How to Do the Pencil Test to Find Out the Sex of a Baby

By Lucia Mata Images

Some people believe that finding out the sex of a baby anytime before the birth ruins one of the biggest surprises in life, but many expectant parents can hardly wait for an ultrasound to confirm the gender. For centuries, women have used different methods to discover the sex of a baby. Although many people swear by these methods, most are just old wives' tales. The "pencil method" is one of the most popular ways to find out the sex of a baby and, though it might not be completely accurate, it is still a fun activity for any expectant mother.

Sharpen your pencil.

Thread the needle and pin it to the eraser of the pencil. If the pencil does not have an eraser, tie a piece of thread to the end of the pencil tightly. You'll want to use about 5 inches of thread, but the length does not need to be exact, as long as the pencil can dangle.

Place your hand, palm up, flat on a hard surface. Make sure there is no breeze or wind that could affect the results.

Hold the pencil from the end of the string on top of your hand that is on the flat surface. Make sure the tip of the pencil is touching your wrist. Lift the pencil slowly by the string and wait for the pencil to start moving like a pendulum.

Observe the movement of the pencil. If the pencil moves up and down, over the length of your arm, your baby is a boy. If the pencil moves from side to side, across your arm, the baby is a girl. If the pencil moves diagonally, you will have twins.

Count the changes in movement the pencil makes, as this indicates the number of children you will have. Stop counting once the pencil stops moving. The movement of the pencil also predicts the gender of the future babies in the same manner.

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.