It’s OK, you can admit it: You’d totally rather your baby be a girl than a boy. You’re not the first in the history of parenthood who has expressed a preference in what your baby’s sex is.
While there isn’t really any solid scientific research (yet) that has given us any foolproof pre-conception gender selection methods, there are plenty of old wives’ tales, stories from parents who claim their approach worked, and even a Chinese conception chart that pins potential gender on a mother’s age and month of conception.
And as it turns out, a lot of these legends say that how you make love can help you conceive the sex you want. Check out our favorite sex positions — as well as some dietary and timing tips — rumored to boost your probability of giving birth to a baby girl
Try girl on top
Again, while no single position can guarantee your baby’s gender 100 percent, spokesperson for The Experience Channel and renowned love and sex therapist Dr. Ava Cadell says that to have a girl, the woman should be on top so that she can control the depth of penetration. Instead of going deep, your partner should ejaculate as close to the opening of your vagina as possible. This will make it much more difficult for the male sperm to reach your egg, since they have a shorter lifespan than female sperm do.
Do it missionary style
Turns out, good old-fashioned sex could be your golden ticket to getting pregnant with a girl.
“Some believe that the best position to conceive a girl is the missionary position,” notes Stacy Rybchin, founder of My Secret Luxury. “Sperm with the X-chromosome (female sperm) travel slower and can survive up to five days.”
Because penetration isn’t typically as deep in this position, the sperm have a longer way to go, giving the females a clear advantage.
Rybchin’s observations, which support both missionary and girl-on-top positions, stem from one of the original theories of natural conception, called the Shettles Method. The Shettles Method has been keeping parents-to-be busy between the sheets since the 1960s, when Dr. Shettles explained that male sperm may be faster in his book, How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby.
Dr. Shettles also endorsed “shallower” sex positions that give female sperm a fighting chance for couples hoping to conceive a girl.
Experiment with spooning
Another common sex position believed to help couples conceive a female is spooning. And what girl doesn’t love to spoon, right!? This position, like the others mentioned above, allows for shallow penetration only, therefore upping the chances of a female sperm actually reaching and fertilizing the egg first.
Because of the shallow penetration, spooning may also fall within the Shettles Method since it can keep those speedy male sperm away from the cervix.
Next Up: Time it just right
Originally published April 2013. Updated February 2017.