Your daughter's experience of her first period can change her perspective about her body for years to come so it's imperative that her first period is dealt with care, positivity and reassurance.
There isn't one right age for a girl to get her period. But there are some clues that it will start soon, and you can prepare your daughter for a great experience, not one that's scary or awful, and celebrate her changing body, helping make her first period easy and fun!
Most of the time, your daughter will get her period around 2 years after her breasts start to develop. Another sign is vaginal discharge fluid (mucus-like) that she might see or feel on her undies. This discharge usually begins about 6 months to a year before a girl gets her first period. Even though we have some approximate times for when it all might happen ... we're really in the dark here, so preparing you both as best you can, is the easiest way to make the experience more positive for both of you!
Start talking about periods early.
Talking about periods shouldn't be preparing for "the talk" at a particular age. Instead, we need to start the conversation early and slowly build on your child's understanding as they grow. Kids need reliable information about periods, so it's important to talk to your boys about menstrual cycles, too! (Read more about that here)
Kids health gives these examples;
If your 4-year-old sees a tampon and asks what it's for, you could say, "Women bleed a little from their vagina every month. It's called a period. It isn't because they're hurt. It's how the body gets ready for a baby. The tampon catches the blood so it doesn't go on the underwear."
Over the years, you can give your child more information as he or she is ready.
If your child doesn't ask questions about periods, you can bring it up. By the time they're 6 or 7 years old, most kids can understand the basics of periods. Look for a natural moment to talk about it, such as:
- when kids asks about puberty or changing bodies
- if your child asks where babies come from
- if you're at the store buying pads or tampons
Ask if your child knows about periods. Then, you can share basic information, such as: As a girl develops into a woman, her body changes so she can have a baby when she grows up. Part of that is getting a place ready for the baby to grow inside the mum. The place a baby grows is called a uterus. Every month the uterus wall gets ready for a baby. If there is no baby, the uterus wall comes off and bleeds a little. The blood comes out of a woman's vagina. The body makes a new wall every month, just in case there is a baby
Once your daughter hits puberty, it's even more important that we make those conversations NORMAL, not taboo, so not only will your daughter feel comfortable talking about it, but everyone else in the family, too.
You don't want her to feel embarrassed or ashamed because of her period, so try not to send messages like "you're a woman now", "you're all grown-up now" "you're an adult now" or "oh you poor thing, you've got decades ahead of you"
Instead, focus on what you can do together during this time—like going on a trip together, going swimming (trust us! It's POSSIBLE!) or having some fun with friends.
Do stuff together!
It's important to make this experience fun for your daughter, so try using humour and make it a great experience for the two of you. Jump on the KNICKED website (you're here, now!) together, and meander through our blogs, have a laugh at some of them. For example, there's this one 15 funny (& unusual!) alternatives for saying "I've got my period!" and this one may surprise you both Fascinating first-period traditions around the world.
If your daughter is interested in learning more about her body and how it changes, you can chat with her about anatomy ... there are some great websites!
Chatting with your daughter about her changing body will help her feel more comfortable about what's going on inside her mind and body so that she can better understand herself better as an individual.
Laugh about some of the period slang that's been used over time!
“It’s the time of the month.”
“Aunt Flo is visiting.”
You've both no doubt heard these expressions a few times, and you might even want to come up with your own way of saying, "I've got my period!"
We’ve written a whole blog post about it so make sure to check it out ~ click here!
When will it happen?
Because we can't possibly know when it will happen, we need to be ready and prepared! Our pre-period undies are PERFECT! She can wear them for months and months before she actually gets her period ...
Our pre-period knickers are the perfect protection for every day discharge, LBL (light bladder leaks), spotting or light flow (onset of a period).
They're designed to hold 5mls or one panty liner so they're the perfect choice for your daughter leading up to getting her first period, and none of our products contain nasties such as PUL'S (plastics) or PFAS (chemicals) so you have nothing to worry about!
