21 weeks: I did the Drano gender test {pregnancy update}

I had a prenatal checkup last Thursday, and Jennifer asked if I was sure about my dates.  She asked because I’m still measuring 3 cm. big, just like last time.  Neither of us said the T[win] word, probably because neither of us thinks that’s why.  I assume it has more to do with the fact that my uterus knows exactly how big it’s going to get over the next 5 months and just wants to be proactive in the process.  Apparently my uterus is not a procrastinator like the rest of my body, although that begs the question “why are my babies born late?”  Somebody needs to have a talk with my uterus.

In other news, we went to a baby shower over the weekend – not for our own baby, but for a newlywed at church who is expecting a honeymoon baby!  I think our baby celebrated his/her first shower by getting the hiccups.  I don’t think it’s the first time, but it’s the first time it was distinct and rhythmic enough to be reasonably sure.

One of the games we played at the shower required us to fill in the last few words in a line from a nursery rhyme.  One stumped everyone because we all remembered different versions, and we ended up guessing wildly: Rub-a-dub-dub, 3 men in a tub, how do you think ____  ____  ____.

they all fit?

they managed to wash?

they got there?

But Megan’s guess brought down the house: how do you think their wives felt?

What’s your best answer?

Drano gender test

OK, I did it: the Drano gender test.  It’s generally categorized with old wives’ tales, but my midwife chuckled a little before telling me that it’s the only one with enough credibility to make it into the midwifery texts.  If I remember correctly, she said that the chemical reaction has to do with hormones produced in part by the baby.  That means that while there can be a lot of variation, it does seem to have a better than 50/50 accuracy level – if you can figure out whose instructions to follow and how to interpret the results.  She also backed up what another friend’s midwife told her: Until 20 years ago, it was considered somewhat accurate in the midwifery community. In her words: “It’s the best and most accurate of the just-for-fun tests.”  Since then the Drano formula has changed, and now you have to use the crystals to get anything better than 50/50.

Of course you could be a stick-in-the-mud and point out that anecdotal evidence is meaningless because people will remember the times it worked and forget the times it failed, but who likes a stick-in-the-mud?  I did a lot of googling, and here’s what seems to give the best results:

How to do the Drano baby gender test:

  1. Wait until at least 20 weeks gestation (some sources say 16 weeks).
  2. Save some of your first morning urine in a canning jar.  Laugh at all the people who think this test is dangerous because they imagine you peeing into a jar that is already filled with Drano.
  3. Take it outside and add some Crystal Drano (must be crystals, not liquid. I found it at WalMart).  Laugh at the people who thought you had to actually pee outside to do this test.
  4. Stand back – this will generate heat and toxic fumes.  Laugh at the people who think this is dangerous because you might hover over the jar sniffing your own fizzy pee fumes.
  5. Wait until the chemical reaction has finished and check the color of the resulting liquid: brownish or blackish indicates a boy, greenish, bluish, or no change indicates a girl.
  6. Take it with a grain of salt.  🙂  The results, that is.  Not the urine/Drano mixture.  Please dispose of that carefully and safely.
My results?  Definitely brownish.  A boy?  We’ll see!  Oddly enough, most of our household is hoping for or expecting a girl (the guesses ran 9 to 3).  We love the craziness of a house with boys, but even the boys think it’s time for another baby girl, and PerryBoy thinks it’s important that we stick to our current pattern of girl, boy, girl, boy…GIRL.  He’s very mathematically minded.  I find it easier to picture myself with a baby girl this time, but does anyone think that might be because so far 80% of my babies have been girls?  As hubby would say, “Ya think?!
I plan to do the test again this week, but a bit more scientifically.  This morning, I used about 2 oz of urine and 2 Tbs of Drano crystals.  Next, I want to start with a small (measured) amount of Drano and watch the results.  Then I’ll add a little more, and a little more, and a little more.  My plan is to see if the proportions used change the results significantly.

Belly pics

Update 1: I did the test again, this time in several different proportions. Every time, the results were unquestionably brownish. Of course we still don’t know if the results are correct in our case or if we’re even interpreting it correctly, but it’s definitely consistent for me.

Update 2: On July 3, I had an ultrasound. Boy! In this case – my first time to try the Drano gender test – it was right!

We’re past the halfway point now, and I’m pretty sure the baby has entered a growth spurt.  Well, one of us has, and I’m hoping the it’s the baby.  Now I wake up looking like I did at bedtime last week: remember the Lumpy Sleeping Bag effects of gravity?  I haven’t googled to see if this is a typical time for a growth spurt, because if it’s not then I don’t want to know.

