Pump for 5 yr old

We are in the proccess of getting my 5 year old a pump. We are so confused! First we were leaning towards the Omnipod due to the lack of tubing. It seemed like the simplest way to go. Then I read some articles about the failure rate for omnipods being something crazy- like 30-50%?! Is that even possible. I also heard of people going through a 90 day supply of pods in 30 and also heard that the Omnipod company Insulet not being very user-friendly/helpful.

I know you will hear good/bad about everything. I just want to make a good choice for her. We went to pre-pumping classes and I have read sooo many things. It is such a hard decision. She is very active and tiny. She is in the 5% for her height and weight; always has been and probably always will be!

Any suggestions to us?



Being a T1 and not the parent of one - take this with much salt and put it to the bottom of the responses you are likely to get from those better versed in this area.

My experience with Omnipod is that they are good about shipping replacement pods with next orders.  I have seen failure rates from 10-30% per box but never seen (boxes are 10 pods) two consecutive boxes with horrible failure rates - though I know some have.  The trick is to have the script cover the pods and insulin you may lose.  

For any child, I think having the remote is a real win - especially from what I've seen of the little girls - they can hide the pump under clothing and mom/dad can use the remote without fussing around with getting at the pump.  Both the Ping and the Omnipod are water friendly and provide a remote.  The advantage to the ping along with less wasted insulin is a broader selection of infusion sets - this may be helpful on her small frame.  That said - the omnipod design seems to be pretty friendly on most sized people.  

All pumps are an adjustment.  And while it is just another way to give insulin - it has enough differences that finding something that fits your life and style can be quite helpful.  I know the folks at Johnson&Johnson are good about setting up full saline trials where you can where the pump and practice bolusing without doing anything with insulin out of the gate - Omnipod just has the trial pods, I think - which you don't even get to feel the insertion but give you an idea how they'll stay on wherever you put it...

People manage well with all of these devices - and people get frustrated enough with each that they have to get off and switch products  - finding something that fits your daughter and your family and that you're comfortable learning and using is a huge edge - and if there is some excitement about it, even better...  Good luck with your decision and definitely talk to us as you go - we'll be curious how you're doing and there are some very experienced users around here who are great for information if you run into any questions :)

Good luck!



I have T1, but I"m not a parent so my perspective is slightly different, however I have been working at a camp for girls with diabetes for years and so I've spoken with lots of parents about it.

Ive seen a lot of failure with omnipods especially with kids, because they are so large and the kids are so tiny, you lose skin "real estate" quickly. That being said, the tube-less feature is great for kids, so it's hard to decide.

I would personally recommend the Animas Ping for a kid, for many reasons. 1 it has a remote: you can bolus straight from the meter so the child doesn't have to hand you their pump every time they need insulin (which is cool I think because then they sometimes forget about it after the initial finger prick). 2 it comes in lots of cool colors, which is super kid friendly. 3 the Animas reps have always been more than nice to me when I call about issues at camp. They're quick to help you figure out the problem.  4 Animas also has the inset infusion site, which comes in fun colors and is very tiny, great for skinny children.

Medtronic is great also (I've had a Medtronic since I was 10, with few complaints) however they don't have the remote, only come in a few colors, and even though they'll send you a new pump in 24 hours if yours breaks, it's more difficult to find a rep on the phone that knows what they're talking about (or so I've noticed, again this is totally my opinion).

Hope this helps! Good luck!!



I am almost 13 and got my pump around 5 years old i definitaly think go get a pump I have a medtronic mini med pump LOVE it no problems. In that pump you can order short tubing.

If you haven't done so, go to Omnipods website and request a free sample for your daughter to try. 

I'm an adult, but am only a little over 5ft. tall and the OmniPod felt huge on me.  I also didn't like that it was noticeable under my clothes and the adhesive bothered my skin.  There are even smaller tubeless pumps on the horizon, but they won't be available for at least another year.  I tried a demo of the Medingo Solo and liked that it was smaller and also that the remote wasn't required for a bolus.  www.solo4you.com

I also agree that a Ping would probably be the best pump for your daughter, for the reasons AbbyB listed.  It has a few more bells and whistles than the Medtronic.  I've happily used Medtronic for the last 8 years and rarely notice the infusion site.  You get used to the tubing.  A pump is the equivalent of wearing glasses; gets in your way a bit but you quickly learn how to work around any limitations. 



Where did you hear all that about the OmniPod? Personally, I wear the the OmniPod and I LOVE it and there is no better option for me. I think the Minimed and Animas are both great pumps. I know people who wear them and I have got to fiddle around and play with them. They are great, but I just personally prefer the OmniPod. First off, I have only had 1 faulty pod my entire time on the pump. The pod itself wasn't really faulty, it was really just a problem with the cannula. Something got blocked in it. The on call people at OmniPod are WONDERFUL. If you have a faulty pod, they will replace it for free and I have even heard they will replace the insulin you lost. When I first got on the pump I had no clue what I was doing. I was wearing the pod on my upper butt. It didn't seem to be working and my numbers were sky high. I deactivated that pod and did a new pod on my other upper butt area. Numbers were still high. And I mean like close to 400. Ketones in my urine and everything. This was over the weekend. I called my doctor and left a message. Never called me back. I paged her emergency number. Never called me back. I called the on call number at my hospital. They knew nothing about pumps and didn't help me at all. So in the middle of the night I called the people at OmniPod and they walked me thru everything and helped me. As it turns out, I have an absorption issue in the upper butt. To this day, I still cannot take insulin there. It just won't absorb! My arms, legs, and stomach work fine. But I have to say honestly, during that experience the people at OmniPod were much more helpful and polite than my own doctors. They never even called back to see if I was OK.

