I am interested in helping my 13yo dd switch to cloth pads but I don't know anything about them. I use a cup myself, and when my dd started her period I wanted everything to be as easy as possible so we have just used disposable pads for over a year. Our wastebasket gets stuffed with so much trash!
I wish we had started with cloth from the very beginning. Since then she hasn't been very interested when I suggested we try it but she shrugged it off. But I'd like to ask her to give it a try again and be ready to get everything she needs to be sure it will work for her. Does anyone make them especially for girls? Are they as reliable as disposables?
Also, I am trying to picture how my careless 13yo would do at carrying a little "wetbag" and having to remember to take care of it at home. Is that what we need? It seems overwhelming! How can we set this up so she will feel comfortable and find it easy to keep everything tidy and fresh? Any and all BTDT advice is welcome.
ME&HE... loving our: dd(18) ~~ds(13) dd(13)~~ dd(10)
I was just wondering about this myself today (for me).
However I'm not sure how a teen would feel about using them outside of the house, if anyone were to ever "discover" them, it would be the end of the world I can still remember when it happened to a girl at school when I was a kid... I'm pretty sure she still hasn't lived that down.
You are an awesome mama for wanting to support her in this! Yay yay!
My tips as far as getting teens to use reusables:
- make sure she's comfortable with the idea, don't rush her. Having products and information on hand is helpful -- it will seem less scary to her if she's able to see/touch/read about them on her own. GladRags has a few books/zines that are teen appropriate and explain the various options.
- get her excited about her period. I know, tough task. But helping her to avoid cramps, care for her body, track her cycle, etc will all help her feel more comfortable with what's going on. This in turn might make her a little more receptive to the idea of trying a new way to care for herself during her cycle.
- be open about what you use and why. You said you use the cup, so maybe talk to her about what you used before that and why switching to the cup was right for you.
- make it fun. We created a First Periods Kit that includes brightly colored pads suited to smaller bodies, a pretty wet bag, bath stuff, etc. Happy colors can go a long way when it comes to younger girls!
You may need to help her with laundry and caring for her pads at home, at least at first, especially if she's not used to doing her own laundry. At school, she can keep a carry bag in her backpack or purse, and most just look like a large pencil pouch -- the other kids don't need to know about it if she doesn't want them to!
I hope this helps! There are plenty of women who started using cloth pads at a young age, but there are WAY more (myself included!) who simply wish we'd known about them as teens!
I use cloth and a cup, and I was interested in getting my dd to use cloth. It was challenging, especially at school, because of the wetbag issue, a very full backpack, and having to change pads in busy bathrooms. It ended up not being something that worked out very well for her. She still used cloth at home for a while, but gradually moved away from it. She also does water sports (swim and water polo) for most of the year, so while she doesn't care for tampons, they ended up being what she needed to use most often.
She recently asked me if she could try a cup, so we researched and found a smaller, softer type recommended for teens. She hasn't quite got the hang of it yet but I hope that when she does, it will cut down drastically on the amount of disposable stuff in our trash.
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