My Daughter Is Developing

Updated on July 09, 2008
M.T. asks from Las Vegas, NV
32 answers

My daughter has already got her first bra (She's 9). She's starting to turn into a woman. I don't know if she's too little to talk about tampons. Should I just tell her pads are what she can use now? But later she can try tampons. I don't know what age it is ok to use a tampon. I was 20 years old before I tried tampons. I was also older when I got my visitor. Can anyone help me with this? I wanted to sit down now and talk about this, and go pick with her and get what she needs. Before she starts and I'm not ready and she's not. Thank you

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So What Happened?

I want to thank everyone who helped me with this. Her step mom and I sat her down and talked to her. we explained to her the difference of the two. We let her know she could use what made her feel more comfortable. The talk went really great. then we all went out to lunch. I'm glad we were able to talk without her feeling to uncomfortable. Thank you all for helping me!!!!

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D.J.

answers from Sacramento on

I know this is a little late, and I noticed that someone already mentioned this, but I highly recommend The Care and Keeping of You (American Girl Book). I got it about six months ago for my nine year old because she is starting to develop also. It is wonderful because it explains a ton of stuff that I wouldn't really think to talk to her about, but because of the book we talk about all of it. She likes to show me sections in the book and either talk about it with me or ask me questions. She also likes to just read through the book on her own too. I think it just helps them to not feel so self conscious about some of this stuff.

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J.K.

answers from Fresno on

My daughter is 14 and got her visitor a couple days before her 14th birthday. I had bought her a book a few years back titles Me and my Body. It has great info about all the devopements of a girl and how to handle them, what to expect etc. She opted for tampons because she doesn't want blood stuck in her hair and is doing fine with them. She started developing a few years ago but just now started. Her first month she was a moody girl.

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A.L.

answers from Las Vegas on

When my visitor came, my mom actually bought me both pads and tampons. She showed me how to use both of them. Then let me decide which one I liked better. Once I got used to tampons, that was the one I eventually chose.

I would explain it to her when the time comes, and show her how to use both of them, and let her choose which one she prefers. Don't not talk about one or the other, but let her choose. She may prefer the pads now, but if she has access to the tampons and she gets used to them, she may prefer the tampons.

Good luck. If her visitor hasn't started yet, don't rush that conversation!

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J.M.

answers from Detroit on

My oldest daughter is nine also, and while she doesn't need a bra yet, her body is changing, and WOW the hormonal mood swings have begun! So I know it's coming. I'm actually trying to figure out how to convince her that mama cloth or a Diva Cup would be better than putting chemical-laden pads or tampons in or near such a vulnerable part of her body. I know when I first heard of them I thought "ewww", and I'm sure she will too, but I think it could really be much more healthy for her AND the environment (how many pads/year do we throw into landfills anyway?). Anyway, if you can get past the ewww factor as well, those are some more natural ways to deal with Aunt Flo, things I had never heard of as a teen.

Don't know how to do hyperlinks here, so here's some links:
Mama Cloth: http://www.forthemonster.com/store/WsDefault.asp?Cat=Mama...

Diva Cup: http://www.divacup.com/

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B.C.

answers from Kansas City on

We bought a book - The Care and Keeping of You (American Girl Book) that was wonderful! It talks about everything - all the changes - taking care of your hair, skin, etc. My daughter is 15 and hasn't tried tampons yet - has been scared and that is okay. That book has been a life saver - when I was an idiot (haha), the book was the bible!

good luck!

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A.F.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi M., I just so this and I wanted to give you my opinion. My daughter is now 22 yrs old. I noticed her mood swings at the age of 9 and I talked with her peditrician about giving her PMS medicine, her doctor told me to give her 1/4 of a tablet. Boy that was a Godsend, my daughter was back to normal. Before my daughter would cry just because I looked at her and there was times when she did not know why she was crying. So giving her the Midol PMS tablet was very helpful.

I also bought my daughter pantiliners before she even started her period and told her to wear one in her panties every day and to change them often. I wanted her to get use to having a pad close to her body.

