It’s tough knowing when it's time to buy your daughter her first bra. The experience can be equally emotional (and awkward) for the parent as it is for their daughter. Some girls will agree it’s time for their first bra and other girls won’t want to go near one, which is okay too!
We want to help you make the experience as pleasant (even fun) as possible. No more daunting bra shopping! Here are our tips and tricks to bra shopping with your daughter and some bras that we recommend.
Breast buds are the beginning stages of breast development. This usually happens when a girl is first approaching puberty, and probably the first sign of growth. A small lump will start to grow under the nipple. Some feel tenderness and soreness when breasts start to bud. This is all very normal, but your daughter might start to feel self conscious if they are showing through her shirt. This might be a good time to start the bra conversation.
Next, the nipples and areola will bigger and darker in color. The breasts will start to develop more and more, usually in a pointy shape.
Image via Instagram (@gemmacorrell)
Tween Bra Talk
Some girls are eager to get their first bra, especially if her friends already have them, or they have older sisters. And some don’t want to touch one with a 10 foot pole...even if they need a bra. It’s best to be as open and understanding as possible and handle the situation with sensitivity. This can be an awkward time for girls when they start developing breasts. They can start to lose confidence, start to hunch over, stop playing sports and begin comparing their bodies to their siblings or friends. It’s important to allow your daughter to feel confident and comfortable with these changes happening with her body.
There isn’t a specific age when a girl needs a bra, but these situations might be the perfect time to do so:
- When breasts start to develop
- When you notice all of her friends are wearing one
- If she asks to go bra shopping
- If she has older sisters who have been wearing bras (I remember asking my mom to get me a training bra at 8 years old, because my older sisters had them)
- Showing discomfort and needs extra coverage
- Needs extra support for sports
If your daughter is changing at school or going to sleepovers
A bra may help her feel more comfortable in social groups as she is developing breasts.
Girls breasts are developing younger and younger these days, even as early as 8 years old. Breast buds can develop very slowly and take a few years, or appear quickly. It is also common for girls to develop later, and only need a bra at 14 years old. The average age to start wearing a bra is 11 years old, but each girls experience will be different and unique.
And remember, once your daughter starts to develop breasts, she will most likely start growing pubic hair. After 1-2 years, it is likely that she will get her period. These are all crucial years in a girls life. For more info read our guide on how to survive your first period.
First Bra Shopping
As you’ve probably noticed, there are a ton of bras that aren’t age appropriate for young girls and tweens. A lot of these brands are marketed toward teens, but in no way do teens, who are just developing breasts, need sexy lace and will not be able to fill out push-up bras...or need them.
We suggest starting at home, and look at styles online. This will relieve the stress of when you start to shop. Also, think about where your tween will be wearing her bra. Will it be at school, possibly under a uniform, or will she be playing sports and running around the field. There are a ton of bra options that are great for everyday bras and can also be worn while playing sports, without having to change. Check below for different bra style options!
So, we have already discussed the bras that are major no-no's for tweens, but let's chat about the bras that WILL work and make your daughter feel confident and comfortable.
Training bras are a good option when your daughter is JUST developing breast buds and aren’t yet large enough to fit a standard-sized bra. Or she hasn’t even hit puberty, but she is interested in wearing a bra (ie training bras). Training bras have little to no coverage and no lining, so if she is feeling awkward and uncomfortable about her nipples or breast buds showing, this probably isn’t the best option.
Sports bras are a great way to introduce bras to your tween. Even if she isn’t part of any sports, they add firm support. The Sporty Bra is the perfect sports bra option for your daughter!
Now, let’s talk about cupped bras. They add the necessary support, when girls start to develop breasts. They also add coverage, as they are usually lined or have light padding, so your daughter doesn’t feel like everyone can see her breasts through her shirt. When her breast tissue starts to develop, this is a perfect time to introduce a bra like this. We recommend The T-Shirt Bra!
If you’ve worn a bra before, I think we can all agree that underwire is beyond uncomfortable. Nothing is worse than it digging into your sides and always having to adjust. Imagine your tween daughter sitting in class or trying to participate in gym class with a wired bra. It sounds awful. Shopping for a wired bra can also be an unpleasant experience.
We highly suggest a wire-free bra, as they are WAY more comfortable and add just as much support (or more) than a wired bra can. Wire bras can also interfere with the development of breast tissue. The Your Way Bra is a great cupped, wire-free option, as it adds coverage and support and has removable cups.
Another plus about Knixteen bras are, they are only available online. That means no awkward and cringe worthy bra experiences in change rooms. Your daughter can shop and try on in the comforts of her own home.
The most important thing while talking about bras and bra shopping is being open and making your daughter feel comfortable and empowered. Happy shopping and good luck!