The dress is lying for me, like any good friend would.  I’m WAY bigger than this in real life.  I’m big enough that a total stranger asked me when I was due, and she didn’t even see me from the side.

Baby at 21 weeks:


  • Length is now measured crown to heel: baby has grown to 10.5 inches (27 cm) – 12.7 ounces (360 grams)!
  • The small intestine is starting to absorb sugar from the amniotic fluid.
  • Bone marrow has started making blood cells.
  • more

I would LOVE to hear from anyone who does (or already did) the Drano test as described  above – especially if you already know what you’re having so you can tell us if it worked or failed for you!  If you did it differently, please let us know that too.  Who thinks it’s complete poppycock?  Who thinks there might be something to it?


  1. I wish I would have known about the Drano test. It would have been very interesting to do. I am a mom of 6 boys.
    Good luck with everything. I enjoy your site.

  2. Congrats on the boy! Still don’t know if we’re going to have three boys as well in a few months, or if #3 will be a girl. Either way we’re excited. I’m sure everybody at your house is excited to know this time around. 🙂

  3. Im a midwife and I always heard brownish yellow was a girl and blue or green a boy. Hmmm. Is my anecdotal wrong???

    • Ruth, I don’t know which way is “right” but I did notice that there are quite a few ways to interpret the results and some are exactly the opposite of others. I just chose the interpretation that seemed to give most people accurate results. It’s purely anecdotal, I know, but it’s all in good fun.

    • Yes I heard the same my mom did this 27 years ago the doctors said boy but drano was mucky brown .. And well I was a girl lol I’m pregnant along with a friend right now we both just did the drano at the same time mine looks like tea and hers was blue/green with lots of foam. She just found out hers is a boy! So I’m hoping mine us right and is a girl we find out Friday!!

  4. We just saw this animated ebook of “3 Men in a Tub” the other day.

    They say “who do you think they be?”. For the next line, I always heard “turn them out, knaves all three,” but the book says something else. Interesting variations.

    I’ve never heard of the Drano test, we’ll have to try that next time around. 🙂

  5. I can’t believe I’ve never heard of the Drano test! Very cool, if I can find the crystals I just might try it. I have no intuitive feelings this time, and if I did I wouldn’t trust them, because I’ve been wrong before.

  6. I can attest that measurements can be very subjective: I measured 5-15 cm above my dates starting at about 28 weeks. At this point the baby was breech (I could clearly feel a head under my rib cage); when he turned, my measurements went down significantly, but were still high. We were CONVINCED that we had twins–but it turned out to be just one BIG boy (10 lbs 5 oz, 14.5 in head circ.–yes, it was a natural delivery :).
    Next time around I’d love to try the Drano–the Chinese gender predictor was wrong for us. Still not pregnant, but it wouldn’t be very safe for me to be right now (I bled for over 2 months with only about a weeks reprieve in the middle and am very anemic. I am currently on thyroid hormone, iron replacement, and hormone therapy get me under control!) God will provide when it is the right time, I know. Maybe it will be twins that time!
    Kim, I hope you get your twins sometime. I am sure that whatever gender you end up with will be perfect, but I think I agree with you and Perry IV about the girl.

    God bless you as you continue to grow your beautiful little one!

  7. I am also measuring large for date. At my 21 week appt last week I measured 28 and my midwife not only said the “twins” word she required me to go get an ultrasound. This is “only” my 7th pregnancy and we have never wanted to know the gender. We didn’t use the drano test, but we now have the gender sealed in an envelope in the drawer of our bedside table and clearly labeled on the DVD we got of the ultrasound (during which I closed my eyes!). With every baby I am large for date at some point. Every doc/midwife tells me I have a large uterus. (Is that a compliment?!) Too bad it wasn’t twins. From the ultrasound we could tell that half the space was just full of amniotic fluid and the technician said I was “well hydrated”. Doesn’t seem like I’m using my large uterus to its full potential…

  8. I’m only 16 weeks, so I have a few more weeks before I can try the drano test. I was going to do the baking soda test, simply because I already have it here at home, but maybe for fun, I’ll do both. 🙂

    You look great!

  9. Yes, the Drano test works. I guarantee you are having a boy. The Drano test was accurate for me 28 years ago! Yes, it has been around that long. When I told my doctor about the Drano test, his only concern was the fumes. He seemed uninterested in the results but only scolded me about the fumes. At least you conducted your experiment outside. Smart girl you are!

  10. Elizabeh says:

    Hi Kim,
    I’m sorry, this comment has nothing to do with the Drano test.
    I just really like your brown sandals!! Where did you get those?
    Thank you.

