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10yr old & periods - advice please

(36 Posts)

My niece is staying with us this weekend. She apparently started her periods a month a go so has been sent armed with pant liners, though I doubt she'll fall into a regular cycle straight away anyhow.

The reason I'm posting is that she lives with my MIL & PIL who are in their 70s, she only learnt about periods three months ago because they (she comes with my nephew who is 12) came to stay when our dog was in season so we used it as an opportunity to discuss puberty and periods with both of them.

My MIL phoned me yesterday to tell me but hadn't told DH during their twice weekly phone calls and I think is keeping it 'secret' from the male members of the family.

I am intending to try and find some time this weekend to talk things through with her without the massive generation gap getting in the way as it is at home. I also want to talk about tampons with her as she is very sporty and apparently worrying about swimming and gymnastics (and school). Any advice on how I go about this? And what tampons are best for a 10 year old to deal with?

Any advice greatly received from anyone who has dealt with a relatively young starter please. Anything else that would be good to talk through with her? My DDs are only 5 & 7, I thought I had longer to prepare for this!

Lonecat that was the other book I got her actually. It looked pretty good.

Might chat with MIL about the crop tops so she is prepared just in case. They don't live that near us so my direct input is limited to the weekends they come to stay (which we attempt to do once a month).

Been shopping, we are now armed with a variety of pads and a starter pack from lillets which has a few of everything and a little bag which she can use for school. We were in the feminine hygiene aisle for quite some time smile

heronsfly Sun 25-Aug-13 11:25:02

i would discreetly check that her school has got sani bins actually in the cubicles,our primary school has only just got them fitted, girls have had to use the staff ladies up to recently, most of them just hid the used pads in there bags because it was obvious why they were using staff toilets.

exexpat Sun 25-Aug-13 11:16:29

I would buy her a few crop tops just in case - DD had been dead against them, but within a few days of starting year 5 asked me to get her some, as suddenly 'everybody' (ie at least a few others) was wearing them and she didn't want to be left out. Your DN could well find there is a sudden outbreak of crop tops at her school at the beginning of year 6.

Very sweet about the crushes on boys thing - not something I have had to deal with with DD yet, she thinks they are all horribly annoying.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 25-Aug-13 11:03:36

Sorry first attempt at link on iPad it's the Smart girls guide to growing up from the Book people.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 25-Aug-13 11:02:51

My DD is nearly 10 and for a variety of reasons we are expecting periods soon. I bought her Adwords-_-AdCore Product-_-GGUP - The Smart Girl's Guide To Growing Up-_-the smart girl's guide to growing up&gclid=CJb2l4qrmLkCFafLtAodHH8A1Q The Smart Girls Guide to growing up which she really liked and dealt with periods really well including worst case scenarios like flooding at school.
She also wears M&S crop tops they do a wide range so lots to choose from whether you want straps or racer backs.

cocolepew Sun 25-Aug-13 10:53:19

Magnesium can help with painful or heavy periods. Both my DDs take a teen multivitamin. DD1 take tranexamic acid to reduce her heavy periods also.

cocolepew Sun 25-Aug-13 10:50:17

M&S do 5 crop tops for £7 ( or the other way aroundhmm) DD is 11 and wears them they are plain white and a good size but nice and light.

Teabee Sun 25-Aug-13 10:43:11

How about close fitting camisole for PE instead of crop tops. My dd (10yrs) wears crops tops these as do many of her friends at school but I think these would provide coverage and a little bit of support if she doesn't want the crop tops.
You sound like a FAB aunt smile

Thank you again everyone for the useful info. She doesn't think anyone else has started at school. I said they may have but just keeping it discreet and if she wants to she can do the same. I'm going to get MIL to speak to the school when they go back and check out the sanitary bin situation, she goes to a very small village school so I really hope they have considered it.

I like the tip about changing for PE, I spoke to her about crop tops as well for PE changing days but she wasn't keen. I think she was weighing up the embarrassment factor of explaining the crop tops (no-one else wears them apparently) over hiding her chest.

I had a little giggle as I asked if she had any questions about the books and she wanted to talk about the 'having crushes on boys' section! So we had a very sweet chat about why she didn't ask a boy to the school disco when she really wanted to grin

exexpat Sat 24-Aug-13 21:58:15

At 10 she might be the first of her friends to start, but by the end of year 6 there will certainly be others. I am expecting my DD, who is the same age as your niece, to be the first in her year to start (she's the tallest, most developed and turns 11 in October), any time now. One of her friends, who comes up to her shoulder and is way off puberty, keeps asking DD if she's started yet - she seems to be jealous of DD being more grown-up.

I'm sure you can reassure her that no one need even know that she's having a period unless she wants to tell them, and no one will laugh at her (well, some of the more immature boys might, but I'm sure she's used to ignoring them, just like my DD is). Depending on the toilet/bin situation at school, confiding in a teacher is probably a good idea.

