Hi, this has to be the place to ask this question. My dd is pretty clumsy and has autism. She is smart, but only within the past few months was she able to wash her own hair (she's almost 11).
So now I am wondering about her period. She refuses to discuss it, refuses to read books about it, etc. Her older sister will probably be the first one to know about it.
I prefer for her to use cloth pads, but even her older sister is not enthusiastic about cloth pads we have tried.
I am concerned that she will not be able to manage all of the steps involved in soaking and cleaning cloth pads. Also -- need something incredibly soft and comfortable that will not wad up, etc. Would period panties be a better solution? What do you suggest?
It doesn't have to be complicated; I just toss mine in with regular laundry, no soaking required. I never have a problem with staining, but I usually choose darker fabric anyway.
I got a pretty box (like a photo storage box from Micheal's) and put a variety of products in it, and a package of stickers that I knew she would like (to decorate the box). This gave her a chance to explore the range of options and decide for herself what she would prefer.
I think you might need to let go of the idea of cloth products. This may be difficult enough for her.
The pretty box really helped.
For my DD with autism, there was tremendous embarrassment, even though she has absolutely NOT been raised that way. She needed an option where she could stay completely private, even from me. Once she had settled on which products she likes, she used the box to store them, and I would concessional check the box and restock it. However, she never talked to me about it.
I agree that you may need to let go of the cloth pads idea. I hated - HATED - the feeling of bleeding into my undies, or the sense that I was wearing anything like a diaper. The technology for disposable pads has improved a lot since I was a teen, but I don't know that cloth has made similar strides.
I like the pretty box idea. Maybe a good start would be to get her a supply of whatever her sister is using, and modify from there if she has complaints.
My 2e (gifted, ADHD, sensory-sensitive) daughter uses cloth pads from New Moon Pads, but the important thing is that *she* chose those pads. She had expressed interest in cloth since it's what I use, and I bought her a variety of cloth and disposable pads and let her make the choice (I bought tampons too but she refused to even try them). I think it's important for any female to be able to choose her own hygiene products, but especially so for those who have sensory or other challenges.
ETA that I do not soak or pre-treat either my daughter's or my pads -- there are no special steps other than tossing them in a big Tupperware for later laundering -- but we choose dark patterns to minimize the appearance of stains.
My dd (NT, but sensitive to textures) wanted to keep it totally private too. Before she started I got her a starter box from a subscription service and added a variety of cloth pads to it in different fabrics. I have no idea what she uses- she's set up to make her own orders through the mail and does her own laundry-but this way she has a ton to experiment with.
Maybe just make up something similar with a book included and a note that she can always come to you or big sister with questions or just read in private?
Thank you for these suggestions. I thought the cloth would be softer. Now she says she is interested in the cloth, but only if it is completely plain looking organic, no color. But I appreciate what you are saying -- I will make all sorts of different products available and let her choose. Thank you.