when should your daughter wear a "bra"?

[deleted account] ( 26 moms have responded )

is there a certain age that girls should start wearing bras? Should they start wearing them at whatever age if they have "breasts"? What are the cons of not wearing a bra if they do hav "breasts" especially at school? I have three girls and im stumped on this. I see both sides but I need help pushing me to one or the other. And when I say "breasts" I mean not even a cup size. I didnt wear a bra until I was 11 but im sure that I needed one before then

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[deleted account]

When they need one.... depending on their size and situation. My girls are 9.5 and have little 'buds'. They obviously don't need a bra for support yet, but in their gym suits or in a tighter or white colored shirt.... they wear a sports bra now. It's certainly not a daily occurance yet, but they do have them available for any day they need to wear one... or if they just want to.

Julie - posted on 07/01/2011

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I remember we were in 3rd grade in a very small school. One or two girls got one and within a couple weeks, we were all wearing them, whether we needed it or not. Same as shaving our legs, but that was in 5th grade. I'm not sure I'll let my daughter shave at 10, but as I recall, I didn't exactly ask my mom. My 6 y/o asked the other day if she could have a bra. Mostly because the 9 y/o at daycare has one. I told her she was too young, but maybe when she was 8. Since that's how old I was, I don't think I could say no to her then. But even then, unless she has actually started developing, it'll be one of those stretchy, triangle "slingshot" bras someone else was talking about earlier. Who knows, by then she may not want one anymore.
I had a cousin that didn't feel comfortable wearing one and was way past the point of training bras before she started wearing one. Her mom talked to her, we all made fun of her, but she just refused. I don't know what happened, but she eventually started wearing one. Makes me uncomfortable when I see a girl not wearing one when she should, so even if I have to hold my kid down and put it on her, she'll definitely be wearing one when she needs it. :)

Jodi - posted on 06/30/2011

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Four??? Why would she need them? If she is growing breasts, I would actually suggest she either has a hormone issue that needs to be addressed by a doctor, or she is overweight, which also needs to be addressed.

Sylvia, the reason for breasts in quote marks (at least in my view) is because at this age, they are not really breasts but the beginnings of.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/30/2011

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When they start getting little boob buds...no certain age. Why would a flat 13 year old wear a bra if she didn't need it, but not a 9 year old girl that is developing?

Lady Heather - posted on 07/01/2011

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I'll be getting a training bra for Freja by the time she's 11, unless she needs one sooner which seems unlikely given her genetics. If she's anything like me she won't actually NEED one until she's 15, but trust me - the other girls at school figure this shit out and I think it's not really a big deal to give a kid a bra if it's going to help her fit in during a really awkward time. I was that girl and it was not fun come time to change for PE.

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Audrey - posted on 07/01/2011

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i agree that she should go to the doctor. she is a bit young to be getting boobs. as for the general "when should a girl get a bra?" question...whenever she feels like she needs one or whenever she actually does need one. i was about 8 and my friend had a training bra and i thought it was so cool. i told my mom i wanted one and she bought me one. i started to become aware of my nipples showing throuhg white shirts so it was time.i didnt actually start developing anything til a few years later but i felt better with one.

Teresa - posted on 07/01/2011

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As soon as nipples start to poke through the shirt, I slap a bra on my girls. Why? Because it looks better to me to see a girl aware of herself and covering areas that draw (unwanted) attention from others.



And yes if she is 4 she needs to see a doctor. She is large for her age and may have other things going on. My son is 4.5, 42 inches tall and 41 pounds by comparison. He is about average for his age group. Not that you can compare children's growth but just so you see the big difference.

Tara - posted on 07/01/2011

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Having just read that your dd is 4 I would also suggest a trip to the doctor.
Precocious puberty is serious stuff.
It's not just the fact that some children start to develop breasts and start menstruating early, it's the more serious fact that children will hit their puberty driven growth spurt prior to completing their childhood growth spurt, thereby limiting their total adult height potential, possibly by a foot or more depending on when they begin this process.
I would strongly strongly recommend seeing a doctor and possibly asking for a referral to an endocrinologist for further testing of her hormone levels.
If indeed she is hitting puberty early and her hormones indicate this, they will likely recommend hormones to put things back to normal to reduce her chances of being extremely short in stature and other possible negative outcomes.

Tara - posted on 07/01/2011

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When they need one.
I have 3 daughters, my almost 9 year old wears a training bra or sling shot bra as I like to call them!
Her nipples have started to swell along with the tissue surrounding them so when she wears a t-shirt etc. you can see them through the material, she was conscious of this and asked me if I could see her nipples!
So she wears one but her 11 year old sister does not, yet.
I think it's important to follow their cue as well.
When I bought her bra for her, her 6 year old sister wanted one, so we bought her a two piece panty and tank style cami as well. She never wears it!
I say if they want or feel they need to wear a bra then why not?

Ez - posted on 07/01/2011

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If it's purely for modesty, rather than early development of breasts, a singlet or undershirt would do the job of covering up.

Stifler's - posted on 06/30/2011

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When they have boobs/feel more comfortable wearing something under their shirt. They have those bralette things but a 4 year old growing boobs ?!

