Husband Doesn't Want to Know Baby's Gender, How to Handle Family/friends

Updated on July 18, 2010
G.D. asks from Glen Ellyn, IL
25 answers

Hi Moms!
I am five and a half months pregnant with our third child and very excited. We have two sweet daughters ages 6 and almost three. My husband has decided that he doesn't want to find out the sex of our third child, but didn't mind if I did. I had an ultrasound the other day that clearly revealed "who" will be coming in November. Since my husband doesn't want to know I cannot tell anyone else in order to respect his wishes. He really liked the excitement of being surprised at the delivery and wants to enjoy that again. I have told everyone twice that the baby was shy for both ultrasounds and that we cannot tell, however, I am sure that they know that I already know the gender. How can I go about fielding questions from family and friends about "who" the baby is...I hate lying and telling everyone that I don't know. Seriously, some people are getting a little peeved because we are keeping it a secret. It is actually getting a little stressful for me. I even posted it on my facebook page that the baby "didn't cooperate" for the ultrasound so that people would stop asking me. I know they mean well, but I certainly can't tell even a few people when my own husband wants to be surprised at the delivery.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Hi Moms! Thank you so much for all of your helpful responses! We had three family parties to attend last weekend, and, sure enough, I was asked at least three times at each party if we knew what we were having. I responded truthfully that my husband did not want to know, but I did know and that we wanted everyone to be surprised. To my surprise, people backed off once I told them that I wasn't telling because my hubby didn't want to know, especially if he was standing right there next to me. They are all waiting for me to "slip up" and blurt it out accidentally, so I lovingly refer to my little one as "the baby" routinely so that I don't slip. It is much easier with no one knowing than some people and not others. Thanks again, your responses gave me the confidence to stand up so that my husband's wishes are respected.

Featured Answers


answers from Austin on

We did not want to know either and it was so exciting!

We also did not share the names we were considering either.
People would try to guess the sex and the names.. it was pretty funnyPeople were so convinced they knew...



answers from Chicago on

My best friend wanted to know and her husband did not. So, she did find out and shared with only select, close family members. However, her husband told the family if he was ever told prior to the birth, that person who spilled the beans would have to buy him a new Dell computer. No one slipped in the entire 9 months, and even my girlfriend was buying new clothes for her baby and just hid them in the house. I guess this proves a secret can be kept amongst close family & friends.

More Answers



answers from Sioux Falls on

Just simply answer, "We want it to be a surprise!" And smile and change the subject. Don't feel bad about it!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

Just tell them that your husband doesn't want to know. Therefore, you're not telling anyone so that you don't ruin the surprise for him on accident. People should accept that easily enough. If not, they have serious issues. :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chattanooga on

It's really no one's business but the 2 of you! Just be blunt and say they will have to be surprised when you announce the babies sex after need to say you know. I wouldn't even confirm that for them. Just say it's going to be a surprise and leave it at that! If someone wants to give you a shower, ask for it to be after the baby is born.
Or say, well, we think it's either a boy...or a girl! Congratulations and good luck!
Be sure to come back and tell us too!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

We chose not to find out with either child, and I can't imagine doing it any other way. In our case, it was easy. When people asked, we said we chose not to find out.

In my opinion, all you have to tell people is that your husband doesn't want to know, and out of respect to him, you're not sharing it.

My husband actually wanted to know with our first. I told him he could find out, but I didn't want to know. He was so scared about slipping, he said, no, and he's more of an advocate about not learning the gender than I am.

I personally wouldn't tell anyone. Keep the secret in your heart, and let him have his surprise with the baby arrives.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Why the lies? Just tell people you are "trying to preserve the surprise" and then change the subject. Any specific information is none of their business at all.
It is your child, your body, your marriage, and your choice. People will have to deal with it. There is no reason that they "need" to know. If they are trying to pick a color for a blanket they are knitting, for example, they can just pick yellow.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

No need to lie, just tell them it will be a surprise when the baby is born - pretty simple really. It is your baby, don't be bullied into telling the sex especially, if it will ruin it for your husband.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

we kept our daughter's name a secret which made some people mad, but it's your choice.