Now when her cycle started at the age of 10 she was prepared. I took her out to lunch at her favorite restaurant and I bought her a gift. A pocket calendar and a pen so she can keep track of her cycle.

While my daughter was on her cycle she would wake up with blood all over her clothes and on the bed and I realize my daughter is a wild sleeper and I had to switch my plan of action from pads to tampons. I found tampons by Tampax call Juniors they are smaller than a regular tampons. But I checked the website and now they have Tampons for lite days and the one that use to be called Juniors is now call Slendar.

But after my daughter starting using tampons, no more accidents at night. I also told her to double protect herself and wear a pad and a tampon.

http://www.tampax.com/home.php

Good luck with your daughter. The main thing is continue with the open communication.

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C.E.

answers from Visalia on

Hi M.,

I am a mother of a soon to be 15 year old and a 8.5 month old(yeah starting all over). If I were you, I would tell your daughter about the tampons and explain what they do and how they are used. Now she will know about these things and not fear them. Her friends may already know about them, but wouldn't you rather her be educated from you and not them. It won't hurt anything. My daughter had her first period at 11, but did not use a tampon until she was 14. It went smoothly (she wanted to learn how to surf when she was visiting family in San Diego). And that was the last time she has used one. I think they should be used only as needed and not as a regular event. But I am not a doctor and that is only my opinion,lol. So good luck, and more fun to come. Wouldn't trade it for the world though!!

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M.H.

answers from Melbourne on

I am late getting in on this. For all moms out there dealing with the mood swings in daughters and yourself, I found Oil of Evening Primrose and vitamin B complex to be the best for controlling the mood swings.

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M.T.

answers from Kansas City on

M.,
I have to say my daughter is only 3 1/2, but I remember when I got my first period. I had just turned 10 and was having a sleep over, I think it was for my Birthday because there were a lot of girls there. Anyway, you might want to go a little further with you explanation. They showed us videos in school in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade about what to expect. These were very helpful as was my Mom. However, what no one prepared me for was leakage. It was very humiliating. I had to constantly go home at lunch to change clothes. I ended up using both tampons and pads not liners, pads, from the time I was in 8th grade until I got Mirena after my daughter was born. I always had very irregular periods and was put on birth control pills at age 16 to try and regulate the flow and cycle. It regulated the cycle, but I still had very heavy periods. I know that this is not the "norm" but it was a common problem with a few other girls in my class. I just remember going on a field trip to the symphony and coming out to get on the bus, and as I was going up the stairs, this was in 5th grade, a boy I was friends with said to me "M. you have BLOOD on your skirt!" I thought he said mud until we got back to school, then I freaked out and had to leave to go change. I was just so devastated, I never wanted to go back to school. I would just like for no one else to have to go through that, or any think like it. I would also like to strongly suggest the pads with wings, as one time while playing softball in gym class in high school, my pad came unstuck from my panties and stuck to my stomach, how weird is that, nut what could I do, luckily class was almost over, but I used the ones with wings from then on. Hope my humiliation can benefit someone. Another thing, I noticed some people mentioned pain associated with tampons, I experienced this and found it was caused by tensing up, fear that some one could see what I was doing through the cracks in those stupid bathroom stalls. If you relax it really should not hurt. I am very glad to hear that you get along with you ex and his new wife that is hard to do, but very important for your child's growth and development. Good luck!
M.

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S.F.

answers from Las Vegas on

I started useing tampons when I was in 5th grade because I am allergis to pads. I dont recomend it. I is very painful for a young girl not fully developed. It is usually recomended to wait untill she is done growing or she will be to small and it will hurt her.