We received this from one very happy mum, "Great product! I got 4 pairs of these for my almost 11 year old daughter for pre-period wear (light discharge). The fabric is very soft and the undies fit her well (size 10-12). The shipping was fast. Other brands didn't seem to have undies in children's sizes for pre-period wear, very happy we found Knicked."
According to Kids Health, the AVERAGE time frame for girls to get their first period is between 10 and 15 (but of course can be much younger or older than this - there's no such thing as "normal"!)
This is a time in their lives where emotions are running hot, hormones can be dictating their behaviour, and so it's VERY IMPORTANT that we make sure that we normalise this stage in our daughter's lives, that they're confident, comfortable, educated, and that they know what to expect.
Tips for talking to your child about puberty
For some of us this conversation isn’t going to be that easy and intuitive, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be. Even if our parents never taught us about ours, we have the tools to teach our children about their bodies.
- The younger your kids are, the more vague you'll want to keep it, so make sure it's short and work with their level of understanding.
- It’s never too early to start talking to them about their bodies, they aren’t growing up in a bubble, they are going to hear and see things very early on - way earlier than what we did, due to the internet and smart phones etc. It's a different world out there!
- Try not to make a big deal about the conversation ... keep it casual so you avoid making them feel overwhelmed or nervous. Try to relax, and don't look or seem tense or uncomfortable, because they can pick up on that and will mirror that.
- Nicknames are cute and accessible to talk about genitals, but it's no longer useful or appropriate ~ explain and name their body parts correctly. There's nothing wrong with saying the word V A G I N A! Avoid these ones if you can, until your kids know the anatomical terminology and are comfortable using it!
- Down There.
- Lady Bits.
Take a deep breath. The topic of puberty can be tricky, but the more we get used to it, the less strange the language will feel and the more comfortable our children will feel about their changing bodies. Your child's confidence, the way they see themselves, and ensuring they feel ‘normal’ is more important than our own discomfort with using certain words or discussing areas of the body. Your child will have questions and we’re sure you have the answers and will know how to deliver those answers to your children.
Choose the right period underwear for your daughter's first period.
There are a lot of different types of knickers on the market and it can be hard to choose which kind is best for your daughter. Not all period underwear is created equal, and it's really important that you know what you're putting on your daughter's nether regions!
Here at Knicked, we make every day (period days and the in-between days) just so easy, eliminating the bulky and sweaty feeling brought about by pads and the trickiness of tampons. PLUS you get to teach them how to take part in saving the planet!
We have options for pre-period, light to heavy days!
Our Pre-Period bundle is great for your young daughter who's just started hitting puberty.
Perfect for those lead up months prior to a first period - this bundle has their school week covered from discharge, spotting, LBL and the onset of a first period.
- 5 pairs of Pre-period/light absorbency plus
- 2 pairs of Heavy/overnight absorbency ready for when you need them.
- *You pay for SIX pairs, and receive your 7th pair FREE! that's a saving of $19.95.
- **PLUS you'll receive a gift valued at $9.95
Our welcome pack is perfect for girls who haven't yet had a period but have discharge, LBL or pre-menstruation spotting.
- 1x Overnight/Heavy Absorbency (value $23.95)
- 12x Healing Hearts (value $7.95)
- 1x mini set of teen Self-esteem boosting inspiration cards (value $10.95)
- 1x tree of life bracelet (value $9.95)
- 1x Silk Bag (value $5.95)
So there you have it! If you and your daughter are ready to get started on this journey, we hope these tips will help make it an even more fun one.
Remember, if something doesn't work out or doesn't feel right, don't be afraid to try something new. Your daughter will appreciate the effort and support that goes into making her first period a positive experience!
Knicked period underwear is designed to give you up to 10 hours of protection and is ideal for girls with medium to heavy periods, as it offers them a whole day or night of protection without the need for bulky pads or intrusive tampons.
Take a look at our range of Knicked period underwear to find the right product for your daughter.