taylor herself advises that as this method is “not a guarantee,” couples are advised to go into it with a positive attitude and most importantly to remember that the Babydust method is a way to increase your chances, not guarantee results.
Other Methods for Gender Swaying
Other methods of conception manipulation besides the Babydust method include making dietary changes and trying certain intercourse positions. Let’s look at the other ways to sway for a boy or a girl…
The Shettles method — developed in the 1960s based on the work of biologist Dr. Landrum Shettles — is quite similar to Babydust as both rely on the timing of intercourse for specific swaying.
Shettles discovered that female-producing sperm survived better in an acidic environment (2 to 3 days from ovulation) while male-producing sperm swam faster and more efficiently in an alkaline environment (approaching or during ovulation).
Completely contrary to Shettles’ theory is the Whelan method.
Theorized by public health researcher Elizabeth Whelan in her 1977 book Boy or Girl, Whelan suggested that couples have sex 4 to 6 days before ovulation to conceive a boy or have sex 2 to 3 days before ovulation to conceive a girl.
Whelan’s method also required women to track body temperature with an oral thermometer to track temperature spikes.
Gender Swaying Diet
Certain research has suggested that the mineral content of certain foods may influence one gender either way.
On her blog Abbey’s Kitchen, dietician Abbey Sharp explains that this gender-swaying diet suggests consuming high calcium and low sodium foods for a girl (milk, cheese, yogurt, leafy greens, beans, etc.) and the opposite for a boy (high sodium/potassium and low calcium, such as potatoes, apricots, rice, and zucchini).
You’ve likely heard of this easy method. On the basis of how well each sperm cell type survives in certain temperatures, some studies recommend fathers-to-be wear either briefs to conceive a girl (as X-carrying cells can withstand higher temperatures) or boxers (creating a cooler environment for heat-sensitive Y-carrying sperm cells) for a boy.
In addition to his advice as to when you should have intercourse, Dr. Landrum Shettles also suggested how for gender swaying.
He theorized that a shallow penetration and ejaculation closer to the vaginal entrance favored a baby girl’s conception (as this is a more acidic area), while a boy’s conception favored deeper penetration and ejaculation close to the cervix.
Babydust Method vs. Shettles Method
Both methods are similar in terms of the suggested timing of intercourse around ovulation to sway for a boy or girl, but the Babydust method is comparatively simpler and easier for couples as it focuses merely on tracking LH cycles and sticking to a sex schedule.
Dr. Shettles’ method, on the other hand, also takes positioning into consideration so that an acidic or alkaline environment is provided for the X or Y sperm cells.
Additionally, Shettles also suggested that female orgasm plays a role in swaying the gender as a woman’s secretions post-orgasm are alkaline (favoring a boy).
Is the Babydust Method Right for Me?
While the Babydust method certainly has its success stories and claims a high success rate, many experts believe that your chances of conceiving either a boy or a girl are 50/50, regardless of when you schedule intercourse.
In your attempt to gender sway, trying the Babydust method is best viewed as a bit of hopeful fun rather than a foolproof science.
Speaking to Very Well Family, fertility advocate Rachel Gurevich urges couples to bear in mind that abstaining from sex on certain days during your fertile window may lower your total chances of conceiving, so take this on board when considering this and similar “gender swaying” methods.
Rebecca is a seasoned copywriter and researcher with over a decade of experience, specializing in parenting topics. With a passion for all aspects of raising children, from breastfeeding to potty training.