“Congratulations, they’re twins!” is surely a line that you have repeated in your head now that you know you’ll be a parent. And if you were to listen to those words, could they be boy and girl twins?
The answer is “Yes”, and it would be a real stroke of good luck! With just one attempt you will already have two little brothers, you will fulfill the dream of “having the couple” and you won’t have to answer the repetitive -almost as a loop- question: what do you prefer to have, a boy or a girl? Also, if you want a girl and your partner a boy, both will be happy! And you won’t suffer from that random goal that many parents impose on themselves: “If we have a boy, the second must be a girl.”
Knowing that having boy and girl twins is one of the best news you can receive and that you will surely have many questions, we are here to help you and to give you the necessary information so that the birth of boy and girl twins doesn’t take you by surprise.
What are the Odds of Having a Boy and Girl Twins?
The truth is that this answer depends on whether your twins will be fraternal or identical. Do you have no idea what we’re talking about? Calm down, we’ll explain it to you.
Scientifically they are called dizygotic twins. “Di” refers to “two” and “zygotic” comes from “zygote”, an egg cell produced by fertilization. This means that these twins are born from two different eggs that were fertilized by different sperm.
If you don’t remember your biology classes at school, you may be wondering: How is this possible? This can happen if two or more oocytes (which will later become eggs) are released during a woman’s cycle and are fertilized.
The result will be fraternal twins -or non-identical twins- and they are the most common type of twin. They share 50% of their genes and have the same genetic similarity as two siblings who were born at different times.
So, what is the possibility that these types of twins are boys and girls? Just like having a boy or a girl in a typical pregnancy, the chance of having boy and girl twins is one in two.
Many will say that having identical twins of the opposite gender is impossible. But they are wrong by a very short margin: only 0.1% of boy and girl twins are identical.
Identical or monozygotic twins (which come from a single egg and semen) share the same genetic information in 100%, and at some point, the fertilized egg splits in two, generating two embryos with the same genes and the same gender.
But in extremely rare cases, when the zygote divides in two, a copy of the Y chromosome gets lost in one of the embryos, causing one of them to be male and the other female. This is known as the Turner Syndrome.
Now You’ll Be Asking Yourself: When can the Gender of the Twins be Known?
Today there are two ways to find out: via blood tests or via ultrasound.
Although there is no specific blood test to determine the gender of twins, there are some routine tests that can give us clues to solve the mystery. Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (or NIPT) is performed at the tenth week of pregnancy and is used to detect Down Syndrome. This test shows the DNA of your babies but, as it shows results from both children, it is not 100% reliable.
If NIPT indicates the presence of a Y chromosome, be prepared to be the father of at least one baby boy. If no Y chromosome appears, you will almost certainly have two girls. However, an ultrasound will be necessary a few weeks later to be assured.
It is usually done at the 12 or 13 weeks of pregnancy, but is it decisive? You must bear in mind that ultrasounds give visible results to the eye; If a leg covers the sex of a baby or its little brother covers it, it doesn’t matter how hard you try to see from any angle, it is impossible to determine the sex.
But don’t worry. Twin pregnancies are usually more closely monitored than the others, so there will be more chances to see the sex of the babies with a new ultrasound. At 18 weeks, a very good technician with the ultrasound should be able to give you an answer.
Our recommendation is to take it easy. Curiosity may eat you up or maybe you want to define how to decorate the children’s room, or your friends and family are already pressuring you to know the gender to buy gifts. But it is better not to rush; if you want, go buy things that don’t depend on gender such as diapers, the stroller, the crib, the booster seats, etc.
Once They’re Born, What Should I do?
Watching them grow will be the most exciting part of your life as a parent and there are certain things you can do to help them grow happy and balanced.
Remember that twins are way too similar
It may sound obvious but remember, it will help you to always keep this in mind: you should encourage differentiation between them as much as possible so that each one has its own identity, independent of the other.
Although this is easier for boy and girl twins, since they usually have different groups of friends as they grow up, you cannot forget that they will act a lot alike for the simple fact of accompanying each other and sharing everything since birth.
Therefore, always try to call them by their names. Don’t generalize by saying “the twins”. Also, seek to recognize their own merits without falling into comparisons -this usually produces self-esteem issues-; and, on the other hand, you can motivate them to do extracurricular activities separately, in addition to the ones they share.
You need to show them that they need more friends, not just their siblings. Since they usually have this idea of not needing nobody else, it makes it difficult for them to relate with more people.
By doing this, you help to cut possible dependency problems that appear in adulthood; where it has been noted that twins generate neediness and difficulties in developing couple relationships or when choosing a professional career.
The idea is to find a midpoint where everything they share and has in common is celebrated and valued because they have an unparalleled bond. But it is also important to show them the values of enjoying an autonomous life.
Similar but Different
It is easier to tell them apart when having boy and girl twins. And you can make that even clearer with boy and girl twins clothes.
We indeed love to dress twins in the same clothes, they just look adorable. But on the matter of accentuating their individuality, why not dress them in clothes that complement each other? It can be identical clothes but of different colors. Or if one has a message, let the other complete it like these adorable onesies.
This idea can also work with the selection of your twins’ names. Many parents think of giving them the same names by simply changing the gender or giving them the same name but in a different language.
But remember, the important word here is “individuality”, so why not give them names that follow the same concept? For example Alexandra and Edmund, both mean “Defender of mankind”. Or maybe you can use boy and girl twins names that rhyme like Dylan and Gillian.
Is There Something Else I Should Know?
There are tons more! But for now, starting with this will serve you in case you are going to be the parent of boy and girl twins. Just try to take it easy. You will witness a unique relationship: the connection between your two children will be exceptional and you’ll be surprised by how deep it can be. So, enjoy it, celebrate it, and make sure you give your boy and girl twins all the love they deserve. Always make sure to foster and protect their individuality.
When thinking about twins, questions arise, one of them is about the gender of the children. Can there be boy and girl twins? And the answer is a resounding “yes”. To answer you, we’ll see how high the chances are to deliver one girl and one boy, what is the difference between fraternal and identical twins, when is it normal to detect their gender, how NIPT and ultrasound can help us to do that detection and, in the end, we will give you some recommendations on raising boy and girl twins to promote their individuality.