When do you find out a baby’s gender? All you need to know

If you’ve just found out you’re pregnant you may be wondering about the many stages of your pregnancy – and when you can find out about the gender of your baby.

Having a baby may feel like a whirlwind, with the baby constantly growing, pregnancy symptoms such as nausea and tiredness, and knowing how much exercise you’re allowed to do – however, there are some exciting stages that you don’t want to miss out on.

Finding out the gender of your baby, during the second trimester, can be a mix of emotions for both you and your partner, but it can also be exhilarating as you can start to prepare for the arrival of a little girl or a boy – and start to picture your life with them. However, it’s not all gender reveals, ala Instagram, (unless you’ve got your heart set on one) as most parents-to-be want to find out in a more private setting.

But how can midwives tell if it’s a boy or a girl and when is the earliest you can find out their gender? We reveal all the details, and whether finding out the gender of your baby at home is common for expectant mums.

gynecologist in sterile gloves using ultrasound scanner while examining female patient focus on doctor hand


When can you find out the gender of your baby?

Of course not all of us what to find out whether it’s going to be a boy or a girl, but mums-to-be, who are keen to find out, so they can prepare for the arrival, with the right clothes, colours and names, can find out at around 20 weeks. Although sometimes it can be as early as 18 weeks and as late as 22 weeks.

Of course, there are old wives’ tales about whether you may be carrying a girl or boy; if you want to have fun trying to guess before. So, how can you tell? Some say that if you’re carrying the baby low, or even if you’re you have glowing skin then it could be a boy, while if you’re craving sweet things, rather than salty foods, plus if you can eat a lot of garlic, but not smell it, you’re apparently carrying a girl. However, don’t get too disheartened if they turn out to be wrong – as they are just old wives’ tales after all.

How can you find out the gender of your baby?

After you’re initial scan at 12 weeks, you’ll be invited back to the hospital for another ultrasound at around 20 weeks. An ultrasound is a very safe, noninvasive way to get a clearer picture of the baby’s health and whether it’s growing.

In this ultrasound, they can look at the baby in more detail and determine whether your baby is a boy or a girl. By assessing the genitalia the midwife or nurse can normally give you a clearer picture of the gender.

Sometimes, if the baby isn’t lying the right way then it may not be possible to give you an answer – but there is an option to pay for a private ultrasound if you can’t wait until you give birth.

Is this the only way to find out the gender?

If you need to have non-invasive prenatal testing, where they screen the baby for conditions such as Down’s syndrome, Edwards’ syndrome, or Patau’s syndrome, this will be done at 10 weeks – and they can usually tell you the gender of the baby when the blood test is done.

While these tests can also be paid for privately, or sent to your home to do yourself – if you’re impatient and want to know the gender of your baby – so you can start planning for the little one’s arrival.