My 9-year-old daughter is already starting to develop breasts. Is this normal?
There's a wide range considered "normal" regarding when puberty starts and how fast it progresses. For girls, puberty generally starts sometime between 8 and 13 years of age.
For most girls, the first evidence of puberty is breast development, but for others it may be the growth of pubic hair. As breasts start to grow, a girl will have small, firm, sometimes tender lumps (called breast buds) under her nipples. In some cases one breast will start to develop weeks or months before the other; the breast tissue will get larger and become less firm over the next few years.
The first signs of puberty are followed 1 or 2 years later by a noticeable growth spurt. Her body will begin to build up fat, particularly in the breasts and around her hips and thighs, as she takes on the contours of a woman. Her arms, legs, hands, and feet will also get bigger.
Some girls are excited about their budding breasts and new training bras; others may worry that all eyes are focused on their breasts. So it's important to talk to your child about how bodies change — sooner, rather than later.
Be prepared to talk about the expected events of puberty, including menstruation, when you see the first signs of breast development, or earlier if she seems ready or has questions. If you have questions or concerns about having this conversation, talk with your doctor.
Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: February 2014
|GirlsHealth.gov GirlsHealth.gov, developed by the U.S. Office on Women's Health, offers girls between the ages of 10 and 16 information about growing up, food and fitness, and relationships.|
|WomensHealth.gov Developed by the U.S. Office on Women's Health, 4woman offers reliable women's health information.|
|Sexual Development Changes become more dramatic and complex with the onset of puberty, and kids are likely to have lots of questions. These articles can help you become a trusted source of information, comfort, and support for your kids.|
|Talking to Your Daughter About Puberty Help your daughter prepare for the changes that puberty will bring before she takes her first steps toward adulthood.|
|Talking to Your Child About Menstruation Kids reaching puberty should already know what's going to happen to their bodies. Here are some tips for talking to your daughter about menstruation.|
|Precocious Puberty Precocious puberty - the onset of signs of puberty before age 7 or 8 in girls and age 9 for boys - can be physically and emotionally difficult for children and can sometimes be the sign of an underlying health problem.|
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2014 KidsHealth® All rights reserved.
Images provided by iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com