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List of 51 pregnancy old wives tales: Your baby’s sex revealed!

by Jane · 79 comments

 gender-old-wives-talesSince a long waiting period is involved before you can find out the sex of the baby you are carrying, pregnancy old wives tales can provide a little insight and most of all, they are fun.  All pregnancy old wives tales have a 50/50 chance of being correct, so why not have a little fun with them.  

I know that we can’t wait to find out what we are having.  Just a couple more weeks of waiting and then we’ll know if we are having a boy or girl, and if any of these pregnancy old wives tales were correct.  Try not to put too much faith in these old wives tales though; they really won’t be accurate and like I said, they are mostly for fun!

Here’s a list of 51 pregnancy old wives tales:

Old Wives Tale #1:  Heartburn

If a pregnant woman experiences heartburn throughout the 9 months of pregnancy, she’ll have a baby born with a full head of hair.  

Old Wives Tale #2: Umbilical Cord

If a pregnant woman lifts her hands above her head or does stretches above her hand, she will choke the baby because the umbilical cord will be wrapped around the baby.    The truth of this pregnancy wives tale is that the umbilical cord can wrap around the baby if the baby moves a lot while in the uterus, but it does not happen if you move a lot or stretch above your head.  The baby gets tangled in the umbilical cord in about 1/3 of all births, so it’s not so uncommon.

Old Wives Tale #3:  Cravings Curse

This old wives tale is fun to hang over Tarzan’s head.  Basically if anyone denies a pregnant woman whatever she is craving, they will get a sty in his/her eye.  Personally, I think all men should read this and always give into whatever us pregnant women want!  For their own benefit, of course.

Old Wives Tale #4:  Heart Rate

If the baby’s heart rate is above 140 bpm, it is said that the baby will be a girl.  If it is under 140 bpm, then it will be a boy.  At our last appointment, the heart rate was 168 bpm, so maybe we’re having a little girl?

Old Wives Tale #5:  Ugly Baby

This wives tale is weird.  If a pregnant woman sees something ugly, she will have an ugly baby.  Um, ok.

pregnancy-old-wives-talesOld Wives Tale #6:  Coffee

If a baby is born with light-brown birthmarks, it is said that the mom drank too much coffee or had unfulfilled cravings while she was pregnant.

Old Wives Tale #7:  Sex

This old wives tale is actually not a myth.  Sex is healthy for most pregnant women and is also good in getting the cervix ready for labor.  If you are nearing or have past your due date, your OB might recommend that you start playing around in the bed.

Old Wives Tale #8:  Baths

Anyone who thinks that pregnant women should refrain from taking baths is crazy.  Baths are a-ok and even helpful when it comes to relaxing and easing some back pain.  The only thing that my OB said was to be careful that I didn’t sit in too hot of water.  She said that anything over 100 degrees was too hot and to be careful that my skin didn’t turn red.

This old wives tale began because it was thought that water would seep in to the baby and bring bacteria.  It’s been determined that water does not enter the vag. during a bath.

Old Wives Tale #9:  Wearing a Lei

This Hawaiian superstition relates to the lei causing the umbilical cord to wrap around the baby.  Of course, it’s crazy and makes no sense why you could not wear a lei.  

Old Wives Tale #10:  Boiling Water

Many people use to believe that boiling water was needed to be nearby the pregnant woman during labor.  There is not a real reason as to why boiling water played a role in childbirth.  Some believe the water was just a task to get the dad-to-be away from the labor, while others believed that it was used to sterilize the tools needed to perform the delivery.  No matter what the reason was, this is definitely just an old wives tale with no truth or importance to it.

Old Wives Tale #11:  Full Moon

A full moon was believed to cause a woman to go into labor and give birth.  

Old Wives Tale #12:  Shape of Belly

If you are carrying high with a big, round belly, you are having a girl.  If you are carrying low with a smaller belly that sticks straight out, it’s a boy.  

Old Wives Tale #13:  Ring Test

Using a string, hang your wedding ring over your pregnant belly.  You are having a girl if the ring swings back and forth  and it’s a boy if it swings in a circle.   

