Pros and Cons of Finding Out Baby’s Gender Early

Image via Devan McGuinness


I've gone back and forth this pregnancy trying to decide if I wanted to know the gender early. I know that ultimately it doesn't matter and having one boy and two girls already, we're not hoping for the gender to be one way or the other. I have never really had that delivery surprise though.

Generally speaking, I am not someone who likes surprises. While the gender could only really go one way or another in average circumstances, I was still anxious to know if we would be adding a boy or a girl to our small family. It didn't matter either way at that point, but I wanted to be able to call my child by it's name to help with bonding. I was thrilled to find out we were having a son and began buying all the blue things and using his name before he was born.

With my second child, I was a little more anxious to find out the gender because I wanted a girl. Like everyone else, I would have been happy with another boy — I was thrilled we got pregnant, but a girl would be the icing on the cake. We decided to find out early with that pregnancy as well so we knew if we would be needing to replace all the blue with purple. Sure enough, we did, since we discovered we were welcoming a girl soon to our family. 

I really appreciated knowing what to expect and to be able narrow down the baby's name. It was my way of bonding through anxiety of pregnancy and fears of another loss. I always wondered though how exciting that moment after the baby was born to discover the big secret of gender was. Was I missing out?

When I was expecting my third child, my husband and I decided that we would find out how exciting that moment is. Since we had a boy and a girl and all the things needed, we vowed to not find out the gender at the anatomy ultrasound half way through pregnancy. We made plans on how my husband would shout “it's a boy” or “it's a girl” after he's cut the umbilical cord and we would give the baby his/her name. We had two chosen that sounded similar for either gender and that was the plan. 

I ended up finding out earlier than delivery though. Due to extra ultrasounds I had to have and my experience seeing both genders through ultrasound, once I took a look — I knew. My husband still didn't want to know until delivery so thus began a new type of situation — keeping it a surprise from him. I do wish I was able to have that excitement on delivery day, but the next best thing was seeing the joy in my husband's eyes as he shouted, “It's a girl!” 


With this pregnancy, I really did want to experience that moment. There is a big chance this is my last pregnancy and I have not experienced that whole gestation period wondering and second-guessing my instinct. It genuinely doesn't matter to me this time around because I have experienced both genders and after infertility and loss, all I hope for is a full-term healthy baby.

Yesterday at our first anatomy scan, we found out the gender. After a lot of consideration and talks, my husband and I decided it would be best for us to know the gender early — for the sake of our kids. They are old enough to know what's going on this time around and while I know they would be happy with either boy or girl, my son has been practically begging for a brother. When he talks about the baby, he references a girl, but he's been very vocal about wanting it to be a boy. We talked a lot and decided that — for the sake of the kids bonding — it would be better for them to know earlier instead of going 9+ months and potentially being a little disappointed.

There are a lot of reasons why someone may or may not choose to know the gender before birth:


  • No wondering for 9+ months if you really hate surprises
  • You know what to paint the nursery if you have one and are picky about gender colors
  • You don't have to try to find gender neutral clothes
  • Your older kids can know and potentially bond easier
  • You can have a name chosen and get personalized items


  • You miss out on one of life's biggest surprises
  • The ultrasound reading could be wrong

:: Did you or will you be finding out the gender early for your babe? ::

What do you think?

Pros and Cons of Finding Out Baby’s Gender Early

Devan McGuinness is the founder of the online resource Unspoken Grief, which is dedicated to breaking the silence of perinatal grief for those directly and indirectly affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death. Using her own experience of surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan has been actively supporting and encouraging others who are wading through the challenges associated with perinatal and neonatal loss. Winner of the 2012 Bloganthropy Award and named one of Babble's “25 bloggers wh ... More

Tell us what you think!


  1. Jennifer says:

    We didn’t find out with our first and I loved the moment during delivery when my mom yelled out, “It’s a boy!” This time I am pregnant with twins. Having twins was enough of a surprise so we decided to find out the genders to prepare with clothes. If we were only having one baby, I probably would not have found out again but I really enjoyed that surprise upon delivery.

  2. Aubrey says:

    With my second child, I was told that it was a girl. a week to the day of the delivery, my baby rolled over on ultrasound, splayed the legs and there was a turtle (what my dr calls the boy parts) I spent 3 months returning pretty pink and purple clothes, bedding etc. and giving away all the sweet stuff I had picked up at rummage sales and consignment shops. I left that Dr appointment crying, knowing the money I wasted on girl stuff and having my hopes dashed that I was having a girl. I then only had a week to come up with a boys name. My oldest (who was 3 at the time) was mad that he didn’t get a baby sister like I had said we were going to have. With my 3rd, I bought mainly gender neutral stuff (my oldest was 10, middle 7) and ultrasound said boy. I have 3 boys now, 12, 9 and 2.

  3. Brittany says:

    I find out what genders my twins are today at 11 🙂 I am so excited. I already have a daughter. Of course I want healthy babies, that is a no-brainer; as for gender, I’d like one of each or two girls 🙂 I have been putting things for each gender in my Amazon cart for 3 months now, and after tomorrow I can finally buy stuff that isn’t neutral 🙂

  4. Tina says:

    I’m glad I found out. I think I would have gone nuts if I didn’t know. I would be excited either way it just makes it alot easier if you know the sex of the baby.

  5. Amanda says:

    I totally think that finding out is best. There are so many unknowns.

  6. Phammom says:

    I’m glad we found out.

  7. MrsPearson says:

    I say its whatever you want…mainly some want to know early so they can do parties to go with it an register for it an get name an room just right but i did cause i felt like its no need to start late on anything regardless if i was name or not i needed to have everything straight before the baby gets here.

  8. cherieanna says:

    Con to finding out the gender early in pregnancy is you end up spending more money because you have longer to see everything cute and be tempted to buy.

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