How Things Change – Babies

How Things Change – Babies

My youngest is turning 11 this month. When I was pregnant with him we found out early on that he was a boy, but we kept that information to ourselves. With the first I didn’t ask. I knew in my heart he was a boy, and I didn’t need any ultrasound to tell me differently. With #2 I found out, my (then) husband didn’t want to know, so he had no idea that I knew. With #3 we found out together. But no one else knew. Of course by boy #4 they all assumed he’d be a male, but we told no one.

These days most women will find out the sex of their baby, some will keep it to themselves, but most share it with their family and friends (and Facebook). In Jewish families I guess in a way it makes it easier, because that way you know if you’ll need to prepare for a brit or not. If your married kids live far away, it helps you plan better. But I am from the school of no preparation before a baby is born because we don’t want to tempt the evil eye.

But it just doesn’t sit well with me. It’s all well and good Mom and Dad knowing what sex their baby is, but is it something to be shared with everyone? Is it not an ayin ra to say “we’re having a boy” or “it’s a girl”? In my circle people didn’t even say they were having twins when that was the case.

What are your thoughts? Did you know? Did you share with everyone?


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  1. tesyaa says:

    Neither telling nor keeping the sex a secret is right or wrong. People should do what makes them happy.

  2. Bethany Shondark Mandel says:

    We’re finding out today, but we’re not telling anyone. If it’s a boy we’ll tell my in-laws at some point so they can help us plan for a bris. I think it takes away some surprise and joy when everyone knows, they can find out when the baby is born. We’re not buying anything, but we’re accepting free stuff and clearing out space so we’ll be ready to put in baby stuff when the time iyh comes.

  3. Lady Lock N Load says:

    I didn’t know with the first two. With the third I found out the day before she was born and I didn’t even tell my husband! :)

  4. kweansmom says:

    “If your married kids live far away, it helps you plan better. ”

    You mean if you are planning a brit for your newborn son, and you need to invite your married kids to their brother’s brit?

    Wow, you do move in different circles than me!

    • I think she means that if your married kids are the ones who are having the baby, it helps as the future grandparents, to know whether or not the will be a bris so that they can help out their married kids with the planning.

  5. My mother wanted to be surprised with the third because she was hoping it would be a boy…it was not. Neither was the fourth. ;) But Ashkenazi customs and Sephardic customs and secular customs around these things are different.

    My half-sister waited until the baby shower to surprise everyone with the sex of the baby. My sister told everyone from the beginning. We don’t wait to give gifts except to our Ashkenazi relatives.

  6. And friends.

    Dominicans actually give newborn babies an azabache necklace or wrist bracelet to protect against the evil eye:

  7. My great-grandmother actually had 10 daughters before she had her final child, a boy.

  8. I will likely give my Dominican relatives all the details and keep them as a surprise from my Ashkenazi in-laws and relatives. It will get interesting on Facebook. LOL.

  9. karen says:

    I agree with you, Hadassah- it’s an unfortunate trend that people go public with all kinds of stuff these days, think they have to share every sneeze with the world. I think when one recognizes boundaries, respects privacy, it’s a beautiful and healthy thing.

  10. We found out and told our parents, which led to telling our siblings, which led to telling my husband’s grandparents (I decided to keep it a surprise for my grandfather). Since we live in Israel and people would be timing their trips for the bris, that was definitely an issue.

    We didn’t tell friends, though some people probably guessed. I would definitely not share that kind of news on fb, but for those who do — you know what? They’re just excited.

  11. Batya says:

    In my day we didn’t know; I liked that. My daughter always knows and tells. A cousin’s daughter is expecting and they have announced the sex of the baby and the name already, which I find a bit much. but it’s not my business.

  12. Leah Rosenbaum says:

    by my first we didn’t find out. the day before birth at a routine checkup the nurse slipped up. I didn’t tell my husband about it till after I got the epidural. we where debating which name to add on as a fourth name (don’t ask!) when surprise surprise the nurse was wrong and we had a healthy little girl, not boy :)

    by our second child we where debating if we should find out in advance. we knew according to the due date the bris would be on Shauves or Shabbos if it was a boy. the sonographer wrote it on a piece of paper and folded it so we can look at it at home if we want. our suspense held up til midnight and we peeked. we didn’t tell ANYONE besides the pediatrician when I had to ask him some medical based questions about stuff that came up during the sono.

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