Puberty in 8 Year Old - Really?

Updated on November 08, 2012
B.C. asks from Minneapolis, MN
16 answers

I know that changes can start this young in a girl but I am wondering if I should be at all concerned. My daughter is 8. About three weeks ago I noticed that she had body odor. I got her some natural deodorant and we have begun reading the American Girl Doll book The Care and Keeping of You. She is very open and interested in understanding the changes that are/will be happening. I have also noticed recently that she has quite a bit of leg hair.

Now, just yesterday, she told me that her vagina felt wet and that there was something in her underwear. Sure enough, a little bit of normal clear/whitish discharge in her underwear! I was stunned! Then tonight, as I was loading the laundry, I found a pair of underwear of hers probably from a couple of days ago and it looks like they are stained lightly with brownish dried blood! This is all just happening so fast and at such a young age that I feel very caught off guard.

I am very comfortable discussing everything with her and helping her I am just SO surprised that we are dealing with this stuff at age 8. Could that have been a tiny period? Should I be concerned and take her to the doctor? Are there any medical implications from going through puberty at such a young age? Do others of you have daughters this young getting a period? She is healthy and of slim build. Are there any medical concerns associated with early puberty that I should look into?

Thanks so much for your time and insight!

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So What Happened?

I have put a call in to her doctor to begin with a phone consultation but I am going to ask her to be seen in the near future. I am positive that it was not that she didn't wipe herself well enough - with three girls I have had my share of poo stains in the underwear. :) Based on what some of you are saying, it at least warrants further investigation. She is exposed to almost no media and only reads books that are age appropriate so I can't imagine that her environment is triggering early development. We drink hormone free milk and don't eat very much meat either. I buy organic food some of the time. As some of you pointed out, I am concerned that she may not have the opportunity to grow properly and I wince thinking about her body making big changes when she is such a kid yet. I don't want her to be robbed of her childhood! Thanks for listening ladies! So glad this community exists!

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answers from Minneapolis on

I was 8 or 9 when I started so it is not unusual but yes, earlier than most. I have tried to stick to organic for my kids as well but have a feeling my 4 year old is going to be an early one too. He already lost his first tooth at 4. I would just recommend that you educate her and take care of it appropriately so she isn't embarrased or afraid of anything.



answers from Chicago on

My daughter is 7 and if this starts happening next year for her we will be rushing to the doctor. I think it's too early and you should get a medical opinion.

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answers from Charlotte on

If you are SURE that the brownish discharge is not from her not wiping in the back well enough, I would take her to the doctor. You might need some endocronlogical work done to determine if something is off.

If she is not developing breasts, then I doubt that what you saw was menstral blood. I would bet that she didn't wipe properly from a bowel movement.

A call to your gyn's nurse would also be an idea, to ask if a "mini-period" ever happens.


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answers from Dallas on

My daughter turned 9 the end of July. She is 5 feet, wears a 9 women shoe and is 110lbs of muscle. Literally. She is a complete full A cup. She has been wearin deoderant since she was 7 and has half down there since 6. She also gets pimple and black head breakouts for the past year. She has not started her period. But her dr says it could happen anytime because she is built like a 12 yo. Her dr and from what I have read the avg is 9-12 now.

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answers from Duluth on

My sister got her period at 9, and that would have been mid-80's. My son started wearing deodorant at 6 1/2. At that age, he mostly needed it during anxiety producing situations, but by 7 1/2, he needed it daily. I don't think a trip to your pediatrician is out of order, esp since she might have some insight for your daughter about what to look for next that might be more matter-of-fact than you, caught off guard, and might serve well to reassure BOTH of you that this is normal and fine and ok. And, if by off chance it's not, you'll have help navigating that, too. Good luck! Oh--and when my son started wearing deodorant early, I asked a third grade teacher at our church about it--she said girls typically start in 3rd, but boys are usually a bit later--so she's probably not too far off in those things.

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answers from Washington DC on

Also get her the American Girl book "The Body Book for Girls." It is excellent at explaining many aspects of puberty in the calming AG way!

I doubt that the stain you saw was menstrual blood, especially as it was on just one day's underwear; like others, I think it may be from not wiping well enough. Keep an eye out for more. She could indeed have discharge and that actually might concern me more especially if there is any odor to it; that could indicate an infection, but again, don't rush to that conclusion either. If she has any other symptoms, get her to the pediatrician. They have seen vaginal infections and yeast infections in little girls before, believe me.

Yes, girls do start puberty as early as eight, depending on the child's genes and hormones. The body odor is often the start. If you are not seeing pubic hair yet, you will very soon, so be ready for that; it can be a definite "she's not my little girl any more moment" as I know. But don't fret too much that she's in some kind of unusual "early puberty" that requires medical help; even if it hits her early, you need to proceed as you would if it had hit her a little later -- with good information and supplies ready for her at school as well as at home.

If you are still concerned that she is starting to menstruate, talk to her doctor first without her there.



answers from Minneapolis on

If it were me, I would take her to the dr to discuss.

