Published on April 6th, 2021
“Okay, let’s do it, let’s have a baby!”
When you and your partner decide it’s time to bring a new little life into the world, it can be so exciting. You may even start picturing the newest addition to your family all the time. Maybe in your daydreams, your baby has gorgeous brown eyes, curly hair, and a smile that lights up the room.
And maybe, that million-watt smile belongs to an adorable baby boy.
If you’re keeping your fingers crossed for a boy, you might be wondering how to increase your chances of saying “hello” to a son in nine months. But what gender-swaying methods, aka techniques that lean the sex of your baby in one direction or the other, actually work? Which methods have scientific foundations, and which are just internet sensations?
The Birds and The Bees of Having a Baby Boy
In order to navigate the ins and outs of gender swaying methods, it can help to know how you wind up with a little boy or little girl in the first place. For that, let’s take a quick trip back to bio class.
A mother and a father each contribute something special to make a baby—reproductive cells. Egg cells are Mom’s, and sperm cells are Dad’s. When a sperm cell fuses with an egg, they create an embryo, the cellular start to your child.
Each cell carries the genetic material to make the beginnings of your baby—all the things that will give your child his unique traits, from the tiniest freckles to how tall he’ll be when he grows up. The information is stored in the parts of the cell called chromosomes. How does your baby’s gender fit into all of this?
Your baby’s sex is determined by X and Y chromosomes:
- Two X chromosomes make a girl
- One X and one Y chromosome make a boy
Mom can only contribute an X chromosome, but Dad can contribute either an X or a Y chromosome. If you want to have a baby boy, you’ll be keeping your fingers crossed for a Y-carrying male sperm to introduce itself to your X-carrying egg.
Come on, team Y! Get to that egg!
How To Have A Baby Boy: What Works and What Doesn’t
First things first: if you’re hoping for a boy, the odds are already slightly in your favor. If you’re curious what are the chances of having a boy, your chances are about 51.2% (slightly better than 50/50 odds).
But what if you want to be more certain about your future little boy? Enter gender swaying.
The theory behind gender swaying is that these methods help you have a boy or a girl by creating ideal conditions for either X-carrying sperm or Y-carrying sperm. Some gender swaying theories claim that timing is everything when it comes to how to have a baby girl or boy. Others believe altering the chemical environment of the mom’s body can create the optimal conditions for the right male sperm cell.
Which methods are backed by science, and which ones are just wishful thinking?
Gender Swaying Diet
One day, your little one may prefer mushy peas over mushy carrots. But maybe food preference starts as early as the cellular stage of your baby’s development.
Scientists in the United Kingdom wanted to see if a woman’s diet impacted whether they had boys or girls. The study followed 740 women who were trying to conceive. They examined various factors, including their age, weight, education level, height, whether the women had been smokers, and their diets. They found that women who had higher potassium diets were more likely to have male babies.
The scientists theorized that increasing potassium levels in a woman’s body makes things a little more hospitable for Y-carrying sperm (though scientists are still trying to understand why that might be). Trying for a boy? Add these foods with high levels of potassium to your shopping list:
- Sweet potatoes
- White beans
Fact or Fiction?
While these findings could certainly point to some interesting further research, it’s important to note a few things. The study was published in 2008 (it’s been a while), and so far, no other research groups have replicated the results. More studies with larger sample sizes may lead to further insight.
But in the meantime, potassium is an important nutrient, and there’s certainly no harm in adding a few high potassium meals to your diet and seeing what happens!
Dr. Landrum B. Shettles believed that creating an inviting environment for Y-carrying sperm came down to the chemistry—specifically, acidic versus alkaline environments in the woman’s body. Shettles claimed that Y-carrying sperm survived better in more alkaline environments (meaning a higher pH, less acidic). Shettles claimed that the pH of a woman’s body was higher or lower based on various factors, from the menstrual cycle to the timing of her orgasm (yup).
To have a boy, Shettles recommended couples try these gender swaying techniques:
- Timing – Shettles claimed that the various stages of a woman’s menstrual cycle changed the pH of her body. He asserted that ovulation increased a woman’s pH, so timing sexual intercourse closer to a mom’s ovulation would result in a higher chance of having a boy.
- Positions – Shettles also believed that the different parts of a vagina had different acidity levels. He recommended a sexual position that allowed for deeper penetration to increase a couple’s chances of having a boy.
