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NOW CLOSED: DDs and periods: share your thoughts, experiences with Lil-Lets – you could win a £200 John Lewis voucher

(114 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 19-Nov-12 14:21:17

Hello - we've been asked by the team at Lil-Lets to find out from mothers (and fathers) how they approach conversations about periods with their daughters - or if your DD is a bit young - how you think you'd introduce the topic with them and how you'd help her prepare and advise on what protection to use.

Here are some questions as a starting point;

~What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
~ What about protection? How do you and your DD decide which option to go for - does this change as they get more used to having their period or get older?
~ If your DD suffers with menstrual cramps how do you manage this? Are there any practical things you can do to help your DD if you suspect she is about to start having her periods?
~ Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!)
~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods?

Lil-Lets say "We are proud to be the only sanitary brand in the UK to offer products designed specifically for teens. With their younger and smaller bodies in mind, the range of towels and liners are shorter and narrower than the adult range to provide the perfect fit. To make things even easier, we have brought all of this together in a 'Teen Starter Pack' which includes 2 lite tampons, 1 regular tampon, 2 regular applicator tampons, 1 teens liner pouch, 4 day teens towels, 2 night teens towels and 1 becoming a teens booklet for advice on puberty and using the products"

Have a look at it by clicking here - and let them know what you think

Share your thoughts, experiences and stories on this thread and you'll be entered into a prize draw where one winner will get a £200 John Lewis voucher - 5 runners up will also get a teen starter pack (worth £3.99).

For more information and advice on talking to your daughter about periods visit the parents section of the Lil-Lets website

Thanks
MNHQ

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 28-Nov-12 18:47:22

Hello - thanks for all the comments.

Am pleased to say MissChristmastRee has been selected as the winner of the £200 JL voucher - well done!
BetsyBlingtastic, HappyTurquoise, R2PeePoo, achillea and needtogetalife all win a Lil-lets starter pack.

Will pm you all now.

Also - if you (or your DD have any questions about periods etc please do post on the sponsored Q&A here

Just wanted to add that I found a little sanitary pad holder on Amazon, ideal to carry three pads discreetly in her school bag.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 28-Nov-12 16:36:05

What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?

In our house we had a conversation in the run up to the school talk from a nurse about periods & puberty.

~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?

She knows that she can ask me anything.

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?

I think she is fascinated by the changes that take place. A little nervous, a little grossed out but mostly quite accepting of it all.

~ What about protection? How do you and your DD decide which option to go for - does this change as they get more used to having their period or get older?

I'm going to let her choose. She can have a look online or in the shops and I'll buy her whatever she wants. If she'd rather buy it herself then I'll make sure she has the money so she can do that.

~ If your DD suffers with menstrual cramps how do you manage this? Are there any practical things you can do to help your DD if you suspect she is about to start having her periods?

If she suffers from cramps, I'll be offering her painkillers and a hot water bottle if she wants it.

~ Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!)

Yes teens can be moody, but that is no excuse for bad behaviour. I've already got one teen & I'm understanding of it being an awkward time, but actually they have to learn to manage their emotions & feelings.

~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods?

Keep the dialogue open & don't forget to have the sex talk too!

fallingandlaughing Wed 28-Nov-12 16:24:04

DD is a toddler, so not quite in period territory yet.

I hope that I will take a matter of fact approach e.g. by explaining what tampons are for when buying them. I remember getting the lilets pack at school - I already knew about periods as my Mum was relaxed about the subject, but I enjoyed getting the pack anyway - made me feel grown up grin

I would approach DD sooner rather than later. I started my periods aged 9 so she may be similar to me. Casual chats are probably best, when it;s just the two of us and give heer the chance to ask lots of questions.

I think she'll be concerned about it mostly once other friends have started or it's talked about at school.

I'd be happy for her to use either towels or tampons, whatever she found better.

I think that mood swings are very tricky. Lots od reassurnace, but also poor behaviour needs to be dealt with too. Chocolate on hand!

elizaco Mon 26-Nov-12 09:28:51

Rather than having a specific "talk", I found it easier to drop bits of info into conversations, and answer questions as they arose. My daughter is quiet, and gets embarrassed easily, so she does find it all abit uncomfortable!
My daughter is 11, and hasn't started her periods yet, but we'll start with pads and move onto tampons if and when she feels ready. The mood swings do seem to have started though, and to be honest can be quite stressful and upsetting. But making sure both myself and my daughter realise they are normal (although sometimes some of her rants AREN'T acceptable!!) does help.

