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A first menstrual cycle usually occurs between the ages of 10 and 16 with the average age of a first period being 12.4 years old. That’s a pretty wide range, so how do you know when your kid needs their first period kit? Talking about periods and putting a kit together with your child is a good idea as early as nine or 10. That’s the point when they will start to have presentations about puberty at school and notice their friends going through different changes. 

There are a few clues to help you guess what age periods will start, however. Menarche usually happens two to three years after breasts start to develop and about six months after “peak height velocity”—or a torpedo-speed growth spurt during puberty.

The earlier you can put that kit together and start talking about periods, the more time they have to feel prepared for when the day comes.

First period kit basics

There’s no way to know what period supplies will work for your kid. You can explain how each option works and let them know what to expect based on your experience. If you’re both open to communicating about periods, they will let you know what supplies they prefer. Give them the best chance to find their faves by collecting an assortment of period options:

Period kit extras

This is the part that will make a first period fun (or at least more comfortable). You can go wild with spa day supplies, snacks, and motivational slogans, or keep it serious if your kid is not into all that stuff. Other supplies to consider:

  • A period tracker, calendar, or notebook to help them record and get familiar with their body’s rhythm

  • A spare pair of black leggings so they don’t have to hunt them down during a period surprise

  • Something for cramps—pain relief patches, an electric heating pad, or reusable warmers

  • Containers. Ideally you will store all the supplies in a convenient place at home. But we don’t just get periods at home, do we? Before their first period, your tween will probably want to get used to having a go-kit within reach wherever they are. That means you need several small bags or pouches for backpacks, gym bags, lockers, and the car. Here’s what to look for in period kit travel bag:

    • It should be washable or wipeable.

    • It should include a plastic bag or two for dirty underwear or used supplies.

    • It should include space for extra underwear or even a pair of leggings if they want.

    • Cosmetic bags and pencil pouches are usually about the right size, easy to clean, and come in enough styles and colors to find the right match for anyone.

The best pre-assembled first period kits

If you want to leave this period kit business up to the professionals, there are plenty of options you can get already put together.

  • Red Drop Period Prep Kit, $24.99. Contains pads, one pair of period underwear, wipes, a bag, and a period tracker. Red Drop supplies and kits (there are several options) are sized especially for tweens. They even have a Tween Dad Education Bundle.

  • Ruby Love First Period Kit, $79.99 and up. Includes pads and period underwear, but is otherwise heavy on cutesy comfort items like a face mask, socks, and a heart-shaped mirror.

  • The Honey Pot Company First Period Ritual, $39.91. Basically a branded sampler pack with pads, liners, and wipes (plus a cute, basic go-bag).

  • GladRags First Periods Kit, $86. Reusable pads and liners, in many colors and patterns, with a carrying case and period guide book.

  • The Body Agency First Period Kit, $125. Includes organic tampons, disposable pads, a reusable period cup, period underwear, a reusable panty liner, face serum, cool manual tracker, and a “Vuppet”—a plush hand-sewn teaching tool to help them learn about anatomy and how period products work.

  • Dot Girl First Period Kit, $24.95. A small carry kit, with a reusable warming pad for cramps.

  • Be Prepared. Period. First Period Kit To-Go!, $14.97. A tiny cute bag with basic period supplies, sized for tweens.

  • Check out even more options for first period kits on Etsy

When assembling or choosing your child’s first period kit, make it as personal as possible. Are they down for a whole “moon celebration” to mark menarche? Or would they prefer something more practical and stealth? You can customize bags and extras with whatever colors and designs they love.

Books to help start the period conversation

Here are some great book options to introduce your child to puberty and periods. Depending on how comfortable they are talking about it, you can read the book, then pass it along to them, or read it together.

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