couple sitting and pregnant woman eating

Old wives’ tales are one way that our ancestors passed down their wisdom from generation to generation. They may not be backed by science, but these theories are still a fun way to play the gender guessing game! While the growing baby in your belly is still a magical mystery, these five superstitions can help you imagine what they’ll be like when you finally meet.

Listen to your cravings

It’s no secret that pregnancy hormones may have you looking outside your comfort zone for more, shall we say, unique snacks than you’re used to. Well, according to pregnancy lore, this may be your body’s way of hinting at your baby’s gender.

If you find yourself constantly raiding the pantry for salty or high-protein snacks — think: popcorn, potato chips, meat, fish, and dairy — it may be a sign that you’re carrying a boy. If you’re craving mainly desserts and candy, it might be a girl. (Girls are said to be made of “sugar, spice, and everything nice,” after all.)

An African-American mother-to-be is craving chocolate during her pregnancy

Is your bump high or low?

You’ve probably heard this one before: if your bump is high, you’re carrying a girl. If it’s low, you’re having a boy. Apparently, we have gender stereotypes to thank for this theory. As the legend goes, boys can be carried lower because they’re more independent. Girls, on the other hand, are carried higher because they need more protection. (Not sure how that works.)

So, if you’ve ever caught someone staring at your bump for a little too long, they may be trying to channel their inner fortune teller to guess if you’re having a boy or girl. Or they may just be weird. Either way, this is still a fun and easy way to guess your baby’s gender.

The heart of the matter

You’ll never forget the moment you hear your baby’s heartbeat for the first time. It’s one of the first of many exciting pregnancy milestones, and it may even help you predict the sex of your little one. You heard right — there’s an old wives’ tale about this too!

On average, fetal heart rates are between 110 and 160 beats per minute. Supposedly, if your little one’s heartbeat is 150 or higher, it means you’re having a girl. If it’s in the lower range, closer to 110, it’s probably a boy.

Go with the glow

According to an old (and not-so-nice) superstition, little girls steal their mother’s good looks. So, if your pregnancy look is less “pregnancy glow” and more acne-and-dull-hair, legend says you’re due for a beautiful baby girl. The same goes for brittle nails and dry skin.

Baby boys, on the other hand, are all about the glow up. If you’re one of the lucky pregnant women blessed with clear, radiant skin, you may have a son to thank. Legend says that baby boys love to give their moms thick, shiny hair, healthy nails, and amazing complexions during pregnancy.

The pendulum test

Pendulums — aka crystals, stones, or metal tokens attached to a chain or string — have been used to peek into the future for centuries. Basically, you let the pendulum hang from your hand while you think of a question. It will give you your answer by either swinging back and forth or in a circle.

This is probably the most popular of all the old wives’ tales for predicting a baby’s gender.

To do this test, tie a string to your wedding ring and hold it over your belly. If it swings in a circular motion, it means you’re having a girl! If it swings back and forth, it’s a sign that you’re having a boy.

Old wives’ tales are passed around through word of mouth like a giant game of telephone. Sometimes, they change as they go. Depending on who you talk to, you may hear different tales about what the signs say about your baby’s gender. That just adds to the fun of guessing!



The best part of testing out pregnancy lore is to see whether the old wives’ tales were actually able to predict the gender of your baby. (Hint: They have about a 50% chance of being right.) If you’re looking for a reliable, accurate answer about your baby’s sex, you’ll need a gender test, also called a fetal test.

With JunoDx, you can find out your baby’s gender as early as seven weeks after your last menstrual period. 

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September 30, 2022 — Juno Diagnostics