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Puberty Advice: How to Prepare for and Manage Puberty

Are you wondering what's happening to your body as you enter your teens or even pre-teens, and just how do you handle all these changes! Well, here are the answers you’ve been looking for.

From mood swings to spots, puberty can be a bumpy ride. But it's also a time of incredible growth and discovery, as you begin to develop your own identity and explore the world.

What is puberty?

Before we uncover the tips and tricks for handling puberty, it helps to understand it better.  Puberty is the natural process of transitioning from child to young adult, it will affect how you look, feel and act and can start from the ages of around 8-14 for most young people, and can last for between 2-5 years. It can be super unpredictable and yes, a little overwhelming too!

Common changes during puberty include:

  • Growth Spurts: A rapid increase in height and overall body shape and size.
  • Breast Development: In females, the development of breast tissue begins.
  • Voice Changes: Especially in males, the voice deepens as the larynx grows.
  • Body Hair: The growth of pubic, facial, and body hair becomes noticeable.
  • Acne: Increased oil production of the body can for some, lead to the development of acne.
  • Menstruation: Females begin to experience the menstrual cycle.
  • Genital Growth: Growth and development of the genitals in both males and females.
  • Mood Swings: including feeling irritable, angry, tearful or joyful, sometimes all in one day!

What happens during puberty?

You may be wondering what triggers puberty?  How come one minute you’re happily being a kid and the next you feel very different and sometimes out of control!

Well, it all starts in the brain and the tiny area called the Hypothalamus gland, hormones from this part of the brain flood into your bloodstream and circulate around the body. For males it’s mainly the hormone Testosterone that tells the testicles to make sperm and for females the hormone oestrogen is produced and triggers the ovaries to release eggs.

These puberty hormones stimulate various organs and tissues in the body to grow and mature. It’s truly impressive how much your body transforms during this time.

Advice on how to deal with puberty

Knowing what to do when you hit puberty is a matter of learning as you go, because everyone’s experience will be different. Here are some tips that may help you:

  • Embrace the Changes: Your body is on a growth spurt, and that's great! Embrace the changes: breast development, first periods, underarm hair, pubic hair and all. Remember, it’s normal to feel self-conscious during this time of growth, but trust us, everyone goes through it, so don’t worry if your journey starts a little earlier or later than your friends and family.


  • Stay Hygienic: As your body changes, so will your personal hygiene needs. Your body will now be producing more sweat as it keeps up with all these changes. So, be sure take regular showers or wash twice daily, paying particular attention to your genital area by gently washing with an unperfumed shower gel or soap, and consider using a good antiperspirant, to prevent sweat and odours forming. Finally pay attention to your skincare routine, this will help minimise spots or acne outbreaks.


  • Healthy Habits: We’ve already mentioned how hard your body is working to keep up with all the changes occurring during puberty, and because of this what you eat is super important too, a balanced diet and regular exercise can do wonders. Yes, we know it’s also the time when you may want to eat junk food and crave sweet treats, and that’s fine, just limit them to once or twice a week. A healthy diet and active lifestyle will not only help your body adapt to changes, but it’s also essential for keeping your mood steady and reduce emotional outbursts.


  • A Good Night’s Sleep: When you were younger, we bet you jumped out of bed at the crack of dawn waking up everyone in the house, but not anymore, chances are it's more likely family are dragging you out of bed. For many people going through puberty, sleep patterns can be disrupted, your body is working extra hard, and it can be tiring both mentally and physically. Tips to help you sleep better are to avoid electronic gadgets, we’re talking phones, TV’s, iPad, for about an hour before bedtime, and try not to eat or drink too late at night, avoiding caffeine loaded drinks like fizzy pop.


  • Growth Spurts: During puberty your body is changing daily, and you won’t have seen such a rapid growth spurt since you were a baby!  You may be noticing that you’re taller or shorter than friends around you, and you may even start to feel a little self-conscious about these changes. Growth spurts can be so fast many teens often feel clumsy and awkward, this is because your brain cannot always keep up with growth surges and it can take a while for the brain to calculate your surroundings.  Don’t beat yourself up about it, the odd stumble or bumping into things is very normal, take things slowly, clear clutter in your bedroom, stop, look and take your time when out and about, daily stretches can help too.  


  • Feeling Comfortable: Puberty is a time of exploring your individuality, and self-discovery, this is never truer than when thinking about your unique sense of style and what fashion trends to follow. It’s important during puberty, and as you continue to develop to feel comfortable in your clothes and footwear, so whilst it’s brilliant that you want to make a statement to the world, make sure your clothes fit and are not too tight. And it’s also the time when you may be considering a first bra, it can feel like quite a big step, so be sure to find one that’s comfortable, supportive and fits you well. Remember that, even though peer groups and social media are awash with what should be trending, be true to yourself and what works for you.


