Would You Choose Your Baby’s Sex?

When I was first pregnant I just knew I was having a boy. Lousy maternal instinct, huh?

I listened to the wives tales. I wasn’t nauseas. I wanted salty, spicy foods, not sweet. My skin never broke out. Clearly all “scientific facts” that proved I was having a boy.

baby predict

When we found out we were having a girl, I was incredibly surprised. I didn’t believe it at first and asked for further proof. I got all the proof I needed when our sweet Hailey came into the world September 15th. Now, I couldn’t imagine it any other way.


Though I don’t have a boy to compare to, I absolutely love having a girl! She’s snuggly and sweet. She whispers to herself when she plays. She’s gentle. She looks darling in bows. Her giggles melt me and I can’t wait to bake cookies and watch Disney princess movies with her. (No worries, gender stereotype warriors, I’ll gladly watch GI Joe if she’s into that!)

Magen Marie Photography- Hailey's 1st birthday- hi dad

Some people believe that I wanted a boy, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Perhaps it was the fact I have an older brother or that David is 1 of 2 boys, but I just knew I’d have a boy first. What I wanted was a healthy baby, boy or girl.

It’s no secret that some people know what they want, though, and go to lengths to get what they want. You can look at China’s one child policy and how that has created an imbalance of many more males than females (source) and is sure to create socioeconomic ramifications.

Conventional wisdom says that if given a choice, couples would choose boys over girls, however, did you know that in the US that “how to have a girl” is googled three times as often as “how to have a boy” and 80% of gender selection patients have a goal to have girls? (source)

All this leads to one fact: some people clearly have a preference in their child’s sex. However, would many people go as far as to choose the sex if given the opportunity? I’m NOT talking about ending a pregnancy, I’m saying if a person could choose, pre-conception, if the child would be a boy or girl, would they? Would you?

What do you think?



  1. Reghan says

    I have a 10 week old boy and I KNEW from the start he would be a boy….BUT I’ve always always wanted a little girl. When I was growing up I’d always say I would have girls, no boys. So maybe if I could have chosen the sex PRE conception I would have picked a girl but I’m glad you can’t really do that because I am so so so excited I have a son! I wouldn’t change it for the world now and even when I found out he was a boy I was so excited because I realized it didn’t really matter as long as he was healthy :) I hope someday I get to experience a little girl as well but if not, that’s fine too!

  2. Sara says

    This is a great post. When I got pregnant I prayed every single day it was a boy, and thankfully, I have a healthy, happy little boy who just turned 8 months old yesterday. While I of course would have been happy to have a girl, I am just not very girly, I can’t paint my own own nails, can’t braid hair, and wear minimal makeup, I am just not wired to be interested in girly things. I would have had to adjust of course, but I couldn’t imagine life being any better than how it is right now with my little man!

  3. says

    I have both a boy and a girl.
    We had a boy and then afterwards decided that he needs a friend/sibling/mate. We did not think one moment about whether we want a boy or a girl. We just wanted to give him a friend/someone to play with.
    A boy and girl is so much different. Whereas a girl is affectionate (like you describe with your little girl), a boy tend to be shy showing affection.

  4. says

    I think at some point everyone would want to, even if people say they don’t have a preference I feel as if they do at least a little bit. I really wanted a boy at first and that’s of course what we got. A crazy , rough, funny, affectionate little guy who loves hugs and kisses. Just yesterday at the Drs office I was sitting next to him and he started rubbing my back. My heart melted. But my next child I would love a little girl but would be just as happy with another boy. However, if it ever came down to be able to “pick” I don’t think I ever would. I believe it’s all in God’s hands and what he gives me is a huge blessing and is exactly what we should have.

  5. says

    Interesting question! I wouldn’t care as long as they were healthy. Ideally, I’d like to have one of each gender but I’d be okay if it was all boys or girls.
    Love that you are going to be proactive against gender stereotyping 😉 We just talked about gender roles in class this past week so it’s been on my mind a lot!

