The mum and daughter guide to buying a training bra
Is your little girl not so little anymore? When is the right time for her to start wearing a training bra? How will you talk to her about it? Read our mum and daughter guide to help clue you in on this preteen milestone.
When you first held your little baby girl in your arms for the very first time, you never thought that time would fly by so quickly to the day she'll be hitting puberty and will have to start wearing a training bra.
But your little girl is not so little anymore and she's slowly blossoming into a young lady, so as her mother who has experienced this milestone yourself back when you were a tween, it is important for you to help guide your daughter through this big change in her life.
When your daughter reaches puberty, this is when her body will start going through changes and it marks the beginning of her developing from a girl to a woman.
Between the age of 8 and 13 years, her hormone levels change, she will grow taller, develop breasts, grow pubic and armpit hair, and also start her menstrual period - although it is normal for different girls to develop at different times.
As breasts start to develop, they will first appear as small, firm, and possibly tender bumps under the nipples, which are called "breast buds".
Take this as a great mother-daughter bonding opportunity for you to have a talk about healthy body image, modesty, or even the birds and the bees - and you can even share your own story about your first time getting a training bra as a young girl.
When is the right time to get a training bra?
Every girl will go through puberty and start developing breast buds, although it is perfectly normal for it to occur at different ages depending on the individual's genes and weight.
So when exactly is the right time to get your daughter her first bra - also known as a training bra?
It may be a confusing and awkward time for your Primary 2 girl to start getting noticeable bumps under her shirt when the rest of her friends are still flat-chested, but it is important that you as her mother are there to help suggest that perhaps it's time for a bit of coverage for the sake of her modesty and to avoid any unwanted attention.
If your daughter's peers are all wearing training bras already but she's the odd one out because she has not developed breasts yet, she may start to feel left out and even self-conscious, so it is important for you to explain that everyone's body is different, and offer to get her a training bra anyway so she won't feel like the odd one out.
How do you choose a training bra and how can you get the right fit? Keep reading to find out.
How to choose a training bra
There are so many different types of bras to choose from, but ultimately you should buy something which your daughter feels comfortable wearing and likes the look of it.
Here is a guide to the different kinds of bras which are suitable for young girls:
For smaller buds, a short or full-length camisole will help provide a bit of coverage yet is not noticeable underneath clothes.
These are a common choice as they offer more firm support as well as comfort and are also good for those with a larger chest.
This a traditional training bra which are usually made of stretchy cotton and does not have any hooks, buckles or wire, so it is simple yet comfortable enough for those who just started wearing bras.
Although there is no need to get a thick padded bra for your daughter at this age, those with an ample bosom might appreciate a bit more coverage and a thin padded lining will help ease the worry of nipples showing through clothes.
Getting the right fit
Do you remember wearing your very first bra which your mum secretly bought and just lay it out on your bed for you to put on without really giving much of an explanation?
It probably was a bit too small and itchy because you did not go to try it on at the store with her, and it is essential to get a proper fit, that is why you should bring your daughter out for some quality bonding time and let her enjoy the whole process by choosing her own training bra, trying on the different sizes and sharing this important moment with her mother.
You can either get her properly fitted with help from the consultant at the store, or you can avoid this awkward moment of stranger fussing around your daughter's chest and help her measure it at home instead.
How to measure:
a) To determine the band size, measure directly under the bust and across the ribcage (if it is an odd number, just round up to the next even number).
b) To determine the bust size, measure loosely around the fullest part of the bust, and then subtract the band size from this number to get the cup size (Cup = Bust - Band).
AA = 0 - 1/2"
A = 1/2 - 1"
B = 2"
C = 3"
D = 4"
DD = 5"
E = 6"
F = 7"
FF = 8"
G = 9"
But remember that bra fitting is an art, not a science, so no matter what, it is best to always try on a bra before you buy it to get the best fit.
Go to the next page to read about the important Do's and Don'ts when talking to your daughter about her first training bra.
Do's and don'ts
This is an new chapter of your daughter's life where she is blossoming from a girl into a young woman and she might be feeling excited, nervous or embarrassed about all these changes which are happening to her body, so it's best if you are sensitive to her feelings and gently guide her through this exciting time.
Here are a few do's and don'ts you should bear in mind when you talk to your daughter about her developing bosom:
- Remind her that women's bodies come in all sorts of shapes and sizes
- Tell her that it's normal for one breast to be slightly bigger than the other
- Let her know that there is no medical reason to wear a bra (except during exercise) but she may wear one for her modesty or to blend in with her peers
- Teach her the importance of wearing a proper sports bra when exercising to prevent discomfort or serious physical injury
- Refrain from teasing her about her breasts and how she now has to wear a training bra as this will make her feel embarrassed and self-conscious
- Avoid commenting on the size of her breasts, whether they are large or small for her age because different bodies develop at different rates
- Don't bring the whole family along for the bra shopping day because it should be a private bonding moment between mother and daughter, and she may feel shy about having her little brother giggling at her in the corner
- Refrain from announcing this milestone on Facebook or excitedly announcing it to your relatives over Sunday dinner - respect her body and her privacy
Your daughter's body will continue to grow and develop, so remember to be sensitive to her feelings and be there to offer advice or guidance should she need it from you.
What other tips do you have to offer to other mums with daughters going through this big change? Do you have any touching stories to share with us? We'd love to read your comments below.