  • Stay Informed: Don't be shy to learn about your body - it’s part of growing up. Knowledge is power, and understanding the changes of puberty can ease any worries. In the age of social media and the internet, there is access to lots of helpful information. The Lil-Lets Hub and our Becoming a Teen website are great starting points, full of resources to help you navigate puberty at every stage.


  • Talk About It: Puberty can be confusing. Chat with a trusted adult, role model or friends who are experiencing the same changes. Sharing experiences can lighten the load and you’ll get more comfortable talking about it over time.


  • Seek Support: If you're feeling overwhelmed, reach out for help. Your parents, guardians, or a counsellor are there to offer guidance.

Remember, everyone's journey through puberty is different. It's about embracing change, staying informed, and being kind to yourself. You've got this!

How to deal with puberty emotions

Puberty can easily lead to feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, and self-doubt. These feelings are commonly referred to as "puberty blues," a term used to describe the ups and downs of growing up. It's important to know that you are not alone in experiencing these emotional changes and that it's totally normal to feel a little overwhelmed during this time.

Be sure to have open and honest communication with trusted adults, such as parents, teachers, or healthcare providers, who can offer guidance and support. In some cases, you might need to chat with a counsellor or psychologist.

How to get rid of puberty spots

Puberty comes with its fair share of surprises, and one common guest is the appearance of spots. We recommend washing your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser to remove excess oil and dirt. You can also keep your skin hydrated with a moisturiser and avoid touching your face or popping the spots.

A long-term solution to clearing spots and pimples is maintaining a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water. And if needed, chat with your guardians about visiting a doctor or dermatologist who can help. With patience and consistent care, you'll be on your way to clearer skin. There’s also nothing wrong with having spots. It’s more common than you think!

How to handle puberty-related health issues and concerns

Puberty brings more than just physical changes— it can also introduce various health concerns that might leave you wondering where to turn. From managing your first period to understanding sexual feelings, it's important to equip yourself with knowledge and resources.

If you're experiencing persistent health problems like irregular periods, extreme mood changes, or concerns about body image, don't hesitate to open up to a trusted adult, like a parent or school nurse. You're not alone on this journey.

How to deal with puberty as parents

Puberty certainly involves parents and guardians. If you’re a teen reading this, feel free to share this part of the article with the adults in your life. They might need some puberty advice too.

Final thoughts on puberty

Overall, puberty is a complex process that involves many different changes and challenges. Understanding all this can help you and your family to navigate this important stage of development with greater ease.

For many of us, that means being equipped to manage your first period as it generally starts mid-puberty. With Lil-Lets, you can find all the period products you need to start your menstruation journey with confidence.

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Frequently asked questions

What makes puberty happen?

Puberty happens when hormones from the brain initiate development. These hormonal changes tell the body exactly what to do. In females, the growth and release of mature eggs from the ovaries initiate puberty. And for males, the testicles start producing sperm.

Does puberty affect maturity?

Puberty certainly affects maturity, both physically and emotionally. Not only are you noticing physical changes to the body, but puberty also impacts on your brain development too, you might notice your perspective on many things changing and sexual attraction towards people becomes more noticeable.

Why is puberty necessary in humans?

Puberty is necessary in humans as the outcome is sexually mature adults with fully developed reproductive organs. It means people can have children if they want to and when they’re ready. It’s also the time in our lives when we become more self-aware and start to experience a wider spectrum of emotions.

Is puberty normal?

Puberty is incredibly normal, even if it feels like a roller coaster ride of emotions and physical changes. It’s part of your life cycle and your development into sexually mature adults.

What is the latest you can hit puberty?

The latest you can hit puberty is not at a specific age. It truly varies from person to person. Typically, you’ll start puberty between the ages of 8 and 13 in females, and 9 and 14 in males. If you don’t notice the key signs of puberty by 16, speak to a responsible adult and visit a healthcare professional for medical advice.

Does everyone go through puberty?

Almost everyone goes through puberty and it typically starts between the ages of 8 and 14. However, there are some rare medical conditions that might delay or prevent the onset of puberty. For example, those with Turner Syndrome, a genetic condition in females, might have delayed puberty.

What happens when puberty ends?

This is a tricky one, the end of puberty is marked by the completion of physical and hormonal development and the beginning of young adulthood. You typically reach your adult height and size around the ages of 18, sometimes sooner and often later. But the physical and emotional changes may continue for a few years after puberty. Additionally, emotional development and reproductive health are ongoing processes that require attention throughout your life.

How do you know when you’re done with puberty?

Puberty is a gradual process, and there isn't a clear-cut "done" moment. Generally, when you've experienced most of the physical changes associated with puberty, like your first period and body changes, you're likely nearing the end of this phase.

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