Old Wives Tale #14:  Shape of Mom’s Face

When your face gets fuller and rounder when pregnant, it means you’re going to have a girl.  If your face is long and narrow, it’s a boy.  

I think this is b.s. since women all gain weight differently.  However, that being said, my face has gotten rounder, so all signs point to a girl for this one.

Old Wives Tale #15:  Key Test

This test involves a key.  If you pick up a key at the top (the roundest part), you are going to have a boy.  If you pick up the key at the bottom (smallest part), you are going to have a girl.  If you happen to grab the key in the middle, congrats, it’s twins!  

Old Wives Tale #16:  Mayan Tale

The Mayan tale adds the mothers age at conception and the year of conception.  If the result is a even number then mom is having a girl.  If the result is an odd number then a boy is on the way!  According to this, we are having a girl.

Old Wives Tale #17:  Drano Test

The drano test combines a tablespoon of Drano and urine together.  If the mixture turns green, it’s a girl.  If it turns blue, it’s a boy.  

Old Wives Tale #18:  Acne

If you have acne while pregnant, it’s a girl.  It’s thought that acne during pregnancy is caused by the extra hormones.  

Old Wives Tale #19:  Cravings

People believe that if you are craving salty foods while pregnant, you can count on having a boy.  If you crave sweets, fruit, and orange juice, you are having a little girl.  

old-wives-tales-pregnancyOld Wives Tale #20:  Smell of Garlic

If a pregnant woman eats a clove of garlic and the smell does not come out of her pores, it’s a girl.  If the smell seeps out of her pores, it’s a boy.   

Old Wives Tale #21:  Ultrasound

I’m not sure that this falls under ‘old wives tales’, but, as with anything, ultrasounds may not be accurate all of the time.  In fact, one of my friends was told that she was having a boy.  A penis on the ultrasound.  Months later, it was determined that her little boy was actually a little girl.  I would have thought little girls could have turned out to be boys, but not the other way.  I guess there’s always room for error though. 

Old Wives Tale #22:  Skin under Left Eye

The eye test is when a “V” or “branches” appear when you pull down the skin under your left eye.  If you see a “V” or “branches” in the white part, you’re having a girl.  I have a “V”, so one more point for a girl.

Old Wives Tale #23:  Previous Kids

This tale only applies if you have had previous kids.  If you have and that child’s first word was momma, you will have a girl.  If your first child’s first word was dadda, you’ll have a boy.  I can’t help you with this one since I have no previous kiddos.

Old Wives Tale #24:  Wooden Spoon, Scissors, and Pink Bows

Apparently if you put a wooden spoon and a pair of scissors under your bed and a pink bow under your pillow, you’ll have yourself a little baby girl.  I think this sounds like one of the craziest myths I’ve ever heard.  Anyone try it?

Old Wives Tale #25:  History of Parent’s Kids

You can find out the sex by going off of your parent’s kids and the order.  If you are the first born, you will have what your mother had but starting with her second child.  If you are the middle child, you will have what she said, but starting with the third child.  If you are the last child, you will have what your mother had in the exact order.  I think this tale only works when the parent’s had three kids.  

Old Wives Tale #26:  Time of Conception

The person that is most aggressive in bed at the time of conception is the opposite of what the baby will be.  In this case, we’ll have a girl.  (I’m not always boring in bed, but I had too much to drink on this night and I know that I was not very aggressive.)

Old Wives Tale #27:  Legs

If your legs get really big, you’re having a boy.  If your legs stay in shape and lean, it’s a girl.  I think it’s too early for me to tell on this one.

Old Wives Tale #28:  Moodiness and a Little Pecker

If you are really moody, you are having a girl since you have another extra girl hormones in you.  Your pregnancy will make you smile and be more happy if you are having a boy because there’s a little penis inside you.  Not sure how true this is, but it sure does make me laugh!

pregnancy-wives-talesOld Wives Tale #29:  Bread

If you eat the ends of bread, it’s a boy.  If you eat the middle of the load, it’s a girl.  I’ve never liked the ends of bread and always have eaten from the middle… Another point for a little girl.  