Kate CP - posted on 06/30/2011

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I started wearing a bra at the ripe old age of 7. Yes, I needed one. Girls should have bras when they need them, not before. So if a girl has developed breasts then she should have a bra.

[deleted account]

I would think that an undershirt would suffice for a four year old. If that's not enough, I agree with the others who say it's an issue to take to your doctor.

[deleted account]

try an undershirt, or a cami, if its just the nipples you are worried about. Once she gets old enough where its time for actual support get her a training bra. I got my first training bra at 8, I got made fun of at school because I developed so early (mostly by boys, which a couple years later they didn't want to make fun of them any more!)

[deleted account]

Her nipples are noticeable through some tshirts. She doesnt need a bra for support but rather to cover. I said "breasts" because she doesnt have boobs but shes not exactly flat chested.....

Ez - posted on 06/30/2011

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Yeah, even when you consider the earliest range of normal for breast development, 4 is well outside it. Deciding whether or not to have her wear a bra would be secondary to getting her assessed by a doctor if she were my child.

Sylvia - posted on 06/30/2011

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Well, the age doesn't change my mind, but the not wanting a bra is important.

That said, if you need one, you need one.

Just for curiosity, why does he only think she needs to wear something when she starts school?

[deleted account]

Great advice ladies...but im gonna throw a wrench in it and see if anyone changes their mind.my daughter is four going on five next month. She doesnt want a bra. I dont think she should wear it or worry about a sports bra or undershirt. Afraid that might make her feel different from the rest of the kids. But hubby thinks she should wear them under tshirts when she starts school. She is 3'11" and 68lbs. Shes MUCH larger than most ofbher classmates and even bigger than her sister who is six.

Sylvia - posted on 06/30/2011

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Um, what's with the quote marks around bras and breasts? I'm confused o_O

Anyway, I don't know what the in thing is among tweens these days, but based on my memory of what it was like to be an 11-year-old (or maybe I was 10? I'm trying to remember what grade this was...) with breast buds, I'd say it's important to base this decision on something more reasonable than age. Like, would she be more comfortable in a bra, even if it's one of those ones where the cups are just basically stretchy triangles? Is she uncomfortable in PE class with things bouncing around? Sometimes girls want to start wearing a bra just because their friends are, and you know what? That's a perfectly valid reason, too, if it makes her feel more self-confident. I don't see any cons to wearing a bra you don't necessarily need yet, except if it fits badly and is therefore uncomfortable and/or silly-looking. But there are a lot of cons to not wearing one when you do need to (nipples showing through your shirt, stuff bouncing around that shouldn't ...).

I personally am a big fan of sports bras ;) I don't expect I'll have to worry about this for a while myself, since I have an almost-9-year-old who still weighs less than 50 lb and is almost exactly the same shape as a string bean. But she has friends not too much older than she is who should definitely be wearing deodorant :P and are looking like they'll probably be shopping for bras within the next year. Age is a really unhelpful criterion when it comes to bras.

Firebird - posted on 06/30/2011

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The cons of not wearing a bra? Nipples show through a white shirt. Can't think of anything else.A pro of not wearing a bra is that the muscles that are designed to hold up the breasts will actually have a chance to develop. They can't do that very well if a bra is doing the job.

Ez - posted on 06/30/2011

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Onset of puberty is hereditary, so it may be helpful to think back to your own experience of when it became necessary for you too. My Mum developed early, and so did I (boobs and periods by 11). I expect the same to happen with my daughter, and will be preparing her accordingly as the time draws nearer.

Jodi - posted on 06/30/2011

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When they start developing breasts. Prior to that, it would look silly, because there is literally nothing to put in it. I didn't get my first bra until I was 14, and even then, it was too big, LOL (yes, I was tiny). An ill fitting bra is pretty obvious and looks ridiculous under clothes/t-shirts.



I think, before getting a first bra, there are other options. Such as a crop singlet?



Personally, I think if your daughters are feeling uncomfortable and want a bra, they will talk to you and ask about it (I know I did with my parents), but if they still don't have "breasts", and wouldn't fit into a bra, a crop singlet would be the way to go. Definitely don't judge it purely based on age.



Anyway, just my opinion :) That's how I plan on handling it with my daughter, and that's how it was handled with my step-daughter.

Ez - posted on 06/30/2011

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I think it's reasonable to assume most girls are going to be uncomfortable without some sort of bra once their breast buds start developing. Obviously a bra for a 10yo is nothing like a bra for a 16yo. A simple crop top or sports bra is fine until they grow big enough for actual cup sizes.



I started wearing 'training bras' at 10. By the time I was 12, I was a B cup (and pretty much stayed that until I was pregnant lol). I can't imagine how horrible and self conscious I would have felt if my mother had refused to allow me to wear one at that young age. Having the security of that extra layer of clothes (which is really all those tween crop tops are) was important in minimizing the awkward factor.



So no, I don't think there's a certain age. I went to school with a girl who started puberty very young and had boobs at 8. I have known other girls who were flat as a board until 13 or 14. As long as the 'bra' is age appropriate (ie, no underwire, paddinng or lace etc) I think it should be at the girl's discretion.



However, I've also known girls who were in denial about their development and refused to wear a bra when they should have. That is equally embarrassing, and something the mother needs to address. It's such a touchy subject.

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