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Puberty Age Milestones

A Puberty Timeline: When to Shave, Buy a Bra, and More

Has your son's voice become a bit deeper? Is your daughter moodier than ever? Congratulations — your child has hit puberty! As we all know, the transition from child to young adult can be a tricky one to handle. It's a time that's filled with many emotional and physical changes that you and your child may be unsure of how to handle. From the first shave to the first bra, see when your child can tackle these major puberty milestones.


For boys, when to shave comes down to their style. If your son wants a smooth face, then he can start shaving once the peach fuzz arrives. If he wants to test the scruffy look, he may not want to shave for a while — or ever! Girls, however, have a bigger challenge. Many moms worry that if their daughter starts shaving too soon, her hair will come back thicker or darker than before. While that’s a great way to keep her away from the razor, it’s not the truth. POPSUGAR Beauty reporter Kirbie Johnson assures us this is just one of many shaving myths. Instead, let your daughter's body confidence be the deciding factor. Girls with darker, more noticeable hair may shave as early as fourth grade, but fair-haired girls can wait a little longer. If you’d rather avoid the razor, let her try a hair remover like Veet or Nair.


While mood swings are generally the worst side effect of puberty, body odor is a close second. This scent that accompanies adolescent kids' rapidly changing hormones transfers to their clothes, bed sheets, and their surroundings. As soon as you notice an unpleasant smell, your child should start wearing deodorant. This typically happens between the ages of 8 and 12, but an active child may need to apply sooner.


See when your child should buy a bra, visit the OB/GYN, and more!


Most parents wait until their daughters are at least 13 before taking them to the salon to have body hair waxed off. Since there are many negative side affects to waxing, including irritation, inflammation, and future ingrown hairs, be sure to talk to her about these beforehand. The thought of pain may scare her into plucking for a few more years. As for removing hair down there, most salons won't give bikini waxes to anyone under the age of 18.

Wearing a Bra

Looking forward to your first mother-daughter trip to Victoria's Secret? It may happen sooner than you think. Girls are likely to begin developing breasts as early as age 8. But how can you tell if your daughter's in need of some support? According to Glenda E., "when she is showing through her tops, then you know it's time.” When that day arrives, make sure you are able to help her, rather than throwing her to a sales associate.

Wearing Makeup

When she was a tot, you were happy to let your daughter play with your makeup. But as she ages and draws more attention from boys, you may be more hesitant. Louise G. thinks moms should "wait until their daughter is out of primary school" and start her with clear glosses and light shadows. If she won't stop complaining, try Angela H.'s approach, which she used on her daughters. "They had to wash and take care of their faces for six weeks without us hassling them to do it. Then they were allowed to use clear lip gloss after showing responsible behavior. With that, we moved up to colored lip gloss."

Visiting the Ob-Gyn

Many moms think their daughter can skip the ob-gyn till she becomes sexually active. That may be too long to wait. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, a girl should start visiting the gynecologist between the ages of 13 and 15. By visiting the doctor sooner, your daughter will build a better relationship and have someone else to talk to about her ever-changing body.

Image Source: Shutterstock
Join The Conversation
sexplainer sexplainer 3 years
Whether we have male or female children, this is a limited list when it comes to the real concerns young people (and their parents) face when entering adolescence. It's a confusing and crazy time. Young people have unexplainable and really distracting crushes for the first time. These can be on a teacher, a friend, a friend's parent, someone of the same gender.... Young people need support in navigating these new feelings. Young people have a rollercoaster of emotions. The sads, mads and glads - things can shift between these kinds of feeling in mere moments and it can be exhausting and disconcerting for the person experiencing the feelings and everyone around them. Young people's bodies are changing in dramatic ways. Sure breasts are developing in young women - but bras are not a required garment for anyone. And by the way, many young men will experinece breast tenderness or lumps becuase of the estrogen that is in their bodies during puberty. This is normal (and will go away) but can freak a person out. And even girls might feel as though breasts are unwelcome. Not every 12 year old is excited about a visit to Victoria's Secret. Then there are hips, and waist and shoulders and bottoms. During adolesence, peoples bodies grow all over. It can make body movement clumsy. We need to help our kids understand that such fast growth is awkward sometimes. We also need to help young women understand that a certain amount of body fat is required for healthy puberty development. And let's not forget acne. Oil production can get out of control and it might have nothing to do with washing one's face enough. Parents need to help their kids manage oily complexions physically and emotionally. Finally, for young men, a milestone may be a nocturnal emission or wet dream. And then there are those unexpected erections that happen at the most unlikely and inappropriate moments. Maybe a bit of info on that would better suit parents looking to raise healthy and happy kids more than advice on makeup use and waxing protocols. I personally think we ought to remind our daughters that hair grows naturally on bodies and doesn't need to be removed whatsoever.
DenaArnett DenaArnett 3 years
I like the other moms were really dissapointed! I have sisters no brothers and my only child is a boy, so shaving and b.o. is a no brainer its all the other things. Gees!
MicheleHahn92347 MicheleHahn92347 3 years
I agree. I was hoping for information about boys. I was a girl therefore I know what to expect in my daughter's progression through puberty and when I don't, I asked her doctor. I've never been a boy and I was an only child so no brothers to see the experience through. Not that the information offered about girls wasn't important, but more information about boys should have been included.
MelissaWindham79694 MelissaWindham79694 3 years
This really told me nothing. A complete waste of my time. I have 4 boys and I want to know when to expect wet dreams, voice changes, hardening of the nipples, mood swings, and all of the other changes that boys go through. My eleven year old has already told me that he's been wetting the bed recently and I assumed it was wet dreams so we talked about it but I cannot be sure and would love for someone to let me know if it's even time for that. I wonder who writes these articles.
JaimeeStammCox JaimeeStammCox 3 years
I have already reached the age of seventeen for my girl. We hit the trenches several years ago. My son is only eight years of age. He is also my only son. I myself am an only child, no brothers to grow up with and learn from, so I really only read this article for boys info. Very disappointing that only two milestones for boys are included (deodorant and shaving?). Sadly I can figure those two out on my own! Unless you're reading this article with a female child in mind, it is a complete waste of time...
LucyRoman LucyRoman 3 years
I also agree, its a great topic that should be open for a chat PUBERTY. The above articles are common sense for most parents. I want to know more about the physical and emotional changes with boys. Finding articles and topics about young boys are difficult, as a mother I would like to know what to expect. Help :), What are the milestones?
LucyRoman LucyRoman 3 years
BrookeLinton BrookeLinton 3 years
I agree with Bella, i was quite disappointed to find very little information on boys in this article.
Belinda-Long-aka-Bella1371605154 Belinda-Long-aka-Bella1371605154 3 years
You have a picture of a boy in the header, and you talk about a couple of the changes girls and boys might experience. How disappointed was I to find only advice on shaving in here for boys? I know boys go through puberty......and my son is clearly experiencing it. Too bad I won't find anything in this article about that. :(
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