Theimpossiblegirl Sat 24-Aug-13 20:04:43

Bless her. No-one needs to know if she is discreet but it may be handy to tell a teacher that she likes. I bet she's not the only one of her friends to have started. No-one will laugh at her, although a few may be impressed if she does choose to tell them.

You are fab, she's lucky to have you.

ClaimedByMe Sat 24-Aug-13 18:00:03

I would provide more than panty liners, I to this day do not understand all the soft cushy stuff schools tell you that your first few periods will be light and hardly anything and 'no more than a teaspoon of blood'.

Make sure she knows where all the bins are in school and remind her the importance of changing her pads regularly.

You sound fab by the way!

FortyFacedFuckers Sat 24-Aug-13 17:57:07

No advice really but I started my periods at 10 and used tampons from my very first period with no problems so it definitely is possible.

monikar Sat 24-Aug-13 17:51:36

Girl start earlier than they used to, so it is likely that she isn't the only one. It is a stressful time for them though. Is it the changing for PE that is worrying her? I suggested to my DD that she wore a dress/skirt on PE days, then put her PE shorts on underneath first and then took the dress/skirt off, then did it in reverse to change back. What can seem simple to us can be very complicated to them with everything else to worry about.

We had a brief chat this morning, enough to ascertain that MIL has not really done much other than provide the pant liners. So we went out and I got two books from Waterstones, the 'What's happening to me' and another similar one. She went straight up to her room and didn't emerge for an hour so I'm expecting her to have read at least one of them all through. I'll be having another chat later and we're planning a shopping trip tomorrow. Thank you for all the suggestions. I think she's worrying most about school and people laughing at her sad

dufflefluffle Sat 24-Aug-13 15:14:44

The American Girl books (available from Amazon) are very good for dealing with growing up (my 10 year old & her friends find them excellent) but so are the Usborne ones - though more technical and sometimes very much so. Arming her with books means she can read them and take in some information at her own pace as well as talk with you or your MIl about things.

monikar Sat 24-Aug-13 15:08:10

It has occurred to me that she has come to you with just liners as her first period may have been very light. This can happen, and then the next ones may be a lot heavier, or indeed they may not be. It might be worth mentioning this to her, and as others have suggested buying her something more suitable.

My DD tried tampons after a year or two, and got on well with the traditional tampax slender ones - I don't know exactly what they are called but they are slimmer than the yellow regular ones. I showed her (clothed!) what angle she should aim them in at and then left her to do it and it went surprisingly well.

I also think it is lovely that you have such a close relationship - she is lucky to have you.

PearlyWhites Fri 23-Aug-13 23:46:33

Not made of I just think at ten she might find tampons difficult to use and even the teen ones may be a little big for her. Also she might forget to change them regularly. But obviously every girl is different she may be ok but personaly I would use pads for another year or so.

Theimpossiblegirl Fri 23-Aug-13 22:37:09

I buy lots of the Lilets teens stuff for DD (age 11) as she seems to be quite regular already. The website is realy good too. She has tried tampons out as she loves swimming and after a few goes is happy to use them. She's quite petite but fine with them, less worried about it than I was tbh.

Some young girls can be very heavy and DD feels more secure with the night time towels when she is. She has a nice make-up type bag for her school bag with spare knickers and a few pads.

Rather than hiding it from other family members, I've had a quiet word so that they are more tolerant to potential mood swings, she can't really help it.

You may also want to get her deodorant and give her a hygiene chat. DD has now started to shave her armpits and legs, although hair removal cream may be easier. She is also wearing bras.

It might also be worth buying her a load of extra knickers so she can just dispose of them if need be.

WeAreSix Fri 23-Aug-13 22:17:21

Maybe buy a pack of pads and tampons, let her get a feel for them and see what she would prefer.

My DD pulled a pad apart to see what it was made of, she loves science so I drew a diagram of uterus / Fallopian tubes / ovaries etc which she loved smile

Notmadeofrib Fri 23-Aug-13 22:05:44

Pearlywhites, why wouldn't it be OK?

WeAreSix she's very athletic and immensely tall for her age. Physically she looks about 12/13. I like the bag idea, I'll add that to the shopping list.

Thank you for the comment about being lovely smile. She's a bit more to us than your average niece, we are the fall back position should the ILs get to a point health wise where they can't look after them any more. This is very likely to happen in the next few years sad.

bigTillyMint Fri 23-Aug-13 21:54:50

I agree, it is lovely that you are doing this for your niece.

DD is 14 and started her periods 2 years ago. She will not remotely entertain the idea of tampons. Nor will my DGodD who is the same age (or any but 2 or 3 of her friends) She does gym without any difficulties using pads - they wear the little shorts on top of their leotards most of the time anyway.

Yes, I'm going to ask about whether she's got any reading material. I found the 'What's happening to Me' book earlier when looking for some relevant books. May try the local bookshop or order it for her. I wonder if they do an electronic version, I can get it on her kindle smile

WeAreSix Fri 23-Aug-13 21:45:50

Sorry for x-post!

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