Why Do I Need to Take Care of My Body?

Learning how to take care of your body is part of growing up. As you get older, your body will change as you go from being a girl to a woman. This is called puberty. During puberty, you will get:

  • oily skin and hair
  • hair that grows under your arms, on your legs, and around your vagina (between your legs)
  • sweat that smells stinky, especially under your arms
  • breasts
  • your period, also called menstruation. This is when blood comes out of your vagina, but you are not sick or hurt.

These changes will happen slowly. You will have to learn new routines to keep yourself clean and healthy.

 Illustration: Changes during puberty for girls

What Should I Do Every Day?

To stay smelling fresh and clean, you should:

  • Put on clean underwear and clothes every day.
  • Wash your hands and face every day with soap and water. Use a towel to dry off. 
  • Take a shower or bath by yourself. When you take a shower or bath, you can wash all your body parts and your hair.
  • Use deodorant every day. This will make your underarms less sweaty and stinky.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss everyday. This will help prevent bad breath and cavities.

What About Shaving?

As the hair grows under your arms and on your legs, you may want to shave it. Ask a parent or other trusted adult how to use a razor.

It may take time to get used to how it feels to shave. Electric razors are noisy and might tickle a little. Other razors are sharp and can cut you if you are not careful. Be careful when using a razor.

What About Wearing a Bra?

Once you have breasts, a bra is a good idea. Bras support the breasts so they don't hurt when you walk, run, or jump around.

Ask your mom or another trusted adult to help you shop for a bra. There are lots of different kinds of bras. Try different ones until you find a bra that's right for you.

If you've never worn a bra before it might feel uncomfortable at first. With a little time, you will get used to it.

What Happens When My Period Comes?

When you get your period, you will see blood on your underwear, on toilet paper, or in the toilet bowl. Your period will come about once a month. It usually lasts about 3 to 5 days. Mark your calendar each month when you get your period. This way, you'll know when to expect it the next month.

When you have your period, you need to wear a special pad in your underwear to catch the blood. Your mother or other trusted adult will teach you how to use one.

There are many different kinds of pads. You will be able to choose the ones that are most comfortable for you to wear.

How Do I Wear Pads?

To put on a new pad, peel the paper off the back of the new pad. Place the sticky side of the pad in your underwear. Make sure it stays in place.

Change your pad every 4 hours, when it smells, or when it is full of blood.

To change your pad, pull off the old one. Roll it up in toilet paper and throw it away in the bathroom trash can. Change your underwear if it is dirty. Then, put a new pad in your underwear.

This Feels Like a Lot to Learn! How Can I Remember?

Having a new daily routine may take some getting used to. Here are some fun ways to remember what to do:

  • Make a schedule so you know when to wash your face, brush your teeth, or take a shower.
  • Use a picture chart or list that tells the steps for putting on and taking off pads.
  • Number supplies you use, like soap, shampoo, deodorant, so you know what to use first and what comes next.

Make it Fun!

Be prepared each day by making special kits with all the supplies you need for taking care of yourself. Ask your mom or dad to help you put your kits together.

You might make one kit for your morning routine that has soap, moisturizer, a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, and a brush and other items for your hair. You can make another kit for when you have your period that has pads, wipes, and clean underwear.

If you don't like the smell or the feel of some of the supplies, you can always go back to the store to buy something different. You have many choices. Choose whatever is best for you.

Back to Articles


Related Articles

Your Changing Body: Answers for Girls With Autism

As you get older, your body will change -- this is part of growing up. Here's what to expect.

Read More

Girls and Puberty

Girls have lots of questions about puberty and growing up. Find all the answers here!

Read More

All About Puberty

Voice cracking? Clothes don't fit? Puberty can be a confusing time, but learning about it doesn't have to be. Read all about it in this article for kids.

Read More

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder makes it hard for kids to learn and communicate. Find out more in this article for kids.

Read More

How to Tell When Someone Is Nice: Answers for Kids With Autism

Choose friends who are nice to you. Here's how to tell if someone is nice, or is being mean.

Read More

Making Friends: Answers for Kids With Autism

Sometimes kids with autism want to make new friends, but aren’t sure how to do it. This article can help.

Read More

What to Say: Answers for Kids With Autism

Knowing what to say comes naturally for some kids, but others need some help. Learn how to start a conversation, keep it going, and more.

Read More

Breasts and Bras

Girls grow breasts as they develop and mature. And once a girl has breasts, she probably will want to wear a bra. Find out more in this article just for kids.

Read More

Five Things Girls Want to Know About Periods

Girls have lots of questions about periods. Here are five good ones - and the all-important answers!

Read More

Getting Your Period at School

Lots of girls worry what to do if they get their periods at school. Find out more in this article for kids.

Read More

Period Cramps

Cramps can put a crimp in a girl's daily routine. Find out what period cramps are and how to handle them.

Read More

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2019 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.

Search our entire site.