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NOW CLOSED: Do you have a DD aged 8-14? Have you had a chat about periods? Are you about to? Please share your tips here - you could win a £100 voucher

(101 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 14-Oct-11 12:59:23

We've been asked by Lil-Lets to find out your best tips for this sometimes tricky conversation.

Lil-Lets have just launched a new range of teen towels as well as a website www.becomingateen.co.uk which "is full of information and advice for young girls about puberty and periods, what products are available and how to use them correctly. The website includes a downloadable booklet and lots of helpful videos".

The new teen towels have been developed in consultation with a panel of teen girls - they are smaller and narrower than standard towels - and they say "Lil-Lets teens ultra towels are the only towels in the UK specifically designed to fit younger bodies. Despite being smaller, they're more absorbent than the leading adult towel and are available in day and night sizes. Prettily packaged in a drawstring bag with ribbons and a removable sleeve for ultimate discretion, each individual towel also comes in a whisper wrapper".

Lil-Lets would love to include some wisdom on their site, from Mumsnet mums who have experienced their DD going through puberty or who have had the chat.

So, please share your experiences here - let us know - how you approached your DD, or did she ask you? Did you or your DD find it a tricky conversation, or did it bring you closer? How did it make you feel talking to your DD about periods? What tips would you share with other mums or with other young girls? What advice would your DD give to someone else her age? How do other family members react to this stage in development - eg dads, brothers, older or younger sisters? What was easy about the chat, and what was more tricky?

Lil-lets are also keen to get your feedback on the product and packaging, and would also love to hear any suggestions for improving this.

Everyone who posts on this thread will be entered into a prize draw where one winner will get a £100 Love2Shop voucher.

Stories and tips may be used on the Lil-lets website www.becomingateen.co.uk but your MN name will not be used.

Thanks and good luck
MNHQ

StellaAndFries Fri 14-Oct-11 13:02:56

I'll watch this thread with interest as dd1 is nearly 10 and starting to develop so think the period talk won't be far off and I'm clueless at how to approach and discuss the subject. I didn't start until I was nearly 16 so was quite a bit older before my mum had to tell me about periods.

aristocat Fri 14-Oct-11 13:13:43

i also am very interested in this, DD is almost 8 and it wont be long for us to have a chat about this. i have bought her a book called Whats happening to me?

it is a super book and explains all about growing up in an easy way smile

sloggies Fri 14-Oct-11 13:23:23

We had one of the Body Books, and I told her she could ask me about anything she didn't understand. School did the talk too. When she was about 11,we got a nice make-up bag to hold a towel in, that she could take in her school bag just in case. When she did start, I got her a silver necklace to mark her becoming a woman. I wanted to mark it as a rite of passage, instead of just being about all the negatives and taboos about menstruation.

inmysparetime Fri 14-Oct-11 13:24:52

My almost 8yo DD is still happy to share a bath with my 10yo DS! I think it will be a while before I need to have "the talk" with either of themsmile
I answer their questions as they arise, honestly, and at a level they can understand, they are both fairly confident about their bodies and happy to talk about a range of subjects.

FroOOOOOtshoOOOOOOts Fri 14-Oct-11 13:29:24

DD(14) started her periods this year. Just days before she was due to go away for 10 days with the school on an Adventure holiday. I talked to her about it and reassured her although I was a bit worried since mother nature decided to bless her with the heaviest and longest periods ever known to womankind!

I have to say she was brilliant about it all, wasn't embarrassed and within a few hours had got to grips with most types of protection and had to wear several sorts at once!
She was really worried about the overnight coach journey since she was having to change her protection every hour!

I would say that pretty packaging is all well and good but if you're out where do you dispose of the packaging? Not everywhere has bins. Flushable wrappers etc would be good or just less packaging. I am also not convinced that smaller and narrower = better. Narrower would surely leak more at the sides. But I suppose we would have to try them to fully judge that.

