As you read this, my daughter is T-minus one month from turning eleven. Which is ONE SHORT YEAR from twelve, which is the average age for a girl to experience menarche, more commonly known as GETTING HER FIRST PERIOD. ACKKKK!!! Panic much? Who, me? Never. You can review my completely calm and non-panicked thought about periods here.
As you can see, I’ve been trying to wrap my head around the next stage for my daughter for a while. The reality is that I may never be mentally or emotionally ready for my kids to grow up, but it’s happening anyway so I might as well be prepared. Even more importantly, I want my daughter to be prepared.
I kind of think a first period is similar to giving birth for the first time—you aren’t sure what it’s going to feel like, you don’t know how well you will deal with it, and no one can tell you when it’s going to happen. How can a girl not feel a little anxiety about that, right? However, with information and the right supplies, a girl can be as prepared as possible. That’s the goal of a first period kit.
There are plenty of choices for buying a first period kit online, but I decided to put one together for my daughter myself. I could make it a little more personal and special that way. Plus, I could put in exactly what I wanted, not just one brand or type of product. So what did I put in there? I’m so glad you asked.
What to Put in a First Period Kit
Start with a box or bag to hold everything.
If she doesn’t have one, this is a great time to treat your daughter a special purse or bag to carry around all the things a girl wants to carry—hair ties, lip balm, sketchbook, and eventually, feminine supplies. My girl loves bags and has plenty already so I went with a pretty box that she can store in her room. Inside the box, I’m also including a small makeup bag that she can use to store supplies inside her tote or purse.
Next, include a book or two.
I think the most important thing a girl needs is information, and while nothing replaces ongoing conversations with an adult she trusts, everyone needs an accurate, all-in-one book she can refer back to again and again.
My favorite book for this is from the founder of the website HelloFlo, Naama Bloom. HelloFlo, the Guide, Period: The EVERYTHING Puberty book for the Modern Girl, doesn’t mince words, rely on euphemism, or perpetuate outdated ideas. It has information on the how, the why, and the history of all things puberty—from hair to BO, from blood to boobs, and everything in between, in an easy-to-read, no-nonsense guide.
It’s just my personal opinion, but every girl needs to read the classic Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume. This book is a classic for a reason—shamelessly sharing the concerns of a typical 12-year-old girl about puberty, friends, and self-image.
Of course, the supplies are of utmost importance here.
Variety is the key. I put in multiple brands and styles (in the smallest packages I could find) of liners, pads, and tampons, as well as a couple travel-sized packs of flushable wipes. I am also going to encourage her to go ahead and open each of the products, feel them, look them over, tear them apart to see what’s inside, shove them in a glass of water—whatever it takes so she can see how they work. Hopefully, this will encourage her to get comfortable and familiar with a variety of products before she actually has to use them.
I am also including some information about things we might add to her kit later, such as period underwear and a menstrual cup. I am SO grateful for the advancements in science and technology in this area since I was a kid! My environmentally conscious daughter will probably love them, too. However, because they require a more significant investment, I decided to wait until we have a better idea of what she will use and what size she will be before making that larger investment.
A Tool to Track Her Cycle
I know there are “apps for that” nowadays, but I am putting in a pocket-sized calendar so my girl can keep track of her cycle, moods, and other symptoms the old fashioned way—with pen and paper. She and I are both visual people, and being able to see something clearly on a piece of paper makes it easier to grasp. Plus, even though she doesn’t have a period yet, she can certainly start to track other things now like her mood, energy level, and breast tenderness to understand how her body is changing over time and preparing for the big event.
Stay with me here, friends—the last thing going into her kit is a handheld mirror. If she isn’t familiar with her own anatomy, now is the time to get familiar. One can only learn so much from feeling around in the dark, so to speak.
Will you be making a first period kit for your daughter when the time comes? If so, what will you include? Are there any important items I seem to have I forgotten? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas!