If you've been dreaming of a painting the nursery blue because you want a baby boy then you'll already know that getting the child of your choice is no guarantee, but you can sway the odds in your favour if you know a few tricks that you can try at home.

Probably the most common method of gender selection is the Shettles Method which relies on timing ovulation based on the characteristics of the male sperm.

You see, it's the male sperm that is responsible for whether you get a boy or girl. If the X chromosome sperm get's to the egg first then your child will be a girl, but if the Y chromosome sperm get's there first, you'll get a boy.

Therefore if you want a boy, then you'll want to increase the chance that the Y chromosome fertilises the egg first.

So how do you do that?

Firstly you'll need to know a bit about how the boy sperm acts. This sperm is a lot faster than the girl sperm, so if they had a race it would get there first, but it is also not as hardy, and doesn't live as long as the girl sperm.

Knowing this, you'll need to make sure that you time your intercourse as close as possible to ovulation so that your chances of conceiving a boy are increased.

To find out when you ovulate you can use a variety of method's including charting your temperature using a body basal thermometer, using ovulation predictor kit's (OPK's) or other ovulation detection methods such as saliva monitors.

It's important to know exactly when you ovulate for this to work. Don't just assume that you ovulate on day 14, that day is just an average and it's possible that you might ovulate sooner or later than this.

Once you know the right day, plan your lovemaking for that day and the day after for the best chance.

Timing is not the only way you can help to get pregnant with a baby boy though, you can also try diet to alter the pH of your vagina, and different positions that will deposit the sperm closer to the cervix so that they don't have to swim as far.

Trying to conceive a boy naturally is just a matter of timing when you have sex according the Shettles Method. And while there is no guarantee that you'll get a son (even though the success rate is claimed to be around 70%), at least you'll have fun trying.