“Mom Why Do You Wear A Diaper?” “You Are Not A Baby!

It so happened, that one day my daughter saw me take out a sanitary napkin from my cupboard. This was a year ago and she was 7 years at that time. She got curious and asked me, Mumma, why do you need a diaper?”  “You are not a baby!”

The “Talk”:

I was anticipating the question to arise but wondered is it time already to initiate the conversation about menstruation as I was not sure how much would she be able to comprehend. While training to be a teacher we were taught to introduce a subject by moving from known to unknown facts and as she already knew that mummas make babies I felt that would be the right way to introduce the subject. I told her that mumma’s body makes eggs and papa’s body makes sperms. When sperms and eggs meet, babies are made. And when the sperm doesn’t meet the egg, it flows out of the body from the private part in form of blood. This happens every month for 5 days and mumma has to wear this sanitary napkin, which soaks the blood so that mumma doesn’t stain her clothes. Thankfully at that time she didn’t ask me how the sperm and egg meet, as I had not thought about how to address that query.  And she was satisfied with the answer.

Educating about Puberty:

But now that she is 8, I want to talk with her about menstruation and puberty. However, I do not want to sit with her and lecture her on it as excessive information might be overwhelming for her. Puberty can be a very confusing stage in a young girl’s life. So I feel that the best way to prepare girls for puberty would be by educating her through a series of discussions from time to time.

Right Time to speak about Puberty:

Children are quite inquisitive by nature. Even toddlers have many questions pertaining to the body. Parents should consider each question about the body as an opportunity to give them information about the changes in the body that they will experience.  However parents need not wait for the child to ask the question about puberty or menstruation. Ideally, by the time they’re close to puberty, both girls and boys should have full knowledge of the changes that will take place in their bodies.

Why should parents talk about puberty

Children ask questions to parents as they want to learn about most things from their parents. But they will also hear their friends discuss about these changes. That is the reason; parents should provide kids with relevant and accurate information and be able to sort out any misinformation. Children could be often scared or confused about puberty and menstruation and if they have incorrect information then that’s what they’ll believe.

Changes in body:

 Each girl grows at her own pace but nowadays some girls do start puberty at the age of 8. Breast development is the beginning of puberty in girls. Almost a year, after breast development begins, girls enter into a phase of rapid growth. They will experience changes in body by growing tall and body will start taking a shape. The first period arrives about 2 and a half year after breast development. Once you start observing these changes in your daughter, you can talk to her about how she is growing up maybe while you are shopping for new clothes for her. Talk about how she will now grow taller very fast and that she will feel changes in her while trying out new clothes.

Ways to introduce Puberty:

Mothers can explain that monthly periods are a natural change in a woman’s body and a wonderful one as without them, women couldn’t become mothers. Few months back my friend took her daughter to watch the play “Growing Up” which was a novel manner to introduce puberty and menstruation to a child. You can alternatively also search for stories which talk about puberty or can make your own stories too.

Teaching children about puberty and menstruation should be an open, honest and continuous discussion. Most importantly, a parent must let children feel comfortable while discussing puberty.

How did you speak about puberty and menstruation to your child? At what age did you initiate the discussion?

Do share your views and experiences. Until then…

Happy Parenting!

54 comments

  1. My daughter once asked me about the reason for sanitary napkin when she saw a commercial on tv. She was just 5 at that time. I just laughed away and said you will also use it once you grow up

  2. Yes, it is very important to inform kids about the physical changes before hand but I still feel emotional to think my little girl is growing up so fast.

  3. Thankfully we now have these topics covered in schools as well in the form of seminars…your answer was bang on..if you have to ans your child about making babies, a book called ‘where willy went’ can be helpful.

  4. This is an important topic to talk to our kids about and I love the way you handled it. Will save it for the day my little one gets into talking mode and start noticing these things. Thank you for sharing this.

  5. The diaper talk has already occurred with me last year whem she was just 4 and I had no idea how to address it – all I mentioned it mumma use it and all big girls also use it. When you get little big I will give you also.. she was with a simple notion of – yes I am also gonna get these 😉
    Very important topic you touched here, we have to proactively participate in conversations with our kids today.

    • I think you dealt with it in a correct way. At the age of 4, this information is all she needed to know plus comprehend.

  6. My son is 19 months old but I know I need to answer the above mentioned question.
    Love your writing style.

  7. Such an educative post.. My niece is 9 & my sis has been thinking to teach her all about puberty, I think I should share this out with her!

  8. Kids are inquisitive and I agree it’s better to answer their questions in an age appropriate manner instead of them getting the wrong answers from peers..

  9. My daughter is only 7 and I was considering speaking with her about it when she turned 8. I think it’s important to breach these type of subjects early and openly because I’m always saying I want to talk to my kids about things like puberty and sex so they have a clear understanding, instead of just listening to what other kids are talking about it and be misinformed!

  10. This is such an important subject and one often doesn’t know how to address it.. even I have been thinking of ways to tell my boy about all this..and your post definitely helps me figure out right way of approaching it..

  11. My son was maybe 4 when he accidentally saw me taking the “diaper into the bathroom. Not the I was hiding it or anything, but I seriously did not think he will ask. And I explained in the most child friendly way possible to him, to feed his curiosity and not give him any wrong impression. age appropriate answer. he hasn’t asked me ever since, it seems he is ok with my answer. 🙂

    • Kids trust parents so they ask and are always satisfied with our answers. We should give them age appropriate answer so we do not lose their trust. I guess you did the right thing. Thanks for reading!

  12. My dotty is just 2.5 and is already asking me why Mumma is wearing diaper. I know I will have answer these questions in an age appropriate manner. Your post touches upon the salient aspects so well!

  13. I am trying to evade this talk every time I notice her watching me either buy or take a napkin out. Perhaps it’s time to honour her curiosity. Nice one Aesha

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