Boy or Girl? 16 Old Wives Tales And Gender Predictions

Boy or Girl?

Thanks to technological advancements and lots of clever scientists, it’s not that difficult to find out whether you’re having a boy or a girl.

Your sonographer should be able to tell you with some certainty (though it’s not 100%) at your 20 week scan, assuming your baby’s genitals are in a viewable position.

Genetic testing is the only way to know for sure, though this is only offered to couples considered to be high risk of genetic abnormalities. This is because some of these methods carry a risk of miscarriage.

Before these high tech options were available, couples had to rely on old wives tales to try and guess what sex their baby was. Of course, there is always a 50% chance of getting it right, but these predictions have been passed down through generations.

You’ve probably already heard them all, especially if you’ve decided not to find out the sex before the birth.

You might not be able to make it down your street without someone stopping you to tell you what you’re having and why.

These predictions aren’t scientific, so they probably won’t accurately guess the sex of your baby, but they might be fun:

#1: The Linea Nigra

That dark line that has appeared on your bump is apparently the key to working out whether you’re carrying a boy or a girl. Rumour has it that if the line continues above your belly button, you’re having a boy. If it finishes below your belly button, you have a girl bun in your oven.

#2: Carrying High Or Low

This is one old wives tales you won’t be able to get through pregnancy without hearing. In fact, you’ll probably be damn sick of hearing it by the time you reach your estimated due date. People just love to comment on baby bumps, don’t they? According to legend, if your bump is high, you’re pregnant with a girl. If your bump sits low, you’ll be welcoming a boy.

#3: The Feel Of Your Skin

Carrying a boy is said to give you dry skin, so if you’re enjoying silky smooth skin, you could be expecting a little girl.

#4: It’s All In The Heart

According to age old nonsense, your baby’s heart rate can be used to predict the gender. Apparently, girls have faster heartbeats than boys. Above 140 bpm means you’re having a girl, and lower than 140 bpm means it’s a boy. 140 bpm means it’s either an alien or a puppy, nobody knows, but because it’s all nonsense anyway I wouldn’t worry about it.

#5: Truth Or Hair

It’s all in the hair, apparently. If your hair becomes thick and glossy, and you can’t make it down the street without being stopped by a modeling scout, you’re carrying a boy. If your hair is so dull and limp that you look like you’ve been without running water for quite some time, it’s a girl.

Similarly, your body hair is thought to provide a clue too. If your body hair is growing thick and fast, you’re said to be having a boy. If your hair growth has remained normal (don’t be too smug, you’ll still be way hairier than usual because shaving your legs while heavily pregnant is basically impossible), there might be a girl nestled in your womb.

#6: No Time To Weight

If the thought of waiting until the birth to find out the sex of your baby is getting you down, worry not, simply pay attention to your pregnancy weight gain. According to an old wives tale, if you’re carrying all of your extra weight out front, it’s a boy. If those pregnancy pounds are piling on all over, you might be expecting a daughter.

#7: It’s All About The Taste

Some people believe your cravings provide clues as to the sex of your unborn child. Being made of sugar and all things nice, it’s common sense that sweet cravings mean you’re carrying a girl. Fruit, chocolate and desserts all hint that the stork might be bringing you a girl. Salty or sour foods could be an indication that you’re carrying a boy. If you’re drooling at the thought of crisps and pretzels, it might be a boy beneath your bump.

#8: The Ring

This old wives tale is so old it uses a wedding ring, for a modern version you may prefer to switch this for another ring, needle or pin. Yank out a strand of your hair, and attach the ring (or whatever you choose) to it. Lie yourself down and dangle the ring over your bump. If the ring starts to move in circles, you’re having a boy. If it sways from side to side like a pendulum, you’re going to have a daughter.

#9: Having A Barf

If you were wondering what good could possibly come from all-the-time sickness (calling it morning sickness is clearly an issue for Trading Standards), here it is. It’s a way of predicting the sex of your unborn child. If you had your head in the toilet bowl for the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy, you’re having a girl. If you escaped without that daily vom, legend predicts you shall have a baby boy.

