Finding out baby’s sex at the 20 week scan – the for and against debate

Finding out baby’s sex at the 20 week scan – the for and against debate

** Since I wrote and published this post this morning, we have been for our 20 week scan and despite being adamant I wasn’t going to ( for all the reasons set out in this post), I did, in fact, find out the sex of our baby! Well, it is a woman’s prerogative to change her mind!**

I’m really excited today, it’s my 20 week scan! How I’m half through this pregnancy already I have no idea but I have been counting down to today. I’m so looking forward to seeing baba again, to see how much he/she has grown over the last 8 weeks. It may surprise you, considering this little one is our third, but we are not finding out today the sex of our baby. When the sonographer zooms in to check baba’s legs etc, I will not be looking too closely. I’m excited for the surprise on the big day, it’s only another 20 weeks to go! My decision not to find out the sex of baby number three seems to puzzle lots of people, I’ve had lots of ‘oh, really?!’ and ‘why not?!’ when I’ve told people we won’t be finding out. There are lots of arguments  for and against having your baby’s gender revealed at the 20 week scan, I’ve done both and I have to say I’m definitely firmly in team wait for a surprise on delivery day. If you too have your 20 week scan coming up and can’t decide whether to find out if you are having a girl or boy, here I try to flesh out the debate s to finding out your baby’s sex at the 20 week scan and give the reasons why I think it is a good idea and why I think it is better to wait. I hope it helps you decide!

Finding out baby’s sex at the 20 week scan – the for and against debate

Reason TO find out sex of baby

Shopping is easier – If you’re into the whole pink and blue thing then it is easier to stock up your baby’s wardrobe in anticipation of their arrival if you know whether they are a girl or boy.

Choosing a name – Picking a baby name you love is hard. Trying to find one for a girl and a boy and managing to agree on the same names with your partner is even harder. At least if you know what you are having you only have to find one name you both agree on!

You have an answer to everyone’s questions – ‘Do you know what you’re having?’ is definitely the question I’ve been asked the most this pregnancy and I’ve not even had my scan yet! When I say we won’t be finding out I then get asked about a million questions as to why not, sometimes I think it would be easier to just say, ‘Yes, it’s a boy/girl’.

Gender specific nursery – Again, if you’re all about the pinks and blues or the flowers and the dinosaurs then knowing what you are having means you can paint your baby’s nursery in a gender tailored way. Also, if you subscribe to this way of thinking, knowing what you are having will help you to buy gender specific clothes and toys.

You can make a social media gender reveal – It seems to be the done thing now, filming or photographing an elaborate announcement for social media, revealing if you’re having a baby girl or a baby boy. Pink balloons released from a box, blue confetti sprinkled over a scan photo, having your baby bump covered in blue or pink body paint. The possibilities are endless. I revealed Alex’s gender in a YouTube video but that was more for me and Leo, now though it seems a big fancy reveal of whether you’re in camp blue or pink is almost a compulsory part of pregnancy. Sound like your thing? Then maybe you should find out at your 20 week scan.

baby bump finding out sex of baby

Reasons NOT TO find out sex of baby

There’s no speculation – I love a bit of speculation and I think it’s really fun to hear what other people think and, more interesting still, why they think it may be a boy/girl. It always makes me smile when people are convinced they just know what you’re having from what shape your bump is, what cravings you’ve been having and whether or not you had terrible morning sickness. I really think these are all old wives tales but I always enjoy listening to people speculate and state the reasons why they definitely think they’re right (spoiler alert: quite often they’re wrong).

Gender specific toys/clothes/colours aren’t really relevant anymore – My sons play with dolls. My toddler insists on wearing the Disney princess dresses or the fairy costumes every week when we go to baby group. My toddler likes playing tea parties and my five year old isn’t obsessed with sports and all things blue. I don’t think we need to worry too much about gender specific things anymore. For starters, newborn babies live in baby grows anyway, buying little girly/boyish outfits is pointless, and you get so many beautiful patterns and colours that don’t conform to being either ‘for boys’ or ‘for girls’ anyway. Babies don’t really play with toys so you don’t really have to think too much about that either and if you want to decorate a nursery then decorate a nursery, there are so many other (and nicer colours) out there to choose from than pink or blue.

