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Help! How to explain your period to 3yr old??

(15 Posts)
rosietoes Thu 03-Sep-09 09:11:04

Going about my business this morning in the toilet, and 3 yr DD yanks open the door (old house, tiny separate WC with warped door that doesn't lock).
Gasp! 'Mummy! you have raspberry jam on your knickers! how did that happen?!'
Try to get her out, too fascinated with my sanitary towel to leave me alone. 'You're wearing a nappy, Mum!!'
In process she spies blood in toilet (sorry to be gross).
Had no idea what to tell her. Just ended up saying 'sometimes things get messy for big girls.'
Should I just forget about this and hope she does? Thing is, she often has to go with me into toilet cubicle when we're out and I know this topic will come up again. Help!

EleanoraBuntingCupcake Thu 03-Sep-09 09:14:12

i told dd the truth. body prepares for a baby but if there is no baby all the soft comfie stuff comes out.

lilymolly Thu 03-Sep-09 09:14:40

my dd ask about this and also why mammy is bleeding (after birth if ds)
I told her it means mammy can have babies and is normal and healthy and leave it at that.

It seems to be enough for her at the moment.

in our house we always try to answer questions honestly without scaring her smile

Tee2072 Thu 03-Sep-09 09:15:49

I agree with the others. Tell her the truth, that mummies bleed once a month if there is no baby in their tummy. And its perfectly normal and some day she will do the same.

MyCatIsAFleaBagNoMore Thu 03-Sep-09 09:16:24

What lilymolly said - just answer truthfully, not too indepth and move on. Kids are very accepting of things and as long as you dont make a big thing of it, neither will they.

kreecherlivesupstairs Thu 03-Sep-09 09:17:01

I'd make every effort to keep her in blissful ignorance. You made a good start with the things get messy approach and I imagine she'll have forgotten about it by tomorrow. My DD has a mind like a grasshopper, she asked me a couple of times when we were in public toilets 'where did that go' after sucessfully fettling about and removing tampon without her seeing, but having to get new one and insert it without the aid of an invisibility cloak. Three is far too young to be knowing about that sort of stuff. Eight is too, or at least that's what DD told me the other night.

WidowWadman Thu 03-Sep-09 09:44:07

kreecherlivesupstairs - why do you think it is wrong for a child to know about how bodies work from a young age? You're approach makes it almost sound like periods are something shameful and not a normal part of growing up.

Children can cope with their parents having breasts and pubic hair, why should they be kept in the dark about periods?

slowreadingprogress Thu 03-Sep-09 10:26:18

totally agree that you answer honestly but simply. Why on earth not? Why is bleeding every month something they should not know about? It's like saying they shouldn't know grown ups poo or pee!

I think DS was 2 or maybe 3 when he asked about it and I said pretty much as others have said on here - ladies bodies get ready every month to grow a baby and the extra stuff comes out if there isn't any baby.

IdrisTheDragon Thu 03-Sep-09 10:28:05

DS and DD are 5 and 3 and have known about periods for a while. Much better for them to get a basic idea about it when small than suddenly get a shock when they are older I would say.

kreecherlivesupstairs Thu 03-Sep-09 10:48:57

In retrospect you are right. DD knows all about the wheres and whyfores and hows of making a baby, but, I did try to have the period talk with her a couple of weeks ago as one of her friends is experiencing a precocious puberty (at 8!) and she said she'd rather not know. I doubt that this is due to discomfort or embarassment, we are a very open family, maybe she's decided that she isn't ready. I did buy a book (in haste) over the summer while we were in England, unfortunately on reading it I have decided to wait a bit longer, it goes into depth about masturbation and oral sex. Maybe a year or so..................

rosietoes Thu 03-Sep-09 12:23:40

Thanks for the responses. Hadn't thought of saying telling her about it related to baby prep. Good & positive thing!
It's a disappointment to me ATM as trying to get PG.
If it comes up again, I'll be ready!

pollywobbledoodle Thu 03-Sep-09 12:36:32

when dd was 3 she had a phase of worrying about people dying...it seemed appropriate for her to put the emphasis on it not being "poorly blood" just a normal grown up lady bleed.....

i forgot the baby thing completely then but perhaps that was because it wasn't really why she was asking on that occasion, whats right for 1 child with one set of preoccupations may not be right for another

mathanxiety Thu 03-Sep-09 15:28:03

kreecherlivesupstairs, maybe your DD has picked up your uncomfortable vibes? For an 8 yo, there's a good, simple book called The Care and Keeping of You.
I would always explain period evidence sightings to a toddler or young child because in this case it's a normal, healthy physical process, and you don't want them worrying about mummy bleeding to death -- you really never know what they're imagining if they don't have the facts (simple version, answering each question as it comes up).

GrimmaTheNome Thu 03-Sep-09 15:35:09

I agree with most of you, its much easier to air the subject of periods naturally when your small inquisitive child notices than to keep them in 'blissful ignorance'. When they are 3 or 4, they can view it quite objectively, whether male or female, and accept a simple explanation. Leaving it till later must complicate both the explanation and the emotion, I would think.

Bibmother Thu 03-Sep-09 21:25:10

My little boy knows that I do wee and poo and blood (as he describes it!). He doesn't really seem to ask too many questions as to why I do 'blood' but quite likes peeling the sanitary towels off the backing. We never close the toilet door so I think he just accepts that it's something that happens now and then... Although I did draw the line at 'seeing where the blood comes from'!

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