First time around

Or, alternate title: Aunt Flo, the infantry has landed.
Yep, we're talking about that.

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I vividly remember the Cosby Show episode (called The Infantry has Landed (And They’ve Fallen Off the Roof)) when Rudy gets her first period.  I shared her ambivalence about this milestone. I was in no hurry for puberty’s mysterious pads-and-things and “becoming a woman.” I really liked being a girl, thankyouverymuch.

What left an especially dramatic impression in that episode was the level of excitement from the other Huxtable women. They were positively celebratory, eager to take Rudy on her “Woman’s Day” outing to mark the occasion. Grab the keys, girls, we’ve got a menarche to celebrate! 

All of this is just to say: Being a mother of a girl means you’re going to have that day. Research says that day is coming earlier and earlier for girls, on average, which means you might even be celebrating “Woman’s Day” with your 9- or 10-year-old daughter. Mixed feelings all around!

From my admittedly limited experience, a positive, matter-of-fact approach is key. At a minimum, think about:

  • preparing your daughter in advance so she’s not freaked out when it happens (and doesn't expect kites on seabreezes, fields of sunflowers, or sun-kissed horses)
  • striking a balance between the reality of the discomfort and positivity about the milestone
  • keeping the door wide open to chat about it anytime
  • being prepared and supplying her with all the accoutrements (along with explanations)

You know your own daughter and the level of Huxtable-style celebration she’ll want or tolerate. Sure, you could do anything ranging from going out on the town with tiaras and banners (cringe, sorry) to giving her a big hug and a cozy hot water bottle. Whatever the case, just make sure it's suited to her. Period.


The Period Store has some great-looking packages of products that would make a nice first-time gift. In addition to the usual supplies, they can include medicine packets, a print, and sweets. You can even arrange to have a new package sent every month if you want (via A Blog About Love).

Likewise, Le Parcel has a similar concept with a gift (the example above shows a cute watch) along with the set of supplies you can select from their menu for monthly delivery (via Design Mom).

But you don't really have to buy a package. What about a homemade kit with a hot water bottle, Cadbury drinking chocolate, cozy fleece sweats, a mini calendar, and Motrin? Oh, and maybe a coupon with a free pass from doing the dishes one night.