At what age to little girls normally start to develop

Monica - posted on 01/15/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )

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I know this sounds like a stupid question, but I have an eight year old that is starting to develop body hair and already is wearing deodorant. I was just wondering is her period going to be soon to follow? I started at 11, but I have never heard of girls this young? Help!

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My daughter started to develop just before 5 years of age. She started with hair growth, and body odour. At this point I took her to a specialist, and she was diagnosed with Pecocious Puberty. They did all the tests on her, and monitored her until 8 years of age. (8 yrs old is the low end of normal for puberty currently).



She started developing body hair at 5. She had enough hair that we had to start shaving underneath her arms due to odour and teasing from peers. I started at first once a week, but by 6 years old, it was every other day. Just a quick note - we have tried every razor on the market to try and find a child friendly (non-nick)razor... the Schick Intuition Plus is the BEST. Highly recommend it for young girls. Also a quick note - she does not shave her legs. I refuse to let her due that at this point.



She started developing breasts a few months after being diagnosed and by 5 and a half she was wearing a bra, She is 9 now, and she is now wearing a 36 B bra. She has breaats the size of most of the women on her dads side. This road has been a difficult one. She has the maturity of a teenager, and the body of a child. Long conversations had to happen (at her level) in regards to the changes in her body, her feelings, sexuality etc.



When she turned 6 is when her mood swings happened and I started to track them. She is now 9 years old and is fully on my menstral cycle (without her period). She has all of the pre-period symptoms(cravings, acne, cramps, moodiness, high emotions etc) but she hasn't started. The specialist said that the emotions of a menstral cycle usually last a year or two before menstration starts. I am expecting it will be anyday now. 



Along with the puberty, her height makes people think she is much older than she is. She is just under 5 feet tall. With the features of a teenager.



The hard thing is that she has all of the feelings of a teenager in regards to her sexuality, that coinsides with puberty. She is interested in boys/affection/ etc. I have made myself and her step dad available through several talks over the years. The communication between us, due to this, has been very open, frequent, and honest, so that she can feel like she isn't alone while she goes through this. The SEX talk had to happen when this started. This was the hard thing to do, because you want to keep them innocent - but if they are going through puberty early you want to have them knowledgable and aware. I kept things at her age level as much as possible, but it has gotten to the point, now at 9 that she has the full facts of sex. Once she starts mentratsion is when the Safe sex/absinence talk needs to happen.



The issues with her peers have also been a difficult one. She doesn't relate to a lot of her peers, and most of her friends are in grade 7 and 8. This presents a whole unique slew of problems, you can only imagine.



The school and her teachers all are aware, and are very diligent in keeping an eye on her. Currently the grade 4 aren't on the same side of the school as the older grades - so she is lonely, and keeps to herself. Next year is when she is going to be with most of her friends at school. I am just waiting for a the new problems to arrise.



I am not sure if my experience has helped you. This might be an extreme end to what you are going through. But I just wanted to let you know that 8 years old and what you are going through is normal. The low end of normal, according to my specialist, but normal. I would start getting your daughter prepared, and make sure that communication is very open with you and her. It makes things so much easier when she is comfortable talking about the changes, and her body with you.



Good luck.



 



 

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11 Comments

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Lila - posted on 07/11/2012

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My little niece started when she was 9, and I didn't start until I was 16! The doctor predicted I would start at 12, but I guess my body has other plans. It all depends on the girl.

Bettina - posted on 01/22/2009

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Precocious puberty — the onset of signs of puberty before age 7 or 8 in girls and age 9 in boys — can be physically and emotionally difficult for kids and can sometimes be the sign of an underlying health problem.In girls, the telltale signs of precocious puberty include any of the following before 7 or 8 years of age:

* breast development
* pubic or underarm hair development
* rapid height growth — a growth "spurt"
* onset of menstruation
* acne
* "mature" body odor

Follow up with your pediatrician for a confirmed diagnosis. It might not be as bad as you think. In some cases, treatment of an underlying health problem can stop the precocious puberty from progressing. But in most cases, because there's no other disease triggering the condition, treatment usually consists of hormone therapy that stops sexual development.
good luck

Amanda - posted on 01/16/2009

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My daughter is 8+half, she is starting to develop size in breasts & has mood swings.

