Anyone who has had a baby in the last twenty years has probably gone back and forth over the question of whether or not to find out the baby’s sex early. Some parents are eager to know and can’t wait for that ultrasound appointment (there are other methods, too, but ultrasounds are the most common). Other parents are adamant on waiting until the baby is born to learn its gender. Most couples, however, go back and forth on the debate. After all, there are good reasons for knowing and for not knowing. Let’s look at a few on each side of the issue.
Most Common General Themes - For gender neutral showers, there are even more options because there are so many characters and themes suitable for any baby. For instance, Under the Sea could be combined with Baby Disney to create a shower filled with ocean wonders. You could use blue tablecloths with brightly colored fish swimming around the border. Or, you could choose a baby animal theme, either incorporating a specific animal, such as a giraffe or elephant, or animals in general.
Knowing the Gender: Pros - Obviously, knowing the sex of your baby in advance is going to have a number of benefits in the planning department. For example, some couples want to create a very gender-specific nursery style. Maybe they want pink walls for girls and blue ones for boys. They may want to choose bedding and other decorations so they are “appropriate” for the baby’s gender. It can also help you decide whether to choose Pink Bunny or Blue Bunny birth announcements. Without knowing in advance, this isn’t really possible. Guessing, after all, would only have a 50% chance of accuracy.
Besides helping you choose gender-specific décor and clothing, knowing the baby’s gender can also help you choose a name. You won’t have to go through the whole if-it’s-a-boy-if-it’s-a-girl thing. Instead, you’ll know the answer and can focus on looking at names just for that sex. Already knowing the sex of your baby can also help you feel closer to that child. You can begin to think of him or her as a real living member of your family more easily.
Not Knowing the Gender: Pros - Of course, not all parents are impressed with the reasons above, and there are some good reasons not to find out the gender of your baby in advance. For example, if you like surprises then waiting would be like opening the ultimate surprise present. Plus, some parents need something to get them through those last few weeks – knowing that soon they’ll be able to know whether they are having a girl or a boy can make that difficult time a little more bearable.
Some parents don’t want to know because they want to create a gender-neutral environment for their baby without all of the pink and blue stereotypes. Knowing the gender, they feel, would influence the toys they buy, the diapers they pick, etc.
A more serious concern is that ultrasounds do pose some health risks and should only be used when necessary. Many women make the visit to their doctor’s office when they are between 18 and 26 weeks along specifically for a sex-discovering ultrasound. Some parents-to-be argue that ultrasounds are too iffy to be done unless there is a specific need. If there’s no need, then they’ll just wait to learn the baby’s sex.