  6. Erin says

    Mom of 2 boys here.
    I won’t lie, I really wanted a girl; I think most women want girls. The first time it didn’t matter, but with the second (knew we were only having 2 kids) I really hoped for a daughter and was a little disappointed when we found out we were having another boy. If given the chance pre-conception I probably would have chosen a girl. I just always imagined life with a daughter by my side and let’s be honest the clothes for girls are so much cuter. At the same time I love having a sons and everything “boy” about them. My 3 yr old is all boy; rough, energetic, loves trucks, dirt and jumping from places that make my heart stop. I also love that he will grow up with a brother. I think that before having a boy most women don’t get how amazing and wonderful boys are. They are definitely different from girls in both good and bad ways, but so special in their own right. My second son is 6 months old now and I wouldn’t trade him for all the girls in the world. My heart aches a little when I see girls clothes in the store, but seeing my son’s truck all over the house makes me happy. I am glad that they were selected for me and I get to be a “boy mom.”

    • Leslie says

      You took the words right out of my mouth. I’m a mom of two boys also but hoped for a girl the second time. My youngest son is three months old and I of course love him just as much as I could ever love a girl.

  7. says

    Very interesting stuff. I would never want to choose the gender! That’s up to the Man upstairs- not you or me. I also would never want to schedule a c-section because I don’t want to choose my child’s birthday. These things aren’t meant to be pre-planned. I found out the gender with my first and I have a beautiful and healthy girl. Now that I’m pregnant with #2, we aren’t finding out the gender. Sure, we’d love a boy- who doesn’t want one of each? But another girl would be wonderful, too! Sweet sisters to grow up as best friends. I’m with you, though. All I ever want is healthy babies. If that means we’ll have all girls, so be it!

    • says

      I’m so pumped that you aren’t finding out the gender! I think it’s awesome! I agree with you that it’s up to the big guy to determine boy or girl. I hated that I had to be induced. I really wanted to go into labor on my own, but they wouldn’t let me wait past 10 days overdue. I still think we would have shared a birthday if she was allowed to come on her own!

  8. Jen says

    As a mom to 3 girls (ages 6, 4, and 1) and thinking about another baby in 2 or 3 years- this is something my husband and I have thought about a lot! I know a part of him really wants a son, and I do to, mostly because it would be cute to see my husband with a mini-him. But part of me feels that a boy at this point would throw off the family dynamics a bit- what would he do with all our pink, princesses, and girly toys, trips and talk? I grew up with 2 brothers and no sisters, so I’m happy for my girls to have all the sisters they can- no such thing as too many sisters :) And if we did have a boy, I’d feel bad for him not having any brothers, while my girls each have 2 sisters.
    So I guess it’s good that we can’t really choose (well, without paying a ton of money)- there are pros either way, so it would be a hard decision!

  9. says

    Ryan and I both had brutal instincts with Riley as well- totally thought boy, 100%… or 99.9% 😉 Ryan was convinced this time, again, that it was a girl, I wasn’t so sure. At last I am 50/50 now!

    I wish I could choose, but am so glad that I can not. God has a plan for us and sometimes, USUALLY, we don’t have a clue what that is. I wanted another girl, but am excited that we’ll soon have one of each.

  10. says

    I always pictured myself with a girl and 95% of the time in my pregnancy I was convinced it was a girl. Everyone else told me boy because of the way I was carrying. I ended up with a girl and if given the choice I probably would have chosen a girl for my first baby.

  11. Hanna says

    Interesting post! During both of my pregnancies up until the 20th week I thought I was having a boy. I was WRONG! I have two adorable daughters. Hubby wanted a boy of course, but ultimately he really didn’t care. I wanted him to be happy so I wanted a boy too.
    I’m thrilled that we have two girls that will grow up together. My sister is 13 months older than me and we were best friends growing up. IF we have another, I would like to choose a boy because thinking about paying for THREE weddings is scary :) And I want to experience having a son and having the family name carried on would be nice too.

    • says

      Haha, yes, three weddings is a scary thought!
      I love your positive outlook. I love that we can’t choose the sex because I’d be torn if I wanted our next child (God-willing) to be a boy or a girl. One of each versus Hailey getting to have a sister- tough call! Glad it’s not my choice to make 😉

  12. says

    For my first (and at the moment, only!) pregnancy, I wouldn’t choose, even if given the option. It turned out that my baby was a boy, and I love him more than anything.