Old Wives Tale #30:  Chinese Gender Chart

The Chinese Gender Chart claims to have an accuracy rate of over 90%.  It is based on how old the mother is at conception and the month that she conceived.  This tale tells me that I’ve having a girl.  

Old Wives Tale #31:  Mom’s Beauty

Basically you are having a girl if your beauty disappears during pregnancy.  It is said that the girl “steals” the mother’s beauty.  If you think that pregnancy has never made you look more beautiful, you might just be having a little boy.  

Old Wives Tale #32:  Dream of Sex of Baby

If you have dreams that you are having a boy, you will have a girl.  If you dream about having a girl, it will be a boy.  Dreams show the opposite of what you are having.  I’ve only had a dream that I was having twins, and there’s only one baby in there, so maybe there’s some truth to this…  or maybe it’s just a coincidence!

Old Wives Tale #33:  Clumsy vs. Graceful

If the pregnant woman is graceful throughout her pregnancy, she’s having a girl.  If she becomes clumsy, she’s having a boy.  

Old Wives Tale #34:  Toddlers

If a toddler boy expresses interest in a pregnant woman, she is having a girl.  If he doesn’t show interest, she’s having a boy.  

Old Wives Tale #35:  Side You Most Rest On

If a pregnant woman prefers to lay on her left side, she’s having a boy.  If she prefers resting on her right side, she’s having a girl.  I prefer my right side lately.  Hmm.

Old Wives Tale #36:  Hands

When the pregnant woman is asked to show her hands, it’s a boy if she keeps her palms down and a girl if she shows her palms up.  

Old Wives Tale #37:  Dad’s Weight Gain

If the dad-to-be gains weight while you are pregnant, it’s a girl.  If he doesn’t gain weight, you’re having a boy.  So far Tarzan has lost a couple of pounds (while eating ice cream), so maybe a boy is what we’re having.

Old Wives Tale #38:  Breast Test

If a pregnant woman’s left breast is larger than the right breast, she’s having a girl.  If the right breast is larger, it’s a boy.  I just told Tarzan the other day that my left breast is significantly larger than the right one.  A girl maybe?

Old Wives Tale #39:  Necklace Over Hand

Have someone hold a necklace over your hand.  If the necklace swings back and forth, it’s a boy.  If it moves in a circle, it’s a girl.  Last summer one of my friends did this test to me at a crawfish boil.  It was done three times and the results were:  girl, boy, and girl.  She also did it to other people, some pregnant, some not, and some that already had kids.  This test was right 100% of the time.  Pretty interesting if you ask me.   

Old Wives Tale #40:  What Do You Think?

71% of the time, the mom-to-be knows what she is having.  I might be falling into the old wives tale trap, or maybe I just want a little girl, but I feel like it is a girl.  I guess we’ll find out in 2.5 weeks!  

Old Wives Tale #41:  Morning Sickness

If you had a smooth pregnancy with no morning sickness, it’s a boy.  If you were sick or felt really nauseous during your pregnancy, count on a girl.  As you know, I have only thrown up once, but I’ve been extremely nauseous more often than not.  Girl again perhaps. 

Old Wives Tale #42:  Areolae

If your areolae (the part around your nips) have darkened, it’s a boy.   Considering my areolae only look like they’ve eaten my boobs, all while staying the same color, another sign pointing to a little girl.  

Old Wives Tale #43:  Protein

When a pregnant woman craves meat and cheese, count on a boy.  

old-wives-talesOld Wives Tale #44:  Feet

Are your feet colder now that you are pregnant?  If so, you just might be having a boy.  If your feet have stayed the same before pregnancy and during, you’re having a little girl.  

Old Wives Tale #45:  Hair on Legs

If the hair on your legs has been growing at record speeds, you might be having a boy.  

Old Wives Tale #46:  Hands are Dry

If your hands are constantly dry, it’s a boy.    

Old Wives Tale #47:  Urine

What color is your pee?  If it is bright yellow, you will have a little boy.  If your urine is a dull yellow, plan on a girl.  

