Toddlers And Babies On Insulin Pumps

° Seeing is believing the best way to introduce small children to the pump is to do a pump trial. This is usually done with saline and most pump companies are happy to assist you. I have found that wearing the pump myself (yes even doing the infusion set) gave me a good sense of what my daughter would be experiencing. I started to wear the pump a week before Nikki Tyler, at the age of 3 was scheduled to try it she was very curious at what I was wearing and wanted a pump like mommy. This made putting the pump on her a lot easier because she wanted one like mommy.

° Treat the pumping experience in the most positive of ways:

° I had a goody basket made up with all kinds of fun little items (cost was like 2.00 apiece) I wrapped each one up and had a basket filled. This was the site changing basket Nikki Tyler got to pick out a goody every time we changed her site. This made the actually changing of her site something that she would look forward to instead of dreading. When she actually started to tell me it was time to change her site (she wanted the goody) I knew that we were doing fine.

° One mom I knew even through a “Pumping party" for her daughter. A couple of days after going on the pump the mom invited over family and friends to help celebrate her daughters new adventure. Family and friends all gave her little gifts and items to help her wear her pump. This was a great way for family and friends to also learn more about the pumping experience and share in the adventure.

° The most important part of pumping is to have a sense of humor(you never know when the pump alarm will go off). Right after going on the pump my husband and I went to visit a sick aunt of mine in a nursing home. Immediately upon entering the building Nikki's alarm on the pump went off, being new pumpers we had no clue what was wrong. Nikki was sound asleep in my husband's arms while I was on the pay phone in the lobby of the nursing home holding the insulin pump connected to Nikki. Talking with the pump company and trying to stop the alarm! What a site we must have been.

° A sense of humor will assist you in so many ways! So keep smiling!

° On toddlers we have found that attaching the infusion site to the upper part of the butt has worked the best. Nikki is very thin and the butt seems to have the most fat on it, this gave us two sites to alternate to (cheek to cheek) and it also worked well on her butt because she would wear t-shirts with the pocket on the back allowing us to keep the pump out of her little hands. Having the site on the butt also kept the tubing out of the way when potty training.

° I have also found that wearing the site on the thigh is a good option. Nikki has a little more fat here, although she still prefers the butt. She is now 6 years old and has an opinion.

° We also use a piece of tape that we put down before we actually insert the infusion site. This piece of tape actually helps keep the site logged. Before we started to use the tape we found that the infusion sites would come lose rather easy especially with the kind of ruff play and activities that Nikki would do. The tape is usually a lot bigger than what we actually need so I cut it in 4 squares. This makes it just enough to cover where the site will be injected and makes it very easy to remove for each site change, because we don't have to pull off a big piece of tape.

° Many people have found that soaking in the tub before each site change will loosen the tape so that it comes off without hurting.

° Normally when changing Nikki's site we don't really go through any ritual such as soaking in the tube etc. We simply change the site. The reason for this is that I never know when or where I will have to change her site and I didn't want her dependant on having to soak the site before removing. I also found that by cutting the tape in 4 squares the removal of the old site comes down to feeling like the removal of a band aide. Nikki today removes her own sites for me and we can change her site in under a minute which comes in handy for emergencies. When it comes to site changes do what you feel comfortable with and what your child feels comfortable with.

° A cream called Marigold Calendula Cream from Canadian Natural Foods Health Food Store and it is terrific for preventing that red bump left behind by the infusion set.  Our preschooler sure appreciates this!

° With summer months and swimming keeping a site on for 3 days can be tricky. One tip that came in suggest  to use Skin Bond made by Smith+Nephew which is like rubber cement for skin.  It does make taking old sites off harder, but it does the trick for being able to swim, shower, etc. without them falling out for at least 2 days!

° We have also found that Mastisol a liquid adhesive also works great.  You do need to use a detachol to remove the site.  We got this right from our pump rep.

Toddlers will adapt to insulin pump changes and diabetes testing quickly.  We try to make wearing an insulin pump or doing insulin shots a positive experience.  Be sure to view our library of diabetes tips under "Diabetes Tidbits" .