Can you remember the moment you got your first period? I think most of us have that memory engrained in our minds. For some, it will have been a positive experience, but for others, it may have been a scary and overwhelming feeling.
A first period is a huge milestone for a girl . While it might not have been the greatest experience for you, having a daughter who may be about to embark on this journey means that you can prepare and help them just as you might have appreciated yourself.
So with that in mind, here is what you might want to consider when it comes to your tween’s first period.
When will my daughter have her first period?
This is a question that you probably have circulating in your head. After all, if you know when your daughter will start her first period then you will know what to do and when you need to prepare for.
The truth is, when this will happen, is not set in stone. Even hereditary indicators won’t dictate exactly when your girl is due to start. Usually, a first period will begin around the age of 12, but in some cases, girls as young as nine can start their periods.
Any time between the age of 10 and 15 is presently considered normal, so even if your child goes beyond the age of 12 don’t panic.
How will I know my daughter is about to have her first period?
Thankfully, there are a few warning signals to look out for that could indicate that a period may be due. Here are a few things to look out for:
- Your daughter has started to wear a bra. This is an indication that her body is developing.
- Hair has started to appear under the arms and possibly in her private parts.
- Have you noticed any white stringy discharge in their underwear when you are doing the laundry? This can also be an indicator that a first period is coming.
Why do periods occur in young girls?
Young girls go through enough, don’t they? And while we can understand as adults that our period is an indicator of the menstruation cycle and ovulation and the release of an egg from the ovaries, why do young girls get a period?
It isn’t just about that, it happens due to the change in hormones in the body and the hormones give messages to different parts of the body, such as the uterus and womb in preparation for their later years when they may conceive a child.
Girls are going through puberty earlier than even a generation ago, so bear in mind your daughter might need to grapple with these issues at a lot younger age than we did.
How to prepare your daughter for her first period
The one thing you can do as a mom is preparing your tween for their period in a way that you may have appreciated yourself if you didn’t have a positive experience.
The idea is to make your daughter aware of the changes that will happen to her body as early as you can. This can be as soon as you think they are emotionally ready for the chat, but especially, if they are already showing the signs of a changing body. Growing buds can be one of the first indications she’s ready for the chat.
Here are some of the things to consider when helping to prepare your daughter for their first period.
Discussion and communication
Talking about it will always be your best opportunity to help your daughter through this big change in their lives.
Talking about it early will help them to be more aware and even sharing with them some of the indicators that a period might start that we mentioned earlier in this post can help them to look out for some of the warning signs as well.
You can also point them in the right direction to websites that will cover the science a little better than you might be able to.
The Kids Health site has some excellent information explaining exactly what happens during a period and the cycle throughout the month.
What should you both expect?
You might also want to talk about what they may experience during a period. We all know it isn’t a pleasant time, but giving them an idea of period symptoms will help them feel more at ease when it is happening.
Discuss the bleeding element, but also share with them that they may experience period cramps and pains in the lower abdomen, headaches and feeling tired, as well as a change in hormones so perhaps being moody or irritable, emotional and sad.
All of these things are very normal and will vary from person to person, but knowing your tween has all the facts will help them to be prepared, along with the right equipment.
When might the period occur?
As we discussed earlier in this post, there is no time that is set in stone when it comes to when a first period will happen. It can happen between the ages of roughly 10 to 15.
However, it is also worth being mindful that a period can present itself at any time. So your daughter could be at school, during gym class, or even attending a pool party when you’re not nearby to help. The first time may only be light spotting, rather than a heavy flow.
Thankfully, once your first period has manifested, there are tracking apps that could help you start to predict which day her next period might arrive (though undoubtedly it will be a bit sporadic to start with, which can only add to your daughter’s frustration).
Try some top rated apps including:
- Period Calendar Period Tracker Apple | Google Play
- Easy Period – Lite Tracker Apple
- MagicGirl Teen Period Tracker – Apple | Google Play
After you have entered a few months’ worth of data, such as the days a period starts and finishes, it will be able to track and predict the next date. Giving you and your daughter the heads up so you can prepare and have everything that you need to hand.
(A quick note on Period Tracking Apps – many are designed to assist with fertility and have upgrade features more suitable for adults with chat features, careful which ones you choose for a tween or younger teen)
What will my daughter need?
Now that they know what to expect and potentially when this might happen, you might want to think about what your daughter will need.
You need to remember that the things you might use for your period will differ from what your tween will need to use, especially during those first few months. Different sanitary items will be the key issue for you to tackle. Their body size is different from yours, so you may want to think about tween pads to find the right sort of sizing.
Tampons can also be considered, though she may want to start with other sanitary steps until she’s more comfortable with her body.
There are other factors to consider as well. You may want to encourage wearing darker clothes during a period, to avoid any unpleasant accidents that might occur. Darker bed sheets may also make them feel more comfortable.
Their personal hygiene will be a focus around this time especially, and keeping clean will be paramount. Regular baths and showers will help your tween to feel more themselves during this time, and they may also want to consider femine washes, purposefully designed for more sensitive areas of the body.
Lastly, we mentioned one of the big symptoms of a period being cramps, so having some form of pain management to hand could be worthwhile. They may not need to take a painkiller, but knowing you have the appropriate one to use will put yours and your tween’s mind at ease.
What to put in a tween period kit
A great suggestion is to create or purchase a period kit ready for the big event. This will have everything your daughter will need for their first period, and also the subsequent periods moving forward.
You could create your own kit with things you think your tween daughter might need or purchase one done for you. Having an emergency period kit for school could also be a good idea, especially as you can’t predict when that first period will strike.
A DIY Period Kit
If you like the idea of a DIY period kit then you may be wondering what to put in it? A DIY kit will be a little more personalized, as you will know what your tween will need as the essential, but what will make them feel better when they are experiencing some of the other symptoms.
Here is a quick period kit list to help you get started:
- Period panties or pads. These are both the best option for a first period. As they get used to them, you could encourage a menstrual cup as a sustainable option, and eventually when they get old enough, tampons. You can take a look at period panties or look out for teen pads.
- Ibuprofen or your choice of painkiller. This can help ease the pain of the cramps.
- A hot water bottle or cuddly heat pack. Heat can be a great alleviator of pain, especially period cramps.
- Baby wipes. These will be a great way to keep your daughter feeling fresh and clean as they change their pads.
- Extra underwear just in case. Accidents happen so a spare pair of panties and a bag to get rid of any soiled ones will be useful.
- Other items you may want to include could be related to self-care, such as skincare and feminine body wash designed for their intimate areas.
- A cute little bag to keep everything in.
Tweens will need differently shaped pads to ladies. Make sure they have a supply of different absorbencies, practical for wearing to school and more absorbent pads for overnight.
A My First Period Sampler Kit can be a great idea so she can experiment with which brand is the right fit for her.
Comfort items for tween periods
Personal hygiene and self care for tween periods
Pre-made period kits
You can also buy period kits online and they can make great gifts, especially if you feel that the first period for your tween is imminent.
Here are a couple of links of some of the best pre-made period kits for the start of menstruations we have found online.
This is a cute box that has not just the essentials in for the first period but also things like deodorant, face masks, and other treats your tween daughter might enjoy. A lovely gift box and a period kit for girls that is filled to the brim.
In this pre-made period kit, each pack comes with 1 Tampon, 1 Sanitary-Pad, 1 Bag for Disposal, 2 Feminine Wipes and 70% alcohol hand wipes all packed together in a convenient to carry plastic zip locked bag.
This is a lovely little travel-size option that has all of the essentials in one place. A perfect period starter kit for school and ideal to have for that emergency situation.
Hopefully, this has made you more aware of some of the things that you need to think about when it comes to helping your tween navigate their first period.
Whilst it’s considered a joyous coming of age in some cultures, most tweens can be apprehensive confused and sometimes scared of this big change their body is going through.
Your comfort and support is the most important thing for your tween to have, along with the right period kit to get her through this important female developmental stage.
You may also be interested in
Helping your daughter transition through her tweens and preparing her for the teenage years ahead, you may also be interested to read:
- Helping your daughter buy her first bra
- Period swimwear for tweens explained
- Positive discipling techniques for your defiant tween