Menu

Boy, girl or Team Green: Should you find out baby’s sex?

“I don’t want my child’s reproductive anatomy to define them as a person,” explains one mama-to-be. 

Boy, girl or Team Green: Should you find out baby’s sex?

From the very moment the pregnancy test came back positive, you probably started daydreaming about how your little one will look.


Some mamas want a pink or blue cupcake. ?

For some women, that picture comes into clearer focus during the second trimester, when they elect to learn the baby's sex. With so many gender reveal parties seemingly dominating Facebook and Pinterest, it may seem like a given—especially if you're really looking for an excuse to eat a cupcake that's been colored pink or blue. (We're not judging. Just save one for us!)

And some stay Team Green. ?

Still, many other expectant parents opt to skip that part of the anatomy ultrasound or blood tests to remain Team Green until delivery day.

It's about 50-50.

According to a 2007 Gallup poll, Americans were almost perfectly divided on whether to learn their child's sex during pregnancy. But it turns out generation may have something to do with it:

Two-thirds of Millennials said they were more inclined to get the details, versus 48% of people between the ages of 35 and 49 at the time of the survey.

When talking to doctors and friends, we learned that most mamas we know find out gender ahead of time these days.

What Motherly mamas say:

1. It's not an easy decision.

Erin, an expectant mother from Kansas, always assumed she would learn the sex of her baby during pregnancy. But when faced with the actual decision, she found it wasn't such a simple question. “I realized my desire to find out the baby's sex was really rooted in my desire to bond with my baby," she said, explaining she and her husband didn't want to put an emphasis on their child's sex.

2. It doesn't define them.

“I don't want my child's reproductive anatomy to define them as a person. Finding out might in some ways make the concept of this baby more real, but it ultimately does not help me get to know this being, their personality, their likes and dislikes."

3. The anticipation is fun.

Other parents who decide to wait until the baby is born say they enjoy the anticipation or appreciate that's how it was traditionally done. Some say they're holding off because ultrasounds aren't 100% accurate and it's best not to get their hopes up one way or the other.

4. It can help you feel more connected.

A lot of these mamas say finding out helps them to feel more connected to their little one.

5. It can be nice to be certain.

For Karley, a mother of two from Nebraska, finding out whether she was having a boy or girl during pregnancy gave her some peace of mind. “I felt that I was able to find out a little bit more about my little human growing inside during pregnancy, which seems to be such an unfamiliar experience," she said. “No pregnancy is the same—sometimes I didn't even recognize my own body—so it was nice to be certain of some things."

6. It's less overwhelming to find out.

When the symptoms and cravings she experienced during her second pregnancy proved to be very different from the first time around, Karley said it affirmed her decision to learn the baby's sex so she wouldn't go through through the next months secretly making an assumption, which she thought “would add extra emotions to an already overwhelming birthing experience" if the guess was wrong.

7. Finding out helps the older sibling nest.

During her second time around, Karley also considered the feelings of her young son, who got comfortable with the thought of having a little sister by making artwork that included her name and reading books that reflected their family. But if there is ever a third baby, Karley said she and her husband might consider waiting; she said she “envies the spontaneity" of people who go Team Green.

8. It's not black or white (or pink or blue).

The pink-blue-green debate isn't totally black-and-white, either. Other options include having one eager partner find out while the more patient one waits. Or you both can find out and then keep it a secret from friends and family until the big day.

Whatever you decide, know there isn't a right or wrong way to go. And, besides, we guarantee you'll love that little babe to pieces whether he's a he or she's a she.

What do you think? Find out or keep it a surprise? ??

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Shop

I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

$35

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Life

A few years ago, while my wife's baby bump got bigger and my daddy reading list grew longer, I felt cautiously optimistic that this parenthood thing would, somehow, suddenly click one day. The baby would come, instincts would kick in, and the transition from established couple to a new family would be tiring but not baffling.

Boy was I wrong.

Keep reading Show less
Life