To Know
Or Not To Know

Boy or girl? Some parents want to know their child’s gender before his or her birth. Others eagerly anticipate the surprise. Whatever the case, every parent has their own reasons for finding out… or not.

Couple view sonogram

It's time for the 18-week ultrasound! Should you find out the gender of your baby? Discover how other parents chose and learn the questions to ask yourself about this second-trimester milestone.

Multiple kids, different decisions

These parents of more than one child opted for the best of both worlds:

"We did it both ways – surprise the first time, found out the second. I would never find out again. It was the most amazing moment of my life when #1 was born and we learned her gender; I felt like finding out in the ultrasound room was a little anticlimactic." ~ Tracy K., mom of two

"We didn't find out with baby #1. When else do you get that big a surprise! We tried to find out with the second but she didn't cooperate. In the end, it didn't matter not knowing. We used the gender-neutral clothes we got from our first and everyone loves to buy baby girl clothes!" ~ Linda J., mom of two

Parents who learned baby's gender

To satisfy curiosity or ease preparation, these parents wanted their surprise delivered before the end of nine months:

"The practical won out over the sentimental. Knowing made things far easier for us and our gracious, baby-stuff-giving family. Each of their entrances into the world turned me into a blubbering fool anyhow." ~ Matt S., dad of threewhat you said...

"I wanted to know for planning purposes because I was getting a lot of girl hand-me-downs. This is mostly due to me being cheap/frugal." ~ Angie D., mom of one

"It's a surprise – all you're doing is altering when you get that surprise, be it pre-delivery or at delivery. Knowing makes all the details so much simpler!" ~ Peter S., father of two

Parents who prefer surprises

Mum's the word for these moms and dads:

"We chose to not find out. It was something we could find out together when baby arrived, and no one could interfere or try to coax it out of us. So many well-meaning folks tried to predict the baby's gender by the way I was carrying, my complexion, my level of sickness, heartburn, etc. It turned out to be amusing and zero-percent accurate." ~ Mary F., mom of two

"We figured that life doesn't give too many surprises. Glad we didn't find out; it was a moment of absolute joy." ~ Dan R., dad of one

"We wanted to be surprised. We knew that both kids would sleep in our room for a few months, so decor didn't matter much. It's just nice to have something unknown. You see them via video and pictures as they grow… but not having any clue as to who to expect makes it memorable." ~ Lee W., father of two

To find out or not to find out

On the fence about whether you should learn your child's gender before he or she is born? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you a planner?
  • Do you dislike surprises?
  • Do you wish you could refer to the baby as "he" or "she" rather than "it"?
  • Do you like to have time to adjust to change?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, finding out may be the right choice for you. Remember, the right decision is what will make you and your partner happiest!

Still undecided about learning gender?

Tags: baby gender finding out baby's gender learning baby's sex second trimester ultrasound

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Comments

Comments on "Should you find out baby's gender in utero?"

CP February 04, 2013 | 5:20 PM

My brother and his wife wanted to be surprised with their third baby, but they sent my mom a copy of the ultra sound photo. As a nurse, she could tell what gender their little bundle was and quietly hinted that we shouldn't get them a bright pink stroller as a gift.

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