Social Question

Cupcake's avatar

In what ways does finding out your future child's sex help you "prepare"?

Asked by Cupcake (15508points) November 6th, 2013

I am shocked at the number of people who think my husband and I need to know the sex of our fetus to prepare for its arrival.

I am likewise shocked at the number of strangers who want to know whether we are having a boy or a girl. WTF??

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38 Answers

Juels's avatar

Unless you have a genetic disorder that is passed to male or female children, I don’t see any reason you NEED to know. Many people choose to know. I wanted to know so I could better pick a name and prepare the nursery. I didn’t care much for the unisex colors.

Cupcake's avatar

@Juels That makes sense if you don’t like tans and greens and white like I do (we painted a tree in the nursery).

Also, we won’t be dedicating a room to the future baby. It’ll share with the toddler.

Cupcake's avatar

My thoughts on the name thing…

As someone who works in healthcare, I am thoroughly aware the the sex prediction from ultrasound can be wrong. So even though we found out with the last one, we still had some alternate “girl” names just in case.

I’m a Just-In-Caser.

Juels's avatar

If I had to do it over, I would probably just pick blue and cream for everything (girl or not). My daughter’s name is unisex. We had a boy name picked out immediately but didn’t decide on a girl name until the 7th month.

Cupcake's avatar

I really think the grandmas want to buy frilly pink dresses and blankets (we have 2 boys).

I would vomit all over a room full of frilly pink.

Juels's avatar

I didn’t care much for pink either. For my daughter, we had a lot of peach, yellow, and light purple.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I can’t stand “gender neutral” colors – mostly because the colors often chosen as “gender neutral” really aren’t. A girl’s room doesn’t have to look like a Pepto Bismol ad, but anything is better than green and yellow.

I’ll definitely want to know the sex when I’m pregnant. I don’t know why people don’t want to know.

Seek's avatar

^ In contrast, I love green and yellow. ^_^

But I did my baby’s room in primary colours. Curious George themed. I didn’t want to know because, well, I wasn’t going to send him back if it was the wrong one, you know?

And either way, I bought the same stuff. Onesies, cloth diapers, boppy pillow, furniture…

I also seriously considered having a T-shirt printed up saying “Yes I’m pregnant, No we don’t know the sex. We’re due in August. Yes, I’m sure it’s just one. No, you may not touch my belly”, and carrying a whiffle-ball bat as backup.

tom_g's avatar

We didn’t find out for any of our 3 kids. Some people got downright angry. I think part of it is that people want to fantasize about who that “person” is or will be. Infants are gooey poo and pee creators who cry, with very little else to define them. People love to use gender – even prior to birth – and use it to start to define who this character is and will be. There are tons of old myths about how a woman is “carrying” a baby and the sex of the fetus, etc.

So, it gives people something to talk about, and it provides them an excuse to slap gender stereotypes on them as soon as they’re born. When you take that away from them by not finding out your fetus’ sex, people get pissed.

fluthernutter's avatar

Yeah, it can be motivated by silly gender specific notions.
Pink for girls! Blue for boys!

But it could also be about being mentally prepared. Choosing a name for a baby makes it feel a little bit more real in some ways. Assigning characteristics to this little person that you’re about to meet.

That being said, I actually didn’t want to find out the gender.

Juels's avatar

@tom_g Good point. Some people are really pushy about wanting to know the sex of your unborn child.

@Cupcake Don’t be afraid to stick to your guns. If you and your husband want to be surprised this time, then enjoy it. Only your opinions matter.

JLeslie's avatar

I would want to know, because I am the type that if I can know I want to know. But, I can’t really think of a significant reason to know the sex. Someone mentioned above genetic testing, several genetic problems occur more in boys, but you can test without being told the gender. The only reason it wouldn’t make sense is if the problem has no chance of occuring in a girl, you wouldn’t want to pay for the compete run of tests if it is an impossibility.

If you want to do up the baby room before the arrival, I guess that is a reason, but I wouldn’t do that. I wouldn’t “do” the baby room until after the birth. Also, for picking names you can focus on one that will fit the baby.

hearkat's avatar

People get angry? Seriously? I’m glad I don’t move in the same social circles as some of you. People asked me if I knew, but seemed OK with it when I said we chose to wait.

