What sort of sanitary items should I get my daughter for her first period?
Most parents worry a lot about finding the best pad that will work for their tweens. And yes, your tween daughter will need you to educate her on pads and tampons before the time arrives to adjust comfortably to the changes of puberty.
Luckily for your tween, there are many pads to choose from. However, the difficulty lies in finding “the right one” that will fit her yet to fully mature body.
With time, your tween will learn all about her menstrual flow and find a safe and comfortable sanitary pad that will be a game-changer for her. The right pad will help her feel confident during what can often be a difficult phase of growing up.
TL;DR – these are the top three pads we recommend for first periods:
Girls’ periods usually start between the ages of 9 to 12, and we need your tween to be prepared for when the day comes. While your tween might have come across a pad either from you, friends, health classes, or TV commercials, be sure to explain that they are meant to help manage periods and stay clean and dry while menstruating.
Pads are rectangles (or more like surfboard-shaped!) absorbent inserts that attach to the inside of a tween’s pants to catch menstrual blood. They are also referred to as sanitary pads or sanitary napkins.
Some of the pads have extra material on the side (“wings”), which fold over the edges of your tween’s underpants, helping to hold the pad in place and prevent leaking.
Your tween should change her pad every 3-4 hours, even if your tween has light flow. Your tween girl might need to change her pad more often with heavy flow. Two types of pads do the same job, but they are used a little differently:
Most of these pads have a sticky strip along the bottom. Your tween should peel off the paper strip that covers the adhesive and press the pad into the crotch of their underwear. If the pad is “winged”, she wraps the wings around the bottom of the crotch.
When it is time to change or remove the pad, your tween will unstick the pad from their underwear and wrap it in toilet paper, tissue, or the wrapper of the replacement pad. Your tween should then dispose of it in the trash can or a safe disposable bag and wash her hands thoroughly.
Emphasize to your tween that pads are not to be flushed down the toilet as this may cause toilet clogging and make a big mess.
Your tween will need to wash these pads every time she wears them. Its concept is the same as that of a single-use disposable pad. These pads are designed to snap or clip securely onto a girl’s underwear and absorb their menstrual flow. They are by far more environmentally friendly but require a lot more work.
Features of Tween Pads
Tween pads are similar in design and function to regular pads, with the important difference being their size.
Tweens have smaller bodies; therefore, tween pads offer more comfort and convenience of use. You should also consider the following features;
- Organic Cotton; when choosing the right pad for your tween girl, remember that she is especially susceptible to hormone imbalance and infections; therefore, ensure their reproductive organs are not exposed to tainted cotton.
- Absorbency; for your tween, springing a leak during her period is embarrassing times ten and then squared! When choosing a sanitary pad for young girls, make sure it features superior absorbency. Even if larger and less comfortable, if she is experiencing a heavy flow, she may need a full ladies’ pad with additional absorbency in the first day or two; smaller “teen” pads we will cover here are only designed for a medium flow.
- Odor and Bacteria Control; Your tween might be familiar with the negative impact of having a tampon on for long. But does she know how long a pad should last? If your tween wears her pad for too long, there’s a greater chance of bacteria multiplying inside the pad, which may result in unpleasant odors and may be a cause of skin rash and nasty infections.
Tip for buying pre-teen pads
Your tween will experience heavy and light flows. The first few periods may be light, with only a few blood spots. Most periods last from three-five days, but anywhere from two to seven days is normal.
She will probably need to use 3-6 sanitary pads for girls per day, although it might be fewer on her lighter days. In the first couple of days and at night, your tween might prefer more extended, thicker pads or pads with wings to avoid any leakages.
Even in between periods, she may have noticed a heavier-than-usual discharge. If this concerns your girl, by all means, she might like to wear a panty liner throughout her non-period days to prevent any staining and embarrassment.
Also, do not forget to ensure that your tween can access sanitary pads at home should they get there when you are not around. You can place different period pads in their room or the bathroom.
Best Types of Pads For Tweens
So now we know what our tween needs; what are the best types of pads your tween should start out with? These are the best types of pads we’ve found widely available and catering to smaller bodies.
Best Day Pads for Tweens: Always Radiant Teen Pads
Always Radiant Teen Pads are one of the leaders in making pads specifically designed for smaller bodies. Their Size 1 pads are ideal for day use by girls who would be a lady’s Small or Extra Small in clothing.
These pads are comfortably thin for your tween and will keep them leak-free throughout an entire school day. Thanks to the broad Flexi wings, the pad stays in place and will not slide around. The leak guard core absorbs in seconds.
What’s more, the always ultra-thin is unscented with my fit strip for your tween to tailor their pad to fit their flow and panty size. If they find these are not absorbent enough, you can step up to size 2.