Kbear Fri 14-Oct-11 13:42:07

The subject cropped with DD when she was about 9 when one of her friend's started. Then in year 6 they have "the talk" so by then everyone knew everything ;) but it is something we talk about from time to time and she asks me stuff (she's now 12 and still not started). I've explained what happens, what sort of products are available to help her deal with it and showed her how to put a towel in her knickers and even dipped a tampon in water to show her how it expands.

I talk to her about mine and how I feel before (raging LOL) and during (headache) and after (fabulous) my period.

I hope I've made her feel that's it's something us girls have to deal with but it's not a drama, you just get on with it.

She has some pads in her school bag and I always remind her to take them when she goes on a sleepover but have always said that any other mum would be approachable if it happens when she's not with me, or any teacher for that matter, even men.

I didn't want it to be a big taboo subject and I have talked to DS (10) about it too recently, when he asked me what Tampax were, in the bathroom cabinet. Why gloss over the subject? If it is raised, have a quick frank conversation and it's done.

I have also got DD a book out of the library before, about teen stuff and periods etc and just left it in her room.

Hulababy Fri 14-Oct-11 13:59:33

My DD is 9y and already showing signs of puberty and has been for a while. She has small breasts developing and has started to use a deodorant most days. No other signs really yet but I did think it was time to start talking. She already knows a little about sex so it came from that really. I also bought the pink Usbourne book which is really good too, aimed just right. Even though I don't use them myself (mooncup convert) I do have pads in the house all the time just in case, although think it may be a little while yet. I was much older before I hit puberty, but girls do seem to change earlier these days.

FreckledLeopard Fri 14-Oct-11 14:12:11

DD is 10, has started puberty and I don't think it'll be long before she starts her periods. I've always been totally open about them, have had tampons on view in the bathroom and have always talked frankly and openly with her. She also has books on how bodies change at puberty etc.

I guess I should give her some pads/mini tampons to keep in her school bag so she's not caught out at all. Maybe she can choose which brand and type she'd like - will ask her tonight.

DeeScent Fri 14-Oct-11 14:55:58

I made sure as dd was growing up that she saw me buying sanitary protection and taking it into the toilet so they became everyday items and therefore no bid deal.

I also dropped into the conversation when I felt a bit tense and pre-menstral or if I had a bit of period pain, or the tiredness I get on the first day, so it was like drip-feeding bits of info in an informal way a long time before she started. In this way we never had "the chat" as such.

I was also up-front about the occasional leak onto pants and sheets so she wouldn't be embarassed about that. She took it all in her stride very easily.

IslaValargeone Fri 14-Oct-11 15:30:30

We discussed periods when we had the sex talk earlier this year (dd is 9) I kept it quite simple and matter if fact. I have however, deliberately not mentioned anything about the possibility of headaches/cramps/the desire to inflict unimaginable pain on any person daring to irritate me during this time. I don't want to pre empt any feelings of negativity before it has even started.

OhThisIsJustGrape Fri 14-Oct-11 15:50:55

DD is almost 12, we had the talk about 18 months ago.

She was horrified at first but soon came to terms with what would happen to her body during puberty. We went and bought some pads together and a pretty make up bag to keep them in so she had them ready, just in case.

I bought her a book about girls, periods, puberty etc and I also remembered I book I read at her age by Judy Blume 'Are you there God, it's me, Margaret'. It's about a young girl growing up and how she deals with her body changes and emotions and eventually, her periods starting. I found it a mine of information, albeit a little old fashioned, and DD enjoyed reading it too.

DD hasn't started yet but all the signs are there so I'm certain it's only a matter of months away. We're a very open family and she is comfortable talking to me about pretty much anything - so different to how I was with my mum.