This reminds me of Gilmore Girls when Jackson didnt want to know the sex and wore a button so people would know not to say anything to him. Your system of just not telling anyone else makes much more sense. :-)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

Most of the people got it right here...."You want the gender to be a surprise"! It's awfuly rude to try to push you to's not their baby. No need to lie, just tell them what is right for your family.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Don't lie to people, just tell them you are not sharing.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Tell them that you requested not to know and leave it at that. By telling them the baby was shy you are making it appear that you and your hubby really want to know up front. If you say you requested not to know it'll show them that you are waiting until delivery and their questions will stop.

I didn't find out with my first 2 because there are actually very few things in life that are a suprise and I wanted my children to be the biggest suprise of all. With my twins they slipped up and told me that 1 was a boy but the second was a suprise.

Best of luck with your growing happy family.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

i just wanted to say that the family and friends are being very rude and selfish by making you feel uncomfortable knowing your husband (if not both of you) wants to be surprised. you dont have a baby for anyone else, and they already had their chances or will in the future to decide whether they want to know beforehand or not. you should only have to say one time "we want to be surprised". once you go for the u/s and dont find out, thats it, i cant see why they keep asking.

honestly, i cant believe anyone would put their own wants before you and your husbands. having a baby is a miracle, and although i find out, i do believe it is one of lifes few surprises that really moves us. all the months of your husband wondering, everyone making guesses, doing old wives tales, picking 2 sets of names, making up nicknames for the unborn baby. then at delivery, your husband waiting, even after the baby pops out, hearing or seeing what it is. i cannot even fathom taking away any of that from anyone.

besides all this, having 2 girls, its nice that your husband isnt caught up in the desire for a boy, and is enjoying the excitement of not knowing just as much with your previous children. people should really think of others first. good luck to you.

p.s. congratulations. my guess the way you worded it is its a boy, maybe im wrong, but it really is fun to take guesses.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

i would just put it bluntly, "the baby didnt show, we didnt see and dont plan on finding out. we want a surprise at delivery again!" technically, that is true! lol "we" didnt see, only "you" saw. i think that once people understand you are having a surprise delivery they will lay off!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Tell them the truth. You know but will not tell because your husband doesn't want to know. They will have to respect your choice and get over it.



answers from Phoenix on

My girlfriend and her husband had this same dilemma...she wanted to know and he didn't. So, she had to do the room before the ultrasound so the baby's gender wouldn't influence her design decisions. As far as friends and family, she just let us all know that she knows and he doesn't and, to ensure that it stays that way until baby is born, she's not sharing. We all respected her wishes.



answers from Houston on

I think you should just tell them the truth. Tell them that you are respecting your husband's wishes by not sharing the information this time around and leave it at that. If it makes you uncomfortable to lie, then don't. Also, if they get peeved, that's their problem, not yours. Just stick to your guns and don't let them steal you or your husband's joy over this. Congratulations and enjoy your new little "who"!



answers from St. Cloud on

People are getting peeved at you? That is so rude! Tell them that it's a surprise and that the pressure on you to tell what should be your precious secret is stressing you out.

I hope people start having more respect for you and your husband!



answers from Chicago on

In my opinion, it is no one's business but yours and your husbands. You can nicely tell them that you would like to respect your husband's wishes for surprise and that you hope they can understand not compromising his joy on the baby's birthday. Simple as that. If they get upset, too bad. It's not their child. It's not their surprise to tell or know. Don't let this get to you. Enjoy the excitement and know that not everyone needs to know everything.


answers from Houston on husband and i both waited to find out with our second child (totally worth it! btw).....tell your friends and family that your husband doesnt want to know and he comes before their insistence. The more people know the easier it will be to spoil the suprise. You will have to work hard enough not to spill the beans.



answers from Las Vegas on

This is a tough one. We didn't find out the sex of baby #2 and boy did I hear about it. I couldn't believe how upset my friends and family were over this decision. They wanted to know what to buy in advance. I had a girl first but I did her room in baby animals so it was gender neutral and I had white and yellow newborn outfits ready to take to the hospital (and to last for a week after). I kept telling everyone that I didn't need anything, but they were still upset. The good thing was, there was no secret to keep so I didn't have the pressure that you have.

