Pregnancy is an exciting time for any new parent. Whether parents wish for a boy or a girl, they are still happy with who they get blessed with! There are myths that apparently give pregnant moms tips on having the gender of her choice.
For example, my sister Natalina was itching to have a boy baby! She researched and found success stories that if she were to lie on her left side more often, then she would be blessed with a boy. She followed all the advice and voila – a male baby was born.
We all have our preferences despite gender, but after doing some research, I found there were quite a few differences between boy and girl babies.
Aside from their physical features, baby boys and girls do learn at different stages depending on the development. Experts reveal it is the amount of testosterone or estrogen produced that create these differences between boys and girls. That being said, this is only a generic "gender" guide as 'boy' and 'girl' is more of a social difference rather than a biological one. Everyone is unique so I would also like to acknowledge the fact that my research found gender differences are actually not THAT different. Here are the 15 differences we have noticed thus far between a baby boy's and a baby girl's mental development.
15 Their Emotional Development
According to ohbaby.co, there is actually one well-supported, and non-invasive way to determine the gender of your baby before the 20-week mark. "A 10-year study of 5000 women found that, with 97% accuracy, boy babies implant on the right side of the uterus, and girls on the left." I wouldn't say this contributes to their emotional development though, or does it? Maybe it's similar to the science behind people having more left and right sided brains and the different traits.
Females are generally known to be more emotional, especially as they age. Have you ever wondered if this was the case as a baby? Is there a difference between girl and boy babies when it comes to showing emotion? The answer is yes! According to whattoexpect.com, "After reviewing over 100 studies, researchers concluded that even in infancy, girls are better at figuring out people's emotions based on their facial expressions."
14 Their Spatial Skills
While girls tend to be more aware of emotional actions, boys were more aware of spatial scenarios. Spatial skills are the ability to understand and gauge spatial relations among things. "Studies suggest that boys as young as three to five months old can visualize how an object will appear when rotated, while girls of the same age can’t," supports whattoexpect.com.
According to ohbaby.co, since the mother floods both male and female brains with estrogen, initially, their brains are physiologically identical. "But when boys’ testicles begin producing testosterone, their brains start to change. At birth, a boy’s brain is slightly larger than a girl’s, a difference which remains throughout life." Geometry is an example of a subject in which boys have proven to perform better. If your female child is struggling here, ensure to explore this subject in depth to get her on par.
13 Their Toy Preferences
For infants, there is no such thing as boy and girl toys. They don't conceive of toys as gender and instead lean towards the toys that are most useful for them. For example, they will love toys they can turn and twist – whether it's pink or blue. Hormones are also a contributing factor to what your child might like.
Whattoexpect.com says, "In fact, girls who are exposed to higher-than-normal levels of [...] hormones, including testosterone, in the womb show an above-average interest in cars and trucks. And in a study of monkeys, male primates chose wheeled toys over plush toys, while females liked both. What does that mean for humans? You can expect your daughter to be more open than her brother about what she plays with — usually starting around kindergarten."
12 Their Energy Levels
After watching my nephew Logan grow for the last 6 months, I can conclude that boys are more active than girls. They seem to have more energy levels when they eat, play or are just simply sitting there. "After reviewing 46 previous studies, Canadian researchers concluded that baby boys are bigger wiggle worms than baby girls," says whattoexpect.com. "They squirm more on the changing table, get restless in the stroller, and crawl over longer distances, for example."
However, this article also states, "You may not notice the difference in your boy and girl babies, though, say scientists: While the average boy doesn’t move around much more than the typical girl, the most active kids are almost always boys, and the least active, girls." This could be due to the fact that girls are more observant.
11 Their Aggressive Nature
When you hear the word aggression, people naturally think of a boy. Yes, girls can be aggressive, but boys generally hold more of these traits. Studies show this is how boys handle their emotions."Boys are more physically aggressive than girls even before they turn two, according to studies," says whattoexpect.com. "Scientists say prenatal testosterone is a big factor, and that boys are subconsciously playing at something they’re statistically more likely to do in adulthood than girls: get into physical confrontations."
With that being said, this article also points out girls may not be overall more aggressive, but still, have their moments. By the time kids enter grade-school, toddler girls are said to kick, bite and hit three times more than either gender. At this point, words are used more than fists as at this age both parties have been socialized.
10 Tell Me About It
While research shows walking is the same time for boys and girls, that's not the case when it comes to talking. "Girls start about a month earlier than boys on average, sometime in the first half of the second year," sayswhattoeexpect.com. My part-time job involves interacting with kids of all ages on a daily – including babies! I taught swim lessons for babies up to 24 months and I distinctly recall the girls being more vocal!
"British researchers found that girl babies had significantly larger vocabularies than boys as early as 18 and 24 months." Whattoexpect.com also said that according to experts, "however, that gender explains up to only 3 percent of differences in toddlers’ verbal skills, with a child’s exposure to language and his or her environment accounting for at least 50 percent of differences."
9 When It Comes To Potty Training
Research shows that girls tend to potty train quicker than their gender counterparts. This stark difference is one of the biggest as experts have the numbers and experience to back it up. According to whattoexpect.com, "While most girls start toilet training anytime from 22 to 30 months, boys can take three months to even a year longer than girls to achieve all of the 28 skills experts say they need to be diaper-free forever." On average, girls peed on their own by 33 months and boys 37.