There are other things that come with the start of all of this like, the stopping of growth for height.

I had early development with my oldest (now 17) and I was advised to purchase as much organinc or hormone free dairy and meats as I could afford to slow down the development. Also watch what she is seeing on TV, suggestive television or even adverstisements can stimulate some of this development. I am happy to say this helped slow her down and she didn't get her period until age 14 (when she could more emotionally handle it.)

Good luck in what ever decision you make with your daughter.



answers from Fargo on

I would take her daughter had a bone scan done to see how old her body thought she was. All turned out fine. She did have a friend that had yo have shots to stop her period until she was 11....reasoning was i believe girls stop usually stop growing 2 years after they start their periods (at least i think that's what her mom told me). I'd just take her in.



answers from San Diego on

My niece started her period at this age, 8. She has very heavy periods and very bad cramps. When I say heavy, I mean she's going through an overnight pad every thirty mins or sooner.

When she was seen by a Dr, they did lots of tests, scans, blood work, x-rays, you name it. They said that her bones are that of a teenage girl. They asked why she had not been seen for this sooner. I'm assuming that I didn't get the entire conversation that took place and that there must have been other symptoms that indicated an abnormal change for her age, since they took her to the Dr pretty quickly following the aggressive initial cycle.

The Dr want her on depo, but not depo every 3 months. Depo every 28 days.

I'm not sure if just having her cycle this early is cause for alarm, since my niece is a unique situation, but I would talk/take her to her Dr to be on the safe side.

Hope this helps, and good luck.



answers from Baton Rouge on

My daughter had her first period at the age of nine.


answers from Nashville on

Our daughter(only child) had 13 teeth by the time she was 11 months old and lost her first tooth when she was 4 years old. The pediatrician and the dentist told me she would begin puberty early. At 5 years old she began to have underarm odor and wear deodorant. I was "shocked" when she also began getting pubic hair at 5 years old as well. I again questioned our pediatrician and he said it was not as unusual as people think and they were seeing this more often. We ran blood tests just to be sure and everything was perfect & normal. They estimated she would start her period around 9 years old but she got her first period at 11 years old. She started college this year. Let me tell you, they are not kidding when they say they grow up too fast.



answers from Portland on

My 12 yo granddaughter has been using deodorant for a couple of years now. She has always had a slight discharge in her panties. I don't think that is necessarily a sign of puberty. Her breasts started to develop about 6 months ago. She is moody. That's been the order of things for her. I suggest that if she's not developing breasts that she's not far along into puberty.

The best way to have a better idea of what is happening is to talk with her pediatrician.

Later; I went with my 12 yo granddaughter to an appointment with her pediatrician yesterday. The doctor said that girls using have their first period 2 !/2 years after the first signs of puberty. She said what she means by the first signs are having pubic and underarm hair and developing breast buds.

The pediatrician said it's not all that uncommon for girls as young as 8 to begin puberty. She asked when her mother had her first period and it was at 10. When you first had your period can be an indication of when your daughter would start but it's only a possible indication. If your daughter is beginning with puberty it does not mean that your life style caused it. There are many factors that influence puberty and we don't have control over all of them.



answers from Lincoln on

What you are describing about your daughter is called precocious puberty and you should google it, gives a ton of information! I believe there might be a medication that can "slow it down" but of course you need to discuss that in depth with her pediatrician.
As we all know this day in age our girls are hitting puberty much much sooner than when I did back in the 80's. So much has changed. The enviornment, the air we breathe, the things we eat..... etc... don't freak out, happens more often than you think. I would just go over some of your options w/her PED. Good luck!


answers from Dallas on

I applaud you with open communication with your daughter. You will value that bond SO much, especially as she gets older.

I'm not sure what you are seeing but it sounds like early onset on puberty which happens earlier with some children. You might schedule a regular physical with the pedi if you haven't already this year just to get a guideline.

Personally, I kept a record of dates, symptoms, moods, length of cycle for my daughter so her peri had some sort of guideline. Daughter ( now 17) keeps up with her own cycle but I still keep notes on moods, changes, etc.

I am in the school as a regular substitute and I see so many changes at 8 and up.

Keep communicating, it helps both of you for the long haul!! Best wishes to you on this long journey!! It can be positive!!!


answers from Rochester on

I would take her to see her doctor. I hit puberty 11. Eight is VERY young, and she might have some hormonal things going on, or a variety of other things. This is definitely not something I would ignore, though, because I can't stress enough that it is NOT normal. Not wanting to freak you out...there will be an explanation, I'm sure.

(Also, I fall into the conspiracy group that all this modified food is doing this to our I would examine her diet as well.)



answers from Columbus on

Most of my daughter's friends have been on that same schedule -- she's 10 now. I don't think it's unusual. I got my period in 4th grade and was in a bra in 3rd grade, and the changes you describe start several years before. There is a broad range of normal, and for 8, I believe that fits. But if you're concerned, you could consult your pediatrician.

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