#10: No Easy Feet

Those extremities are also said to be useful in the quest for gender predictions. If you are suffering from a bad case of the cold feet now that you’re pregnant, you might be expecting a boy. If your feet are as warm as ever, you might be carrying a girl.

#11: Ready To Glow?

The old wives of days gone by thought it was possible to predict the sex of the baby based on how mother looks. If people are queuing up to tell you just how beautiful, glowing and blooming you are now that you’re knocked up, you could be carrying a boy. If people are looking at you with worried eyes and asking if you’re feeling okay, it’s a daughter zapping the life out of your feeble body.

#12: A Big Boob

It may not often get talked about in polite society, but it’s common to have one breast bigger than the other. Take a look in the mirror, if your right breast is bigger, you might be having a son. If your left is larger, it could be a little girl in your uterus.

#13: All Encompassing

One of the more ridiculous predictions, apparently the direction your pillow faces can be used to predict the sex of your developing baby. If your pillow faces north, it’s a boy. If it faces south, it’s a girl. If it points east or west, the test is inconclusive. Please try again later (once you’ve rearranged your room to give you the answer you most want).

#14: Spot On

According to ancient wisdom, acne during pregnancy hints that you’re having a girl. A perfect complexion could be a sign that you’re expecting a boy.

#15: Urine Need Of This Test

Take a look at your wee (glamorous, right?), if it’s bright you could be carrying a girl. If your urine is dull or clear, it might be a baby boy hiding in your uterus.

#16: Ball About The Bump

This one is quite niche. If folks keep stopping to comment on how closely your bump resembles a basketball, you’re having a boy. If basketball players keep trying to dribble off with your bump, you could be expecting a girl.

All of the above methods are nonsense, but fun. Well, fun if it’s you doing them, not so much if it’s every stranger you pass in the street. Especially if they’re pointing out things like, “Oooh, I think it’s a boy because you have a beard,” or “You look terrible, you must be having a girl.” Remember, you have a 50% chance of getting it right.

Recommended Reading

If you’re trying to select the perfect name for your little bundle, check out these BellyBelly articles for Baby Boy Names and Baby Girl Names.

Last Updated: August 9, 2015


Fiona Peacock is a writer, researcher and lover of all things to do with pregnancy, birth and motherhood (apart from the lack of sleep). She is a home birth advocate, passionate about gentle parenting and is also really tired.


  1. Boys bounce girls swirl.
    This is what my aunty to me before I went for my first scan. My baby looked like a little jumping bean on the scan monitor. When I went for my second scan it was confirmed I was having a babyboy. This doesn’t mean I believe it, just was a coincidence.

  2. I was having all the symptoms of having a boy but got a baby girl. :)
    I think we can’t predict anything with these kind of Old Wives Tales!!!

  3. When I found out I was pregnent I was 4 weeks along and from that point I knew it was a boy. My morning sickness was terrible. I started getting a brown line down my belly and I was perfectly centered. At my 14 week appointment, I found out the gender of my baby. It was a boy! I knew it and I was so excited. Now I have my beautiful 3 month old son. Its all about mothers instinct. I knew he was a boy. His father wanted it to be a girl but in my heart I knew my child was a boy.

    1. I was the same way. I just had a feeling with both my pregnancies. I knew my first was a girl, i knew my second was a boy. It was fun to be right.

  4. Ive heard that
    If your belly is small your having a girl
    But if its big your having a boy

    Ive actually found this true in some stages

  5. I think it is all crap because every other thing that I have looked at has said if the ring swings in a circle it’s a girl not a boy and “if your having a girl you will eat this or do this if u have a boy u will eat that or do that”… but I do both during my pregnancy so I think it is all wrong. I have acne bad this pregnancy but with my first two pregnancies I didn’t have acne at all I have two lil girls so I’m hoping for a son

    1. HI,

      I read your comment and wanted to reply, like you I have two little girls and now expecting, I also didn’t have acne with my two girls and with this one its pretty bad. I also tend to be craving mainly salty foods…
      Hope we both have ;little boys!
      Best of luck

    2. My mother and grandmother told me also about the ring. It actually shows the gender and how many children in total you will have. I have 2 daugters. It swings in a sircle and stops then again it starts to swing in a sircle and stop and then side ways its a boy. Then it completely stops. Try it agin

  6. I dnt believe half of dem. Bt sum I believe I saw wit my sisters. Wit my daughter I wasn’t sick til like 7months. I’m pregnant nw n I am sick a lot nw. Its hard. I hope its only just fuh 1 month. Bt I do fraid to eat meat because I use 2 vomit alot after Eatin meat at 7 months wit my daughter. So I more believe its a boy tho cuz I mostly want salty. Bt mostly cuz wit my daughter it was different.

