Parents & Carers

Q&A: My 11-year-old daughter just got her first period today. She asked what pad would be perfect for someone her age, and I told her any pad would be. Am I right?

I think you are probably right, although some pads seem a little more complicated (with wings) or more noticeable (thick or extra long). Because the first few periods are usually lighter, I would recommend using a thin version of the brand that you choose. Show her how to place it securely in her underwear to prevent leaks. If you can see where discharge has been in her underwear, this can be an easy guide for the middle of the pad. Have her press the backing firmly to her underwear so that the pad stays in place. I usually feel most comfortable in pants during my period, but if your daughter mainly wears skirts, have her wear a pair of leggings or tights underneath to help keep the pad in place a little more securely. As she gets used to the regular pads, you can have her try one’s with wings or nighttime pads for a little more coverage while sleeping. One period at a time, right! Keep talking to her about her period so she feels comfortable bringing her period (and other) questions back to you.

I think that was a perfectly fine answer. Any pad will work for her and, as far as I know, there aren't pads specifically designed for ages. That being said, I know I have my favorite kind. You might want to consider buying a few different brands for her to try out. She'll figure out what she likes best and what is most comfortable for her.

You are totally right and awesome for not really limiting her options. My mother, I love her to death but the woman thinks she’s always right, told me exactly which brand to buy and what level of absorbency. Not until a year later did I realize there were pads with wings and maxi and light pads. Because you told her any pad should work for her, she’ll be explore the different types and brands of pads on her own and find the right fit. Are you comfortable with her using tampons? If so, you can also provide tampons as an option for her. When I first started my period, my mom made it seem like there was only one thing in the world to use during my period: pads. Not until I discovered that there was more beyond just that specific type of feminine care product did I start considering my period to be an easy thing to deal with.