Can Baking Soda Tell You the Gender of Your Baby?

You absolutely positively know you’re having a girl. At least, you think so. There’s still some time before you confirm your guess with an ultrasound.

Now what? Some mums are saying that baking soda can actually predict the gender of your unborn baby.

What? Really? Baking soda? Um, isn’t that for cooking, cleaning and the occasional volcano experiment with your 4-year-old? Well, yeah. But, there’s also a rumour that when mixed with your own urine it can predict whether you’re going to have a boy or a girl.

Yep, that’s right. The baking soda that’s in your kitchen cabinet, mixed with a few drops of your own pee can tell you the same thing that complex medical genetic tests can. Obviously, for much less money.

Now you’re wondering, “Could it really be true?” If this simple mix could accurately predict gender, wouldn’t everyone (including the medical community) use it? Some mums swear by it. Really. Take a look at some of those mums-only Facebook groups and you’ll find plenty of comments speaking to the validity of these tests.

And, then there are less positive posts. One mum wrote (on the Amazing Things in the World page), “This didn’t work lol. I thought I was having a girl from the baking soda test! Wrong I’m having a boy!” In comparison, some comments make this one seem not critical at all. Several comments on the Womansera Facebook page (in response to an article about the baking soda gender test that they posted) pointed to the danger of spreading this type of possible mis-information in some areas of the world. As a New Delhi-based magazine, readers noted that this so-called test may result in infanticide (if the test “predicts” the mum is having a girl). One commenter wrote, “This is not a tried and proven technique and foolish sexist people might actually kill their children on the basis of this.”

So, who’s right?

Plenty of mums are saying it worked for them. But, then again plenty are saying it didn’t. It’s not like the baking soda and pee gender test is the only non-medical predictor out there. The red cabbage test is an age-old tale, claiming that if you soak and strain red cabbage, you can use the water (again, mixed with your own pee) to find out if it’s a boy or girl. Then there’s the ring on a string. Tie a string around your wedding ring (so, apparently you have to be married for this one to work?) and hold it over your bump. Circle-shaped movements equal a girl, side to side equals a boy.

Oh, but it doesn’t end there. Some say that if your unborn baby’s heartrate is over 140 beats per minute it’s a girl. Under – and it’s blue for you. Are you craving salty foods? Supposedly that means it’s a boy. Are sweet treats on your mind? That’s a girl!

Okay, so when it comes down to, none of these are medically proven.

It’s not likely that you’ll walk into your OB’s office and she’ll ask you to pee on a pile of baking soda. If you want to get scientific about it – baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. And, sodium bicarbonate reacts with most acids. That’s how the baking soda vinegar (which is an acid) volcano experiment works. Urine can be an acid. While it’s not purely acidic, in some cases your pee may be more acid than not. Diabetes, dehydration and any condition that causes excess acid in your body fluids causes your urine’s acidity to rise. That’s not to say that a fizzing result of the baking soda test means that you have diabetes or some metabolic disease. It just means that your urine is (or is temporarily) acidic enough to cause a reaction.

Does this also mean that you’re having a baby boy?

Could be. Or not. These prediction “tests” might be fun, but they aren’t exactly scientifically proven. So, go ahead and try out the baking soda test (if you feel like peeing on a pile of powder) and see what happens!

Avatar of Belinda Jennings

Belinda's a passionate advocate for community and connection. As the founder of the Mum Central Network she’s committed to celebrating the journey that is Australian parenthood. Mum to two cheeky boys, and wife to her superstar husband, they live a busy but crazy lifestyle in Adelaide. Great conversation, close friends and good chocolate are her chosen weapons for daily survival. Oh, and bubbles. Champagne is key.

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