Bearskinwoolies Fri 14-Oct-11 15:51:37

I bought DD a book when she was about 8 - a couple of girls in her class were already starting puberty. She's always seen my sanitary ware in the bathroom, so was always aware of it. She'd flicked through it, then read it with her friends; I answered any questions she had as she thought to ask them. She started going through puberty at 12, and we sat and again went through the book - I asked her questions, and she asked me questions, and we've muddled through together. She says it's been good because we've done the 'talk' as a casual conversation, rather than an IMPORTANT and thus scary thing.

lubeybooby Fri 14-Oct-11 16:04:52

I talked to my DD about it when she was 8, I just explained the basics of it - that when you start to grow up once a month you get a period, explained that it was blood and why it happens, ovulation then shedding womb lining and it's nothing to be scared of and normal etc. Good job I was quite early telling her as she she had her first period at age 10.

feedmenow Fri 14-Oct-11 16:27:35

I don't need to have a talk with my 12 yo dd as she has known about periods, pregnancy, birth, etc, for as long as she's been able to talk! She asked questions, I gave answers. Obviously when she was little the answers were more basic, and have become more detailed as she grows up. But I can't imagine having to sit her down for a "talk" about periods. It's just a fact of life and, in our house, is treated just the same as any other bodily function!

oopsdeadagain Fri 14-Oct-11 17:00:37

I explained it all to DD when she was about 9, as she had started to need deodorant - I said that as she got older, her body would start to develop bit by bit. We giggled a lot about how big she thought her boobs would end up (I am an F cup). It was all very matter-of-fact, made easier by the fact that she has always known I have periods - when she was about 5 she asked why I had blood in my knickers and I told her every month my body makes an egg that could turn into a baby, and my womb makes a nice soft bed ready for it; if that egg isn't ready to be a baby, the bed isn't needed and dissolves away and comes out as blood. She was quite happy with that.

When she did start her period (age 12) she was actually quite excited; it was a school day and I showed her how to stick towels in her knickers the right way. When she got home we made Red Velvet Cake together with buttercream icing, and I had bought some tiny polka-dotted white and red candles, and a little posy of red and white flowers for her room in a pretty vase for her to keep.

PrettyCandles Fri 14-Oct-11 17:11:53

Always answer questions honestly but with minimum detail. Judge the amount of information and the technicality of language according to the interest and comfort level of the child at that moment.

If the child isn't interested or is uncomfortable about the discussion, don't persist, but make sure to tell them that they can always ask you any questions and that you will always answer them, and that they can always talk to you.

My mum greeted my "I think I'm having a period" with a hug and a quiet, joyful, "Congratulations! Welcome to womanhood". 30 years, 3 babies, and one menopause later I still remember that moment, and how it changed my daunted feeling into confidence.

TwoCotbeds Fri 14-Oct-11 18:06:50

I have a daughter who is 8. My approach so far is to answer any questions as they come up about periods sex puberty exactly the same as if they had asked about any other subject, eg about eating, rain, shops all the other subjects Kids quiz you on out of the blue.
It has come up naturally a little as she's spotted stuff in bathroom etc but only issue I have is how much to be totallyt frank about period pain. I don't want her to expect it as she may be fine, or have only a little however I have had severe problems with this - almost fainting - I think comparing to others I am worse than the usual, but I will down play this while still letting her know there may be pain.

Another corny tip my mum gave me, which I plan to use, is how your body saves up some of its best blood in case a baby may need it (ah !) but if not needed it then comes out of you. I may add its actually the womb not the baby that its needed for; but I guess it helps the embryo implant safely so its sort of true.
Also have excellent Usbouren book.

BedatHogwarts Fri 14-Oct-11 18:24:17

I don't have a DD, but this product sounds great. I may even use it myself!! I remember the horrors of changing sanitary protection in the school toilets, and trying to do it as quietly as possible (presume this is the reason for the 'whisper wrapper'). Too many manufacturers make sanitary towels far too wide and far too long, so something more the size of a liner but with the absorbency of a towel would be fantastic.

MadameCastafiore Fri 14-Oct-11 18:30:38

I haven't always told my daughter, who is not 11.5 years old, the truth about the birds and the bees. I had her brother when she was 4 and when she asked me how I got pregnant I told her that I went to the doctor and he had me close my eyes and gave me a small pill which I had to swallow with my eyes closed. Blue for a boy and pink for a girl (obviously!).

I let her watch the 'Birth Stories' programmes on TV with me and she took it all in and was more interested to hear what a placenta was and about the bay's heartbeat and the biology side of things. SHe did once comment that she couldn't believe that babies came out of your noonie - she said it was disgusting and the look on her little face was hilarious.

