Although there are a million and one reasons why knowing my newborn's gender would be super useful before the big 'birth' day, I'll be holding out and saving the surprise for the main event. Here's why...
That favourite question when someone finds out you’re expecting – “Congrats! What are you having?”. Then that look of shock/terror/amusement when I tell them I don’t know and don’t plan on finding out either. Comments range from ‘isn’t it going to be tricky planning the nursery?’ to ‘wouldn’t it just be useful on a practical level?’ (I already have a girl). And then my all-time fave – ‘don’t you want a gender reveal cake?!’ Yes, yes and yes!
But despite all the reasons for finding out, plus dealing with people thinking I’m a little crazy or making my life unnecessarily hard, I’m still pretty happy with my choice. So can I convince you to ditch the gender reveal too?! Read on to find out…
Pregnant in Singapore? 5 reasons not to do a gender reveal
1. You have a surprise!
First and foremost, it’s a surprise. Nowadays, there are not many surprises when it comes to having a baby. Yes, the birth is a surprise (you never quite know how it’s going to go), but I’m talking about a nice surprise. For the most part, everything is so planned, so I think it’s really nice to have an element of surprise on the day itself. And what better surprise than finding out the sex of your little one. It might take extra planning (two names etc.), but talking from experience with my first, the thrill of finding out on the day is pretty hard to beat.
2. Culture and family norms play a part
If I was having the same convo in the UK (where I’m from), the reactions on gender reveal might be pretty neutral. Although many still find out and opt for reveals, there’s also the no-gender-reveal crew. This comes down to some of the norms around birth that vary from country to country. That’s not to say there are not a lot of soon-to-be parents who choose to hold out in Singapore too, but it would seem we’re more in the minority. And then there are countries where gender reveal is illegal, so not even an option. It really depends on your background and location.
3. It’s back to basics
4. Everyone gets a guess (and still gets that gender reveal!)
Yes, there’s no gender reveal party – fireworks, cake or earthquake-like consequences (yep, read here, it was a thing), but everyone can still get a guess – and an extended one at that. And wow, how people love to guess! The Redmart delivery guy is adamant it’s a boy; the aunties in my condo have a sweepstake going down. Everyone has a say and is in on the surprise, plus they still get the grand reveal post-birth. And if you really want a party, then you can still go big on a baby shower!
5. It avoids misinformation
It might be rare, but it happens. The experts can get it wrong (which happened to a friend (and Francesco soon became Francesca). Although this isn’t a big reason for me deciding to say no, it can be a factor for some who’d prefer to know for sure on the day.
Have I convinced you?! If you’re also looking to hold off finding out your baby’s gender – here are some tips…
1. Get neutral newborn onesies and swaddles
The good news is that there are so many beautiful neutral pieces of clothing out there – you don’t need to panic about being short on clothes. Plus, you can always just buy for the initial month if you are stuck on the idea of pretty dresses for a baby girl!
2. Forget about everything needing to be gender-appropriate from the get-go
That being said, with the rise of baby grey, aka gender-neutral parenting, the colour really doesn’t (and shouldn’t) come into it.
3. Create a neutral palette for your nursery and accessories that can go either way
This is also super practical if you plan to have future littlies. Although that princess cot might look soooo cute, being forced to have a neutral palette could save you a dollar or two if number two is a different sex.
4. Have a party afterwards – you don’t need to miss out on the celebrations
You could go big on a baby shower or have a post-baby “welcome to the world” party (maybe plan it a few months later, post newborn haze!). Either way, you don’t need to miss out on the celebrations, but can avoid having to think up an elaborate gender-reveal plan pre-baby!
5. Tell the hospital about your decision not to know!
Make sure everyone is on the same page from the get-go, even if that means repeating yourself on every visit. Hospitals deal with so many mums to be, so it’s always worth mentioning you don’t want to find out and avoid an accidental slip. Trust me, it happens!
Psst – keen to find out what the rest of the HoneyKids Asia mums think? Here’s the lowdown on what they decided to do when it came to gender reveal!