Nothing beats the surprise – I really have not experienced another moment in my life that is on par with the excitement I felt when my first child was born and I got to see for the first time what we had. A boy – a baby boy! It was just so magical, 9 months of waiting and speculating and finally the baby was here and we could tell the world he’s a boy. Obviously I was excited and overjoyed when Alex was born but there was definitely that extra buzz missing from the delivery room. It is the type of excitement you can only ever feel when you are holding your baby for the first time and have just discovered who this little person that’s been living inside you for the last 9 months really is. Oh, I can’t wait to feel that feeling all over again!

There you have it, the debate in all its glory! After finding out and not finding out with my previous pregnancies, I can honestly say not knowing the sex of your baby in no way has any negative impact on your bonding with them while they’re still in your womb. I didn’t know what Leo was and I loved him and felt close to him every day of my pregnancy, I knew what Alex was and my bond wasn’t any stronger than it was with Leo, it was the same.

Don’t be pressured into finding out if you don’t want to. Equally, don’t let others stop you from finding out if you’re having a boy or a girl if it’s something that you want to know. Ultimately, baby is growing in your body and you should get the final say. We all only care about one thing anyway really, don’t we? The most important thing is our babies are healthy: boys or girls, knowing in advance or keeping it a surprise, as long as our little ones are healthy that’s all that matters. That’s what the 20 week scan is really for after all.

Did you find out if you were having a girl or boy or did you keep it a surprise? Got any pros or cons to add to this list? If you’re pregnant too, I’m intrigued to know whether you plan to know what you’re having or not.

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finding out sex of baby

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like to read all my other posts about pregnant life over in the pregnancy section of my blog.


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  1. February 25, 2019 / 2:29 pm

    I wanted to know….but there are so many reasons to and not to..I just felt it really helped me bond with my baby when I was pregnant but everyone is different! It’s lovwly either way though xx
    Talya recently posted…#Mumlife: How to get on top of your to do listMy Profile

  2. February 25, 2019 / 9:10 pm

    What a thoughtful post. It is a really difficult question and one that there is no right answer to.

  3. February 26, 2019 / 9:45 am

    I found out with my first two but waited for a surprise with my third and if I could do it all over again I’d wait for a surprise every time x
    Sonia recently posted…Curbar Edge Circular WalkMy Profile

  4. February 26, 2019 / 12:48 pm

    I think there shouldn’t even be a debate about whether or not to find out the baby gender. I believe that this decision is up to the couple or single mom having the baby. It’s a personal decision and we shouldn’t be asking why or why not. I found out at my 20 week scan for both of my kids and I don’t regret my decision at all. But no one really questioned me. The fact that parents get questioned over their decision regardless of which way they choose, I don’t understand it. You shouldn’t have to explain your decision to anyone. It’s like the breast vs bottle debate. It’s a very personal decision and shouldn’t have to be explained. Sorry for the rant. I just think it’s silly that people even debate this kind of thing.
    Michelle Kellogg recently posted…Conquering My FearsMy Profile

  5. February 26, 2019 / 1:19 pm

    We decided on a surprise both times. We weren’t bothered about gender specific clothes or nursery decor, in fact, it was a relief not to be showered with baby pink or blue gifts in advance. In terms of names, we had a shortlist or 2 to 4 names for each gender that we both liked and agreed on, and in fact with our second baby we took almost two hours to decide which name to go with.
    Jenni recently posted…5 Last Minute World Book Day CostumesMy Profile

  6. February 26, 2019 / 8:09 pm

    I didn’t find out with any of my 3 and am glad that I didn’t. I love the whole ‘it’s a boy, it’s a girl ‘ at the birth. I was wrong with the sex of all of them as well x
    Lisa recently posted…Lilith Loves Henry Teether ReviewMy Profile

  7. Melanie
    February 26, 2019 / 9:38 pm

    Ooo how exciting for you. Now, This is the time you can really start to plan ahead as a family xx

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