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Age That Girls Reach Puberty

I recently visited my mother-in-law and my daughter was a little moody. She wondered if puberty might be starting. I was stunned as my daughter is just turning 9. My MIL has a friend whose daughters reached puberty around 10. She looked up a government website and the official range is 8-16. For those of you whose daughters have gone through puberty what was their age. What are the factors that determine age of puberty onset. I don't think my daughter is going through puberty because she has always tended to be moody but I'd like to have an age in my mind that's more current and accurate. Thanks!

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Hi M. E,
I was 6 1/2 when I started growing breasts and got pubic hair. I started my period at 8. So every kid is different. My middle sister was 9 when she got her period. My younger sister was 16 before she got hers so don't worry. If you need to talk let me know. M. Petersen
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Check to see (or ask her) if she has an pubic hair, hair under her armpits, or breast buds (which can be just a slight swelling or englargement of the nipple in early puberty). These are the first obvious physical signs of puberty - if she doesn't exhibit any of these physical manifestations, she really hasn't begun yet.

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Hi M. E,
I was 6 1/2 when I started growing breasts and got pubic hair. I started my period at 8. So every kid is different. My middle sister was 9 when she got her period. My younger sister was 16 before she got hers so don't worry. If you need to talk let me know. M. Petersen
____@____.com

2 moms found this helpful

I am in the same boat with my daughter age 9 1/2. It started about the time she turned nine. She has been getting a lot of mood swings and attitude. She also has developed B.O. and a little underarm hair. I was quite surprised because she is actually small for her age. I have started teaching her about hygiene and she uses deoderant now. I found two books that are awsome by American Girls. One is the body book, which discusses everything from nutrition, to how to wash your hair, to getting your period. We also got the Feelings book. Good luck!

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My daughter started puberty at 8. She didn't start getting moody until 12. She has yet to start her period. I myself started at 10, and didn't start mensration util almost 14. Some say overweight girls start puberty early because the weight gain triggers it. One dr I asked said it was true. Although that may be true, my daughter didn't start gaining excess weight until AFTER she started puberty. Anyway, moodiness can also be contributed to lack of nutrition, especially if starting puberty. Try to keep her from processed foods, eat more fruits and veggies, fiber, good protein, and plenty of water.

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M., don't worry unnecessarily! There is such a wide range of ages for the onset of puberty. My eldest daughter, 18, started to show breast development at age 8 1/2, but didn't get her period until age 12 1/2 (which is, I believe, the average age). My youngest daughter is nearly 14, has the teeniest breasts and is nowhere near having her period. The breast development can go on for quite a few years before the onset of menses. A girl has to have all her pubic hair before she can get her period, so if your daughter has nothing going on in that department I wouldn't worry about her getting her period anytime soon. As far as moodiness is concerned...good luck! My eldest was a pain in the neck for years!! Just coming out of it at age 18.

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Dear M.,

One good indication is to think back to how old you were when your puberty began. It is not exact, but is an indication. Also, www.drgreen.com may have some information about it. Puberty begins lots earlier these days because of the better nutrition that we receive - or they receive. That is a general trend all over the world - in nations that have adequate food for the people.

Moodiness does go with the territory, both genetically and with puberty. My whole family tends toward being depressed - aunts and siblings - so we have learned to handle it. It came from both sides of our family - so we got a double dose. It hasn't hurt our lives, I think that it has made us more understanding of other people. ..and made us realize that we have a job to do with our own selves to read and learn about depression. So, it isn't really bad, it is the way that you handle it.

P.S. you can't just say - stop being moody either - be understanding and respectful of her feelings, after all she is a little girl and needs her mother now more than ever. Talk to her like you wanted to be talked with when you were a little girl.

C. N.

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The age that girls reach puberty has been decreasing. Your MIL's information is not outdated or inaccurate, but perhaps a bit broadly defined.

Genetics can play a role in the age of puberty onset, diet, activity level and many other factors. I've seen research stating that obese girls will reach puberty earlier. The age that you or other female family members started puberty will give you a clue when your daughter might.

Here is a link from the National Institutes of Health:

http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/Puberty.cfm

Here is some information from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

http://aapgrandrounds.aappublications.org/cgi/content/ext...

http://aapnews.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/19/3/...

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It is true that girls can hit puberty around 8-16. I started at age 13. Puberty also depends on the child's diet too. For example, vegetarians and vegans hit puberty later because they do not consume meat products or as much dairy, this means less consumption of the added hormones given to livestock. So really, the most accurate way to know if your daughter is reaching puberty is looking out for the "normal" signs such as development of the chest, and hair in "odd places".

M. *~

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