Newly diagnosed 1 year old

My son is Austin and we were diagnosed two months ago. I will never forget the date because he was diagnosed on friday 2-13-09. Austin has a big brother andrew and because of him I believe he has made him strong. i coudn't ask for a better patient. he doesnt cry with checking his sugar or when we give him insulin shots. We are still struggling emotionally with everything and even exhausted. I would love to have a support group with toddlers that have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. We are struggling to decide whether the insulin pump is right for us. Any suggestions??

Hi Megan, My son Jason was diagnosed at 2 and he is now 8.  We are in the minority since he has always been on syringe shots (although he has a pen needle at school since I did not want the nurse to draw up the insulin from a vial).  I've been a stay at home dad since Jason was six months old and we live a simple life so a pump has not been a priority.  Jason is not eager about going to a pump and does not mind the shots.  Of course, we may get a pump in the near future due to me returning to the work force since it will be easier to have family and others administer insulin (or oversee Jason doing it).  Going to a pump depends on your particular situation.  Few people who go to a pump regret the decision.  But, the pump won't necessarily make things easier or improve glucose levels.  We have done just fine with syringe shots and Jason's A1C readings have always been good (under 8%).  Personally, I would be cautious about going to a pump with a child so young.  If you did go to a pump the Omnipod might be a better choice since it does not have tubing.  I can see a toddler having all sorts of problems with the tubing, the realtively big size of a pump for a toddler, and the affect of numerous insertions over time on very tender skin.  My wife and I were overwhelmed when Jason was first diagnosed.  Life was put on hold for weeks as we adjusted.  This is natural for families especially those with toddlers.  You are certainly not alone.  Check with your doctor/hospital/JDRf chapter to see if support groups exist in your area.  There is probably not one for toddlers but I think it helps to connect to other parents.  If there is not a support group your JDRF chapter might be able to get you in touch with a mentor or someone who has been in a similar situation. 

Hi Megan,

Our son was diagnosed on May 15, 2009.  He was 13 months at the time.  WOW -- it is overwhelming.

We're still learning and adjusting.  I'm wondering what are the best resources you've found, if you'd share.  We're having a hard time with diet.  He won't eat vegetables and we're stuck with the same rotating menu.

Be well,


I have a 3 year old that has been diagnosed for 3 months.  I totally know where you are and would love the support of another mm with a young child diagnosed.  I don't know where you are located or if I could truly be any help but I am will to listen.  We have actually gone to a pump today.  It is crazy but if it will make all the transition happen in one year and make this all just move on then I was in for the steep learning curve. 


Please feel free to vent anytime at least at me -((((  hugs ))))


Hi, Megan!

My daughter was diagnosed 9 years ago, just a couple months after her 2nd birthday.  She was on an insulin pump a few months after that.  Her doctor put her on the pump because 1) it was difficult to dose in small enough amounts using shot therapy, and 2) she was a toddler, so we had difficulty getting her to eat the right amounts of carbohydrates at the right times.  Sometimes she wanted more food, often she wanted less.  As you know, getting a toddler to eat what you put in front of him/her is always a challenge, made even more difficult when the child has Type 1.  I really love the pump.  It was so wonderful not being tied into a schedule, and it really allowed her to eat a bigger variety of food.  She still wears a pump, and she loves it!  My suggestion is to try the pump while he is young, and let him decide as he gets older.  Some kids would rather have shot therapy when they're older, but my daughter has said she will never go back to shots. 


Hi Megan, my daughter was diagnosed in Oct of last year and in April she went on the pump. Oh by the way she is 11.  We were having trouble with her thinking she wanted to eat things, and then she would decide she was full.  Then we would have to figure out how to get the carbs in her to not make her bottom out.  With the pump we no longer have to do this.  She puts small amounts of food on her plate, then dials it in on her pump.  If she wants more she just takes more insulin, which she likes better because there are no needle sticks!  We also found she was gaining too much weight because she was feeding the insulin.  So now she is eating less which is better for her!  I hope that helps, we love the pump.  It is like starting over again but we love it!


Hey I saw your post from last year and I wanted to follow up on you. Sorry I have not been on in awhile. We are actually looking for a Diabetic Alert Dog. Have you heard of this? I hope all is well with your family and would love to talk with you more about your child. Hope to talk with you soon!



Actually, I have. I even began (but didn't finish) the process of adopting one.  Have you been to the website:  A friend had encountered a man with one of these dogs, and the dog did a really good job of telling the man he was hypoglycemic.  Amazing!  Did you stick with shots or switch to the pump? 



Hello Megan,

My son was diagnosed 16 months ago.  He's now 29 months old.  I just came from the Children With Diabetes Conference in Orlando and WOW -- I met so many great parents and learned so much.  One thing we learned, for what it's worth, is that some dogs can sense it but according to one of the sessions I was in, it works better on adults than children. 

I did hear a lot about CGM's (continuous glucose monitors).  We just put our son on a pump in January, and it has been wonderful.  We went from 6-8 shots a day to 1 every 3 days.  Now, it didn't happen easily, in fact the first 3 months I thought I made a HUGE mistake, but thank goodness I stuck it out and now we love the pump and he's thriving; and, an unintended result, teachers and caregivers are more willing to care for him now that they don't have to give injections, and I'm happier for them to use the pump because it's 100% accurate dosing.  Back to the CGM's, I met 2 parents that had their toddlers on CGM's and saw many pre-teens and teens on CGM's.  There were over 2K people at the conference.

