There are only a few real surprises in life these days. The ending of a favorite series is always spoiled before everyone has a chance to watch it, and if fans miss the final score of the big game, they’re sure to see it on social media before they wanted to. But the gender of the baby is one thing that moms and dads have control over.
Some traditionalists believe that there is nothing better than waiting for the birth to hear those magical words: “it’s a boy” or “it’s a girl.” Others can barely wait until the 20-week ultrasound, which is the most common point where parents find out the gender of their little bundle of joy. With gender reveal parties becoming the biggest new trend in millennial pregnancy these days, moms-to-be can spend tons of time planning elaborate and interesting new ways to spill this amazing secret. But not everyone is interested in starting out the stereotypes so early. There are pros and cons to finding out during pregnancy or waiting for the birth. While everyone seems to have an opinion on what is best, it’s up to the mom and dad to decide.
Here are 10 reasons parents wait to find out the baby’s gender and 10 reasons to know right away.
20 Wait: Fun Of The Surprise
There is nothing more special than hearing a doctor say “It’s a boy” or “It’s a girl.” After a long, arduous or even short and stressful delivery, the news puts a cap on the sound of the baby’s first cry that helps the mom feel the celebration even deeper. And while sometimes the surprise can come before the birth, the excitement can build the longer than moms and dads wait to hear the news. Plus, it can be just as fun to share the surprise after the birth, telling grandparents and friends. What an amazing surprise, nine months in the making.
19 Know: Baby Naming
Figuring out a baby name can be really difficult — and it certainly can take nine months or more to figure out the perfect moniker. But knowing at 20 weeks whether you are having a boy or girl can cut down the stress. In fact, for many, it an cut the list in half. While unisex or even cross-over names are all the rage right now, that doesn’t mean that it’s easier to figure out a name whether it’s a boy or a girl. Knowing the gender can mean it’s easier to visualize the child bearing the name at school, as a teenager or even while applying for a job. Some parents have no problem picking a name — or one for each gender — but for others, it’s a much easier task when you know if it’s a boy or a girl.
18 Wait: Not All Pink Or Blue
Not all little girls like pink, but when their parents find out before birth that they are expecting a little princess, that can mean that they end up with a pink nursery, a pink car seat and just about every pink item in the baby store. The same is true for little boys but with the color blue. And just about the only way to guarantee that neither the parents or the family and friends buying shower gifts will skip the pink or blue is by waiting to find out at the birth. In that case, people are more likely to pick gender neutral gear, such as black or gray car seats and strollers, white crib sheets and yellow onesies. After the birth, there will still be plenty of time to add some pink or blue accents, but it might not be as overwhelming if parents wait.
17 Know: Planning a Personal Nursery
On the opposite end, some moms would rather plan a more personal nursery for the baby. They want to decide on a theme — like sailboats for baby boys or fairies for little girls. They might start with a cream base and add in all of the frills and touches that they want, including possibly stenciling the little one’s name on the wall. It can help a mom feel more ready for the birth to have the nursery set up just like she wants it, and if she doesn’t want to wait to finish it up, many moms don’t want to wait to know the baby’s gender.
16 Wait: Avoid Stereotypes From Before Birth
As soon as they are born, little girls are treated as princesses and boys as dudes. It can be even worse when the mom and dad finds out the baby’s gender early. These days, many parents are more worried than ever before about gender stereotypes. Women have been in the work place for a couple of generations now, but they still cannot always achieve the same levels of success, especially in terms of pay. And many moms want their boys to be raised in a way that is kinder and more respectful to women. They want their boys to embrace their feelings instead of being told to be tough. The stereotypes of what boys and girls has changed a lot lately, and some moms even choose to try to raise their children in a gender neutral manner. So they might as well wait and focus on the fact that they are raising a human, not just a boy or a girl.
15 Know: Genetic Issues
Sometimes there are medical reasons to find out the baby’s gender, and at times when parents aren’t necessarily trying to find out the baby’s gender, they end up learning it because of the baby screening. There are many genetic issues that mostly impact little boys because they are tied to the X chromosome, and a boy only has one of those. If the indications come up that something is wrong, it might be important to learn the gender. It’s not a matter of ruining the surprise but figuring out the best way to protect the health of the baby, and that is more important than anything.
