Periods are a completely normal, natural part of life. However, if you are someone who menstruates you can probably recall your first period also being a confusing and emotional time. The best way to feel prepared is to be prepared, starting with a handy-dandy first period kit:
What is a First Period Kit?
A first period kit (period survival kit, period pack, period bag, period starter kit, whatever you want to call it!) is a care package of items that you give to your child around the time they get their first menstrual cycle. You could also consider getting your child a first period gift to mark the occasion. The kit should include a number of period products, such as pads or tampons, a menstrual cup, or period underwear. (Not sure how period underwear works, or which option might be right for your child? Learn more about period underwear for teens here.) Period kits should be small enough that they can be easily carried around in your child's backpack or gym bag, allowing them to have their first period kit readily available wherever, and whenever, their first period starts.
Overall, the purpose of a first period kit is to make your child feel prepared and give them the courage to bleed confidence on their period — whatever that means to them.
What to Pack in a Period Pack
Cause when you need a hack for the period pack, we got your back! Yes, some people do say we are the next Dr. Seuss (no one says that.)
Anyways! All jokes aside, let's get back to what to pack in your child's first period kit. A first period kit is similar to a Period Emergency Kit. It should contain items that your child will need for menstruation plus a little something extra — a special treat. Getting your first period can be nerve wracking, a little bit of chocolate or candy can make it feel a little better. :)
Each first period kit will be slightly different based on your child's preferences, but here is a general list of items to include:
The most important item to include in a first period kit is your child's menstrual products of choice. There's no right or wrong option here, and it all comes down to personal preference and what will make them feel the most comfortable. Choices range from Kt's period underwear (which can also be used as sweating underwear), reusable pads (we love eco-friendly products!), disposable pads, tampons, or a menstrual cup.
As their first period kit will likely be your child's first introduction to these products, it's best to start talking with them about the different kinds of protection available to determine which your child would prefer to use. Make sure you go over important things like how to use a tampon, before giving them their first period kit.
Stains happen, so it’s always a good idea to have a stain remover laundry pen on hand in order to remove any accidental leaks.
While cramping is normal during your period, it doesn't make it any more enjoyable. First periods can feel overwhelming, and physical pain/cramping is the last thing anyone needs to deal with. You may wish to include pain relievers, such as Tylenol, Advil or Midol to help with the physical side effects of their first period. Always be sure to talk to your child about safe use of pain medication before putting it in their first period kit.
It's a good idea to include an extra pair of underwear, either period underwear or regular, in their period starter kit so they can change in the event of a leak or excess sweat (after all, their bodies are going through all sorts of changes right now!). Kt has a number of styles of sweating underwear to help keep them dry and comfortable.
Bleeding can be messy business — especially when doing your business — so including a small stash of baby wipes in a first period kit is always a good idea, especially if your child has a heavy flow.
Periods equal cravings! We're all been there. Packing a special treat, either salty or sweet, will help them get through the day without feeling defeat. (Like we said, Dr. Seuss. What did we tell ya!) Including a small bag of chips or some candies in their first period kit may help brighten an otherwise emotional day.
The best way to overcome fear of the unknown is to learn all about it! Providing your child with additional, trusted resources with first period information can help them feel prepared and confident. They can also download Kt’s free downloadable period guide for additional support.
Ideally, the goal of a first period kit is not just to prepare your child for menstruation, it should also help make them feel loved and understood. Try to include something that's special, fun and personal in the period kit that’s not necessarily practical. Is there an inside joke you share with your child that could be turned into a gift? Reflect on the relationship you have with your child and go from there. For more first period gift ideas, click here.
When to Start Thinking About A Period Survival Kit
How do you know when it's the best time to start creating a first period kit? While everyone is different, the average age to get your first period is about 12.5 years old. However, this is just an average, and your child may get their first period several years before or after this age.
So, when is an age appropriate time to start the conversation? When your child begins going through puberty, it may be a good time to start talking with them about their first period and putting together a first period kit, to help them be prepared for anything. If your child doesn't get their first period close to the same time you create their first starter kit, remember to replace the products inside their period bag regularly. (Yes, tampons do expire!)
You may also wish to begin speaking to them about how to use the products in their period kit well in advance, such as tampon and menstrual cup use, the importance of having a period bag, and finding the right period underwear for them. Most importantly, it's never too soon to start letting your child know that no matter what comes their way (period or otherwise), they got this and they've got you to help them through it. :)
Learn more by downloading our free period guide:
To download the guide in Canada, click here.