Old Wives Tale #48:  Nose

Do you feel like your nose is growing and getting wider?  If so, you might be having a boy.    

Old Wives Tale #49:  Headaches

If you are having headaches, you might be carrying a boy.  I’ve definitely had an increase in headaches, so I wonder… 

Old Wives Tale #50:  Drinking Water

Drinking water is really important when pregnant.  An old wives tale was that if the mom-to-be wasn’t drinking enough water daily, the amniotic fluid would be really dirty for the baby.  Drinking tons of water will help you stay hydrated, but has no correlation with how clean or dirty the amniotic sac is.  

Old Wives Tale #51:  Baby Names

It is said that when you can only think of specific names for a boy or a girl, you will have that particularly baby.  We can only agree on girls names, so we’ll see how accurate this one is.

Do You Know Of An Old Wives
Tale Not Listed Above?

Share yours below below!

You might also want to read:

  1. Pregnancy old wives tale: The smell of garlic
  2. 17 weeks pregnant belly and guess the sex of our baby!
  3. 36 weeks pregnant: Checking things off of my “to get done before baby comes” list
  4. 37 weeks pregnant: Reminiscing about my pregnancy
  5. His Boys Can Swim’s top blog posts (so far) hand-picked by Tarzan and Jane

Facebook comments:

{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

31 Dana

#13, My mother does a ring test on people as well, it’s a strand of hair with their wedding band over the palm of the father or mother. If it swings back & forth it’s a boy, in a circle is a girl. Rest the ring after the gender is clear. Each time you pick up the ring to hover over the palm it will foretell the gender of each child. When the ring remains still, all the children have been foretold.

32 Kristen

I find this list to be just that- Old Wives Tales. Quite fun to read though! I always love to read Old Wives Tales!!
OWT #1) Heartburn. My daughter had a full head of hair, and not one day of heartburn for me. My son, however, was completely bald and I had severe heartburn!
OWT #9) I craved fruit every day with my 2nd pregnancy. It was a boy!
OWT #23) My daughter’s (first baby) first words were Mama. I had a boy for #2.
OWT #28) I was horribly moody with pregnancy #2- boy.
OWT #29) I never eat the ends of the bread. 1 boy 1 girl
OWT #32) I dreamt of pink with my daughter, and blue with my son.
OWT #35) I always sleep on my left side. Always have preferred it. 1 boy, 1 girl
OWT #37) My husband gained a ton of weight while I was pregnant with my SON.
OWT #41) Never had morning sickness with my daughter, but had it horribly with my son.
Tons of fun to read, but definitely myths for me!!!

33 Lindsey

I know of one more mith. youll need a fork spoon and a knife and a blind fold if the mom to be sits infront of the fork its a boy if she sits infront of the spoon its a girl and if its the knife fate has yet to chose have fun with this one i did it and it kept saying boy yet all of the ppl i know say its a girl idk ill be happy either way

34 Kierston

I can say that not all of those are true because I’m having a little boy & half of those say that its wrong…I don’t remember all of them but most of the ones aftr 39 I think are wrong or maybe they are just in my case

35 jennifer

Almost all of these wives tales are not true!! I am pregnant and everything they said about about having a boy was for a girl and vise versa. I guessed I was having a boy and was right. Go by what you feel not what you’ve heard.

36 Kimberly

I had 3 ultrasounds and im deff. having a boy… Every one of these wives tales are false for me.. not a single one shows im having a boy. I have all the signs of having a girl and im for sure having a little boy.

37 Christal

Ok so if #25 is right and so far it is. My next baby will be another boy :) you see my mom had two boys then a girl. My oldest bro had a boy then a girl. My other bro has only had one baby so far, but it was a girl. I’ve also only had one and it was a boy.
As for the other’s they pointed to boy and as I said I got a boy lol.
Some say that it’s the father’s line, like if he has two boys then a girl the son will have the same. Not sure how true this one is.

38 kandy

Hello, just wanted to say that I dont agree with the heart burn. because i only had one day of heart burn throught out the whole 9 months and my baby girl had a full head of hair. it was long enough to put in a little ponytail the day she was born.