I normally wouldn't advice anyone to lie, but I'm afraid that you already have pressure and people will beg to be the one you tell your secret to. This is so unfair to your husband. He should be surprised and the more people you tell, the more you run the risk of spoiling something beautiful for him. I would continue to say the baby didn't cooperate and that you don't think you're having any more ultrasounds to figure it out. Your husband is more important than those other inquiring minds. You need to protect that. Also,
although lying is not always noble, it is sometimes necessary when people are prying when they shouldn't!

Good Luck!



answers from Phoenix on

"Just because everyone else chooses to know, doesn't mean we want to be deprived of the greatest surprise of all"

"We want to be surprised, so you all are going to share this with us!"

"It's going to be a surprise!"

"We dont know, so we can't tell."


With my baby, we decided to be surprised. The tech (before we told her that) froze the picture (where it was clearly obvious to my husband with a bit of a medical background) and asked did we want to know or not, uh no, ok moving along.... but my husband saw and clearly identified what it was. (and I'm glad because it took me some time to accept that we were having what we had)

So, because we weren't told, I could always say "we asked not to know" "We asked them not to tell us." "They didn't tell us" "we chose to be surprised" etc. Worked for us and we weren't outright lying!

Really, I do find it annoying (but do it myself now as well) when everyone assumes the mama knows what she's having before it comes. And we've even gotten to the point sometimes of the delivery date and the name all being known ahead of time. (The birth stats aren't enough of a surprise for me to be delighted about)



answers from Chicago on

I also wanted to be surprised at the birth of my first child. Luckily everyone respected my wishes, especially my husband, because he did want to know. It really was not a problem shopping for gender neutral things and people can wait to shop until after the baby is born. I really don't have any advice for you because I didn't have that problem. But this is your baby and you have every right to know or not know and to choose not to tell anyone until after the birth. I think it is ridiculous that people are bothering you about it to the point that it is causing you stress. These people are your friends & family and certainly shouldn't want unnecessary stress for you or the baby! Good Luck to you with the birth & keeping your "secret"!! Sorry I couldn't offer anything helpful other than good wishes.



answers from Chicago on

I hate lying to people, too...You could try a different route that doesn’t involve lying. When people start asking questions, tell them “DH and I have decided we’re not going to discuss ‘who’ the baby is until the baby is born and we both see for ourselves.” If they press you and ask you straight out “But you know, don’t you?” then tell them a little more firmly, “It doesn’t matter if either one of us knows, DH and I have decided not to discuss it with anyone.” This allows you and DH to present a united front. Think about the questions you get asked most often and try to come up with a one sentence answer for each question. It’s easier to remember and there’s less of a chance of being interrupted. Just keep coming back to a phrase like “DH and I have decided not discuss it with anyone.” Also, when your friends & family are inevitably comparing stories there will be only one story out there. Make sure to talk about this with DH so it doesn’t count as lying : ) and so you are on the same page about what the party line is, in case people are asking him, too...It sounds like you have a great relationship.

If someone asks you why you and DH decided not to discuss it, you don’t need to justify your decision. I know you can’t just ignore them either, so you could smile and say “We like surprises!” and then change the subject, preferably to something non-baby-related. If they come back to it, tell them “We’ll let you know when the baby is born”.

I wouldn’t tell people that you know, but your husband wants to be surprised. If things are getting a little stressful now...just think how bad it would be if they had confirmation you knew. It would provoke them to hound you about it even more. If they don’t respect your wishes to leave you alone now, it sounds to me like it would only get worse if they knew. Your instincts are right here (to not tell other people when your husband wants to be surprised).

Congratulations, by the way : )



answers from Chicago on

The sex of an unborn baby is one of the last little "sweet surprises" left in the world. Tell them simply to wait to find out. Give them no other explaination. Boors like these folks don't deserve one.

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