If Americans could only have one child, more would prefer a boy (40%) over a girl (28%), according to a recent poll from the Gallup organization.*
From the many conversations about balancing your family that take place on Circle of Moms, however, it's clear that the desire for a child of a specific gender is even more prevalent among parents who are working on their second or third child.
Here's a rundown of the many old wives' tales that Circle of Moms members have shared, which range from eating certain types of foods, to having sex at certain times or in particular positions, to one that actually stands a good chance of working: heading to your local fertility clinic.
As many Circle of Moms members point out, there's no harm in trying!
1. Charting Ovulation and Timing Sex
Head to the pharmacy for an ovulation kit, says Bianca C. and once you know your PH levels, you'll be able to try for a boy or girl, she says. "Boys are conceived on [the day of or one day] after ovulation." This mom of two boys is "using an ovulation kit to favor conception of a girl."
"I had a little girl in '09 and twin girls due in February, both times we had sex the day or night before I ovulated," says Jodi K. "I was told (by many family members and when asked my doctor said it was true as well) that the sperm that determines a male are very fast swimmers, but die rather quickly. The sperm that determine a female are slower swimmers, but live longer. So, the way I have perceived it, if you have sex only as -- or just after -- you ovulate, the male sperm will get there first and have a better chance of producing a male, if you have sex before you ovulate, the male sperm will still get there first, but the female sperm is more likely to still be alive by the time the egg comes down, raising your chances for a girl. "
Lea C. used this method to optimize the chances of having a boy, with success: "I heard to have a girl you try to do it before you ovulate and to have a boy, do it when you ovulate or after," she says. "Seems to work. I tried for a boy and that's what I got. I hear my mom tried this for a girl and that's what she got obviously." And Tricia M. also reports success with this method: "I charted my ovulation and timed sex to favor a boy, and... we had a boy," she reports, adding that "Nothing is foolproof, but this (I think) tipped the scales just enough so we had what we wanted."
2. Chinese Gender Birth Charts
Schermein L., who already has a boy, is planning on a girl the next time and will be calculating the target date of conception with a Chinese Gender Birth Chart, which she has heard is "quite an effective way of selecting the preference of the baby."
While these charts and calculators are "said to be for entertainment use only," they've worked every time for Circle of Moms member Mindy S. If you're intent on selecting your baby's sex, she says, "They're the way to go," and reports that "It worked for all three of mine."
3. For a Boy: Bananas, Cucumbers...and Breakfast
Prospective moms-to-be looking for a boy should eat long fruits and veggies like bananas and cucumbers, says Yoon F. And Melany V. insists that not skipping the most important meal of the day is key: "Eat breakfast," she counsels.
4. For a Girl: More Calcium, Less Salt
Connie D. wanted to follow her two boys with a girl. When she was trying to conceive (TTC), she was told to eat less salt and to increase her chances, and it worked. "I took a calcium and magnesium supplement and tried to lower my salt intake (these things are supposed to favor a girl). I am due with a girl next month." Yoon F. advises indulging in tart fruits to tip the scales in favor of a girl.
5. For a Girl: Fresh Sperm
If you both want a girl, involve your partner in the planning. Emma M, who had three boys and finally got a girl after using the techniques that follow, suggests frequent morning sex with the man on top. She adds that "the man has to make sure his sperm is fresh, wear loose boxers and take [a] luke warm shower."
6. For a Boy: Have an Orgasm
"Women should have orgasms when trying to conceive a boy, and preferably at the same time as their partner," advises Melany V.
When All Else Fails, Try a Fertility Clinic
While it may sound clinical, Circle of Moms member Jennifer G. points out that "The only way to get a specific sex with 100 percent certainty is through gender selection. There are fertility clinics that can separate the male and female sperm. That is the only way, not pills, counting days, or sex upside down. I had four girls."
Susan P. provides more detail: "I have heard of a VERY COSTLY procedure of gender selection. Basically, they separate the X and Y chromosome and you go through the procedure of artificial insemination to get the sex of your choice. However, it's not guaranteed that you'll become pregnant, and if it fails, you'd have to do it all over again...including the cost."
Would you try to influence your baby's gender?
* The rest have no preference.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.