    If given the choice in any subsequent pregnancies (if there even are any!), I think I might choose, pre-conception. Up until I found out i was pregnant, I didn’t want any kids, but now that I have my son, I can’t imagine my life without him. But I would love for him to have a little sister.

  13. says

    I’m nowhere near having children, but what an interesting topic! As much as I’d LOVE to have a boy, I’d love to also embrace what God wanted me to have and just go with it!! Gosh, what a fun thing to find out…your baby’s gender. Aw!

  14. says

    While I don’t think I would ever “choose” if given the option, it is sort of fun to think about. Before we had Kheri I didn’t really have an opinion, I would have been happy with a boy or girl, I just wanted he or she to be healthy. Now that I have a girl, I can’t say given the opportunity I wouldn’t choose another girl, just because that is what I know. But I also think a boy would be fun to have one of each. Either way the next time around I know I will still be happy either way.

  15. says

    interesting!! I don’t even know how to answer that exactly…I have no idea how my husband and I would be able to decide which gender. We haven’t had a baby yet(!) but I feel like that’s one of the most exciting parts–seeing which gender God has blessed you with!

  16. says

    I have one adorable little guy who I cannot imagine life without and we are due with our second boy in just over 2 months. I had instincts with Garrett specifically that he was a boy and with #2 I think I had a feeling but didn’t want to say in case I was wrong ;-). Ideally I would LOVE to have a little girl and I always say that I will not stop until I get my girl (famous last words right) but I am SO thrilled that G will have a little brother so close in age to grow up with and I too believe that our fate is in God’s hands so I would have to say no I wouldn’t pick given the opportunity. I’d like to have more kids in the future (God willing) and I feel that We are supposed to have a big family that’s why I don’t have my girl yet. In the end, a healthy child is all that matters to me

  17. says

    The concept of choosing your baby’s sex makes me so sad (unless it’s for a medical reason where a gene is only passed down to one sex). I foolishly clicked on my birth club once and SO many moms were complaining about having a boy instead of a girl. So many people struggle to get/ stay pregnant or cannot have children. I could never ever imagine being disappointed with my baby’s sex. I love having a little boy, but I know I’d also love a little girl. Every child is a miracle.

    • Erin says

      Along th same lines I also really hate when people say “I don’t care as long as they are healthy” so if you have a child who isn’t healthy are you not going to love them? or will you then care about their sex.

        • Erin says

          Oh no I did not think you meant that. I know that anyone who says it does not mean that they won’t love their child if they aren’t healthy. Every parent obviously hopes for a healthy child. I just it sounds weird. Why can’t people just say “I don’t care what my child’s sex is?” Why does the “as long as they are healthy” always have to be there?

  18. Krista says

    As a female with no male siblings or cousins, I was so excited my first was a girl. With my second I admit that I cried when I found out he was a boy. My husband was not happy with me LOL!

  19. says

    I would never choose the sex. You shouldn’t have a baby if you’re so concerned about the sex. I think part of the awesomeness of pregnancy is not knowing. I’m pretty sure I’m gonna be one of those crazies who waits to find out the sex until the baby is here. :)

  20. Danielle says

    As a family that chose adoption, we actually did have the opportunity, if we wanted, to choose the sex of our baby. We didn’t.

      • Danielle says

        We will definitely leave ourselves open to any gender in our second placement too. In the adoption context, it almost feels as though by choosing a particular gender, you are affirmatively saying no to potential other situations that might be the right one for your family, and the birth mother who might have chosen you. I realize it is a factor for some adoptive families, just not for us!

  21. says

    There is no way I’d want to pre-determine my baby’s sex. Sure, we found out what we were having and I’d do that again, but never would I want to play god in any sort of way.

    My signs for boy/girl were very split. I thought I wanted a girl, but my intuition said I was having a boy and whatdya know, a boy it is! I wouldn’t have it any other way!