39 Hayley

Hi! I cant believe you didn’t end up writing what you were having!
I am 5 weeks pregnant with my 3rd child, Ive got 2 girls, and with both if them I was sick as a dog all the way through! I havent had any sickness yet with this one, maby a boy?! also I did the ring test and it went round in circles, my pee is bright yellow, and the chinese gender chart has said a boy!! Only time will tell, hope I have a boy, but I don’t mind as long as its actually there and healthy :D I’m just glad to be pregnant x

40 Stacia

So we just found out at our 18 week ultrasound that this one’s a boy!! So for us, the morning sickness wives tale was true…with my first two pregnancies, both girls, I threw up several times a day and was SOOO sick from week 6 until week 13, but with this third pregnancy, a boy, I felt pretty nauseated from about weeks 9 to 12, but only threw up a few times total. I’ve heard that milder morning sickness means boy, but I’ve also known people that totally had the opposite happen, so who knows. Here’s a study:

41 crys

so what did you end up having?

42 Loni

#25- my mom had 3 girls, both my sisters had a boy….no clue what we’re having until next week, but so far, 0% correct!

43 Leona

I have heard the full moon does cause women to go into labor. My mother went into labor with me on a full moon. I thing this might have to do with the gravitational pull the moon has on water. Think of the moon and the oceans tides. The baby is surrounded by water and the human body is mostly water. So why wouldn’t the moon influence childbirth???

44 Infertility Treatment

Thank you for your lovely post. we are very much support for your post. This post very much informative.

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45 Moon

I am in my 22nd week and im carrying low, my nose is bleeding ever since i became pregnant. I do crave for sweets and drano turned out to be brown in colour!!! Went for my first ultrasound and they said its a girl!!! though the eye concept also turned out to be true for me..I do see a V in my eye ball!!! so eyes set on for a girl!!!

46 Desireah

The heartburn one isn’t true. I have three girls and had really bad heart burn with all three pregnancies and my last girl came out with very little hair.

47 samantha

i want know what i am having my stomach is high i am carrying all my weight in front and i have no ance and no morning sickness and with my first two daughters was different so i guess its a boy i am hoping that is what it is when i go to doctor tommrrow

48 Stacia

By the way, there have been studies showing a correlation between major morning sickness and having a girl, something to do with the female body fighting with such a high amount of added female hormones/chromosomes (or something like that??), but I know a lot of women for which this wasn’t true. The one thing that DOES seem to apply to most women is that they’re more likely to have worse morning sickness if they have a tendancy to get easily nauseated, like women who get motion sickness, get migraines, or get dizzy after a long elevator ride, and I’m definitely one of these people! Soooo easily car sick, and dizzy getting off any elevator. Yet the only two people I know who get car sick easily and had NO morning sickness both had a BOY. Hmmmmm……

49 Stacia

The heartburn/hair correlation happened to several of my friends. As for morning sickness, I know it’s different with each pregnancy and each woman, but I was very sick for my first two pregnancies (throwing up every day, several times a day throughout the first trimester), and they were both girls. This time, I’m only 6 weeks along, but I’m not sick yet (I was already very sick both times by now). I don’t care whether it’s a boy or a girl, as long as it’s healthy–we lost a pregnancy pretty far along last time due to a chromosome abnormality, which really put the whole “as long as it’s healthy” thing into an even greater perspective….BUT, I’d love to not be so sick this time!!

One thing I’m sooooo curious about, though, is the comment one person made about the hair on the nape of your previous child’s neck. I’ve read this on a couple websites, but I read the opposite on each one! One said if your most recent child has the “V,” your next child will be a boy, and the other website said the “V” meant girl. My daughter has a very prominent V of nape hair, and I’m so curious if anyone has heard about this myth.

I know most or probably even ALL of these are false, and each one has a 50/50 chance of being right each time, but they’re fun!

