One of the things that parents, especially mothers, take into consideration when choosing baby décor or clothes, is the sex of her baby, hence the generic pink and blue colours. For a mother who likes to be prepared for everything, knowing her unborn baby’s sex is important, to prepare herself and her environment for her bundle of joy and this is where the pencil and ring test comes in.

Out of the numerous sex determining methods, only two will be discussed here, namely the pencil test for baby gender and the ring test. Both were utilised in determining the baby’s sex long before technological advances become available to the public, and even after the advent of such technologies, continues to be trusted by mothers worldwide. The pencil test for baby gender and the ring test are not only easy to do, but the materials needed are available right inside your home!

Pencil Test

The pencil test, which originated from Hungary, still proves to be one of the most common methods used in determining the sex of one’s baby. To perform this method, one would need a:

  • Pencil (preferably sharpened, and with an eraser on the end)
  • Sewing needle
  • Sewing thread


  • Insert the thread through the needle, just enough so it dangles when worn on your wrist
  • Insert the needle into the eraser portion of the pencil so it won’t fall off when the thread is held
  • Position the pencil so the sharp end is facing your belly
  • With your palm facing up, put your hand on a sturdy support such as a table to steady your hand. Also, make sure that there’s no wind that could interfere with the motion of the thread
  • Dangle the pencil by holding on to the thread and positioning it on your wrist
  • Observe its movements

 Interpreting results

  • Up and down movement (over the length of the arm): it is a boy
  • Side to side: it is a girl

 Ring Test

What you will need to perform the ring test:

  • The mother’s wedding ring (or any ring in her possession)
  • Thread or a strand of hair


  • Place the thread through the ring
  • With the mother lying down on her back, dangle the thread over her belly
  • Observe for the ring’s movement over the belly, making sure that no external force is interfering with its movement


  • Pendulum motion: baby by
  • Circular motion: baby girl

While these are not scientifically proven methods, the pencil test for baby gender and the ring test provide a safe alternative in knowing the baby’s sex. Since it’s not completely reliable, other determination tests should be made to validate its results.

 Need an accurate means of confirming baby gender?

If you wish to have a 100% accurate and scientific method for determining baby gender, then why not do a DNA test? homeDNAdirect Ireland offers a very accurate baby gender test with samples of maternal urine. Click here for more information.