14 Wait: No Disappointment
While most moms and dads, grandparents and friends say that they don’t care if they baby is a boy or a girl, the truth is that many of them have a preference. They may long to teach a son to fish or play catch, or they might want to add a daughter to their family. And if they find out that the baby is not the gender that they had anticipated, they could feel disappointed, maybe even for the last several months of the pregnancy. But if a mom and dad waits for the baby’s arrival, the disappointed is quickly overshadowed by the love for the new family member. It’s easy to be a little down before the baby gets there, but whether he’s a boy or she’s a girl, it doesn’t matter at all, once they hold tje little one in their arms.
13 Know: Fun Gender Reveal Party
One of the most fun new pregnancy trends these day is having a gender reveal party. Like a baby shower, it’s a chance to get all of the family and friends together to celebrate the baby, although the men are more likely to get involved in a gender reveal party than in a shower. Plus, parents are figuring out some pretty creative and personal ways to get a surprise reaction, from hitting baseballs filled with powder to balloons and confetti. If you wait to find out the baby’s gender, then you miss out on the fun gender reveal party — and possibly a viral video.
12 Wait: More Anticipation
Pregnancy is a long nine months. That’s especially true if a woman suffers from grueling symptoms like really tough morning sickness or a complication like high blood pressure. But luckily, pregnancy is as exciting as it is difficult. And waiting to learn the baby’s gender can add to the anticipation. That mystery can be added to the question of whether he will have his daddy’s nose or her mom’s singing voice and his grandfather’s knack for fixing things. Dreaming about what the baby will look like and how his or her future will end up is one of the most fun parts of pregnancy, and some moms think that all those answers will come in due time, including the gender.
11 Know: Can’t Wait Any Longer
Some people can keep a secret, and some just can’t resist finding out. It’s like the kids who search their parents’ closet to find their Christmas gifts long before Dec. 25, and those that can’t wait to post a spoiler about the movie that they just watched on social media. Some moms and dads just can’t wait nine months to find out if they are having a boy or a girl — not if they can find it out earlier. They might even try and ask the sonographer not to tell them, but they will scour the images for any sign that the baby is a boy. They just can’t wait to find out — and they can’t wait to tell their secret to the world in the most epic way.
10 Wait: Motivation In The Delivery Room
Labor and delivery can be tough and grueling. After going through hours and hours of pain, it can be tough to stay positive for anyone. But some people say the added surprise of learning if the baby is a boy or a girl can add some motivation in the delivery room. That can really be needed during the pushing phase, which for some can only take minutes and for others can take hours. Moms need lots of encouragement to keep giving their all when they are exhausted, and meeting the little one is the biggest motivation of all. Adding on the answer to the question that mom and dad have been wondering for months might just give the extra edge that she needs to get the baby out quickly and safely.
9 Know: Help With Bonding
Even while the baby is in the mom’s belly, it can be difficult for some women to connect to their pregnancy and begin bonding with the baby. For some, the kicks help them feel bonded to the baby before birth, but for others, it can feel a little alien and make them feel disconnected and worried. But sometimes, knowing that the baby is your son or daughter can help personalize it. It can help the mom picture the baby and their future together and help her bond with the baby in her belly instead of feeling like her body is being taken over. For some, it can help to call the baby by name before birth, but that might not work out if you don’t know the baby’s gender. Bonding can help stave off pregnancy depression for some, so the benefits of knowing the name can multiply.
8 Wait: Antagonizing Frenemies
Let’s face it: sometimes, it’s fun to drive other people crazy with the way you live your life. There is nothing that can infuriate people more than when a person doesn’t find out their baby’s gender. They just can’t understand why the mom doesn’t want to know, and they can’t imagine buying anything other than a gender-specific present. There are some people that will get really angry about it, and some people find it to be fun to antagonize them. After all, it’s really none of their business and it’s certainly not their decision, so taunting them a bit might be just what they deserve.