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E.M.

answers from Bakersfield on

Hi M.-
I saw that you received some great advice. Mine is this- I hate tampons. I hate pads. My mother gave us the option and I chose tampons because they were cleaner and I have a thing about odors, etc. But when I was 19, I found another alternative called "insteads." They are made of rubber, so no toxic shock syndrome, and they are clean!!! I use pantiliners with mine to asborb any small issues, but that's the gist of my concerns. I was getting them at target for a while...but this last month or so they have not even had the tag on the shelf. I found them at Longs Drug Store, but they are twice the price. However, being so young, her body is sensitive, and these are the most delicate item I have found. It takes some getting used too, and I had trouble the first few months, but now I swear by them and wouldn't use anything else. Plus, you can wear them ALL DAY (depending on flow, of course) without a bother. One more thing I've noticed is that my intake of certain foods really affects the health of my period and my attitude. She is young, but if she drinks soda or anything, now may be the time to cut that out. I gave up soda at 28 years old and though I miss it, love how much better I feel. Also, if she can, try to stay away from fast food at least a week or 2 before it starts. Makes such a difference.
I hope this helps.
Thanks
-E.

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O.S.

answers from Buffalo on

it's so nice to see others who work with their children's step parents! My ex's wife is fantastic. Sometimes I like her better than I like my ex! LOL I got along with her from the start.

When I see others who absolutely hate their ex's new spouse, it makes me cringe. (note: no one here, just in general)

Why start friction with someone who will be taking care of and spending time with your child(ren)? Think about it?! I mean, that isn't the only reason why I love my ex's wife so much... but it's part of it.

100 gold shooting stars for you for your ability to allow the step parent to participate in raising your daughter!! It's so refreshing to see! And with the gloomy weather here this morning, I needed the "pick me up". Thanks for brightening my day!

:)

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G.A.

answers from Las Vegas on

You mentioned your daughter has a bra, but did she also recently get her period? I was eight when I got my first bra and nine when I got my period. Mom bought me pads and made no mention of tampons. It wasn't until I was older, around 16 that I noticed Mom stored a box of tampons for herself under the sink in the bathroom while I had pads. I tried one of her tampons but didn't like it (she used O.B. and it didn't come with an applicator). Eventually I went to the store and tried out a few brands until I found one that was comfortable, but that wasn't until I was 17 and could afford to buy them myself.

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R.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi M.,

I wish I'd seen your post back in March. I don't know what your daughter ultimately decided on, but 9 yrs old is too young to use a tampon, mainly because of hygiene issues.

Tampons left in place for too long (at any age), can contribute to a very serious infection commonly known as Toxic Shock. (You may remember the scare from the 1970's on this, which was linked to one particular tampon that sealed off the vaginal canal a bit too effectively, leading to some very seriously ill women and at least a few deaths.) Unless your 9 yr old has exceptional hygiene habits for her age and is not inclined to forget to change the tampon every few hours, she will be at risk. Also, because flow is not typically well established for up to 3 years after menses begins, removing an undermoistened tampon can be very painful and can potentially abrade the vaginal walls. Such minor injury then becomes a potential bed for harmful bacterial growth.

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N.S.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi, I didn't see your question the first time around, but I just read back through the responses and wanted to offer a comment. A couple of people mentioned concern about early development and one said to lay off the dairy products. But kids really need that calcium, so a different sugestion might be to try organic dairy products that do not have the artificial hormones from the cows. We switched to organic dairy many years ago and I feel that my daughter's development has benefited from that (as in she did not develop early, as we have watched many of her peers develop much sooner than many of us did when we were young).

Thanks also to everyone for the comments, as I've been debating whether or not to introduce the idea of tampons to my own daughter. I appreciated being able to share the advice you all offered! :-)

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L.R.

answers from Las Vegas on

My daughter is also developing at a young age, she is 10. Her and talked about having her period and what to use. She asked about the tampons, but she stated she wasn't ready at this time. I've tried to make it a positive experience for her knowing taht this is a really sensitive time. It is very scary for me as I am not sure of how this affects her and issues in school, boys, etc. I have older boys so this is uncharted grounds.

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D.V.

answers from Las Vegas on

It is never too soon to start teaching your daughter about being a woman. It starts the day they start following you around. I think a 9 year old can handle a period discussion. My greater concern here would be if she is developing too early. Have you discussed this with her pediatrician? She may recommend seeing an endocrinologist. Early blooming can cause trouble later in life. Maybe lay off the dairy products, too, since they are naturally very high in estrogen. Your body makes all it needs without any help from food, and Japanese girls develop a lot earlier since milk was introduced to their culture during WWII. Maybe a nutritionist could help you out with that. Or it could just be that your daughter is naturally precocious. If you developed early, it may be perfectly normal for her to as well. But a checkup might ease your mind about it.