50 Shawna

1. I don’t have a lot of Heart burns
2.I don’t know yet lol
12. I have some weight from my last pregnancy I cant really tell
13. Keeps going in Circle
14. Long and Nerrow
15. Boy, Boy, Girl, Boy
16. Odd
18. Have no Acne
19. I like to eat meats but I hate sweet it upsets my stomach
22. Some branches so I don’t know
23. I have a daughter 13m. and she learned how to say daddy first -_- grrr. lol
25.My mom had 4 kids and im the third child (have two older sisters, and my brother is younger than me)
27. can’t tell yet
28. I don’t cry as much as I did with my first pregnancy
29. I always picked in the middle of the loaf since I was little
30. Tells I’m having a boy
31. always looked the same
33. More Lazy then my first pregnancy
35. I sleep most on my right
37. Hasn’t gained any weight neither did I
39. 5 times, all came out as Circles
40. I think boy most of the time (My first pregnancy I always thought Girl and I was right)
41. I could never eat in the morning (I’m on my 2nd trimester)
42. Same
43. I eat mostly meats I guess
44. My feet are always cold, even when I wasn’t pregnant
49. I get a lot of headaches
51. I keep thinking the boy name after my husband so if the baby comes out to be a boy his going to be the third

I have good chance of having a boy than a girl…yay…lol

51 robinepowell

My cousin told me this and I can’t get her to believe it’s an old wives tale. Her grandmother/my great-grandmother, used to say that if your baby is born face up, they are sterile, no possibility of having kids.

She believes this because we have a cousin who could not have kids to the point she ended up having a hysterectomy in her late twenties. This cousin was appparently born face up, which is why she couldn’t ever have kids.

Anyone ever hear of this before? I’d love to have proof to show my cousin that this is b.s. but can’t find any.

52 Sarah

For #1, i did have a lot of heartburn, and my first daughter was born 3 weeks early with a full head of hair!

I craved sweet things, dreamt of having a boy & we didn’t have a name for him. All signs towards a girl…But, I slept on my left side, I felt my nose widend, my feet & ankles got really swollen, & I never had morning sickness which would lead to a boy, so i guess some are true & some aren’t!
Towards the end of my pregnancy, I thought I was having a girl, and I was right.

My friend is due soon & she had the wedding ring test done over her bump, it suggested she was having a boy. Time will tell…she’s getting induced tomorrow. BTW Jane, what did you have?

53 Keila Quintero

my husband told me i am having a boy and I had a ????? “BOY”. This time he says I’m having a girl… He says cause I am always arguing, dont want any sexual relations, can’t stand him and say’s he smells. he feels this was opposite of when I was having a boy, so this time it is a girl. I can say all my kids father had said the sex I was having and was never wrong, also can say that what I am exspearincing I did in all my daughters (girls). opposite for my boy’s. we’ll in time will tell when this one arrives if he is once again accurate. P.s. I have 8 on my 9th. fyi on the ratio of my accuracy. has anyone experianced this also.

54 think108

Here’s few more tales – If the baby has greenish patches on the buttocks (ofcourse to be able to see this, the baby has to be fairly light skin colored!), mother had too much spinach.

Baby may get choked if mom is engaging in regular sex(…obviously from someone that’s jealous:-)

55 tiffany

Every single one of these pretty much told me Im having a girl, but I had an ultrasound and Im having a baby boy FOR SURE.

Thank god I didnt look at these before I found out :p

56 Kelly Oliveira

Sorry, congrats on your baby boy!

57 Kelly Oliveira

Out of curiosity did you have a boy or a girl?

58 Rikki Birju

As for OWT#41, I would have to say was false for me. With my first child, which was a boy, I was sick from the time I got up in the morning to the time I went to sleep, starting at 6 weeks up until I delivered him.

59 Amelia

I have heard that if you are pregnant & other children are around, the female children will be clingy or try to get your attention if you are having a boy. The male children will stick around if you are having a girl.
My 10 yr. old daughter was/is super clingy ever since I found out I was pregnant – she didn’t know I was pregant. My son, who is normally the clingy one, suddenly wanted nothing to do with me. I am having a boy!

60 Dene'

I was just wondering why a ring going in a circle above the belly is a boy, but a necklace going in a circle above the hand is a girl? Mine was a circle both ways. Hmmm. I’m pretty sure I’m not having twins.

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