I talked to the parents and heard so much about them in the seminars I decided to investigate.  I learned from other parents remarkable A1C stories of how they have lowered by 1 point or more from the CGM's.  So I came home, found one on e-Bay and bought it.  I think most insurance companies cover these but mine did not. 

We just received it the other day and haven't been trained on it yet.  The rep will come out, for free, and train us.

To the point about the dog -- we're looking forward to the alarm function on the CGM so if our boy goes low or high, at presets we determine, an alarm will go off.  AMEN --this will stop us, according to our doc, from 2AM readings and will help his pre-school teachers too!

Take a look at the Dexcom 7 Plus (google it).  No I don't work for them.  I chose that one because Johnson & Johnson, maker of our One Touch Ping Pump, is in partnership with Dexcom 7 or just bought the company or something so that one day in the near future they will make the CGM talk to the Pump for better control.  PS -- i paid 600 bucks on ebay (reg 1200-1400) for this 2 times used CGM (it looks brand new and it has new infusion sets so it's just as good as new).

One other neato thing--at the CWD Conference, one of the doctors was talking about the future of pumps and as we all know pumps only deliver insulin to bring the sugar down.  Well now, there is a pump by Abbott (I think) that has a second chamber and they've learned to micro dose glucagan in little drops to pop the sugar back up when it's going low.  Anyway, I'm excited about the future of treatment and hopefully a cure. 

All this to say, we're doing CGM instead of a dog, as we heard they (dogs) are not as reliable for kids.  Hope that helps.

Our 16 month old son was just diagnosed a matter of days ago. My husband has also been T1 since he was 8 years old. He has been on the insulin pump since he was a teenager and he believes its a miracle. No doctor could really get a good handle with any insulin on the market and tried all sorts of different programs. It wasn't until he was placed on the pump that everything changed. As soon as our son is old enough, we plan on looking in to getting a pump for him as well.

I can relate to you on this. What is amazing is my mother and my youngest sister are also T1 Diabetic.  I would love to talk with you more. Where are you from? My email address is We are on an insulin pump and with a young child it can be difficult but it really helps manage and controls his blood sugar levels. Our hardest thing right now is finding a daycare center that helps with children that are diabetic. I would also love to know more about these diabetic dogs. My mother has been a diabetic for 16 years and has issues with her blood sugar dropping at night. She also has a labrador that is very smart and I would love to know how to train her. Thanks so much.

That is amazing! I would love to learn more about the CGM's. I would also love to go to a conference like that. Austin is now 2 years old and I would love to keep up with the latests news and updates regarding diabetes. Thank you so much for all that helpful information. Are the CGM's very big. My diabetes educator instructed us that they have found those monitors to be big on toddlers. But I will definitely check them out!  Also how did you train your preschool on all this. I'm scared to death to send him to preschool! Any advice would be great.

Yes we have been on an insulin pump for a year now. We are doing really well. I am still investigating about the diabetic dogs though. Its hard with children Austin's age (29 months) because they cannot always tell us if their blood sugar is rising or  falling.

I will email some details if you'd like, Megan. I'm currently training our Chihuahua that we've had for about 3 years now. He has always been very well behaved, taken to training easily, and most important he's had an amazing bond with our son. He has already alerted me once when Shawn got into trouble and couldn't breath while he was in his Johnny Jump Up. The key with a child that young (mine is 16 months), is to start keeping the dog around you and the child as much as possible. Once the dog has learned an alert command, when you realize the child has gone low or very high, you can tell the dog to alert. It's a long process, I'm expecting about 2 years until he's fully trained and has it down pat, but I'd like to get him certified so Shawn can take him wherever he goes.

Do you think any dog can be trained? I have allergies to my lab, but I have a beagle that just loves my son and she doesn't bother me as bad.

I believe any dog with the right temperment can be trained, yes. With any service dogs, if you don't start very young with the training, then the dog you choose must have a perfect temperment for the job.  If you eventually want to get the dog certified so the child can legally take the dog wherever they go (to the store, to school, etc), the dog must be fine with loud or sudden noises, and be fine with all people, including small children who may tug or pull on them. If you're just wanting the dog to remain at home, then you just need to start wth any basic obedience training to be able to have the dog's focus and attention on you. It's a long process, but just be persistent with it!  I don't think I have seen a Chihuahua as a service dog before, but because he has an amazing temperment, I don't doubt that he will be able to pick up all the training rather quickly.

Hi Megan,

I have heard great things about  Diabetic Alert dogs!  have you found one?  does your child have a specific need for a dog?  I was wondering if the child has to meet a certain criteria to be able to get one?  also what do they cost (if you don't mind me asking...)  Thank you!


I don't personally have a diabetic dog but have also heard great things about them. I have looked into Pawsabilities Unleashed, which is an organization out of Kentucky. Unfortunately this company is very expensive. It costs around $4,000.00 which was too much for us right now. There is an application and info at  There is also but only helps people in certain states. I have heard that they like for the kids to be around 12 years of age to help take care and train the dog for them specifically. It doesn't hurt to look into this.

Hope this helps.