sex

18 completely fun ways to influence your baby's gender.

 All parent’s-to-be ultimately just hope to have a healthy baby, but it’s no secret many are actually hoping for a certain gender.

Some parents dream of tutus, tiaras and a nursery bathed in pink, while others look forward to superhero birthday parties and a playroom filled with Matchbox cars.

Want to tip the scales in your preferred direction? Try one of the most popular gender selection methods below. Some are based in science, others are just-for-fun folkore. All guarantee odds of at least 50 per cent success!

1. Eat your Froot Loops.

Recently, researchers in England surveyed 740 mums-to-be and found that those who consumed more calories during their pregnancy were more likely to have boys – especially those who ate breakfast cereal.

But will it work? Probably not. Although, according to this study, 56 per cent of women who regularly filled their plates had boys compared to 44 per cent of those who ingested fewer calories. And of the women who ate cereal every morning, 59 per cent had boys. However, Robert Brzyski, M.D., P.h.D., spokesperson for the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, warns that we shouldn’t jump to conclusions. “This one finding might seem to show a possible association but it doesn’t prove that the mothers’ diets affected the sex of their babies,” he says.

"Those who consumed more calories during their pregnancy were more likely to have boys."

2. Consider Kama Sutra.

No, you don't have to do the Rest of the Warrior position (don't even ask) to increase the odds of conceiving a certain gender. However, according to folklore, certain positions might make a difference. For instance, some people believe that if you want a boy, you should do it doggy style or standing up. If you want a girl, then stick with the missionary position.

But will it work? Probably not. It doesn't matter how you do the deed, you're still looking at 50/50 odds. "People who are passionate about choosing the sex of their child sometimes resort to these methods, but they're not proven to work," explains Robin Elise Weiss, author of Guarantee the Sex of Your Baby. However, there's no harm in trying new positions, so have fun shaking things up in the shack.

3. Look to the East.

About 700 years ago, a Chinese scientist allegedly discovered a pregnancy lunar calendar in a royal tomb near Beijing. The chart can supposedly predict the sex of your child based on the mother's lunar age and month of conception. It claims to work for women whose calendar age in 45 or younger. To try your hands in the acient fates, check out the Chinese gender chart yourself.

But will it work? Probably not. Believers claim this calendar is 90 per cent accurate, but experts say don't count on it. Your odds of conceiving either sex are still about equal.

4. Look in the mirror.

If you want a girl, make sure your partner is easy on the eyes. According to a study in the Reproductive Sciences, better-looking parents are more likely to have daughters. Consider it survival of the prettiest - since attractiveness is an important trait for women looking for mates, those Angelina's and Brad's out there are more predisposed to have daughters than sons because of evolution.

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But will it work? Maybe! If you and your partner are lookers, Kanazawa says your odds of having a daughter are 56 per cent while your odds for having a son are 44 per cent. But experts warn that without other research to back up his findings, it's impossible to know if they are valid.

"If you and your partner are lookers, Kanazawa says your odds of having a daughter are 56 per cent while your odds for having a son are 44 per cent."

5. Keep an eye on the calendar.

One of the most popular methods out there, called the Shettles Method, is based on the concept that male sperm swim faster but don't live as long as female sperm. Here's how it works: First, determine when you're ovulating by either trakcing your basal body temperature or by using an ovulation kit. Then, if you want a boy, have sex as close as possible to ovulation because the male sperm will most likely reach the egg the fastest. If you'd prefer a little girl, have sex two to three days before you ovulate because by the time your body releases the egg, the male sperm will have most likely died off.

But will it work? Probably not. Supporters of this method say it has up to a 90 per cent effectiveness rate. However, keep in minds that researchers have yet to reproduce Shettles' results.

6. Pay for your preference.

Of course, the costliest, most controversial methods also happen to be the only ways you can nearly guarantee the gender of your future child. For instance, with preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), embryos are tested to determine whether or not it's male or female. Then, the parents-to-be can choose which embryos to implant back into the mother's uterus. This technique requires IVF and can be costly, but only works 40-50 per cent of the time.

But will it work? Yes! PGD has about a 99.9 per cent accuracy rate, though false positives and false negatives are possible.

