Starting the pump

I have begun the discussion of getting my son to start the insulin pump. I am not sure he will like it because of it being attached to him. I am going to be taking a class at the doctor's office. Can someone please give me insight on the pump? Niklas is just 4. Should I wait? Or should I pursue? If it were me, I would want to have it. I appreciate all the feedback!!!


did you ask him?  You can get a loaner or sometimes a dummy pump from the manufacturers and go for a trial run.  You can use saline in the pump at first before insulin for training and getting used to... 

The pump infusion system has to be changed out every 2-3 days.  Instead of up to 5 shots a day it will be more like 1 shot every 3 days.  I bet that will be a selling point for him. 

The toughest thing for me was sleeping with it on and that takes getting sed to.  The nice part of a a conventional pump is you can clip it to clothing or let it "float" so you will most likely not have to sleep directly on it.   Yhe nice part of a POD is that the whole shebang is in one place so there's little to get it caught on.

I don't believe there's an age, I don't believe that he' stoo young but he might or might not be interested. 

The pump (I use a minimed 722) has been GREAT for me.  Most pumpers will tell you they like their pump, but some will tell you they went back to shots.   I will never go back - even if I lose my insurance.

I just went on the pump (3 months ago) and I did have some difficulty but now I love it. I agree with Joe, ask your son!!! It can't hurt!!!!


I've only been on the pump for about a year so please defer to ANYONE else ahead of any input from me… That said, there are a couple things that I would keep in mind that can make day to day management easier with a pump...  The first thing I would keep in mind is insulin accuracy and mechanical delivery.  Most of the pumps let you give insulin in .05 unit increments.  I don’t care how good your vision is, you can’t refine things that well with a syringe.  The less insulin you are giving, the easier it is to get doses that meet the need with a pump (in my already questionable opinon).  Second is that you can alter the basal rate.  With MDI, you are giving 1 to 2 injections of long-acting insulin/day.  The moment of those injections are your only chance to adjust basal (background) insulin for activity.  Otherwise, you are relegated to snacking through whatever you are doing to avoid going low.  The pump will let you drop that basal down ahead of the activity and bring it back to normal when you are ready.  Joe’s points are great and I agree, I don’t imagine I will ever willingly go back either.

Cheers and good luck!



It's just another way to give insulin- with more options so it does have a learning curve - get enough information to get comfortable :)


Hi Kristen,

My daughter started pumping just over a year ago when she was 6. She LOVES it.

As far as the feeling that you are always attached to something, that does not phase her at all. She just moves her pump pack around her body as it gets in her way and is not bothered at all by the "attachment". The pump and pump pack have, in effect, just become part of her body.

I feel it is so much easier to be a kid and eat like a normal kid when don't have to time food around shot time or take extra shots for it. Now whenever she is hungry she eats!

Does Niklas know anyone else with a pump? We knew several kids from our local JDRF chapter with pumps so it was a pretty easy transition for us.

If you are interested I say start looking around & certainly involve Niklas in the process since he will be the one wearing it!

Good luck!

Hi Kristin,

Our granddaughter is nine (dx at four) and went on a pump at six.  I agree with all of the info above.  Our Jenny used a tester pump for about 2 weeks and it was helpful, but not crucial to the decision.  Jenny's BG levels and A1c were not in great control...the pump has made a big difference!   At nine she is now quite proficient with her pump and has even gone away to summer camp the last two years, being away for a week each time and loving it.  I think the pump definitely gives her more independence and has helped her learn her carb values quicker so she can enter them into her pump when she eats. It's true, the really neat thing for a child using a pump is that they can have special snacks (like school birthday party treats) like all the other kids.  It helps Jenny feel like she's no different. However, we are careful not to let her go overboard so that she does not develop weight issues.  She also has become very comfortable wearing her pump over her clothing...doesn't always, just could care less what the other kids think.  And because they have seen her with a pump since she was in first grade, they really aren't interested in it anymore!  :)

Good luck with your's such a personal one.  It took Jenny awhile to get used to the insertion process every 2-3 days.  It wasn't that it was just scared her.  But she got used to it fairly quickly and our Chidren's Hospital resources were a huge help. 



Thank you so much for your helpful input! I have tried to discuss this with Niklas - he is 4 and doesn't quite comprehend what the pump is all about. I like the idea of the dummy pump - actually he has to use one when we finish our first class about the pump. I think that may be the way to explain in better for him - once he actually uses it.

THank you so much for your input!!! I really appreciate it!

First things first, get him educated. Tell him all of the pros and cons. GO to a pump class with him. It is fine to try to persuade him to get it but ultimately you should let him decide. Most pump companies will let you trial a pump before you buy it. Do that. Have him try it first, and then let him decide. It is him that will have to wear it, not you, so it would not be fair to eliminate him from this big descision.

We put Emily on a pump a month before her third birthday and have never looked back. Sure site changes were dramatic at first....heck she's 12 and they still are depending on her mood but, we would not have it any other way.  Pumping does not solve all of our problems but definitely reduces them. Her highs are lower and her lows are higher and that's what's important. Its the glycemic excursions that end up doing the damage and I do feel that pumps are good tools to reduce these excursions. 

One of the issues we are faced with our little ones is real estate. Depending on his build, you are limited to certain areas. For Em, its been her butt for 9 years. We only use her Navigator once in a while since it too has to use the same two little cheeks :)  Rotation of sites is important; we even change every two days to help.

Get a copy of "Pumping Insulin" by John Walsh and read it....twice.  It will reinforce what you learn from your MD / CDE. You can get it at  John also has a good overview of the pumps available here:

Talk to each of the pump companies and decide what is best for you.  Some limit you on what sets to use, some do aware of this going in as it is generally a 4 year commitment.  

Good luck.




Hi everyone

I know this is a little late, but i just wanted to let you know about a helpful tool for anyone looking into getting a pump.

MiniMed/Medtronic will be hosting a free webinar (web-seminar/ teleconference) on wednesday December 11 designed for people who take multiple daily injections.  The session will cover options for treatment (ex. insulin pumps), and the latest therapies available including continuous glucose monitoring for better diabetes management.  The Webinar will be presented by Dr. Abelseth, and you will be able to listen to the presentation over the phone while following along online.

The webinar will be followed by a question and answer session with current pump users (myself included) who can answer any questions you have about pump therapy and what wearing an insulin pump is like.

There will be two sessions: 1. 6pm Eastern Time (5pm Central/ 3pm Pacific)     2. 5pm Pacific Time (7pm Central/ 8pm Easter)

in order to register for this event, please follow this link -->

i participated in this once before, and found it to be extremely interesting! If you have any questions feel free to contact me (  I was diagnosed with diabetes 10 years ago and have been on a pump for 8 years.  I am currently a freshman in college and I’m also a runner.