I also only had one ultrasound at ~10 weeks to determine due date because I had been taking birth control pills when I got knocked-up (I am the 0.1%). I often wonder whether the preponderence of ultrasounds might have something to do with increases in some of the learning/behavior/cognitive problems many kids seem to haveā€¦ just a hypothesis.

downtide's avatar

Before my daughter arrived we were offered the chance to know the baby’s sex but we declined. The nursery got decorated in mainly primary colours. With clowns and elephants.

Aethelwine's avatar

Most baby clothes are gender specific at the major clothing stores. It makes it easier to buy for the baby when you know if its going to be male or female.

Of course there is nothing wrong with buying a cute blue onsie with a football pattern on it if the baby is a girl, but seriously, who is going to do that if the parents aren’t huge sports fans? I thought for sure I’d never buy pink for my daughter when I was pregnant with her. I’ve never really been a girly girl, but when I found all the adorable outfits for little girls I couldn’t resist. Choosing pink for baby girls and blue for baby boys is not going to harm their identity. They will choose what they like once they get older.

Cupcake's avatar

Yes, people get angry. That includes my mother, which surprised the heck out of me.

Not my friends. They’re not wrapped up in gender crap.

FWIW – we are having several ultrasounds and even had the chromosomes run because of an elevated Downs Syndrome risk. I’ve just asked all sonographers and doctors to not tell me the sex. It’s my last biological kid (that’s my plan, anyway) and I don’t want to know yet.

@jonsblond I don’t think pink or blue will cause harm. In fact, this kiddo will be wearing lots of blue hand-me-downs from big brother. I don’t like that kids clothes are so gendered. Even the “gender-neutral” colors usually have some embroidery on them like “daddy’s little princess” or “I’m so handsome” or something gendered. I’m not a fan. I feel like it encourages me to not reuse clothes from one kid to another.

Honestly, I think if I knew I was having a girl then I would spend more money buying things out of emotion and excitement (not that there’s anything wrong with that) instead of focusing on the few things that we could actually benefit from buying new/again. We don’t have extra money right now… so there’s a practical element here in me not finding out.

Cupcake's avatar

@downtide I’m in the minority of people who get freaked out by clowns. Not a phobia or anything, but I find them more on the frightening side than the cute/interesting side.

Cupcake's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Ditto all around. Including the t-shirt.

hearkat's avatar

@Cupcake: I understand having U/S and amniocentesis when there are pregnancy risks; I am questioning the practice of having them when everything is going well and there are no risk factors, just to know the sex or to get a 3-D image of the baby.

I dressed my son in mostly primary colors and he liked purple, so he wore red, blue, green and purple sweatshirts and sweaters and people called him “her” but I did not get offended. He didn’t have many pastel “baby” colored things other than what he got as gifts.

Cupcake's avatar

@hearkat I hear you. This just isn’t one of those cases of not having a TON of opportunities to find out the sex. That was my only point. :)

AND I didn’t need an amnio to run chromosomes. They can do a simple blood test from the mom and find fetal DNA fragments. That’s a new thing, which I think is pretty cool.

hearkat's avatar

@Cupcake – excellent! Amnios are scary.

JLeslie's avatar

You can return part of the layette if the color isn’t “right.” Since I am not a yellow or green clothing person I can’t see me using those colors, so I couldn’t do those gender neutral colors. Plus, to me green tends to look boy, and yellow tends to look girl to me. Not sure if other people see it that way. I like white on newborn infants just fine. If they aren’t wearing a color for a few weeks I personally wouldn’t fret about it. You can bleach white, it is a very practical color.

Cupcake's avatar

@JLeslie I love, love, love babies in white but I also love green, yellow and tan.

When my little one was around 1, my favorite sleeper for him was one I bought used. It had ladybugs on it that had faded to a pink with bits of green and a white background. I just loved the way it fit him and the worn cotton was so soft. My husband and son didn’t get why I kept dressing him “like a girl” for bed, but I just couldn’t explain in words how adorable I thought he was in that sleeper.

Also, when my teenager was a baby he had a knit soft yellow sweater that I thought looked stunning next to his dark, ruddy newborn skin.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I would have liked to know. Unfortunately they couldn’t tell you in my day. If they got a really good butt shot, they could take a pretty good guess, but they told me my third (a girl) was a boy. She just had a fat little fanny. Ha-ha. But I would have liked to have a name all picked out and the right clothes and toys. Not to mention the mental preparation. I’m not crazy about unisex baby clothes.

