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Admitting that your little child is no longer a baby isn’t an easy step for any mother. But before long, your not-so-little boy or girl will start to transition into adolescence, and before you even realize it, they’ll be hitting puberty. During the stages of puberty, your child will experience hormonal as well as physical changes. As a parent, it is important to notice the signs of puberty and know how to spot it in order to be able to support them and prepare them for what to expect.
As part of our How to Spot Series, we’ll be discussing how to spot the signs and symptoms of puberty and the different stages of puberty for girls and boys.
Puberty in boys
Puberty in boys usually occurs between the age of 9-15. During the early stages of puberty in boys, the body starts to produce the hormone testosterone. This hormone is one of the main reasons the body changes in boys during puberty.
Signs of puberty in boys
The first sign of puberty in boys is that the testicles begin to get bigger. The penis will also start to become larger or wider and pubic hair will start to grow around the groin. Here are some other signs of puberty in boys to look out for:
- Getting taller quickly
- Feet getting bigger
- deepening voice
- Facial and body hair growth in new places
- New muscles and broader shoulders
- Frequent erections
- Wet dreams
Puberty in girls
Puberty in girls usually starts a bit sooner than puberty in boys. Puberty in girls can hit anytime between 8-13 years old and sometimes a few years after that. During the early stages of puberty, the body starts producing the hormone estrogen. This hormone not only changes the appearance of the body but also makes it possible for a girl to become pregnant.
Signs of puberty in girls
One of the first signs of puberty hitting in girls is the growth or change in the size of a girl’s breasts. However, most girls don’t actually get their periods for a couple of years after their breasts start to develop. Here are a few other signs of puberty in girls to look out for:
- Growth of hair in the armpits and groin
- Weight gain
- Wider hips
- A noticeable change in the body shape such as wider hips, development of breasts, and a more curvy figure
- Getting taller
- Getting their periods in the form of bleeding from the vagina
- Mood swings due to change in hormones
You might also like to read: –How and When to Talk to Your Daughter About Menstruation