I am watching her weight as she increases in width, then soon after shoots upwards again. We've discussed basic puberty and changes that will occur and she notices when I have my period and talks to me about what happens with my body.

I found an increase in body hair and noticed changes in my body from approx 8-10, by 12 I'd developed substantial breasts, size B cup(Aust). I didn't progress to menstruation til I was about 13yrs. By 16 I think I was fully developed, no more changes noticable.

I personally think everyone's different, as long as puberty is spoken about as a natural and celebrated introduction to womanhood our girls will develop well in their own time.

Lori - posted on 01/16/2009

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This is not unusual, believe it or not!! Alot plays into how 'early' or 'late' your daughter develops - from genetics to environment to diet (gosh, do you have any idea what affect all the growth hormones in food have had on the up-and-coming generation's growth and development statistics??)



It may seem early to be discussing things like deodorant and proper body hygiene, not to mention menstruation. But if you approach it right, you have the opportunity to make her very comfortable with her changing body, and perhaps a mentor for friends that will develop later.



I was a stick (still am) - didn't ever really have a figure (still don't). My girls are AmerAsian (half Japanese) - and as we say (jokingly) in our house, they got the 'bootilicious' gene!! Both are 'Reubenesque' and voluptuous, and developed early. One daughter began her cycles at just-shy-of 11, the other at 11. Both had body hair (and odor) by age 8.



Everybody is different - it would be a boring world if we were all the same! Best advice is to have a long heart-to-heart with your daughter about the coming changes - emphasizing how great and amazing the process is, and how beautiful you think she is!! Good luck!!

Karen - posted on 01/16/2009

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My niece is 9yrs old and has started developing breast "buds", and wearing deodorant as well... my 16yr old started developing the same as your 8yr old... I've heard speculation that it's as a result of some of the growth hormones in foods, but I don't know how true that it. I think the most important thing is that she's healthy... if her pediatrician is not concerned, then nor should you be. The best thing you can do is cultivate the kind of mother/daughter relationship with her which reassures her that she can talk to you about anything. Explain very matter-of-factly what is happening to her body so SHE isn't freaked out by the changes... if you have anxiety about this, it's likely that she does too.

My 16yr old and I can talk about anything... and I mean ANYTHING. It's not always been "easy" to hear some of the things she's shared with me, but I THANK GOD she's shared those things with me because I much prefer that she get her feedback and advice from me than the other teenagers running around. Your 8yr old is years away from being a teenager, but the relationship you have with her when she's a young woman starts now by creating an open dynamic where things are discussed, and it's treated as being healthy.

Talk to her pediatrician if you're concerned about her development, but I don't think she's on the eve of getting her period... make sure you talk to her about it all though so she knows what it is when it does come. Good luck, and enjoy your little girl while she still is one... it goes so fast!

Monica - posted on 01/15/2009

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Thank you all so much for the responses - I felt like I should know the answer to this,

being a woman, but it is my only girl and I sure cant remember that far back! My Mom passed away when I was 16, so you all have been so kind to reply! Thank you!

[deleted account]

I agree it is not uncommon. The first signs of puberty are usually 2 years before her period. In those 2 years, her cycle is "practicing" and with practice you will see signs. She did not have her period but the whole household knew where she was in her cycle. My daughter didn't start her period until going into 8th grade but wow we heard, felt, and saw all the signs. I use to teach and a 3rd grader started at the first of that year. I hope this helps.

Pati - posted on 01/15/2009

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I was developing at 8 and started my period at 12. My daughtter started both at 10, but then she did not have a period for almost a year. The dr said that was not uncommon and not to worry.

Marsha - posted on 01/15/2009

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This is not uncommon.  My niece started to do the same at 8 as well.  She just turned 10, and has yet to start her menstration.  Every girl varies, I myself was 15 until I started my menstration, but I had the body hair at 12.  I know it must be hard to think of your 8 year old going through puberty, but I will tell you as I did my sister... Please inform her of what may come and the changes she will or may be feeling and going through so that when it happens she won't be scared to pieces.  You may have already told her, and that is great.  Schools do not teach kids this until the 6th or 7th grade in our area, so I find it best that we tell our kids. Plus it gives them the added comfort you don't get from a teacher in a classroom full of kids.

Renee - posted on 01/15/2009

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Mine started at 9.  We actually had a boneage test done on her, and her body read that she is developing almost 2 years ahead of her actual age.

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