Raye - posted on 10/14/2014
Kids mature at different rates, and some parents have their heads in the sand when it comes to their kids growing up and hitting puberty. I don't know what marketing you're talking about, but it could be that they are getting both the kids and the parents to think about when it might be appropriate for their child to get a bra. It obviously has us talking about it.
Generally, when the nipples first start to poke out of the shirt, a tank top under the shirt is adequate. Some tanks have a built-in "bra" that is also helpful for a time. Eventually, though you do need to transition them to wearing a bra. My earliest memory of my friends beginning to wear bras was in third grade, or around 8-9 y/o. Personally I was in sixth grade, 11-12 y/o, when I started. My step daughter is 9 and is wearing tank tops under her shirts. She has time yet before she needs a bra, but, judging by her mom, she may need one sooner rather than later.
Chet - posted on 10/14/2014
Most people don't buy bras for children. And some of the people who do buy bras for very young girls buy them because the kids need them.
Normal, healthy girls can have breast development starting around the age of 8. And there are girls who suffer from precocious puberty who have breast development before the age of 8.
Also, there are girls who are quite small when they go through puberty. Our oldest is 10.5 and in grade 5. Most of the short sleeved t-shirts she wears are size 6 or 7. I expect that we'll be the buying those super small bras in the near future.
I do have a niece who got a bra when she was 6 or 7 and didn't need it. Her and a friend wore them more like dress-up clothes, in a copying mommy kind of way. They decided that the bras were uncomfortable pretty quickly, and stopped wearing them. I wouldn't have bought bras for kids that age, but I don't think any harm was done. They weren't expensive.
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