Long before becoming pregnant, you’ll have no doubt heard of the countless old wives’ tales and fabled methods of finding out whether you can expect a boy or a girl.
One particular favorite among moms-to-be is doing a simple check known as the hairline gender test – but what is this?
The hairline gender test can only be done if you already have at least one child. It involves observing the hairline at the nape of your child’s neck. The hairline (either straight across or pointed) is said to indicate whether your baby will be the same or opposite gender as your current child.
Are you hoping for the opposite gender the second time around so you have one of each? Or perhaps you have a full boy/girl gang and are curious to see if there’s a break in the trend?
Whatever your family dynamic, these gender tests are great fun to do! We’ll look at other weird ways of predicting your baby’s gender in addition to studies about gender prediction and early gender testing.
Hairline Gender Test
This gender test is temptingly easy to do, and some parents have found it to be a good predictor of their baby’s gender. So where does this test originate? How accurate is it? And how is it done exactly?
Hairline Gender Test Origins
The test is thought to have originated from a Native American tradition that the sex of your next child can be seen in the hairline of your eldest or current child.
If your child has a straight hairline at the back of their neck, this supposedly points to a baby of the same gender, and if they have a pointed hairline, your baby will have the opposite gender to your previous child.
Hairline Gender Test Accuracy
Some mothers on parenting threads and forums have found this hairline test to be correct in predicting their next child’s gender, but there are also families of multiple children with the same gender but each sporting the same hairline.
Accurate? Not so much, but it’s fun to try all the same!
How To Perform the Hairline Gender Test
Look at the nape (back) of your youngest or current child’s neck to see their hairline.
Hairline is straight across: If your child’s hair lies flat and straight across the back of their neck, you’ll supposedly be welcoming a baby of the same gender.
Hairline comes to a point: If their hairline meets in the middle to a point (like a widow’s peak), this signifies that a baby of the opposite gender is on the way.
What if My Child’s Hairline Is Somewhere in Between?
If your child’s hairline is wavy (neither pointy nor straight across), your child may be too young and have too little hair to do the test.
Either way, this test is just a bit of fun and is in now way scientific, so just see an inconclusive hairline as a lucky dip!
Fun Ways To Predict Baby Gender
There’s no shortage of funny old wives’ tales to have a go at predicting the sex of your next little bundle. Here are a few cute and odd ways to foretell gender…
Toddler vs. Baby Bump
If your own male toddler (or a friend’s male toddler) has a keen interest in your bump, you’re said to be carrying a girl, but if they show no/little interest, you’re having a boy.
On the flip side, a female toddler will get excited around your bump if you have a boy on the way but blank the bump if it’s a girl!
The Key Test
Here’s one for the partner of mom-to-be: Place a regular house door key on a surface (not the floor!), and ask your pregnant partner to pick up the key.
If she picks it up by the round, broad end, a boy’s on the horizon. If she picks up the key by the long, pointy end, you’re having a girl.
Weight Gain Prediction
Moms-to-be with male partners: Have they been piling on some sympathy pounds since your pregnancy began? Or are they slimmer and trimmer than ever?
Apparently, a daddy’s gut signifies a little girl, while a toned bod means a son is in the cards!
The Baking Soda Test
If you’re up for a weird mini-science experiment, collect some of your morning urine in a cup (morning pee is best for this apparently).
Next, mix a little baking soda in with your pee – if it fizzes, it means you’re having a boy, and if there’s no reaction, a girl’s on the way.
Of course, with the recent increase in body temperature since your pregnancy began, your pee is likely to make anything fizz!
Second Baby Gender Prediction From First Baby
Certain studies into baby gender prediction have found factors like weight and the father’s family history to potentially play a part.
A 2020 research paper published by Newcastle University, UK found that a father with many brothers was more likely to have male children, and many sisters meant a higher likelihood of having baby girls.
Earlier 1960s studies into the sexes of siblings also echoed this, finding that the “probability of male birth was higher when all previous siblings were boys.”
Meanwhile, a 2002 Med Hypotheses paper relating to birth weight theorized that the neonatal weight of your first child may indicate the gender of your second child.
In data taken from 227 healthy mothers, the probability of giving birth to a boy in the second pregnancy was said to be higher if their first-born was relatively heavy.
However, this relationship is reportedly only significant “after a first-born daughter, not a first-born son.”
Differences Between Girl Baby Bump and Boy Baby Bump
There are claims that carrying your baby bump low signifies a boy and weight higher on the stomach demotes a girl. Your bump size is also supposedly a predictor of gender (large equals boy, small for girl).
Looking at the science, however, the height of a baby bump has more to do with the unique “muscular and skeletal structure of mom’s body and will change in appearance from pregnancy one to two to three,” according to OB/GYN Dr. Kirtly Parker Jones.
Also, according to the WHO, the average baby weight only differs by 4 ounces between males and females, so bump size is no clear indication either.
How To Know Baby Gender Without Ultrasound
For parents who can’t wait until the 12-week ultrasound scan to find out the gender, many are turning to early at-home gender tests.
These are said to accurately predict the gender between 6 and 9 weeks and can be done in the privacy and comfort of your own home.
Claiming 99.9% accuracy, this entails collecting a few drops of blood from the mother and mailing it to Sneak peek labs for analysis.
Fetal DNA is tested in the mom’s circulation, and if male Y chromosomes are found, the baby is a boy. If none are found, you’re having a girl.
With over 99% accuracy, this test also collects blood samples from the mother and claims to deliver test results just 1-2 business days after the lab has received the sample.
Is Morning Sickness Worse With a Girl?
According to a 2021 study published by the Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, women carrying a female fetus as opposed to a male fetus “reported a significantly higher frequency of NVP (nausea and vomiting during pregnancy) in their first trimester.”
Can Food Cravings Predict Baby Gender?
No, it is a myth that food cravings are any predictor of your baby’s gender.
The old wives’ tale claims that sweet cravings point to a girl and craving salty or protein-rich foods means you’re expecting a boy, but cravings of either kind (or both food groups) are just part of being pregnant!
Looking at the hairline of your youngest child is one of many inaccurate and quirky ways to predict the gender of your baby. The shape and size of your bump and your partner’s weight are also said to reflect an incoming boy or girl!
The fact is that you won’t be able to truly know your baby’s gender until your sonographer tells you at your ultrasound scan (with fair accuracy at 12 weeks and excellent accuracy at 20 weeks).
In the meantime, it’s fun to try out a few old wives’ tales to see if they come true for you!
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.