Also, you would only go thru a 90 day supply of pods in 30 days IF you go thru a ton of insulin or if you have major absorption issue. For example, some people just can't wear the pumps in the same area for 3 days because the insulin begins to build up and not absorb so they have to change them more often. (That's what happens when I try to take insulin in my upper butt!) That should not be a problem for a 5 yr old though.

Honestly, I don't have a lot of complaints about the OmniPod. I think it is a great invention and I'm glad to have it!


We have a 5 year old who wears the Animas One Touch Ping.  She started pumping when she was 3.5 years old.  Hers is pink which she absolutely loves and she has a pink and purple skin to protect it.  We decided this one was best for us because it would give the smallest does of basal rate.  I hope this helps and good luck pumping!


MoD (Mother of Diabetic)

The best thing you can do is do a trial of each pump you are interested in (Ping, Minimed and Omnipod).  Trial it long enough to do a site change on your own as well - this is a good test.  They each have their pluses and minuses, you'll never know until she wears one.  We have used Minimed for the past 3 years, and just recently switched to Omnipod.   We went with the Minimed initially because they are the only pump that provides integrated cgms.  However, my DD discovered the Omnipod recently and wanted to try it.  Turns out she loved it so we switched.  We are still in our learning curve with Omnipod, every pump has one.  My DD LOVES the pod, and loves being tubeless.  The Minimed Revel is also wonderful pump, I highly recommend it if you decide to go with a tubed pump.  You just have to find what is RIGHT for you and your child.

I can't really speak to how well Omnipod does, but I can say that I like the flexibility of a tube pump (Animas Ping, in my case).  If I come to the end of my infusion set's life, for example, but have enough insulin in my pump to last me a few more hours, I can wait out those few hours before I change it.  With an Omnipod, the pod just quits when it's supposed to be changed.

The tubeless feature sounds really nice though, especially for kids and active people.  It's the way I'd lean for a child.  But my own tube hasn't ever bothered me.  Though, I'm not into sports nor do I play like a kid would!  I do some really light hiking and I try to go to the gym and jog (no more jogging now that I'm pregnant), and I've just tucked the tubing away really well.  I know some active people will tape a loop of the tubing to their skin very close to the infusion site, which means if the tubing get's pulled it's much less likely to yank out the infusion site.

Do go with something that has a remote, though.  It means that you just have to be close to your daughter to give her a bolus.  And when she starts bolusing on her own, it means she can still do so even if the pump is tucked away somewhere not very accessible.  (I always appreciate this when I'm wearing a dress without pockets.)

I don't know anything about the omnipod. but i'm 13 and i have an Animas Ping. I got an animas pump in third grade and i loved it because it was easy to use and i could be independent. now, i have an animas ping and i don't like it that much. i have 4 more years until i can switch...but i don't recommend it...the omnipod seems pretty cool!

I just want to thank EVERYONE for their awesome, informative answers. They were all very helpful. We just want to make the best choice for our girl. She can't make her own choices yet and until the time that she can we have to do our best to get all the facts and make the best choice possible.

We are currently leaning towards the Animas Ping as it seems like the best way to get her infusion sites right. She is tiny and I am afraid that the Omnipod will give us trouble with her being so tiny and not having much fat to work with. Animas offers 7 different infusion sets and will hopefully have one that works the best for her. The Ping is waterproof and has a remote; both things we liked about the Omnipod.

Wish us luck...we go to our pumping class on 3-16. We completed our pre-pumping class already and hopefully will be on our way to getting the pump soon. Still trying to get an Animas Rep to come out so she can try it on though!

Thanks again to EVERYONE...I am fortunate to have found this site! :)


Hi Sara!  I saw your posting and thought I'd share this with you.  I’m currently helping our friends who have a 5 year old girl that is Type 1, and I’ve been sewing pockets into her garments (tops, pajamas, underpants, swimsuits) to hide her pump and keep it safe.   She loves her "panty pockets" for dress-up play because her pump and tubing can be tucked into the pocket that's adhered to the inside of her underpants.  She can change clothes without worrying about her pump and doesn't have to be tied to a fanny pack or belt-type product.

These pockets can also be glued to other fabrics using a brand of glue called “Fabri-Tac”.  They are so thrilled with the pockets that they convinced me to put up a web site.  I’ve just added some fabrics for children, but a new collection for adults will be coming out soon.  If you think this might help you or somebody your care for, please have them browse the website or contact me.  I can customize the size to perfectly fit your needs.  I also offer the service of sewing the pockets into the garments.  The website address is:  hideapumppocket.com.  Feel free to email me at hideapumppocket@hotmail.com.  I wish you and your daughter all the best.  Angela.