Old wives tales: how to tell if your having a boy or a girl with a penny & a string

Updated July 20, 2017

One of the biggest questions expectant mothers have is whether their baby is a boy or a girl. While the only accurate way to know is by having an ultrasound done in the second trimester or waiting until the birth, many people swear by gender tests like the penny and string. This test is only a old wives' tale, but it can be a fun game to enjoy before finding out the gender accurately.

Cut a piece of string to measure about 10 inches.

Tie the string around the penny a few times, making sure the penny is secure.

Lay down on your back. Hold the string with your hand over your stomach, with the penny pointing toward your body.

Analyse the way the penny is moving over your belly. If the penny moves up and down, your baby is a girl. If the penny moves in a circle, your baby is a boy.


Ask your doctor for an ultrasound to find out the gender of your baby accurately.


The penny-and-string test will not provide accurate results.

Things You'll Need

  • String
  • Scissors
  • Penny
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About the Author

Lucia Mata has been writing since 2008, covering parenting and design topics. Her work has appeared in both English and Spanish publications. Mata has an Associate of Arts in interior design from Salt Lake Community College and a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Utah Valley University.