JLeslie's avatar

@Cupcake Well, ladybugs are kind of an inside joke for my husband. When his neice was very little, she barely could put a sentence together, we were all talking about what animals we think we are like and I asked her what animal her uncle is, and she said, “a ladybug.” So, we have a ladybug patch on one of my husband’s backpacks, and stickers on some other things.

I think the baby’s coloring plays a part as you mention. Red on a very pale baby girl who is bald might be harsh. Primaries tend to be boy colors anyway. Although, I think in parts of Europe red is boy.

I am really not a pink person, nor much of a pastel person. If I had had a girl who knows what I would have done. I think it is ha to predict. You have the baby and do all sorts of things you never expected I think.

Like when I got married. I thought I wanted a modern, sleek, unconventional dress. Once I started trying on I wound up with a Cinderella going to the ball tulle skirted dress. LOL.

Katniss's avatar

I didn’t want to know. I preferred the element of surprise and went with neutral colors and a Disney theme.

YARNLADY's avatar

In my mind, there is still a big difference between boys and girls. Many people dispute this, but I am old school. I wanted to know so I could give him/her a name. Mine were boys.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Colors wasn’t the issue with me – it was the style of clothing. They have such cute styles for babies now, but the cutest clothes are gender-specific. Besides just dresses, there is sparkle jeans and leggings for girls, little safari-type suits and Bob the Builder or train conductor type outfits for boys. Even most onesies, even if they are white, yellow or green, have either a boy-specific or girl-specific design on the front. A little flower, or a frog, you know. I’m like @yarnlady, there is a world of difference, from what toys to buy, what sheets and blankets, color and style of room, picking a name, getting siblings prepared, getting myself prepared. I was lucky, I had two of each, and alternated (girl, boy, girl, boy) so got the most use out of both the girl things and the boy things.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Many people really connect to the child when they begin thinking in terms of “he” or “she” instead of “it” or “the baby.” Suddenly, the child has the very real beginnings of an identity.

Seek's avatar

Are the frogs and flowers for boys or girls?

Cupcake's avatar

@SadieMartinPaul I get that. My main reason for considering knowing the sex was bonding/visualizing/naming.

In terms of toys… I will have blocks and balls and trucks and dolls and a kitchen with fake food and utensils for all of my kids. And we have a ton of books. My son loves Dora as much as Mickey and loves Abby as much as Elmo. He has a baby doll of his own that he picked out himself at the store when we found out we were expecting. She has dark brown skin and a bright pink/rainbow outfit. His choosing. He loves that baby doll and sleeps with her every night and carries her around and lays her down for naps… until he throws her and picks up something else. I don’t buy into different sexes need different toys. I buy into different individuals have different preferences. I will provide a variety for all kids.

Coloma's avatar

My doctor just told me, without asking IF I wanted to know, that he suspected my daughter was a “she” based on heart rate during an exam around the 5th-6th month. I was kinda pissed off, didn’t really take it to be truth. I didn’t have any ultrasounds, they were not mandatory unless a problem was suspected in the 80’s. Turns out he was right, but I too went with bold colors that were gender neutral, reds, whites, assorted colorful nursery trappings.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I knew the sex of both my kids before they were born. First one was a girl, second a boy. I used the same bedding and decorations for them both….Winnie-The-Poo crib sheets and bunting, and letters, numbers, planets and dinosaurs on the wall.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

For me, choosing to know was so that I could begin calling the babies by their names and start that “I’m having a girl” bonding thing.

fundevogel's avatar

There was some celebrity with with a skeptic/atheist bend I heard tell a story about their pregnancy and they just kept referring to the baby as “The Fetus” until it was born. It was surprisingly charming. I wish I could remember who it was.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@SadieMartinPaul Ha-ha! Yes, I had all the toys for all the kids, but that is because I had two of each, so the toy room had play kitchen, fake food, trucks, dolls, etc.Still, the girls weren’t much interested in the boy toys, and vice versa. They both liked the etch-a-sketch and the lite-brite, though. Oh, and the play-dough.

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