To find out or not to find out?

When expecting a baby one of the most exciting parts can be finding out whether you’re having a little boy or a little girl. According to research from 2001 reviewed in 2015, 58% of both men and women choose to find out the gender of their unborn baby, with younger parents (<22 years) most likely to choose to find out. This data is certainly accurate in the case of my NCT group, where 5 couples out of 8 knew the sex of their baby before birth.

The choice is incredibly personal and, as with so much in parenting, neither way is the ‘right’ way.

We decided to wait and have a “surprise” on the day of Isaac’s birth and I’m delighted we did this. The excitement of not knowing helped get us through a very long labour and having Dan (Isaac’s daddy) reveal the gender to me made it feel extra special and gave him an important role.

However, this decision did not come lightly. We were back and forth throughout early pregnancy (and up to the 20 week scan!) about whether or not to find out.

Here were our ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ to finding out the gender:

To find out…

  • Being able to be prepared early with some gendered clothes/nursery
  • To help family and friends know what to buy should they wish to get gifts for the baby
  • To only need to think of boys’ or girls’ names
  • To form a bond with a particular baby with a particular name early on

To not find out…

  • Not needing or wanting ‘gendered’ clothing and preferring neutral things early on
  • In case the sonographer gets it wrong (it happens!)
  • To have a surprise at the end of the labour

Part of our reason for not finding out was because this was our first baby. We had no preference at all for a boy or girl.

It is possible we will choose to find out for any future children. This would enable Isaac to get used to having a brother or sister and would also enable us to know whether we need to buy any different things. (Interestingly, the reviewed research also showed that more women wanted to find out the sex the second time round compared to the first.) Having said this, a second surprise may be just as nice! At least we are a way off worrying about this for now!

What are your thoughts? Would you find out the sex of your baby before birth?