7. Check his drawers. 

Legend has it that the temperature of a man's testicles can affect his future offspring's gender. So, in theory, men who wear boxers are more likely to have girls. Those who wear tighty-whities are more inclined to have boys.

But will it work? Probably not. Regardless of your partner's underwear choice, your odds are still 50/50.

8. Just do it... but not necessarily too much.

If you're thinking pink, then prepare to have a lot of sex. Some people say the more you have sex, the more you'll decrease your man's sperm count. And since the male sperm is supposed to die first, the theory says there will be fewer of the little guys in your partner's circulation.

But will it work? Probably not. There's no actual evidence to support this theory completely.

"If you're thinking pink, then prepare to have a lot of sex."

9. Take the lead. 

If you and your partner want a daughter, there's an old wives tale that says the woman should initiate sex. But if you're hoping for a boy, let him do the talking.

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But will it work? Probably not. "How on earth would your sperm know who initiated sex?" says Robin Elise Weiss, author of Guarantee the Sex of Your Baby.

10. Plan your menu wisely. 

According to legend, women should eat sweets like chocolate if they want a girl, and salty snacks if they're hoping for a boy.

But will it work? Probably not. There's no evidence to suggest that a parent's nutrition can influence their child's gender.

11. Hold off on the big O. 

If you desperately want a girl, you might want to hold off on reaching climax, according to one method. The theory is that when a woman orgasms, she gives the sperm an extra boost, and since male sperm are supposedly faster, they'll more likely reach the egg first.

But will it work? Probably not. "This is an old wives' tale," explains Weiss. "There's very little science behind it."

12. Try the one shot deal. 

If you're hoping for a girl, there's a non-scientific approach called the O+12 method that will supposedly boost your odds. The rules: Basically your partner needs to avoid ejaculating the week before ovulation (longer if possible). Then, you have sex once and only once 12 hours after you ovulate.

But will it work? Probably not. The creator of the method claims a 90 per cent success rate, but experts say there's no proof.

"The O+12 method that will supposedly boost your odds for a girl."

13. Look to the moon. 

Folklore says that having sex during a full moon will lead to a future daughter while quarter-moons will bring you a boy.

But will it work? Probably not. You can have sex morning, noon, or night, but it won't make any difference in the gender of your baby, experts say.

14. Remember, you are what you eat. 

A study from The Netherlands found that a mother who times sex well before ovulation and also consumes food rich in magnesium and calcium and low in sodium and potassium is more likely to give birth to a girl. If you're hoping for a girl, stick with yoghurt, nuts and leafy greens and avoid foods like potatoes, anchovies, and olives.

But will it work? Probably not.  "This is just one study and it doesn't identify a cause-and-effect relationship," explains Robert Brzyski, M.D., Ph.D. In other words, the findings can just be a coincidence.

15. Stock up on Red Bull. 

If you want a boy, tell your partner to drink a few cups of coffee, soda or another caffeinated beverage of choice about 30 minutes before you have sex. The caffeine will give the male sperm an extra boost.

But will it work? Probably not. No evidence supports this claim.

the O+12 method that will supposedly boost your odds.
Image via http://energydrink-au.redbull.com/
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16. Set the mood. 

If you want a girl, light candles, play music and take your time making love. If you want a boy, stick with a quickie.

But will it work? Probably not. "The sperm doesn't know what the room looks like or how long it took for your partner to ejaculate," says Weiss.

17. Check your position.

You might want to cuddle or have a snack after sex, but if you'd prefer a boy you should lie down flat on your back after having sex - doing so supposedly gives the male sperm a better chance than the female sperm to win the race to the egg.

But will it work? Probably not. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine says that there's no prood that lying in any particular position post-coital will affect the gender of your baby.

18. Clean up down there. 

Some people believe douching helps increase a woman's chances of conceiving a boy. The thought is that the douche lowers a woman's vaginal acidity, which supposedly makes it easier for male sperm to survive.

But will it work? Probably not. But douching can cause you a lot of problems, including vaginal infections and pelvic inflammatory disease. In fact, you probably just want to skip this one altogether.

Have you got any other tips for women trying to conceive a certain gender? Would you try any of these? 

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Tags: babies , baby-2 , fatherhood , motherhood , pregnancy
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