- A woman’s orgasm – Something else Shettles believed would alter a woman’s inner chemistry? Orgasms. He claimed that a female orgasm made the vagina more acidic, so he recommended couples wait until after ejaculation for a woman’s orgasm.
Fact or Fiction?
Shettles claimed 75% accuracy for these methods, but many studies have disproved his theories. Scientists have debunked Shettle’s original hypothesis that X-carrying sperm and Y-carrying sperm prefer different pH environments.
In Vitro Fertilization with PGD
Now you’re familiar with popular gender swaying theories. But you may still be wondering, can you pick the gender of your baby? IVF, or in vitro fertilization, has given many couples a path to creating the family they’ve always wanted. IVF allows eggs to be fertilized outside of the womb before being reintroduced back into a woman’s body. With an added step of genetic screening, you have the opportunity to know (and choose) which embryos will be transferred back to the mom—girls or boys.
This screening process is called preimplantation genetic diagnosis or PGD.
PGD was designed to check for hereditary diseases and the health of the embryo through DNA screening tests. Because gender can also be detected through DNA tests, parents can choose which embryos they want to reintroduce back into the womb.
The process is pretty simple:
- Fertilization – The eggs are introduced to sperm in a laboratory. The eggs and the sperm get to know each other better (wink!) and become embryos.
- Microsurgery – After about day 3 of the embryos’ development, medical technicians take a tiny sample of the embryos (we’re talking just one or two cells out of the 100 or 150 that make up the embryo) in a process that’s called microsurgery. It’s incredibly safe and doesn’t harm the embryo.
- Testing – Once the sample has been collected, it’s testing time. Medical technicians run a genetic test that will screen for the health of the embryo, predispositions for hereditary disease, and of course, the baby’s sex.
- Results – When the testing is complete, the medical provider shares the results with the parents. From there, the parents will choose which embryos will come back home to mom’s womb.
- Embryo transfer – The doctors will transfer the chosen embryos to mom’s uterus, where hopefully they will attach to the wall of her womb or uterus to begin pregnancy.
Fact or Fiction?
It doesn’t get more scientific than this! PGD has a 98% accuracy rate and has been utilized by medical professionals for decades. However, it’s a lot less budget-friendly than eating more cantaloupe. One round of IVF is around $10,000-15,000 without health insurance. Adding PGD can add an extra $5,000-10,000 to your bill.
Boy or Girl? Find Out With SneakPeek!
If “snips and snails and puppy dog tails” are all you can think about, we get it. You have a dream for your future family, and though you’ll love whoever your little wonder is, it can’t hurt to try to tip the scales in favor of a little boy. And you can know if those efforts worked sooner than ever before with the SneakPeek Early Gender DNA Test! With proven 99.9% accuracy, SneakPeek’s gender prediction test can help you find out if you’re having a boy as early as 8 weeks into your pregnancy, months before a sonogram!
Each SneakPeek Early Gender DNA Test comes with detailed instructions and prepaid packaging. Once your package arrives, all you have to do is:
- Collect your sample.
- Pack it up in the handy prepaid box and send it off to SneakPeek Labs.
- Check your inbox for the news!
From counting down the seconds on your pregnancy test timer to counting down the weeks until you find out your baby’s gender, we know that waiting can be the hardest part. Quit waiting and start picking out names for your beautiful baby boy (or baby girl) with SneakPeek!
ResearchGate. You Are What Your Mother Eats: Evidence for Maternal Preconception Diet Influencing Foetal Sex in Humans. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/5421539_You_Are_What_Your_Mother_Eats_Evidence_for_Maternal_Preconception_Diet_Influencing_Foetal_Sex_in_Humans
University of Michigan Health. High-Potassium Foods. https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/abo9047
Healthline Parenthood. Can You Choose the Sex of Your Baby? Understanding the Shettles Method. https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/shettles-method#does-it-work
University of Connecticut. PGD Q&A. https://www.uconnfertility.com/specialized-programs/pre-implant-genetic-diagnosis-program/pgd-qa/
Scientific American. Is a pregnant woman’s chance of giving birth to a boy 50 percent?. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-a-pregnant-womans-chan/#:~:text=In%20most%20industrialized%20countries%20about,births%2C%20or%20about%2051.2%20percent.