In my opinion, maybe that's due to the fact they also like to mimic people more than boys. This article also found that the biggest difference was sitting still for five minutes so on the toilet. "On average, girls can do this by the time they’re three and a quarter years old, but boys take around five months longer to learn the skill."
8 Their Alertness And Willingness To Imitate
This next point made sense in explaining why girls tend to pick up on skills involving visuals more quickly. Contrary to boys, girls "are slightly more alert, exhibit a stronger pain response (during the heel-prick test) and are quicker to imitate adults," according to Baby.co. "In a 2007 study, researchers encouraged babies between three and 96 hours old to mimic a gesture — extending an index finger."
The results between boys and girls are similar in the total number of movements, however, "girls showed more fine motor movements, a higher number of specific imitative gestures, responded faster during the imitation and showed a higher baseline heart rate during the experiment.” In my opinion, this may be due to the fact that girls are generally more emotional but tend to be shier at the same time.
7 Their Impressive Social Skills
According to baby.co, another study "found that newborn girls tended to prefer looking at a human (female) face than a mechanically-moving mobile. Boys preferred the mobile." This means girls preferred one-on-one attention versus a group of individuals. Boys tend to love crowds more and respond better to babies than girls do with company.
Parenting.com also supports this, writing that "Boys prefer looking at groups of faces (future teammates, perhaps?) rather than individual ones." Having both a niece and a nephew, I have also noticed my nephew responding much better than my niece did at his age. I remember one day we took my niece, Ariya, to take a picture with Santa. She immediately started crying and was terrified by all the faces around her.
6 How They Respond To Fear
Experts say boys are also more fearless than girl babies. Parents.com reveals, "Boys express fear later than girls, and less often. According to a recent survey, the parents of boys ages 3 to 12 months were much less likely than the parents of girls the same age to report that their child startles in response to loud noises or stimuli."
This may be why be why girls tend to prefer one face verse many, as discussed in the last point. So lack of fear may be a contributing factor to why boys develop social skills faster than girls too. "Another study revealed that when moms made a fearful face as their 12-month-olds approached a toy, the boys disregarded the mom and went for the plaything anyway," adds Parents.com. "Girls slowed their approach."
5 Their Coordination Abilities
Interestingly enough, although girls are less active, they are still better with their hands than infant boys. Parents.com says, "Infant girls exceed boys when it comes to fine motor tasks, a head start that will stick with them until preschool." As we learned earlier, infant girls mimic behaviors and so learn coordination through it. I bet even you can recall a time your baby girl has imitated you accurately.
Despite writing sooner than boys, girls tend to be faster to manipulate toys. Parents.com also states, "As toddlers, girls zoom ahead of boys on imitative behaviors such as pretending to take care of a baby but, interestingly, are no different from little guys when it comes to pretending to drive a car or water the plants, actions that are much less about human interaction."
4 Their Level Of Fussiness
Boys are fussier than girl babies and usually need more attention – especially as they get older. According to ohbaby.co, "boys and girls demonstrate slight neuro-behavioral differences. Boys tend to be fussier, a fact that I was surprised to learn, as the truism in my group of friends is that boys are easier." In my experience, my nephew, Logan is easier but definitely fussier!
This article also said, "Researchers measured how long it took fetuses to cease being surprised every time a repeating noise occurred. (The first bark of a dog is startling. Ten barks later, we're used to it.) At 33 weeks, female fetuses got used to it quicker than males." You may notice your baby boy being fussy when changing his clothes, feeding him or even changing his diaper.
3 Baby Face-Time
Experts find that girls are more engaged than boys and prefer to stare at your face more than boys do. According to Parents.com, "Girls are more likely to establish and maintain eye contact, and are attracted to individual faces—especially women's." This could be a contributing factor as to why they are more emotional and can pick up on visual cues better.
"They're also more skilled at reading emotional expressions; if shown a frightening face, for example, they'll look at Mom or get distressed, but they'll be fine if they see a happy one," says Parents.com. "Boys take longer to notice the difference, according to a meta-analysis of 26 studies on kids' capacity to recognize facial expressions." I do notice Logan, at 6-months-old, having trouble to focus on any one person at a time!
2 Their Listening Skills
Girls are better listeners as they tend to be more observant than boys. "Recent research shows that girls are more attuned to the sound of human voices and seem to actually prefer the sound to other sounds," says Parents.com. "Shake a rattle and you'll see no difference between newborn girls and boys, but when you talk, the girls will be more likely to become engaged."
My niece ALWAYS looked my way or responded when I called her name. My nephew, however, isn't as attentive. When they grow older, however, your child's personality is what will play a big role in their listening habits. Since every baby is different, gender is not going to tell you indefinitely how your child will act. Also, keep in mind, listening skills can be affected by other underlining problems too– such as partial deafness, or ADD, etc.
1 Their Level Of Dependence
It seems girls end up more compassionate and independent, and boys are more passively dependent. Parenting.com says, "I often say that I spend more time and energy on my one boy than on my three girls. Other mothers of boys are quick to say the same." In this article, she studied who was harder in five categories; discipline, physical safety, communication, self-esteem, and school.
Overall, boys were more difficult. "An indoor-based day and an early emphasis on academics and visual-auditory (as opposed to hands-on) learning ask a lot of a group that arrives at school less mature," said parents.com. "In their early years, most boys lag behind girls in developing attentiveness, self-control and language and fine motor skills." Regardless, every child is beautiful in their own way and gender research only scratches the surface to delving into this miracle.
References: Whattoexpect.com, Parenting.com,Ohbaby .co
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