Then when she was about 8 she started asking me more questions, I think she had twigged that it wasn't down to the little pill the doctor gave you!

I answered all of her questions honestly and in the most sensitive way I could, I bought her some books and we sat and read them together and I answered any questions she had. We had the odd laugh about my son wanting to be part of it but being more interested in pictures of 'winkies' and in pretending tampax were little mice whilst pretending to walk them around the skirting board in front of our new neighbour! blush.

I have bought her tampax and sanitary towels and a little purse to keep them in in her school bag and darker pants for her special days so she doesn't wreck her lovely nice white ones.

She has grown about 6 inches and has small boobs now (which makes me feel old, part of me feels I don't feel old enough to deal with all this so goodness knows what she feels like), recently we went bra shopping during which she was half totally embarrassed and half very very proud about being so grown up I think. I have epilated her underarms for her as she was embarrassed about being so hairy and we have had a chat about what we will do when she wants to remove the hair on her legs (I never had that chat and dry shaving your legs with your fathers razor, especially when he has a beard so it is manky and rusty, is so not a good idea).

She has the odd tummy ache and the odd emotional outburst but lots of cuddles and a special hot water bottle seems to do the trick. I think I will make sure we celebrate her first period, I was embarrassed when I got mine, the talk had never come and going to an all girls catholic school doesn't give you a good grounding for what is in store! The cake and the candle and a special gift that makes her feel grown up is a really good idea.

I also remember 'Are you here God, it's Margeret' and will make sure that is the next book she reads - I loved it.

So am all prepared - well as much as we can be - I am sure we will be fine - I will probably find it harder than her as she is so yougn in so many ways - it feels like physically she is so much more grown up than emotionally.

eaglewings Fri 14-Oct-11 18:44:46

So glad there are teen towels, just had the chat with dd 9, and she said, when seeing my towels, "they will never fit my pants", here's hoping teen pads are smaller in width.

When we sat down for the chat I had a packet of towels (she had just found on stairs) and a tampon to hand and looked up puberty girls on google. There were some helpful pages and we worked our way through one of them.

I found the diagrams helpful and the wording was good so it was easy to keep focus and avoid embarrassment. The only thing I found hard to find was a good diagram showing the womb lining t explain why periods happen.

It was a shock to be told by dd that she already had pubic and underarm hair growing. I knew she was developing buds. She told me as there was a good diagram showing hair starting to grow. She's too young at 9 sad she's my baby!

The main question dd had was about how she would cope if she started bleeding for the first time at school. Thankfully I knew the school sec is all ready to mother young girls in this situation!

Fifis25StottieCakes Fri 14-Oct-11 18:52:18

God i was just thinking about this today. I caught dd1 almost 10 getting out the shower last night and she is getting boobs so i was wondering if its too young to have the talk. DD2 is 7 so i know if i do she will tell her.

My mam told me at 11 to come and tell her if i had blood on my knickers....nothing else.

Aged 13, mam ive got blood on my knickers, cue a massive fanny pad being chucked through the bathroom door.

Marking my spot on this one.

LimburgseVlaai Fri 14-Oct-11 18:58:25

DD1 is 9. One of her boobies has 'popped out' so I recently ordered some books off Amazon which I partly read with her, and partly let her read on her own. They are titles like "What's happening to my body."

She thinks the idea of 'public' grin hair is gross and I think she has pushed the idea of periods to the back of her mind. But when her hairs start sprouting and she has her first period, hopefully she'll remember what she read in those books. She does ask questions sometimes and I answer them matter-of-factly.

noyouhavehadawee Fri 14-Oct-11 19:01:07

I will watch this with interest - dd is 9 shortly and though a string bean in buid i have thought about the chat but wondering how to approach it as she is a bit squeamish and easily freaked out - whats the non squeamy nice book called please?

BleachBoys Fri 14-Oct-11 19:07:37

Is my DD the only one, who when talking about tampons and pads, asked if I would help her put the tampons in grin!

I told her, that when the time came, I was pretty sure she would want to do it for herself grin.

Bless her, she really doesn't want to grow up.

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