Most new parents wait for the 20-week scan because this is the most exciting part for them. You cannot wait to know whether you are having a boy or a girl. However, there are several good reasons why you are better off not knowing the gender of your baby before they are born. It is completely normal to want to know the gender of your baby and when it is possible to do so just at 20 weeks of being pregnant, why wouldn’t you? It will make everything so much easier- the shopping, the planning, decorating the nursery and so on. While there are quite a few good reasons to do, we present you with twelve great reasons why you are better off not knowing the gender of your baby early on.
Reasons to Not Know Gender of the Baby
Here are 12 reasons that rightly justify not knowing the gender of the baby before they are born:
#1 Labor gets kind-of easier
Nothing is going to make the process of giving birth in that delivery room feel like a cakewalk, sorry about that. But this last bit of surprise that you are holding on to can add to the excitement and joy that makes everything you are going through feeling a lot more rewarding and meaningful. Some mothers claim that it motivated them to stay strong and calm during the procedure when they focused on the result of meeting their baby and finding out what gender they were. Of course, this is very subjective but it might be worth a try.
#2 You get to hear people’s silly theories
Why not keep the guessing game going since it is fun for everyone to speculate and offer their insights (that come from no area of expertise whatsoever) into whether they think you are having a boy or girl. People seem to be able to decipher the gender from extremely irrelevant (or so you think) factors like the way your bump is placed and your food cravings. How exactly does craving lemons mean that you are having a girl? They are also so sure that it was the same when they or someone they knew was pregnant. Right, because every pregnancy is the same.
#3 Decorating the nursery is a lot more fun
You can get as creative as you want and are not bound by the confines of pink, blue and purple as most parents tend to be once they know the gender of their baby. Get different colours out and have fun with it. You don’t need to stick to fairies or trains, or better yet, you could have both! The best part of creating a nursery room that does not stick to gender confines is that you can reuse the room for your next child (or children) as well without worrying about their gender. This will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
#4 There are many advantages of a gender-neutral nursery
While we are on the topic of decorating the nursery by ditching conventional methods that are gender-specific, there are quite a few benefits of doing so that are worth exploring. You inculcate from a very young age that your child has the freedom of expression to be who they are. They are not in any way bound to abide by the gender norms established by society. Your little boy can admire the fairy on his wall all he wants. This is their home and their safe space. You can choose to set an example and make a difference from quite a young age.
#5 Lower your gender-based expectations
Parents who decide to find out the gender of the baby during the 20-week scan often tend to daydream about their life ahead with their little ‘girl’ or ‘boy’. This can lead to unnecessary and unfair expectations being built regarding the identity of your child, who may or may not choose to conform with the gender that they are assigned at birth. It is best to see what gender the baby is when they are born and cherish their development to see what beautiful human beings they turn out to be when you don’t place any expectations on them.
#6 Fun and useful presents during the baby shower
Your baby shower is essentially a ‘party’ where you can’t even sip on wine and have to deal with everyone telling you about their parenting stories or delivery room horrors. Undoubtedly, the most fun is in the presents. When people cannot just buy you baby overalls in pink or blue, they are forced to get creative which means you will be stocking up on some good baby essentials. Or even better, you might just get gift vouchers to your favourite stores.
#7 Test your patience
You have decided to become a parent and patience is one of the most essential things that you need to help you adjust to the new role. Parenthood is all about dealing with things patiently and sensibly. You cannot afford to overreact or scream and shout no matter how badly you want to when your toddler annoys you, because that’s their job. From when they knock things down and break them at the age of 5 to try and sneak out at midnight when they are 15, your patience is going to be tested at all stages of parenthood, so you might as well get used to it. Wait and see instead of finding out the easy way.
#8 Smash unnecessary stereotypes
Your baby is a whole other person and oftentimes people seem to be forgetting this altogether. Stereotypes can be very annoying and make no sense at all sometimes. People tend to make ridiculous comments like your little girl is going to be such a princess and that you will have so much fun dressing up together. Your baby might or might not like playing dress-up with you or at all for that matter. You haven’t even met them yet and these gender-based stereotypes seem to be pigeon-holing them before they have even had a chance to take a breath.
#9 The scanner is not always right
This should not necessarily surprise you, the possibility of 100% accurate results from any machine is never guaranteed. Technology has indeed come so far as to capture your baby laughing and crying in the womb but it just might happen to get the gender wrong once in a while. Babies don’t exactly position themselves conveniently for the scanner to identify them. It has been noted that identifying the gender of female babies tends to be more difficult than for males.
#10 Avoid unnecessary disappointment
The last thing that you want to feel when you hold your baby for the first time is a disappointment. You want the experience to be as pure as possible and feel nothing but joy and gratitude on a special day. Finding out the gender beforehand and discovering that the scanner got it wrong and you are not having a baby girl like you thought you would taint the experience, even if slightly and you don’t want to risk that. Just find out on the day instead and be twice as happy because of the surprise and excitement.
#11 It is a mystery worth having
Thanks to information technology and the internet, there is almost nothing that we don’t or cannot know if we want to. This is one of the only things in life that we can actively choose to keep as a surprise. Not knowing can make this whole experience a lot more exciting and special as you are welcoming a new person into your life but you know almost nothing about who they are! Your anticipation and anxiety of going through labor seem slightly easier when you have a big reveal to look forward to.
#12 It Does Not Matter
The truth is, when it comes down to it, the gender of your baby is the last thing that you are worried about when it comes to giving birth to them. All you want to do is make sure that the baby is 100% safe and healthy. It does not seem like a priority at all, because no matter what their gender is, you are going to love them so much anyway. You will even start to wonder what the fuss is all about when all you care about is whether your little one is okay and ready to face the big world.
It is indeed a matter of personal choice whether to know the gender of your baby earlier or wait till the day to find out. We recommend waiting for all of the reasons listed above but ultimately, it is your pregnancy and mommy always knows best!