  22. says

    Oh, what a great question!! I actually don’t think I’d ever choose the sex of my baby. I’m not sure why, I just feel that whatever is meant to happen happens. I don’t think I’d want to have that option to decide in that way. I think I’d just want to embrace whatever I was blessed with having!

  23. Tracy says

    I have a boy and a girl, but gender didn’t matter at all to me when I was pregnant. I truly just wanted healthy babies. My kids are in college now, and I must say that what I’ve realized is that as parents we are given the greatest privilege of guiding a little soul or souls(!) through childhood and it is so much bigger than and so far beyond gender. Coincidentally, my son has always been completely gentle, softspoken, and sweet and my daughter is a total firecracker bursting with energy and spirit. Each so different and so perfect, and I couldn’t possibly imagine myself being any more blessed.

    • says

      Great point, Tracy! I think boy vs girl mattered more to me when I was younger, but when you have I held Hailey in my arms, you’re right- I really was so in awe and humbled that I get the opportunity to guide her through life and I couldn’t have cared less boy or girl. What a sweet way that you put it and I love that your girl is a firecracker!

  24. Erika says

    No, I would not choose. For 1 I like surprises (we didn’t find out what we were having when I was pregnant) and 2 it really doesn’t matter as I would love a boy or girl just as much and I would love them even if they weren’t healthy – I never said I wanted a healthy baby either because if for some reason he came out unhealthy didn’t mean I would love him any less. I guess I never really even said I wanted a baby – I wanted a family.

  25. Tiffany says

    Very good topic!
    I have two beautiful daughters.
    Girls happen to run in the family (15 grandkids- 10 girls, 5 boys).
    It seemed like EVERYONE ELSE was dissapointed that I was having girls.
    It hurt my heart at the time.
    We are happy and blessed with healthy girls so I don’t care what others think anymore.
    But if I had a dime for every time I hear, “When are y’all gonna try for a boy”.

    • says

      I think everyone assumes people want one of each, and I can see how it would be hurtful to not have people join in your excitement about a second daughter. I think raising sisters is such a special opportunity and I’m so glad you’re enjoying it and not worrying about what “they” say :)

  26. says

    I don’t have any children nor have I ever been pregnant but I decided years ago that I wouldn’t find out the sex of my babies until they were born. I mean what could be a better surprise than that? But if I’m being honest, I’ve always wanted to have a little girl. That’s not to say I’ll be disappointed if one day I end up with a little boy but I definitely hope I get at least one girl. And to answer your question, no, I would not choose the sex if given the choice. I think that would take some of the fun out of it. :)

  27. Jodi Stutts says

    Just read your post! Good provoking blog. I actually know a family that had three boys and then did gender selection for their fourth to get a girl. I can’t say I agree with that concept, but I guess some people feel since they have the option and want to play God, they can! I am 110% in love with my cute little lady and knowing she is going to have a little sister in a couple months is the coolest thing! Granted, I guess one of each would be nice, but we are sooooo blessed with healthy girls, who am I to complain!!?? I do think its funny how people presume you might be disappointed if number 2 or 3 is the same sex… my work partner is going through this right now. 2 girls and another girl on the way and most people respond with oh, man, guess you didn’t get that boy you were trying for. She actually posted something on facebook asking people to stop consoling her for three healthy girls! I guess its just society thinking we all want boys??!! :)

  28. says

    I loved this! My dad is one of 3 boys and when he only had girls everyone asked was he sad he didn’t get a boy. He always says that having girls was perfect, and we take really good care of him!

    I currently do not have kids but plan to one day, that’s hard picking a girl or boy! I would be like you and just happy to have a healthy, happy baby. I think that is half the fun getting to find out what you are having! I am all for getting a great surprise!

  29. Angie says

    We just had our first baby, a boy, 4 weeks ago. We never found out the gender. I initially thought it was a boy and during the second trimester I thought girl and during the third trimester I went back to boy. Right before I delivered my husband and I looked at each other and both said it was boy. Of course as a female I would of loved a little girl but we’re so in love with our little boy and I couldn’t imagine it any other way. I don’t think I would try any methods to get a specific gender. The most important thing is having a happy healthy baby.