  7. I have one each already son 7yrs old & daughter is 3.5 yrs old. Pregnant with #3 at 16.5wks already… the beginning of this pregnancy i was so nausea everyday i was afraid to step out so far it has gotten a lil easier the but sometimes it creeps up. I’m happy with either gender as long as baby is healthy. I don’t remember which pregnancy i was so nausea with although i don’t believe those tails too much every pregnancy is different. I’ve been into sweet n chocolate like crazy n fresh o.j. I’m still waiting to know the sex of this baby n we can’t wait.

    1. I drink a lot of orange j. But my line on my belly is weird. My line is like half one top of the belly button n one bottom of the belly button. It’s thin brown lines. I eat a lot n I hope its a girl. We need a lot of girls in my fam.

  8. I have been eating sweeta but ive ate sweets witg all the kids i was pregnant with all the kids but this one ive been not wanting to ear meat and i ate meat like crazy when i was pregnant with all my boys but with this one i hate meat and dairy so im not sure wat im having but im going to surprise everyone at a party to reveal it so well find out then….. cant wait 10 weeks

  9. I have two beautiful girls and during my pregnancy i craved sour things and my bell was big, i had acne all over my shoulder and chest not to forget my face, now am pregnant with the same signs have not checked with my doctor but i predict to be another girl.

  10. I have been vomiting alot but I can’t eat sweets and I did the ring and im supposedly having a boy also have a feeling that im havinga boy im 3 months idk when im going to knw but hopingfor a boy but it really dnt matter for him/her to be healthy

  11. Another tale that’s only valid for the first child a couple have…which depends on the relationship the couple have…I.e if In a relationship, the male is dominant the first child will be male and the possibility of the next one being a male is high. On the other hand, if the female is dominant in the relationship (has the final day of things…doesn’t include husbands sneaking things his way only to get cornered later on) the first child will be a girl and the chance of the second child being a girl is low because generally a woman’s approach to her marriage gets affected after a child comes into the “family picture”

  12. The following were true for my sweet little girl due October 26th.
    * carrying high (my 2 boys were both low)
    * very sick the first 12 weeks (never with the boys)
    *acne -everywhere! (Not a probably with the boys)
    *craving sweets (always been more of a salty snack kind of girl)
    *put on weight EVERYWHERE (same with the boys)
    *I also noticed I am more emotional with this girl

    Hope this helps! I know I about died with anticipation until we found out!

  13. Hey Cassie!!!
    Wow! Those are the same symptoms that I am having during my pregnancy! I am hoping for a girl! I already have a son and this baby will make the 7th great grandchild, however all of the last 6 of them were boys in my family!!! Needless to say most of my family is hoping that this is a girl…. Lucky #7!!!!! Keeping my fingers crossed

  14. I had ZERO morning sickness with my son. Currently, I am 14 weeks pregnant with a girl and have serious morning (or really ALL day sickness)… So that one proved true in my case.

  15. I really blv on da issue if food,ave a girl aged 5yrs but I still rem I only ate sugary foods only,I never ate meat,fish,sour foods,vegetables infact my staple food was juice ad cakes ad finally got a girl

  16. i was sick all 9 months with all 3 of mine. had 1 girl and 2 boys,,never had heartburn and they all had full heads of hair

  17. I have 2 girls my eldest i had no cravings and no sickness nothing but a normal me. Second i had cravings for chocolate and sweet things always in a bad mood and i looked ill. Im currently pregnant again and crave savoury and cheese and fanta orange acne galore and always in a good mood. I Know im having another girl even though im only 14 weeks the thing is i know my body and every pregnancy is different.

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