DD1 is 8.5 so we are on the cusp of starting all this! She is well aware of periods due to seeing me use tampons & pads, and we have had several open conversations from about the age of 4 onwards, with more technical questions & answers each time!

She knows that it's going to happen to her but I think it's still a bit theoretical yet, she hasn't started getting breast buds/pubic hair etc yet, so doesn't really appreciate the changes.

I am also a straight talker, so will be using proper terms & not mealy mouthing.

Haven't seen the starter pack yet but it sounds like a good way to introduce a range of products!

HuwEdwards Sun 25-Nov-12 18:34:48

Oh yes, last tip; especially if wearing pads, wear 2 pairs of pants in case of a leak.

HuwEdwards Sun 25-Nov-12 18:31:42

DD started when she was 10, she's 12 now. I knew it was coming, she was already tall and quite developed.

~What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
I started it when she was very young; I think she's always known about them.

~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
Quite free and easy, especially now she's started, although she's only told one of her friends.

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
She's pretty fine with it - although she can't use tampons, not even those provided with the Lil-Lets starter pack, but other than that, she's really taken it in her stride.

~ What about protection? How do you and your DD decide which option to go for - does this change as they get more used to having their period or get older?
I bought the Lil-lets starter pack and since then she's always used the Lil-Lets teen packs - she likes that they are for teens and not what her mum uses.

~ If your DD suffers with menstrual cramps how do you manage this? Are there any practical things you can do to help your DD if you suspect she is about to start having her periods?
She has a hot water bottle and nurofen for the first day or 2, then it's fine.

~ Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!)
How can anyone distinguish a menstrual mood swing from any other?!! Thankfully, DD become very affectionate just before her period.

~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods?

IMO, it's never too early to introduce them to the notion of periods - I don't think it's a great idea to have the 'period talk', it should just 'be' there in the background to be discussed if needed.

DD started about 2 years after initial breast development and was as regular as clockwork from the start.

DD wasn't certain she'd started as her 1st period wasn't the scarlet coloured blood she would've recognised.

Always keep some towels/tampons to hand and if you think it may be imminent, get her to secrete one or 2 about her person in school

Have a method of disposal of towels/tampons worked out and agreed.

Remember to reinforce the personal hygiene message, wrt daily showers.

buggyRunner Sun 25-Nov-12 15:25:09

How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?

No problem- shes only 3 and has been coming to the toilet with me all her life (as privacy is not an option in this house with 2 under 4. She knows it happens because I'm a older girl and it means there is no baby in my tummy- we have had the baisc facts of life chat.

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?

None

~ What about protection? How do you and your DD decide which option to go for - does this change as they get more used to having their period or get older?
n/a
~ If your DD suffers with menstrual cramps how do you manage this? Are there any practical things you can do to help your DD if you suspect she is about to start having her periods?`
n/a
~ Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!)

n/a
~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods?
Well I was 11 when I started and I was mortified- so I vowed to make it fact of life and normal for my dd's

SunshinePanda Sun 25-Nov-12 14:43:44

My teenage DD and I are writing this together. We have had a series of chats often when we are out walking (out the way of DH and DS). Found tampons tricky to start but persevered for the sake of swimming. She says the the thing that helps the most is being able to talk about it with me and I find she often needs a bit of TLC.

snigger Sun 25-Nov-12 12:00:49

I actually have to say DD1 uses the Lil-lets towel range purely because it's "less like having a pillow in my knickers" (no communication issues, that one). I was happy for her to use tampons if she wanted to, but at the moment she's not into the idea so I'm not pushing it - I'm sure when swimming coincides with her cycle she'll change her mind!

Regarding approach, our family is pretty matter of fact about the realities - what's the point of pretending this doesn't happen to everyone? With DD1, I began the conversation, and bought her the 'What's happening to me?' Osborne book (thanks, MN wisdom for suggesting) and she was happy to come to me with questions.

I think you have to be careful to acknowledge natural embarrassment and reluctance and not just charge ahead regardless, but the best advice I could give her was that this is normal, and if you shrink back in mortification it's going to happen anyway, so best to be straightforward and open about it and get the advice you need.