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M.H.

answers from Las Vegas on

I can't really relate to your situation cause my daughter is only 2, but I do have an opinion so here it is. I don't think it is too soon to talk to her about pads or tampons. But I don't think you need to go buy any yet. It could be another couple of years or more before she starts her period. I got my first bra when I was about 10 and didn't start my period until I was about 12. I think. I think you could just tell her "this is what is going to happen...and when the time comes we will take care of it". As to the tampon thing, I think it is ok for her to use them as long as she knows and you trust her to change it often. She may be a little wierded out by it and may not even want to use them at first. Good luck with everything. I am dreading the day when I have to do this with my own daughter.

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T.S.

answers from New Orleans on

Hey M., You might want to start charting down any mood swings. My daughter started last year at the age of ten! Mood swings came every month - right along with mine! Developing breasts, pubic hairs, hair under the arm and body odor are clues that she will be starting soon. I took my daughter to a mommy/daughter class at the childrens hosp. It was a fun way for these girls to learn all about their body and its cycle. They showed the girls the right way to use pads and tampons and how to dispose of them! My daughter uses pads now and MAYBE when shes older,it will be her choice to use tampons, hopefully only when necessary. I say this because I am a survivor of Toxic Shock Syndrome. It was not nice! I think it was my husbands prayers that saved me. (We're not totally religous - We believe but didn't practice) Anyway, you might want to check to see if your area has one of these classes. Best of luck to you. These preteen years with a girl can be very testy! T.

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R.Z.

answers from Las Vegas on

yeah this was fun times with my daughter i had my daughter when i was 19 so i was a young single mother and my daughter wore a 38 dd at 9 and started her period at 10yrs old.funny now not then. i remember going tobuy her pads at grocery store and not knowing which ones for teens let alone a child we stood there looking for an hour it was crazy. then my friends told me that kotex, and the other brands will mail you a kit to help you talk to your child with some of proper sizing for them ,i think you can look on box and get a number or write them. i hope this helps and good luck. just think of the memory you will have to look back and laugh at years later my daughter is now turning 17. hope this helps
oh yeah i also forgot to saythat because she was so young i actualy took her to the pediatrician to have her checked to make sure she some how hadnt hurt herself(poor kid) the doctor also said there was absolutely nothing wrong with a child that young using a tampon it was purely whatever they were comfortable with,that it wouldnt break the hymen or a nything. my daughter felt weird puttingtampons in and still does. says things dont belong there (plus for me if you know what i mean). but its totally up to you and your daughter.
R. z

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R.R.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi M.,

You may not want to open this can of worms with your daughter again, but it may be important to let her know, ever so surupticiously that the first period or two tends to be very brown, rather than red. I have spoken to several mothers who told me that their daughters did not let them know when they started because they were concerned it was something altogether different, and rather hid their panties in shame. It'd be great to avoid that.

Be well,

R.

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T.C.

answers from Norfolk on

It is ABSOLUTELY NOT too soon to talk to your daughter about her period, pads vs. tampons and even sex. Children these days are having sex MUCH younger (like age 11/12) and if you want your daughter to be informed and make the right choices, she needs to know all about everything that is out there FROM YOU -- so she doesn't get misinformation from her friends. Advice to not overload her b/c she is just a little girl is outrageous to me in this day and age. Not informing your children is how bad things happen. Sorry to vent, but when I read that someone said not to tell her too much - I can't help it! Anyway - my oldest daughter is now 15 and for her first couple of periods I did not want to let her use tampons. Looking back to when she was 11 and just starting and having talked to her about this now, I realize that was a mistake. While there are risks to tampons (Toxic Shock) - again, if she is informed and educated, she'll know what to do and how to do it and she'll feel better. My daughter was very uncomfortable having to wear pads. She didn't like the bulk, the messiness of it, the odor and the fact that many of her friends wore tampons instead. (I mean, honestly - do YOU like a pad vs. a tampon???) So, I taught her how to use the tampon, bought her the right ones for her flow, body size, etc., and since then she has always been comfortable with her body and her period. We talk about it often and now are facing the other "issues" that come up with teenaged girls. Because I've been open with her and let her make her own choices regarding her own body, with guidance of course, she opens up to me about anything and everything and she is still learning (as am I). Good luck -- you have lots more ahead of you!

