TUESDAY TIPS

A ‘first period’ box, to prepare for the first menstruation

Slowly but steadily I’m getting the news of Sara’s friends getting their first period. Between the age of 11 and 13 it will most likely take place. (Of course some girls are younger, and some are older.) Sara is not there yet, but it might not be that long now!

First period box by Babyccino

Do you remember getting your first period? For me, it wasn’t a big event — my mum just smiled and handed me a sanitary pad, and that was it. A little later, a friend showed me how to use tampons and I’ve never looked back!

I want Sara to be more prepared for when it happens, so I thought it would be cute to get her a box of ‘period necessities’. I also included a few other treats to make it all fun. Getting your period is not a big deal, but at the same time it totally is! It’s a step in the transition from girl to woman, it’s a big change, and on the other hand, it’s something so incredibly normal to all women. It should be totally discussable, acceptable and even celebrated!

First Period BoxHere’s what I put in the box:

  • a range of organic tampons and sanitary pads in different absorbencies (from MyFreda and Yoni)
  • lavender bags for a relaxing bath
  • lavender essential oil to use in a diffuser in her room (also relaxing, and calming)
  • a cute box of herbal tea with honey straws
  • a bar of her favourite chocolate : )
  • a little ’emergency’ pouch for in her school backpack, with a few tampons, pads and some sanitary wipes. I also included a few painkillers, in case she suddenly gets cramps.

When I gave her the box, she was so excited! She immediately put the emergency pouch in her backpack and told me she already had been worrying about what would happen if her period would start at school. It was a good opportunity to explain a thing or two about pads and tampons, how to use them and what to do if you leak, etc. (She had been talking with her friends about this too, who already are having their periods.) It was also a good time again to explain more in depth about the uterus and the monthly cycle, about cramps and tender breasts and hormones and mood swings. Thankfully Sara is very comfortable with her body and she knows that she can always come to me with questions.

It’s a safe feeling for her (and me!) to know that we are now prepared for her first period, and that there are a few treats waiting for when it happens : ).

First period box

First period box

xxx Esther

PS If you’re curious about the box — this is just a box I found in our trash and decorated myself with an illustration I found in (last year’s?) Flow for paperlovers

PPS Some sweet gifts for a girl who just had her first period. These would be cute to include too!


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Comments (20)

January 23, 2018

Amazing idea Esther, I love it! And what a beautiful job with the box, I was sure it was something you ordered online, like a subscription box.


Esther in Amsterdam
January 24, 2018

Thanks! xxx


Frances
January 23, 2018

Dear Esther,

That’s such a lovely idea! I’m some way off needing to prepare a box like that with my daughter but it’s definitely time to start talking about growing up, puberty, hormones etc. Do you recommend any good books?


Esther in Amsterdam
January 24, 2018

Hi Frances, you know, I’ve never really bought or used any specific books for teenagers, but the one book I have used is our own 9 Months book — I find that taking the starting point of the development of the foetus in the womb is a beautiful and very natural way to introduce talking about teenage, male and female development (and sex). xx


Lisa
January 23, 2018

This actually brought tears to my eyes. What s beautiful idea. Thank you. Mine was dismissed as a dirty embarrassment. I had to figure it all out alone. If only my mother had been like you. Thank you.


Esther in Amsterdam
January 24, 2018

You’re so sweet! I think we’re already come a long way since we were teenagers, but still, there is so much embarrassment about such basic, natural things. Why? xxx


Laura
January 23, 2018

This is so thoughtful! I’m with Lisa above, on the tears. My daughter isn’t old enough yet but it’s not that long away. Such a sweet and supportive gesture 🙂


Esther in Amsterdam
January 24, 2018

Ahhh thank you. xx


Nina Justin
January 23, 2018

I also prepared the emergency period pouch for Milla when she turned 12. She carries it in her school bag but so far, never been used…. Surely, it will be… I love the idea of a package of comforting goodies for the actual day when it happens. Chocolates, tea and new “sporty” panties may be fun as celebratoey items!