    • Elizabeh, thank you. I love those sandals too – I wear them almost every time I leave the house. I found them nearly new at a thrift store, but I’ve worn them so much I can’t quite read the brand name – might be St. John’s Bay? They’re made in China with leather uppers, but no other clues.

  11. Ok, I think I might have to do the Drano test….depends on how much drano crystals cost…man! I was just at WalMart, too! Sleepily….had to go through the line twice! Forgot taco shells the first time around.

  12. ok- maybe I am wrong as often as google- 3 men in a tub!

  13. Rachel and Jamie are correct- “rub a dub dub- 2 men in a tub, and who do you think they be? The butcher, the baker, the candle stick maker, turn them out all 3.” although, Mr. Google says, “and all of them going to sea.” Of course, I’m not wrong NEARLY as often as Mr. Google!

    • Rachael says:

      It’s actually “turn them out, knaves all 3”. And yes the original nursery rhyme is “who do you think they be”.

  14. I was taught ” and who do you think they be?” Maybe it’s “how do you think they all be?” Or “how do you think they stayed friends?” Or “how do you think it went down?”

    You look well!

  15. Rub-a-dub-dub 3 men in a tub, and how do you think they got there? The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker they all jumped out of a rotten potato. Twas enough to make a man stare. 🙂

  16. I did the Drano test with both kids, and it was right both times! (1 girl, 1 boy)

    Oh, and the three men in a tub: they stayed friends.

  17. I have a friend with 4 children and she is expecting her #5. She says the drano test worked for her each time she used it! (I am pretty sure it was at least 3 times, maybe 4)

  18. Karie P says:

    I have never heard of the Drano test! We like the “ancient Chinese scroll” http://pregnancy.about.com/od/boyorgirl/l/blchinesegenderchart.htm It is said to be over 90% accurate, was correct on all 5 of my kids! It’s so much fun to guess and imagine, especially for the kids. When I was pregnant the last time my then 4 year old was absolutely certain it would be a boy (and she would not fight with him.) She cried when the ultrasound tech said girl. Now she wants me to try again. She saw twins today and thought we should do that!

    • LOL, I just checked out that chart, but I conceived right around my birthday, which happens to be at the beginning of Feb. So, in a few day window, the chart says boy, girl, girl. I’m thinking girl. My ultrasound is tomorrow though, so we’ll see!

  19. You look great, Kim! This time around, I’m not gaining massively like with my boys. I’m at 29 weeks, and have only gained 15 pounds so far. It’s kind of nice, but also kind of annoying, because people keep arguing with me. (“No way you can be that far along yet!”)

    I’ll forego the Drano test, although it does sound very interesting. I wonder….could you count that as Chemistry? lol

  20. I did the Drano test twice and it was correct both times 😉

  21. I did not do the Drano test, but used something quite similar – Intelligender, which costs around $35 from a pharmacy. My results? Boy! Were they accurate? Yes indeed. You cannot be on certain types of medications or drink too much water, as this can lead to false girl results, and must abstain from sex for at least 48 hours prior to the test or false boy results are bound to occur. We had fun with it, especially since we had 2 little girls first, and my husband’s family was kinda determined that we could only produce girls (haha! what?) They completely did NOT believe the test results and still predicted a girl… we invited them to the ultrasound where it was very evident which gender the baby was. 😛 It was good for a laugh! 😀

    • Charity, I read online that Intelligender uses crystals that look suspiciously like Drano, along with pretty similar instructions. What do you think?

      • It definitely looks like Drano! But it turns either brown or no change (girl) or green (boy)… so that seems different than the Drano, doesn’t it?

  22. I was always taught, “Rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub, and who do you think they be?”

    • Me too. I was fixated on the typo (how instead of who). My husband had the same response as Megan. 🙂 Sounds like a fun game.

      • Zekesmom, it wasn’t a typo on my part, and I don’t think it was a typo at all – I think it’s just a variation: “how do you think they got there?” was accepted as the correct answer. But the multitude of variations is why we were so puzzled; each of us had learned it a little differently from the others.

    • “The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker.”

      Fun post Kim. You look great! I’m rooting for a boy!


  23. I can not believe how little you are at 21 weeks. I’m jealous. Wow.

    The rest of the post is fun, but I am fixated. You are sooo little. I’d whine more, but that would not be Christian of me or growing in grace. Pretty sure it’s more on the covetous side. Sigh.

    I hope Perry gets a little brother.

Don't just think it: say it!

%d bloggers like this: