One of the very first questions you’ll hear when you announce that you’re pregnant is “Are you hoping for a girl or a boy?” While the expected answer is usually “I just want a healthy baby,” it’s honestly fine if you’re secretly hoping for one gender over the other.
If you’ve been dreaming of becoming a boy mom and dressing your little guy in all of the adorable dinosaur and motorcycle T-shirts you see in the baby clothing section, you may be wondering or even googling “what makes you likely to have a baby boy?” From what you eat or don’t eat to the times of the month you should conceive and should not conceive, there’s a lot of old wives' tales about how to conceive a boy.
“There are multiple suggested tips and tricks to conceive one gender or the other, however, there is no actual scientific evidence that any of this works,” said Dr. Jodie Horton, MD. “Despite the lack of research that any method may work, it won’t stop people from trying.”
What Makes You Likely to Have a Boy?
According to Dr. Horton, parents who want to increase their odds of having a boy can opt for gender selection methods through in vitro fertilization. However, if you are looking for a more natural and less expensive route, here are some methods that parents say helped them successfully conceive a baby boy.
A Diet That Could Help You Conceive a Boy
From what you eat to how much you eat, adjusting your diet may help increase your odds of conceiving a boy naturally.
One study found that when mothers increased their calorie intake and ate breakfast cereals, they were more likely to give birth to boys. Researchers of the study say this may be because of higher blood glucose. So if a little boy is part of your plan, stock up on your favorite sugary cereal.
While there is no scientific data backing this idea, there are plenty of supporters with anecdotal information that the key to having a baby boy is to eat foods that increase the alkaline in a woman’s body. This high alkaline level is believed to create the perfect high pH environment to conceive a boy.
Here’s the food you’ll want to add to your cart:
- Fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits, green leafy veggies and root vegetables
- Foods that contain potassium, such as bananas, avocados and salmon
- Foods high in alkaline like nuts, seeds and whole grains
To keep your pH environment boy-friendly, avoid:
- Processed food
The best part of these diet tips: Eating more fruits and veggies and cutting out processed food is always a good idea even if it doesn’t increase your odds of having a boy.
Vitamins to take to conceive a baby boy
Dr. Horton said the first supplement you should take is a prenatal vitamin. “It’s important to take prenatal vitamins with folic acid at least three months before getting pregnant.” However there are some theories on how additional supplements can help increase your chances of conceiving a boy.
Evening primrose oil and guaifenesin are said to improve the quality of cervical mucus, making it easier for sperm to reach the egg. Since boy producing sperm swim more quickly than girl producing sperm, these supplements could help the boy sperm get to the egg faster and be the first to fertilize the egg.
Dr. Horton noted that before adding any vitamins or supplements to your daily routine, talk to your doctor.
Fertile Days to Conceive a Boy
Checking your monthly calendar for what is the best time to conceive a baby boy? Here are three different methods you might want to try.
The Shettles Method
Developed by Dr. Landrum B. Shettles in the 1960s, this method focuses on timing intercourse to increase their odds of having either a boy or a girl. For this method, couples should have sex on the day a woman ovulates as well as the days after — up to three days. They should also avoid sex in the time between menstrual periods and the days leading up to ovulation. The theory here goes back to the speed the boy producing sperm swims and making sure that when the egg is released, the boy sperm are closer than the girl-producing sperm.
The Whelan Method
Made famous by Elizabeth Whelan, this method gives the opposite advice of the Shettles Method for having a baby boy. After tracking your basal body temperature (when your body is at rest) for a few months to learn when you ovulate, the Whelan Method states you should have sex four to six days before ovulation if you want a boy.
The Babydust Method
Created by microbiologist Kathryn Taylor, this method follows a strict sex schedule to help increase your odds of having a boy. To start, women should chart their luteinising hormone — the hormone that triggers ovulation — twice a day for at least three months before trying to conceive. This can be done with at-home ovulation kits. Then have sex as close to ovulation as possible and avoid the two or three days before ovulation to conceive a boy.
Frequency of Sex to Conceive a Boy
During your most fertile days of the month, you may want to have sex as often as possible to increase your odds of getting pregnant. However, Dr. Horton said if you are trying for a boy, have less sex. “If you have sex less frequently your partner will have a higher sperm count. It is believed that male sperm are not as strong as female sperm so the higher sperm count can limit male sperm's chances of fertilizing an egg first,” she said.
The Bottom Line
While none of these methods guarantee you’ll have a little boy, they can help you become more aware of your fertility cycle, your diet and how your body works, which could help you have the baby of your dreams.
Before you start planning to grow your family and try any of these methods to conceive a boy, it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor. “You want to be in the best health possible before conceiving,” said Dr. Horton. “Studies found that the healthier you are mentally and physically, the higher the chances are for getting pregnant.” From starting a prenatal vitamin, cutting stress, making lifestyle changes, and addressing any medical problems, Dr. Horton said, you’re ensuring a better pregnancy for you and your future baby.
“I tell my patients to enjoy conceiving your child, take care of yourself and the baby during the pregnancy, and be happy with having a healthy mom and baby. Each child is unique and should be loved and appreciated regardless of gender.”