I've been sharing ideas lately on how to prepare your daughter for her first period. One of the important elements is a first period kit, a nice box with an assortment of products for her to familiarize herself with.
The first period kit can be a great way for your daughter to get comfortable with her many options. Single dads in particular may feel overwhelmed assembling the kit, but the key is mainly to have a good assortment of options.
Products you might consider for the box include:
- Menstrual pads from various brands and in various shapes, with and without wings
- Tampons (look for ones marketed for girls and buy the smallest possible)
- Panty liners (look for unscented, as scented may cause irritation)
- Alternative products such as cloth pads, sea sponges and/or a Diva Cup
- Products for pain relief such as a microwaveable rice pad and/or a pain reliever like Midol
You can often find free samples to help fill that box. The last time I shared free samples for girls' first period kits, there were nine different offers online for pads, tampons and panty liners. Right now, there are fewer offered, but companies are continually offering them up again.
As of this writing, Tampax is offering a free sample of its Tampax Pearl plastic tampon here, for instance. Here's an example of another of its recent giveaways with Always pads (which recently ended) that was marketed specifically towards teen girls.
Here's an example of a typical sample pack from Kotex, with one ultra-thin pad with wings and two panty liners. This particular giveaway is over as of this writing and they are currently offering a free "I know" bracelet instead.
Most of the major brands of disposable feminine products offer free samples regularly. They sometimes offer kits specifically for girls who are just starting their periods. You can sign up for these companies' mailing lists, follow them on Facebook or just visit periodically to keep an eye out for offers.
Sites to check regularly include:
- o.b., which is currently offering a free coupon (amount unknown).
- Playtex Sport
- Playtex Gentle Glide
- Walmart's free sample page, which changes frequently (in the past, they have offered samples for Playtex Sport, Carefree Ultra Protection panty liners and others)
Obviously, these are all mainstream products. You or your daughter might also want newer or more natural types of menstrual products in the kit, such as a menstrual cup, cloth pads, organic tampons or sea sponge tampons.
You can find some of these products in your area through natural food stores and similar businesses. There are thousands of places around the web to order these via mail, as well. See How to help prepare your daughter for her first period for lots of links to natural and alternative products. Many women and girls report that cloth pads are more comfortable and even inexplicably reduce cramping, and many others swear by the Diva Cup. Talk to your daughter about these options as well as the mainstream products.
Also keep in mind that you and your daughter may have very different ideas about what products would be best for her. You may prefer perfumed maxi-pads and she may prefer organic tampons, or you may be a die-hard cloth kind of mama and the very idea may horrify your daughter.
The better the assortment of products for your daughter to familiarize herself with, the more prepared she'll feel for the day her period arrives and the more choices she'll have to find what works best for her.
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