DD gets cramps which are dealt with by calpol fastmelts (can't quite get my head around the fact that my PFB is now old enough to take actual tablets) but our main issue has been my slowness to acknowledge that she's subject to mood swings outwith the normal range - the first couple of times I was caught out and it caused major rows, then I realised the rows were sychronising with her cycle and the lightbulb moment happened - a hug and an 'I love you, let's talk about this later' helped diffuse things. That's the biggest tip I would share - from the moment of their first period, hold your tongue through any unusually severe mood swings because you'll feel like the worst mum in the world if you give the dressing down of a lifetime, only to be offering hot water bottles and paracetamol twelve hours later.

My mum used to keep a decorative bowl of tampons in the bathroom near the toilet. I suspect it was so that my sister and I (and our friends) never needed to ask for some. My friends used to laugh about it, but it probably came in handy at some point. I remember being really embarrassed when I started my period at a sleep over.

Meglet Sat 24-Nov-12 22:17:26

DD has only just turned 4 but we have had a few brief chats about periods. She had asked me what the machines were for in ladies toilets so I felt it was better to explain sooner than later.

My words were something like "when girls turn into teenagers their bodies get ready to have babies when they are grown up women. And the place where babies grow has to bleed a little bit every month to keep it working properly. So ladies need a little teeny-tiny nappy to catch the blood". I won't win any agony aunt awards but it seemed to be the best way of explaining it to a 4yo with her equally short attention span. I'll fine tune the facts as she gets older.

I've been meaning to explain them to her 6yo brother too but keep forgetting, this thread has reminded me I need to do it soon. (we've done how babies are made and come out, I've just overlooked periods).

I don't have periods anymore but I did keep all the sanitary towels and tampons so they can muck about with them in the bathroom.

stickylittlefingers Sat 24-Nov-12 21:32:43

~What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?

we've been kind of having the conversation since they were little, just changing the level of detail.

~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?

She seems to just ask what she wants to know.

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?

None of her friends have started their periods yet. She's more interested in babies and how they're made at the moment.

~ What about protection? How do you and your DD decide which option to go for - does this change as they get more used to having their period or get older?

Not yet an issue.

~ If your DD suffers with menstrual cramps how do you manage this? Are there any practical things you can do to help your DD if you suspect she is about to start having her periods?

First question not relevant as yet. As for the second, making sure she has a place to keep a towel so when she starts she's ready.

~ Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!)

She's already Miss Melodrama, shudder to think what it's going to be like as a teenager!

~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods?

Not as yet!

StainlessSteelCat Sat 24-Nov-12 20:56:48

~What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
I think it has to be a continuous, gradually more complex conversation. I think ti started the first time she asked where babies come from, and it will evolve over time into more details about the plumbing.
~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
She's too young to have talked about periods yet. I'm hoping that by starting young with answers to any questions, she'll feel comfortable enough to ask me when she's older.
~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
Why I sometimes need to wear a nappy is her main concern at the moment.
~ What about protection? How do you and your DD decide which option to go for - does this change as they get more used to having their period or get older?
In a few years time I will prepare by buying some towels and applicator tampons for her. Whether this is in the form of a pack like Lil-lets linked to, I'm not sure. Woudl depend on what is available, but am certainly intrigued by that. ill also make sure she knows she can use my towels/tampons if she needs to. Though am being slowly brainwashed by Mumsnet into considering a mooncup smile
~ If your DD suffers with menstrual cramps how do you manage this? Are there any practical things you can do to help your DD if you suspect she is about to start having her periods?
Lots of sympathy - I had horrifically bad cramps some months as a teen. Hot water bottle, ibrupofen, take her to GP if necessary.
Practical things: calm nerves about the first one, perhaps by discussing what I was scared of, and how I dealt with problems. Sort out small purse for her to carry emergency supplies in. Make sure she does know about periods before they start (very unlikely she won;t but I know of a girl my age who didn't when she started, so am aware it can happen)
~ Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!)
No. AM just hoping I can deal with it ....
~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods
Don't be embarrassed talking about it. If you act like it's all perfectly normal, the conversation goes much easier - and they wont' keep asking questions (that's from my experience as science teacher, having had to teach sex ed to multiple age groups!)