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M.B.

answers from Denver on

I see you already got some advice here but I just wanted to tell you that it is so awesome that you and your daughters step mom get along and did this together! Bravo! Your daughter is lucky to have so many who love her!

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K.N.

answers from New York on

Hello M.,

Since this is an old request, I don't know if you are actually looking for additional posts, but I wanted to throw something in here that wasn't previously mentioned.

I think it's great that you want to start educating your daughter about her period before it comes, and the discussion about her having the options both pads and tampons is necessary. However, since she is so young, I would be concerned about her using tampons, as they come with a lot of responsibility that she may not be ready for at such a young age. Tampons need to be changed quite regularly, and if her period is not heavy and there is no leakage, it is easy to forget that you are wearing one. Wearing a tampon for longer than 8 hours is not recommended as it can causes toxic shock syndrome - there is an insert in every box that can help you explain when it is necessary.

I don't think that a tampon can hurt her physically in anyway that is lasting, but she needs to demonstrate that she is responsible for herself, which is something that sometimes comes with time and can't be given an age designation.

Anyway, just wanted to throw this in. Best wishes - your daughter is becoming a woman!

(Oh, and just wanted to add that it is incredibly refreshing that you have such a great relationship with your ex and his wife - my parents divorced when I was very young and were never really able to maintain any sort of relationship that was civil. I think having an open relationship with them is giving your daughter a HUGE bonus!)

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H.R.

answers from Dubuque on

I also started developing and got my period when I was 9. It was very confusing and I had no idea how to take care of myself. Try to explain simply so she can try to understand what is happening to her body.

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L.S.

answers from Nashville on

It's pretty amazing the response this query has gotten!

I just want to throw in a book recommendation. Nine years old is still a little young for it; it's geared for more early teens, but... Cycle Savvy by Toni Weschler. Demystifing ovulation and menstration and infections and all the stuff you ought to know but are embarrassed to ask. Oh how I wish I'd gotten that when I started having periods about 8th grade.

Also, I wish I'd known about cloth pads instead of disposables. I was pretty skeptical at first, but, whoa, after using these awhile I would not go back to clingy yucky stinky throw-away things. This site I notice even has a set specially for young girls.
http://somethingnewcreations.com/index.php?act=viewProd&a...
http://homemademama.com/MamaPads.html

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H.P.

answers from Springfield on

Hi,

I'm really surprised at the responses you're getting in this post. I wouldn't ever let someone that young use a tampon. Girls that young shouldn't be putting anything into their private part. I wouldn't even bring it up--it's not necessary. If she hasn't started her period yet, don't overwhelm her with the scary stuff of becoming a woman (she's so young!) because she's not. Once her period gets here, I would introduce pads and tell her how to use them. She'll learn about the "other stuff," tampons included, in school and from friends.

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T.N.

answers from Dallas on

I don't know if you are receiving any more responses but I thought I would try anyway. I bought my daughter (now 10) her first training bra at age 8. Then probably about a year or so after that I found out from her that she had hair starting to grow down there. That totally freaked me out!! She was 9, maybe almost 10. I was talking to a friend and she told me when they start to get hair under their arms that is a big clue. My something to check with her pediatrician just to maybe give you a better time frame of when it may happen. I recently noticed my daughter had hair growing under her arms so I knew it was time to have that talk with her. Best of luck!! Oh and watch out for the mood swings!!!