  30. Jillian says

    I was soo dead set on having a girl. I’m such a girly girl, and I was in awe over all the cute bows and pink clothes. When I found out I was having a boy I will admit I still really wanted a girl. I would get so sad seeing all the adorable girl clothes. Boy clothes just aren’t quite the same haha. Now my baby boy is almost 10 months old and my whole perspective has changed. I absolutely LOVE boys! Infanct I want my next child to be a boy so bad! Crazy how things change. (I want a big family,so I still want a girl in the future)

  31. says

    I know a lady who did IVF specifically so she could implant a girl embryo. She has 3 boys and now her IVF girl! I have 2 boys and would love to have a girl! Her story made me think a lot about whether or not I would go to such extremes to have a daughter. My answer is NO, I would not. I will take what God gives me!

  32. says

    I was 90% sure I was having a boy, until they told me girl! But I was totally fine with it. I looooveee having a little girl. She’s my mini-me and my little best friend.

  33. says

    Oh, I think people would totally buy that idea – of being able to choose what the sex of their baby would be. I know someone who, when I asked if she was having a boy or girl said, “I’m having a boy and it sucks”. *Jaw drops*

    I for one, would not ever choose. I feel that it’s up to God and I’ll be blessed with whatever He blesses me with. That being said, I guess I’m partial to boys (I have two brothers) and I feel like I can relate to boys more, so I’d feel most comfortable with having say, two boys. Along the same lines, I have an incredible relationship with my mom, so I want the same for a future daughter, if I have one. I also don’t want to know what we are having (umm, when I’m pregnant of course – am not now) until I deliver. Old fashioned like that :)

  34. says

    To me, choosing is not my choice, I guess you could say! I have a daughter now and as much as I’d like the experience of having a boy as well, choosing is not something I feel I could ever do. Interesting to think about though!

  35. Lauren says

    No, I could never choose. Because if anything ever happened and the baby had health or other problems I would always blame the fact that I had “played God”. I think it’s best to leave selection of the strongest baby up to nature (apart from IVF and other procedures which I wholeheartedly support of course).

  36. Lauren says

    I would never want to choose. However, I have always wanted a particular sex with each of my pregnancies. I have 3 girls and 1 boy, and I feel like I couldn’t have chosen a more precious bunch than was freely given to me.

  37. KatieTX says

    I babysat for a family with four boys and the mom couldn’t be happier. They were some of the sweetest boys I had ever met! I personally want a boy and a girl. However, I had a sister growing up and love the sisterly bond. I would feel bad if my little boy or girl didn’t have a same-sex sibling…off to convince my husband to try for 4 kids instead of 2… :)

  38. says

    I honestly don’t think I would choose even if given the option. I have a boy right now and I would LOVE my second child to be a girl so I could experience all the differences between the sexes, but if I were to have another boy, I would be over the moon. After all, I know how boys act, I have all the clothes, and I’m told there is WAY less drama with boys.

    I would, however, definitely want to know the sex. I guess I’m new age like that. Have you heard there is a blood test now that can predict the gender at just 10 weeks?!!

  39. Claire says

    I have three boys and am pregnant with number 4, who is a girl according to ultrasounds. We found out the gender of each of the boys before birth but didn’t care. We thought it would be cool to have a girl but when it came to number 4 we spent a good three months asking ourselves if we wanted another child or if we wanted a girl. Upon coming to the conclusion that we wanted a 4th, regardless of what they turned out to be, we proceeded to try. Would I choose gender preconception? I would say that I wouldn’t have with the boys, I was happy with whatever. I guess this time because the thought of a girl entered our mind, that yes, I would have. But if the ultrasounds are wrong and she’s a he? No dramas here! My three boys are awesome, no regrets here!

  40. says

    Couples can and do choose the sex now, it’s expensive, high-tech, not always guaranteed, and there are certainly moral questions, but it’s not a hypothetical, there are fertility clinics in the US that offer that service. It’s easy just to knee-jerk condemn people for caring so much about their baby’s sex that they’d choose such a service, but with three children of the same gender (after mentally expecting the other gender) I do understand the desire. Would I have chosen, given the opportunity? Probably so. But would I want any of my children to be someone other than who they are? No.
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