Runner Up Best Tween Pads: Pinkie Period Pads
Designed specifically with tweens and teens in mind, the Pinkie Period Pads are ideal for smaller-bodies girls, with sizing down to youth underwear size 8.
Their ultra-thin pads come in mini, small, and regular, each in a drawstring baggie with a cloth-like wrapper for convenient disposal, too.
We love that there’s no fragrance, chlorine, or bleach, with an ultra-snug fit to your girl’s growing body.
Also Consider: U by Kotex Security Ultra Thin
U by Kotex Teen is another excellent pad for your tween, as it is a hypoallergenic period pad. It is made without perfumes or lotions and is free of any pesticide or elemental chlorine. It also features a soft cotton cover making it gentle and breathable on your tween’s skin.
Most importantly, Kotex Teen products are uniquely sized for smaller bodies. Their ultrathin pads are still high absorbency using their unique Xpress-DRI Core technology, and they come with wings to hold the pad in place.
(NB – Kotex used to stock a “tween” range too, but it looks like these have been discontinued).
Best Tween Pads For Overnight: Always Ultra Thin Pads Size 4 Overnights
With the Always Ultra-thin overnight, your tween will soon discover that a larger, heavier flow pad is still required in the first few days while sleeping. Larger doesn’t have to mean thicker though; technology has come a long way. You can still capture leaks with an Ultrathin pad.
It is unscented and HSA/FSA eligible in the USA with Flexi wings to ensure your tween gets enough eye shut without any leaks. It’s one of the best pads for tweens to use at night.
Best variety pack of pads for tweens: Asana Girl Unscented Pads
If the package reads girl, it is an excellent choice for your tween. The Asana Unscented pad is a combo pack that includes four heavy sanitary napkins, three mini pads for all-day protection during your tween’s lightest and heaviest days, and five regular pads.
Their sanitary napkins are made with hypoallergenic, breathable sheets that help alleviate irritation, blisters, rashes, itchiness, and chafing. This combo with wings also helps your tween balance her PH and hormone levels reducing menstrual pain and cramping naturally. It’s a great first-period sample kit.
Best Pads for Sporty Tweens: U by Kotex Fitness Ultra Thin Pads
We love that U by Kotex also comes in a Fitness line of ultrathin pads. They’re not as short as the “teen” range of pads we mentioned above, but they are uniquely shaped for active young ladies.
They contain the same Xpress DRI Core that absorbs quickly and wings to minimize leaks but remains discreet beneath their tight workout clothing.
My First Period Sampler Kit
Remember, just because you’re brand loyal to a particular type of pad, it won’t necessarily be the right fit for your tween. She will need to experiment for herself.
A My First Period Sampler Kit will provide your pre-teen girl with the opportunity to test several different brands at once to see which fit she finds best.
Containing Size 1 Always Radiant pads and liners, U by Kotex Teen pads, along with some disposal bags and wipes, this will certainly put your girl on the right footing until she decides which is the right one for her.
Don’t forget a carry pouch!
Unfortunately, periods can start anywhere, at any time. Your tween will undoubtedly find she needs to deal with her periods while out of the house. A cute and discreet napkin purse is a must for her sanitary items.
She may need two, one that she keeps in her bag with a few extra supplies like deodorant wipes, and a very small kit she can keep in her pocket. Here are a few ideas to try:
Alternatives to Pads for Tween Periods
Although pads are the easiest solution for newly menstruating girls, they’re not the only solution.
Some girls may prefer the convenience of period pants. These didn’t really exist when we were girls, so it’s a new avenue you could perhaps both explore in finding the most comfortable solution.
- We look at the best types of period pants for tweens over here.
Another alternative is using tampons. These are not recommended at the very start but learning to use a tampon is a skill your pre-teen may want to learn, especially if they have swimming lessons and pool parties to consider.
- We have a detailed guide here on teaching your tween girl how to use a tampon.
As an alternative, if tampons still feel daunting, you could introduce your girl to the concept of period swimwear. Designed for light to medium flow days, the right set of swimwear could see your girl confidentially continuing to swim through her period or at the very least, feel confident and protected while sitting poolside this summer.
- We compare leading brands of period swimsuits suitable for tweens in this guide.
Summing it up – Pads for Tweens
Organizing your tween with her first period kit might feel like the easy part, but getting to a brand and fit that’s perfect for her is entirely another challenge.
We hope this tween pad guide has helped you find the perfect fit for your girl or at least prepare her for the decision she will need to make when this important moment in her life arrives.
Let us know in the comments below if you’ve found the perfect fit for your pre-teen!
You May Like to Read Next
Helping you through the challenges that can arise in the tween parenting years, you may want to read next:
- Helping Your Daughter Choose Her First Bra
- How to Deal With Tween Girl Hair Removal
- Discussing The Important of Good Skin Hygiene With Your Tween
- Explaining Periods To Tween Boys
- The Best Health Websites Aimed at Tweens