Inside: Prepare your daughter for her first period by making up a DIY period kit for school that she can keep in her school bag, before her first period starts.
If your daughter is 10, you need to start thinking about getting ready for her first period ie making up a DIY period kit for school.
You may think 'WHAT?' and that 10 is way too young for your daughter to have a DIY period kit for school, but most girls start their period between the ages of 10 and 15 years. The average age is 12 ½ , but every girl is different, and your daughter may start earlier or later than the average.
The important thing is to be prepared! You just don't know when that first period will start - and it could possibly be when she is at school! And her very own period kit for school is what she needs.
You’ll find more information about puberty in my Puberty 101 page.
Basically, a period kit is a small bag that holds the stuff that you might need for a period.
So if you're a parent, it is a bag that your daughter will use to manage her period when she is out of the house.
She might keep it in her school bag, her gym bag, in her lockyer at school.
She might have just the one period kit or she might have a few of them.
And it is filled with the essential items that she needs to manage her period throughout the day ie what she puts inside it may be different to what you (or her sister) might put in yours.
We'll talk about what to put inside them soon!
You might be wondering why your child might need a period kit.
There's a few reasons why.
But the main reason is that it helps to make them feel less stressed about their first period.
You would not believe how much young girls stress about their first period!
If you don't believe me, go and have a look at my Youtube channel for tweens, and read some of their comments on the vidoes about periods.
Girls are paranoid about their period starting when they are at school. And that they won't know it has started until someone taps them on their shoulder and whispers into their ear that they have blood on the back of their school uniform. After the whole school has already seen it!
So a period kit helps to decrease their stress because they know that if their first period starts at school, then they'll be fine. As they have the gear that they need!
The simple act of them having a few supplies in their school bag empowers girls and helps to alleviate some of their anxiety about their first period.
It is impossible to predict when a first period will happen but there are a few signs to look out for!
Luckily first periods don't just start out of the blue! Usually we have a few warning signs before they start.
In girls, 3 things have to happen before a first period will happen (these changes usually happen over a 2 year period):
So if your daughter's breasts have started to bud and she has some pubic hair, you need to think about making up a period kit for school.
She might not need for a few years yet, but in the meantime it may come in handy for one of her friends.
Plus she will know that she has it, and is prepared. Whether her period starts at home or at school.
If I had a dollar for everyone time a girl asked me when she'll get her first period, I would be a rich woman!
So I created a first period quiz that you can complete with your daughter, to help her work out when her first period might start. So that she can stop worrying about it so much!
So how do you make up a DIY period kit for school, and what should it contain?
So what should a DIY period kit for school contain?
The bare minimum for a period kit should include:
There are lots of other things that you can include as well - analgesia, tampons, hot packs, anything that you can think of that may be relevant.
Just remember that it needs to be small and compact!
Finding the bag for a DIY period kit for school, is important.
Discretion is paramount.
You'll need something that is big enough to hold everything, small enough to be discrete, and constructed in such a way that they can balance the bag on their lap whilst doing what they need to do. I recently read about someone using a pencil case, which is ultra discrete!
And I would choose something that is washable or able to be wiped clean - just in case! A DIY period kit for school is going to be left in the bottom of their school bag - and we all know how grotty schoolbags can get!
There are lots of different things you can use. pencil cases are popular.
Small make-up bags can work as well, and they usually have more pockets and zips, which can help with hiding pads.
I have recently discovered a bag that has been made just for this purpose, by Raigan J. Raigan is an Aussie mum who tested the design of these bags out with tween girls to make sure that they worked perfectly. I showed them to my daughter and she was quite impressed. She liked the fact that they held more than what her pencil case did, and that the contents don't spill out as you go diving in for something. I liked the fact that the bag is easy to clean, folds open (so it can sit on your lap whilst you remove your pads etc) or can hang it on the door or toilet roll holder with the inbuilt coat hanger. So do go and check them out as they ship worldwide! And no, this isn't an affiliate link. I'm just impressed that there is a purpose made product that is discrete and does the job perfectly! They really are the best period bag for tween girls.
This is my daughter's Raigan J bag in action! She had so much fun filling it up with what she thought she might need! And Raigan has a new fun range, that will appeal to a younger audience!
There are also some other purpose-built bags that are available. Some are empty and some are already filled with period products.
But remember to keep your DIY period kit for school small.
Trust me, your daughter won't use it if it isn't discrete.
It needs to be something that doesn't attract attention and just looks like an everyday item. And she only needs enough for 2-3 changes maximum.
A great way to start conversations about periods, is for you and your daughter to make up her period bag for school together.
You could read this blog post together, and talk about what your daughter would like to have in her period kit for school. Let her have a say in what she wants, and by having some ownership, she is more likely to take it to school.
Talk about the different menstrual products that are available today. You can read this blogpost together as well, that looks at what menstruation products are suitable for young girls. The difference in size between a first tampon, a regular and a super tampon is pretty significant!
I received an email from a mum who sat down with her daughter and they looked at this post together. Together they decided what they needed in their own period kit, and built it together!
It also opened the doorway to start chatting about puberty, periods and all that other stuff too!
She also suggested that a pencil case works beautifully for a period kit!
Something else that you may want to consider getting is period underwear. Now, I'm not just talking about black undies that are just worn when you have your periods!
I'm talking about underwear that has an inbuilt absorbent lining that will absorb menstrual blood and not leak onto outside clothing. You can't use them as a replacement for a sanitary pad as they will only hold between 10-30 mls of blood.
What I like about these is that it gives young girls extra protection. So if they become aware that their pad has leaked, the pants will absorb any leaked blood, which means no blood stains on their outer clothing. So it lessens the fear and potential embarrassment of staining their clothes.
I've tested a few brands and my favourite by far, is the range by Modibodi. They even have a tween and teen period underwear range, which means smaller sizing. Which means it will actually fit your daughter!
You can watch the video below, where I talk about why I like the Modi bodi period pants for tweens and teens, and how to use them.
I have personally trialled a few different brands and Modibodi is my favourite brand. They hold the most amount of blood before they start to leak. My Modibodi's held between 92-118 mls before they started to leak through (and they only leaked through on the leg elastic). My periods are pretty heavy lately, which helped with testing!
If you're looking for a book that talks primarily about periods, you will find them in my list of some of the best menstruation (or period) books.
You'll also find in this list, some fantastic puberty books as well.
If you're unsure about how to start talking to your daughter, Puberty Girl - How to talk about puberty and sex with your tween girl, will help you to get started. It is a straightforward common-sense guide that doesn't just tell you what to talk about, but how to start saying it.
So make sure you go and have a look as there are some great books there! And a book about puberty and periods, is the perfect item to go with a period kit.
I'm Cath, a sex educator living in Australia with my husband and 2 kids. I help parents to talk about sex (with less cringe and more confidence) and empower their child to make smart sexual decisions. To find a better way to talk about sex, you can join my community of parents and visit my shop for helpful resources.