first periodWith some girls starting their period as young as 9-years-old, moms need to start having the period conversation early. But it can be an awkward subject to discuss, let alone just bring up out of the blue! Here’s some advice on how to start talking to and preparing your daughter for her period.

1. Start Talking Early, and Talk Often
At some point, your child is likely to wander in while you’re changing a sanitary pad. That’s the moment to start talking to your daughter.

Several moms note that while starting the conversation can be tough, it’s easier once you get going. Menstruation is part of growing up . It is suggested you start talking about how it is natural and a sign that your daughter’s body is changing (and will ultimately look more like yours) will put it in context for your daughter.

2. Be Age-Appropriate, Not Evasive
It isn’t uncommon to get caught off guard and unprepared to talk. Show your daughter the feminine hygiene products you use.

Speaking more generally with younger children is better than giving them more information than they can process. The most important thing is to tell them something honest; being evasive adds a sense of secrecy that can make you and your daughter uncomfortable.

If they are old enough to ask then they deserve a truthful answer.

3. Look For “Teachable Moments”
In the classroom, a teachable moment happens when an ideal situation arises in which to teach a concept or reinforce an idea. Teachable moments happen in real life, too. Grab on to them when you can!

With the number of sanitary pad ads on TV channels and sexual content on shows you might not expect, there are plenty of opportunities to open a discussion with your daughter. It can happen as simply as asking her, “Do you know what product that commercial was selling?”

4. Ask Questions
Once puberty approaches, it’s time to talk more seriously. While some girls start developing breasts as early as 8, most seem to do so between the ages of 9 and 11. Many moms suggest talking to girls in this age range in very simple terms, explaining that soon she will begin to menstruate or “get her period” and to discuss what that means practically as well as what’s happening physically.

It’s possible she already knows more than you think, but don’t assume what she knows is correct.

5. Answer Unasked Questions
Quite a few moms rue that they never had a “period talk” with their own mothers and wish they had known more about what was happening to them. Your daughter will wonder a lot, too, but may not feel comfortable asking about what she’s truly wondering. Opening up a dialogue about your own experiences can help draw out her unasked questions.

Do you have any tips to add? How did you talk to your daughter about having her first period?