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Courtney in Australia
January 23, 2018

I just love this idea. How comforting for Sara to know she’s all prepared and equipped for her first period.
(Also, I just can’t believe our first babies are going through puberty and getting their periods! How?!!) xxx


Esther in Amsterdam
January 24, 2018

I know!! They’re getting so big! : ) xx


krissy @oftheeveryday
January 24, 2018

what utmost touching gift and memory you created for your daughter, dear esther. truly touching and so very special. thank you so very special. my daughter is 6, but i am sure this will be a memory and gift i will be recreating for her also in time. i hope all goes smoothly for sara!


Poppy
January 25, 2018

This is an awesome idea. However, I am really uncomfortable that you just shared with millions of people something so intimate about your daughter. This isn’t just an idea and info you shared with your besties. Lots of random people (me!) know something entirely too personal. And at such a young age there is no way she could consent to that. It’s your family and your decision, but at a certain point, I would imagine a teenage girl would want a little privacy.


Esther in Amsterdam
January 26, 2018

Hi Poppy, I appreciate your comment and concern. However, I don’t see what is the problem — why is preparing a first period box for your daughter ‘intimate’ or ‘highly personal’? Don’t all teenage girls get their period at some point? Don’t ALL women menstruate? What exactly are you uncomfortable with? The fact that I even mention menstruation? I think there is nothing embarrassing about it! And I hope that my daughters never will either. xx


Christine
January 30, 2018

Such a sweet idea! Love the little box and especially the pouch for school! Definitely know a few girls that would have needed that! I was kind of a late bloomer and didn’t get my period until I was 16. I had about the same built as Sara and was growing a lot in my teenage years; from the smallest of the class to one of the tallest when we finished school! Apparently for us girls on the skinny side, this late period is expected to be normal, but I started to worry a bit around 14, when all of my friends already had theirs! Sara seems to be quite tall already, but please tell her not to worry if it’s still some time to go and enjoy another summer of carefree swimming dates! 😉 xx


Esther in Amsterdam
January 31, 2018

Thank you for your sweet comment! I will let her know! (And yay to carefree swimming dates!) xx


Poppy
January 30, 2018

HI Esther, Thank you for responding. I’m not concerned about the conversation about menstruation, just telling the world that our daughter has not started yet. I mean, her friends might read this, or a boyfriend, or something. Maybe your daughter doesn’t care, but at 12 I would have been mortified if my mom told the world I hadn’t started my period yet. Just my two cents. Maybe it doesn’t apply to your family.


Esther in Amsterdam
January 31, 2018

Hi Poppy! Sara’s friends are fully aware of their mutual ‘menstruational status’. I’m so happy they openly discuss it with each other and help out if needed. I also think we should not shy away to include men if we happen to discuss periods when they are around. If we want this society to change and be more respective of the natural, feminine cycle, (and more respective for femininity in general!!) we should make sure men also change their perspective. It shouldn’t be a taboo anymore! It is normal and natural. If we keep hiding things for each other, and for men, things will never change!
Anyway — I guess the most important thing is that of course I would never have shared this post had I (and Sara) not been fully comfortable with it. xx


Rachel
February 1, 2018

Having delivered “the period talk” to many groups of girls during my time teaching Year 6 children I am always staggered by the amount of shame which is all ready ingrained in young girls about this totally natural function. While I think this box is a sweet idea a lot of the girls I have spoken to would be mortified by the idea of this all coming in a gift wrapped box. Most of them are just desperate to carry on as normal and for the whole thing not to be a big deal. I have two daughters and I think I would try and be slightly more subtle in my approach. Although on the flip side perhaps we should be celebrating periods more after all none of us would be here without them. Hmmm…


Esther in Amsterdam
February 2, 2018

Hi Rachel, Thanks for your comment! How sad that indeed such an amount of shame is already ingrained in young girls. This needs to be changed! WE need to change this!
I think the box can be a lovely way to help prepare for a first period, but of course each mum knows they daughter best and can judge the situation accordingly. To be clear — I gave the box to Sara in private — not in front of an audience, which could be embarrassing. Or not?? (She did show it to all of her friends and siblings afterwards, she was proud of it!)
Totally agree that the feminine cycle should be celebrated more, it shouldn’t be hidden as something shameful. It’s the essence of life! xx


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