Our children grow up so fast! One minute we are buying vests, the next minute we are considering the question; "Does my little girl need a bra?"
I can hear you sobbing - she is still your little girl and she needs you right now to show her the way. The right way to care for her developing breasts.
As a mum or carer of a young lady we all want to get it right. We want to know we are doing the right thing, when is the best time?
Stay calm, help is at hand!
First, you need to listen:
- "My friend has a new bra"
- "Can we go shopping without Dad?"
- "What size bra do you wear?"
- "What age were you when you started to wear a bra?"
- "When I run or jump I have pains in my 'pickles'" (or whatever word used in your house for children's nipples!)
- Pulling clothes away from her body
- Hunching shoulders
- Little breast buds showing through clothes
- Changes in her body shape
- She looks at bras in shops
How you react to these little messages is important. Think before you react, try not to be dismissive even if you don't think she is ready, and try not to be too alarmed if you have missed that she has grown seemingly overnight.
Your daughter needs your support during this tricky time, she is looking for guidance.
Girls very much want to be accepted by their friends, they like to look alike, wear the same clothes and hair styles. Having a bra is another item on the list for her to worry about.
If all her friends have a bra, then she will want to fit in and be just like her friends. Your daughter will need you to help her understand that we all grow at different rates, have different bodies, breast shapes and sizes.
Well shopping can't be difficult can it?
Until you are stood in the middle of the shop and arrrhhhh!
There are as many girls bras as there are ladies bras! Crop tops, triangle, T-Shirt style, padded (yes, padded), Lycra, coloured, wired (for goodness sake, wired? Really?).
This is where I suggest going to a small independent shop.
Maybe call ahead to check they stock girls bras? Lots of us do, I think its important to start in a good bra and then the rest will follow.
You can ask the best time to visit? I suggest the times when the shop is quiet, perhaps first thing or if the young lady is particularly shy then a special appointment time before or after the shop is officially open.
If you have a favorite bra fitter in the shop, ask when she will be working and if you can have this fitter for your daughter?
Ask what clothing your daughter should wear? I suggest to ensure she is wearing a crop top or if no crop top then a vest top. This is so that she can be fitted without the need to strip the top half completely.
The Bra, which one to buy?
If its a first bra, I try to explain that this bra is about to getting used to wearing a bra. The first bra should be soft, preferably non-wired and comfortable.
There are a few styles on the market, many are a foam form bra (looks like a T-shirt bra), this is not padding its a foam layer which gives a little bit of modesty and a smooth appearance under clothes. I stock the little triangle style bras too, as not all boobs are the same!
A good bra fitter will fit with age appropriate bras, this will lend itself to an easier purchase as the choice is limited to the items that fit and are suitable.
If there is a choice, let her decide which one she likes. She is more likely to wear it if she likes it.
Reassurance Reassurance Reassurance
Your little lady will be anxious at this time, reassure her that everyone grows at different rates. It is normal for one breast to grow larger than the other or a slightly different shape. There may be periods of growth when she feels her boobs are growing too quickly and hers are far bigger than her peer group or not growing quick enough.
Breast shape and size changes many times throughout a womans life, puberty its just the first stage of these changes.
We are all subject to perfect body images from the media and your daughter is no different. She will compare herself to the images she sees, we learn from looking at others and mirroring ourselves in those images, be it an athlete or a movie star. Reassure her she is perfectly normal and gorgeous just the way she is.
Lastly enjoy your outing together, its another shopping trip with the special little lady in your life. Buy her lunch or ice-cream afterwards, give her time to settle down before going home. She may still have burning questions about her bra that she wants you to answer.