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WAIT! Why Not to Find Out Baby's Gender

WAIT! Why Not to Find Out Baby's Gender

There are so few surprises in life anymore, which is why I'm here to implore you to wait to find out your baby's gender.

As an adult, having a real surprise is almost impossible these days. Even unknown gifts are often easy to discover with the help of emailed shipping confirmations and return addresses.

A secret is such a multi-sided experience. From friends eagerly whispering amongst themselves to having the perfect present hidden away, secrets have power. They can provoke the feeling of being special and included, the wondering of what you’re missing, or the excitement of knowing a surprise is on the way.

For us, waiting to find out our baby’s gender is the best way we know to have a true surprise. I realize some of you won't feel the same way, but allow me to explain further:

Parents who Plan

Becoming parents jumpstarts the desire to plan. I’ve heard of expectant parents eagerly planning a perfectly decorated nursery, formulating that perfect birth plan, and choosing the perfect baby name. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with planning, newborns tend to wreak havoc on those plans.

I, too, am a planner. I have my daily agenda, my post-its of tasks, and my schedule engrained in both myself and my children. Yet sometimes it’s nice to break free. To experience where the road will take us without knowing each sight along the way.

Keeping baby’s gender a secret provides me with an opportunity to anticipate a new little one without knowing all the details.

I get to wonder. I ask myself: who will this baby be, what will he look like, or how will she fit into our family. It’s freeing to not quite know; to imagine instead of planning.

Sure, sometimes I wish I had found out my baby’s gender ahead of time. Typically this happens when discussing baby names and coming up with our favorite girl and boy options. Or right towards the end of my pregnancy while washing both the boy and girl clothes I wonder if it would be easier knowing ahead of time.

It probably would have been. But I can guarantee that when delivery day comes, I don’t regret the secret. The moments before a true surprise is about to be revealed are amazing. It makes the light at the end of the tunnel that much brighter and leads to some of the best delivery-room guessing I’ve ever witnessed.

Preparing for Baby

We designed baby’s nursery to be gender-neutral and add in gender-specific accents at a later date. This way we’ve been able to use the same space for each of our little ones. Most big baby gear such as car seats, strollers, and swings we purchase gender-neutral as well, as they have the potential to be reused for multiple children.

Clothing can be an issue and, now that we’ve had five babies, we have a good selection for both genders in baby clothes. For our first couple of babies we just made sure we had some basic one-piece outfits that were gender neutral to get us through the first weeks with baby. When others want to get a gender-specific outfit they just wait until after baby arrives.

Naming a baby can be tricky. We make sure to have a name, or two, picked out for each gender and then wait to see our new family member to decide.

Keeping baby’s gender a secret has been the best decision we’ve made.

We’ve had well-meaning friends and family who are aghast that we wouldn’t find out in this day and age, with technology so prevalent. We’ve had our moments of really wanting to know as well. But there’s nothing like hearing my husband announce the gender on baby’s birthday to make that secret worth every moment of waiting.

Will you choose to find out or keep baby’s gender a secret?

Jess Wartinger resides in rural New York with her husband and five children. Formerly an early elementary teacher, Jess currently spends her time loving her kids and holding down the fort at home.


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