How to create a first period kit & what to include
Uterati community member Jennifer W. started her first period while she was at the movies with her mom. She went to the restroom to check if she had accidentally peed herself, but sure enough, there was blood everywhere.
She asked her mom for support, but was instead instructed to fold toilet paper and stuff it in her underwear until the end of the movie. “So I sat through the rest of the movie with toilet paper in my underwear, completely uncomfortable,” says Jennifer W.
Afterward, they drove to a pharmacy to buy pads. Her mom simply left her alone in the bathroom and said, “Put one of these on.”
Most of our first period stories are traumatic, lacking information or care for the gut-wrenching surprise that you bleed monthly from a body part that people don’t really like to talk about that much. Healthy conversations around periods start in the household.
Luckily, our private Facebook community, The Uterati, is full of wonderful people looking to start healthy conversations about periods with their kids.
Community members came up with the idea of a “first period kit” — a gift basket with handpicked gifts that could help your child understand, respect, and celebrate their bodies during their period. A first period kit can include practical pain-relieving items, a variety of period products to try, and luxurious items like candles or face masks to help your child ease into their new normal.
We put together a list of gifts to add to your child’s first period kit, based on the suggestions by Uterati community members:
Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate contains iron and magnesium. When we bleed, our iron levels drop, causing fatigue and tiredness. The iron in dark chocolate replenishes depleted supplies, while magnesium works to reduce PMS symptoms. (1)
Red velvet cake: Lighten the mood with a bit of humor by baking or buying a celebratory cake. When Summer M. shared with family and friends that she was celebrating her daughter’s period with a cake, they thought Summer’s daughter might be embarrassed. “But she was not at all!” says Summer. “My younger daughter asked if she could have another piece of Clara’s Period Cake? It made me cry laughing!”
A heartfelt letter: Writing a letter is a great entry point for a healthy conversation about your child’s first period. When I asked Erika J. what she would say to her younger self, she responded, “Stay prepared and start reading your body. The sooner, the better. Because no one knows you better than you do.”
Face masks: Add a variety of face masks, like Sephora’s Summer Essentials Collection ($20, Sephora.com) to your child’s First Period Kit. Instead of perpetuating the messages that periods bring shame and despair, teach your child to create intentional pampering time to help their young bodies and minds relax a little.
Electric heating pad: We’ve endured decades of ineffective and wasteful single-use heating pads. Luckily, our kids don’t need to wait that long. Spring for an electric heating pad, like this King Size PureRelief Heating Pad from Kohl’s ($39.99), to show them how to prioritize their comfort.
Flowers and candles: Some adults still believe that our monthly bloody visitors detract from our romantic and sexual lives. Break that negative stigma from the jump by teaching your child how to practice self-romance. Bonus points: Buy a set of small candles with different scents, like this $22 set on Amazon, to teach them the benefits of aromatherapy.
Informational books about periods: If your teen or pre-teen absolutely doesn’t want to sit down and have “The Talk,” try tucking a copy of Welcome to Your Period by Yumi Stynes and Dr. Melissa Kang. This book kills two birds in one stone, breaking down essential period information while using gender-neutral language, fostering empathy and resonance for people outside the gender binary who also have periods.
A variety of period protectors, including Flex Cups and Discs: While your child should receive a plethora of options to choose from, we believe it’s best to steer first-time bleeders away from products that may contain toxic chemicals, like plastic-based pads and tampons. The process of inserting a period cup or menstrual disc can also enrich your child’s understanding of their body. If you’re curious about getting started with Flex, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.