LillianGish Sat 24-Nov-12 17:12:17

What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
I think you should raise it as early as reasonably possible. My dd started her periods at the age of 11 - quite early really - so I was glad we's talked about it. I think it's important to answer questions even from a young age - when she asked what my tampons were or why I was putting a pad in when she was very little I always tried to give an age appropriate response. I bought her book when she was about ten explaining about all the changes her body would go through etc so she could read it and ask any questions.
How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you? She used to be quite embarrassed - that was why the book worked well so she could read up in her own time. Going to stay with wonderful sil and her two girls really helped in the summer. We talk about everything and it helped dd to understand that it's not something to be embarrassed about - it's more like a private club for women!!
What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time? She is one of the first to start and feels embarrassed about being different. What about protection? How do you and your DD decide which option to go for - does this change as they get more used to having their period or get older? I keep a huge selection of products in the bathroom cupboard so she can take her pick and experiment a bit. She absolutely doesn't want to use tampons at the moment - though was concerned about having to miss swimming. They are there if she wants to try - it's up to her.
If your DD suffers with menstrual cramps how do you manage this? Are there any practical things you can do to help your DD if you suspect she is about to start having her periods? Dd is lucky in that she doesn't seem to get any cramps. I always ask and wouldn't hesitate to give her paracetamol. I think if you suspect your dd might be about to start it is important to talk about it so she is ready, get some supplies in and suggest she carries a pad and a spare pair of knickers discreetly in her schoolbag just in case. I'd also explained that she could always ask a female teacher - stressing any woman would completely understand even if she feel embarrassed about it. Luckily dd was at home in the summer holidays so no great drama.
What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods? Try to be open without obsessing. When it happened to dd it was no big deal - we'd talked about it, she was slightly expecting it and she just got on with it. She hates talking about it and I respect that - I was the same at her age. I would also reiterate that it is important to raise it in good time - no good putting your head in the sand thinking they are too young to need to know - the younger they are the more time they have to get used to the idea.

This is going to sound fake and I honestly don't work for lil-lets but I found (or dd1 did) the starter pack to be very helpful. Dd1 has found the lil-lets applicator tampons to work best for her but the teen towels were also good. Much better for her than the standard adult ones I use.
My key piece of advice are to make sure your daughter has snuggly fitting dark comfy pants. Towels will slide all over the place and that both minimises that and makes leaks less obvious. She'd also had a small pretty bag in her handbag for a couple of years before she started with spare pants and towels in it. Of course when she needed it, it was empty as she'd lent the towels to her friends hmm

Thornrose, I worry about that too. Young girls are different to us, they must need slimmer towels. I'm surprised there isn't a bigger range of products for young girls.

thornrose Sat 24-Nov-12 10:51:37

I meant to add, it is still a struggle to get the "right" sanitary towel for young girls. We have lots of issues with leakage and staining and the right fit/length etc. I know we're not the only ones as I've had conversations on here about it!

thornrose Sat 24-Nov-12 10:41:56

What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
I think it very much depends on the child. My dd started her period when she had just turned 10 and it was a bit of a shock. Prior to this we had conversations about it generally and I was always very open about my period.
How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you? Prior to starting she struggled to accept that this would happen to her one day. I didn't push it but I did get her a "cool" book about puberty and stuff which was aimed at girls and she liked that and it opened up conversations.
What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
I think there are practical issues to be considered with younger girls. If they are in primary school there are issues such as where to dispose of sanitary products at school. Embarassment if they are the only one of their friends who have started etc. Finding the right towels for very small girls (Li-lets teen range is good I have to say)
What about protection? How do you and your DD decide which option to go for - does this change as they get more used to having their period or get older? I automatically offered towels to my dd at first. Now she has had periods for a couple of years I have broached tampons but she is not happy to "go there". I anticipate as she gets older she may reconsider.
If your DD suffers with menstrual cramps how do you manage this? Are there any practical things you can do to help your DD if you suspect she is about to start having her periods? My dd does have cramps I generally offer paracetamol, lots and lots of tlc and pampering. Practically, just be prepared, don't be caught out as it can happen a lot earlier than you anticipate.
Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!)
I do worry about my dd as she has terrible PMT,she also has autism so I think that increases her anxiety and mood swings. I have no tips I'm afraid sad
What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods? My dd saw starting her period as somehow rushing her into growing up. She felt in some way it signified the end of being a "little girl" and this distressed her as she was only 10. Lots of literature talks about entering womanhood and becoming a young woman, my dd did not want to hear this. On reflection I would say be mindful of the language you use with very young girls and to ensure they don't feel they are being forced to grow up too quickly.