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L.H.

answers from St. Louis on

I know I'm WAY late with this but I have got to put my 2cents in. I'm now 24 and got my first real bra when I was in the third grade (it was a 32B! Yeah. I developed early) My aunts got together and sent me a big box of really neat little underwire bras for x-mas when they heard I was going through puberty (I am now a 36D I guess you could say I'm kinda top heavy LOL!) I didn't start until I was in the 7th grade. One thing I had to say was that I was SHOCKED at the suggestion of some of these ladies to keep info from your daughter because she's "too young". One mistake my mom made with me is not being open with me about things like sex (she still believes I'm a virgin). I never even knew how to use a tampon until I was a freshman in highschool only b/c I was gonna miss out on a water party if she didn't. The point is that her body is saying to all involved "she's ready, and so should you". Please for the love of crud be honest and open with your girl. My mom wasn't. In the long run I think I turned out alright but I really wish I'd waited for my 'first time' I had just turned 19, it was in a grungy (and I mean grungy) dorm room at a local college and the guy actually had difficulty acheiving an erection so I didn't even enjoy it (sorry for all the details but I was really young and it was REALLY bad). I was raised to "never touch the middle hole" as my mom would say. If she winds up breaking her hymen with a tampon, so be it, I broke mine horse back riding. It doesn't mean she's not a virgin if that happens. I think that a lot of people have a misconception about that because when sex ed first started being descussed between mom and daughter, women weren't that physically active so they didn't break it until the wedding night. Virginity is lost during sex end of story so if that was a concern don't worry. Just don't tell her not to do 'it' cuz then she'll be like me and thousands of other teens that go out and do 'it' anyway. Just inform her and don't make it an uncomfortable subject for her to talk about with you. And, trying not to be too much more blunt than I've already been, don't tell her not to masturbate cuz she'll probably wind up doing it anyway and hiding it from you. I have to keep all my 'stuff' hidden because anytime my mom has found one she just winds up taking it from me probably in an effort to get me to stop. Sorry to be so out there with my experience with you but being just a bit older and having already gone through the experience I just thought it would be benificial for you to have the perspective of someone who still thinks like a daughter instead of someone who has a daughter. If I freaked you out at all I am sorry (I am very comfortable with being open especially if it is in the effort of helping someone else through my experience). I just hope you can see things futuristically through you daughter's eyes. I really hope it helps.

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A.Z.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi M.,

I feel I should also say something in regards to your post, and the comments you have received. First of all I'm glad that your discussion went well and you were all comfortable with it.

When I was about that age, they did the health class movie in grade school that the girls got to see and the boys went to the gym and played volleyball. I was very athletic when I was younger and by the time I got my first period at the age of 11, I was on a swim team. My mom went out and got me some pads and let me tell you...THAT did not fly. There was NO WAY I was wearing what felt like the equivelant of a roll of toilet paper and then on top of that, NOT be able to go to swim meets etc!

It has nothing whatsoever to do with sex. It's a comfort level. To me it was a hygiene level as well. I felt dirty and like EVERYONE knew I had a pad. They make tampons like Tampax Jr. that are smaller for smaller, younger girls.

In my opinion, for what it's worth, let her make the decision. Toxic shock was a concern way back in the 80's because the strings were made of rayon. Now, I don't think that it's so much an issue and to be honest, I don't think it should be a concern that an 11 year old or even a 9 year old wouldn't change their tampon. That would be like assuming they won't wipe after going to the bathroom.

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K.M.

answers from Austin on

Hi M., I read that the problem has been taken care, but if she hasn't had her period yet, I will let you know one thing. I am 49, so when I started it was the belt and pads, tampons were available, my mom used them. I talked to her about it. I love to swim, and the most sanitary way to be able to swim during your period is with tampons. My mother explained how to use them, but prepared me that my hymen may possible break, a little pain. I cannot remember if it did or not, but used correctly I have found that they are safe and comfortable. I just wanted to mention this in case she starts with a tampon and feels pain or anything the first time she uses one. Best wishes, glad the talk went well. K. M

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R.M.

answers from Austin on

Just to let you knowI never used pads until once of twice in the past few years in emergency, I hate the way pads feel when I wear them.... I practiced inserting a tampon once or twice before I ever got my period, and tampons or diva cups have always been a great choice for me!

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