7 Know: Multiple Planning
Preparing for one baby is one thing — preparing for multiples is a bigger, more involved endeavor. In many cases, moms want to know about the gender of the babies so that they can get everything ready. It can even make a difference in the health, in terms of knowing if the babies are identical because they might share a placenta or sac. Boy-girl twins require different preparations than if they are the same gender, and if there are more than two, it can really get difficult. And think of how hard it is to settle on one baby name and multiply it. We understand why moms of multiples would want to know the babies genders early so they can get everything settled before they arrive.
6 Wait: Showered With Needs
Everyone loves to buy baby clothes. For some women, it’s a favorite pastime, no matter how close they are to the mom-to-be. And if the mom is accepting a baby girl, especially, every shower is going to be filled with pink frocks and sweet little dresses. Even with boys, the little overalls are so stinking cute, and it’s hard to resist buying clothes for your favorite sports team. But if mom and dad don’t know the gender, people are a lot more likely to pay attention to the baby registry and actually buy something that the parents really need. Sure, they will get a few clothes in yellow and green and cream, and that is all a newborn really needs. Moms would much rather have a stash of diapers and enough bottles and a good stroller than a bunch of clothes that the baby will outgrow before he or she can wear.
5 Know: Celebrating A Fragile Pregnancy
When there is something wrong with the baby, it can make a pregnancy filled with anxiety and none of the fun. Every doctor’s appointment can be scary, so it might help to make one of them more positive. The 20-week ultrasound is mostly about getting an in-depth look and measurements of the baby. But most people remember the last few minutes, when they find out whether the baby is a boy or girl. It can help to remember the good news at that time. Some people find it comforting to go ahead and give the baby a name and share their love with him or her while still in the mom’s belly. Even if there is the possibility that the pregnancy could be lost, it could mean the world to celebrate the baby while he or she is still here.
4 Wait: Keeps Your Mind Off Of Potential Problems
On the other hand, some people would prefer to keep the baby’s gender a secret when they are going through a pregnancy with potential problems. For them, the speculation is enough to continue the excitement of the pregnancy. Instead of focusing on the things that could be wrong, mom and dad spend their late-night talks wondering if all that heartburn means it’s a boy or if the ring test is true and it’s a girl. They find that they want to keep the mystery alive and keep their minds off the bad news by keeping the gender a surprise for the entire nine months.
3 Know: Planning Ahead For Special Occasions
For some families, there are some reasons to find about the baby’s gender so that they can plan special occasions. For example, in the Jewish tradition, the family plans a bris to celebrate a baby boy and have him circumcised. It’s impossible to make all of the arrangements, since the ceremony needs to be a certain period after the baby’s birth, and unless the baby is born via a planned C-section that can be impossible to predict. But some women are planners, and they want to be as ready as possible, especially when there is a religious ceremony involved. They will take the information that they can and get things as ready as possible.
2 Wait: Tradition
For centuries, there was no way to figure out early if you were having a boy or a girl. Sure, there were old wives’ tales, but before ultrasound imaging made it possible, it was impossible to be sure about it. That means that generations of women waited to hear the surprise announcement from the doctor or the doula, and those that believe in tradition think that they should wait for that moment as well. Sometimes all of the women in a certain family will believe in the tradition together, and it’s hard to break it among their circle. The tradition is a big part of their pregnancy experience, and we have to respect that.
1 Know: Starting Your Own Tradition
In the 21st century, there are lots of women who want to start their own tradition, and we respect that as well. Medical technologies have changed everything about pregnancy as a millennial, and for the most part, that has meant healthier mothers and healthier babies. It’s hard to hate on a piece of equipment that can also help doctors discover health issues during pregnancy and make decisions that can help bring the baby into the world safely. When you start a new family, it’s important to start new traditions, such as what you do at Christmas and whether you cut the cord or burn it. There is nothing wrong with starting a new tradition before the birth as well, if a new mom wants to learn the baby’s gender. There isn’t anything more beautiful than a family finding their own way in life, and we just want them to do them. Find out or wait, which ever works for your family.
Sources: Parents, Parenting