The Stages of Puberty
Stages 1 and 2: During stage 1 of puberty there aren’t any visible signs of change in a girl’s body. The breasts are still flat and hair is not clearly visible in the private area. Most times, the physical signs of puberty begin to show around the age of 10, but can be seen normally as early as age 8.
In stage 2, breast buds, often different in size, become apparent as tissue mass increases on the chest. The area around the nipple, called the areola, will start to slightly darken but will remain flat to the breast tissue itself. You may also notice sparse hair in the vaginal and underarm areas. The use of deodorant may become necessary at this time as hormones are changing causing body odor that parents and teachers should teach the child how to address and why.
Stages 3 and 4: From ages of 9 to 14 hair will appear darker in color, thicken, and curl signifying further development of the body towards adulthood. In stage 4 (ages 10-15), breast tissue continues to grow with the areola darkening even more with the addition of papilla, or the small bumps around the nipple area, appearing. Skin changes can also be seen during this phase with the appearance of acne and darkening of the skin in the vaginal area.
All of the physical and hormonal changes observed at this point probably haven’t been very hard for her to adjust to, but monumental changes are on the horizon in the body of a girl.