You’ve had the talk. The school has done their part to educate kids about puberty and what is going to happen to their bodies. Now it’s time to ensure your tween girl has the supplies she needs for her first period.
If your daughter is easily embarrassed or prefers her privacy, put the period pack in a box. A cardboard gift box would work well, or you could go big with a fancy chest like the only below. Whatever you decide, it is the contents that are going to be the most important.
The first and most obvious item to go in the box would be sanitary pads. Start your daughter off on the right foot with some thin and comfortable pads that have full coverage with wings. Give her some options, with pads for light days, regular flow days and longer pads for overnight. Even though it is unlikely that your tween will start out using tampons right away, include them in the box. U by Kotex Tween makes a line of pads designed especially for tweens. Tampax Pearl tampons are made with the beginner tampon user in mind.
Another great item to include in the box is period underwear. Knix makes period underwear especially for teenagers and I’m told they are the most comfortable underwear ever. These underwear gives girls the extra security they need to be confident during their periods. They prevent leaks and they can provide peace of mind in the days leading up to the period.
In preparation for cramps, give her a heating pad. The bags (shown below) that can be heated in the microwave or frozen are perfect for comfort. While you will want to have medication on hand in case she gets menstrual cramps, don’t put them in the box. Ibuprofen, acetaminophen and aspirin are the three top medications used in teenage overdoses. They need to be locked up. Let her know you have some available for her.
Give her chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. Obviously loads of sugar isn’t the answer, but a sweet treat can be nice. It will show her that you understand she’s going through something miserable and she deserves a little indulgence.
Another great inclusion for the period box is a stress ball or some stress chimes. I bought myself a set when I was in college and I found them to be a good way to relax and refocus. Even if your daughter doesn’t need the stress release, they are nice to look at and they make a beautiful sound.
When you present her with her period box, do it in a private but casual setting. She may balk at the idea of discussing puberty but it will ensure she is prepared when the day comes. Talk to her about cycles and how to track them so she can predict when her next period will be. Open the pad and show her what it looks like, how to place it and how to wrap it in the packaging and dispose of it properly. Open a tampon and explain that to her. When she is ready to try tampons, provide her with some lubrication to make the experience less painful. Also make sure to talk to her about Toxic Shock Syndrome and how to avoid it. After the chat is done, choose a place to keep her period pack so she knows where to find it.