~What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
thankfully for me when dd was 8 her cousin came to stay with us one night, the night that her cousin started her period! It was a fantastic night actually because it game me experience of dealing with it and made dd ask loads of questions!! If that hadn't happened then I would have quite happily started the conversation, in fact I had bought a book in preparation for this reason.

~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
She is really comfortable discussing periods with me. We have a very goo relationship and she can talk to me very openly (she is only 9 though so there is time to change grin

~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
* the only concerns she has raised so far is about the pain. I have reasured her the best I can with this.*

~ What about protection? How do you and your DD decide which option to go for - does this change as they get more used to having their period or get older?
I have told her I would prefer her to use sanitary towels just to start with and the I have recommended a mooncup (something I have) It is up to her though when it happens and I will go along with what she wants

~ If your DD suffers with menstrual cramps how do you manage this? Are there any practical things you can do to help your DD if you suspect she is about to start having her periods?
She hasn't got this far but when this happens I will give her nurofen and offer a hot water bottle. I would also tell her a bath soothes me

~ Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!)
Please dont even go there, I live in lala land and my daughter will NEVER have any moodswings whatsoever and will be a perfect young lady grin

~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods?
*Just to go with it and to be open and honest. if you cannot talk to your dcs then they will struggle.
About a year ago I started something called girly time with my dd. During this short time we do our nails or hair, and we talk about friends at school, boys and then I see if she has any questions. This has helped AMAZINGLY and she is so open and honest with me now because of it. We have talked about periods in this time too. It is something I would recommend to anyone*

I had a look at the lilets book also and I think it is great. The idea of a starter pack with a few trials is a great idea. It is worth noting though that girls as young as 8 need this information so I personally think it would be a great idea to have 2 different packs. Maybe one for those aged under 11 and those over? With that idea just try to break down the wording so that a younger girl will understand things clearer.- just a thought smile

amothersplaceisinthewrong Fri 23-Nov-12 18:22:57

I discussed with my DD at the same time the school did. Answered all questions as they arose in a very matter of fact way - I am of the opionion that periods are a fact of life and you just get on with it and don't let them interfere with your daily life as far as possible.

Called Periods periods, none of this Aunty Flo rubbish. Bought her age appropriate towels and tampons, but told her that tampons were really the best way to go (I used these from Period 1) and from about her third period this is what she did. (She and I are both keen swimmers and periods have never stopped this)

Re Cramps, I told her to take a couple of strong painkillers and carry on with life, which she has on teh odd occasion she has suffered. . No days off school.

started off by giving her 'teenage' ranged stuff ages before she started, explained how they worked, and she stayed in for a while once she started and decided what worked for her _ I don't mean for days or anything! just had a bit of quiet time to get used to the whole thing!
~ If your DD suffers with menstrual cramps how do you manage this? Are there any practical things you can do to help your DD if you suspect she is about to start having her periods? Painkillers, warm bath, and practical things: spare pair of school trousers/ skirt for locker, small bag with pad, lip gloss, etc - make it normal!
~ Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!)
Haha. Any advice gratefully received!
~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods? Get over your own awkwardness. Inform your boys early on - my 3 know as much as they need to for their ages.

What sort of approach works best? Who do you think should start the conversation off?you or your DD?
I have never fudged anything as a kind of 'wait til you're older to know' subject - all questions get answered as they get asked. Matter of fact helps.
~ How does your DD feel about discussing periods with you?
She is fine - refers to pads etc as 'things' or 't's but would ask if there was an issue
~ What do you think is of interest or concern to your daughter at this time?
probably avoiding leaking and not explaining about avoiding swimming
~ What about protection? How do you and your DD decide which option to go for - does this change as they get more used to having their period or get older?
started off by giving her 'teenage' ranged stuff ages before she started, explained how they worked, and she stayed in for a while once she started and decided what worked for her
~ If your DD suffers with menstrual cramps how do you manage this? Are there any practical things you can do to help your DD if you suspect she is about to start having her periods?
~ Finally, mood swings are commonplace during puberty to you have any tips or concerns you can share? - (or should we not even go there?!)
~ What tips or advice would you share with other parents about puberty and periods?

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