7 month daughter with T1D

My 7 month old daughter was diagnosed with diabetes type 1, 4 days ago. We’re still at the hospital, she was diagnosed after having a ketoacidosis episode. She is recovering and doing great. But as a parent I’m concerned and don’t know how to handle what is coming. Any advice is helpful. How should we change our life style? How should I handle introducing foods to my baby now? Are there any tricks to make the insulin shots hurt less? Do you know of any treatments that babies this old can get?

@BelenSamaniego hi Belen,

first thing is breathe, we’ve all had to learn the new language, learn to count carbohydrates, learn how to use insulin and blood sugar meters, and if we can do it then so can you.

You’ll need a good diabetes educator, they will be the most help the first year.

shots are always going to be a pain - you could use ice but then you’ll be training your daughter to have anxiety over the ice, my best advice is to go fast and don’t make a big deal of it. with the “fast” insulin you will likely only give insulin after watching how many carbs your daughter has eaten rather than give the shot first and risk her puking or not eating.

the only treatment you need to learn in insulin therapy. there are different tools for this such as syringes, insulin “pens” and insulin “pumps”. you daughter can use any of them.

your feedback is blood sugar, the way you tell blood sugar is a finger prick and blood glucose meter. there is a thing called CGM (continuous blood glucose meter) which can monitor blood sugar levels continuously - please be aware that there are benefits and risks with any of these systems.

Please consider reading the book “Think Like a Pancreas”.

your main doctor will be an endocrinologist, they specialize in endocrine issues such as diabetes.

At the top of this page there is a “Resource” tab, or just click here

the JDRF may have a local chapter near where you live. You can find the JDRF local chapters by going here http://www.jdrf.org/ and clicking JDRF Near You at the top

please let us know how you are doing.

Hi Belen @BelenSamaniego,
I can understand your anxiety and as @joe has said, just breath and [try to] accept where you and your family are at this point. I second all that Joe wrote / suggested and I’ll add just a little more.

About the “pain” of injections your daughter may feel - or not feel, at her age just give whatever shots she needs without making a “big” fuss and she will grow accustomed to it being a part of life - she won’t remember life before diabetes.
You also ask about changing your lifestyle. Does your daughter have siblings? From my experience, if you are an active, healthy “normal” family I say don’t change routine much other than adding BG Checking and insulin therapy for your daughter - do not try to change everything your family does. “Learn diabetes” as a family and try not to make it apparent to your daughter that she is different and needs to be babied all her life; growing up with diabetes I don’t think I was made special amongst my six siblings - although recently a couple of my sisters have told me how they helped me cope 60 years ago.

Good luck to you and your daughter and stay in touch and just ask for suggestions whenever you wish. Check the “Events TAB” at the top of this page and see if there is a TypeOneNation Summit near you - there you will meet many families living with diabetes who could offer you suggestions for life.

I understand the whirlwind and my heart goes out to you with such a little one. Our six year old granddaughter was diagnosed three weeks ago. She went to the hospital on Sunday, home on Wednesday, and to school on Thursday. The biggest worry was the rollercoaster of BGs and learning to ‘sense’ when something’s not quite right. She’s had highs and a lows. After the first week, they started using a Dexcom. It’s been extremely valuable for her parents to track her BGs 24/7 and especially helpful while she’s at school so they can alert staff to dropping numbers. We also developed a google spreadsheet which has been a terrific tool to track BGs, carbs, insulin and anecdotal comments at home and school. It’s accessible by computer and smartphone by multiple people st the same time.
I’m also a T1D, so have been a good support and advocate. The medical team will be your go-to people, but it’s also helpful to connect with others dealing with children with T1D.
My prayers are with you as you tread these new ‘waters’.

Hi Belen, hang in there! My two year old was diagnosed at 11 months. Those first two weeks are something you just have to get through, and lean heavily on your endocrinology team. The best tools we had were The Dexcom CGM and finally a pump two months post diagnosis. If you are on facebook I highly recommend the Diapers and Diabetes group, a page for parents of babies and toddlers with T1D. There are others out there with so much amazing advice to share. Prayers to you and your little one.

Thank you so much. Which pump were you able to use on your 2 year old? We live in Ecuador and they told us that there is not a pump that we can use because of her age. But we’re are looking for options in other countries to take our daughter if necessary. Thank you for the advice on te Facebook group! I’m wondering how you handled introducing solids to your baby? That’s something that concerns me, since is hard to count carbohydrates in the amount of food that my baby eats.

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I’ll be looking at the dexcom to see if there’s an option for my baby.

Thank you, she is an only child. I’m concerned about my job, since I’m still not sure about all the cares that my daughter will need. I appreciate all your advice, specially the one in which we had to learn diabetes as a family. We’ll do our best to do this.

Thank you so much for your answer. I also believe we’ll be able to learn everything about diabetes. I’ll be reading the book you suggested. Yesterday was our first day and night out of the hospital. We did fine, hopefully it keeps going this way.

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the pumps available to you may be limited by insurance (public or private), by policy, or location. There is no minimum age. infants and toddlers can benefit because they go through periods of being very insulin s"sensitive" meaning they may only require tiny bits of insulin. If you cannot get a pump it’s OK - shots will work too.

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Hi Belen @BelenSamaniego,
Best wishes to you now that you are home from hospital - I think you will do well even though you may “stumble” occasionally. You will never fully control diabetes but you can to manage it well; even after 60 years I make mistakes such as underestimating my activities causing my BG to drop and at other times counting carbs completely wrong. with time, you will learn how to get her BG back where you want it to be.

At present, the only insulin “approved” for use by anyone under age 14 is the OmniPod, and I know of children one year old using them - well their parents managing them. although not tested and approved for children, I’ve heard of some very young kids who have success with the Medtronic pumps - the size of the Medtronic and the tubing may be a negative aspect in child use.

Hey Belen, sorry for the delay. My son is on the Medtronic 630G pump and it has been great for us. We can give him very small doses of insulin for his carbs through the pump instead of dealing with the struggles of 1/2 unit syringes. He also likes to snack all morning, and it’s easy to simply enter the carbs for his snacks rather than give a shot. Introducing solids was fairly easy for us since baby food jars, pouches and cereals all have carb counts here in the U.S. We tended to stick with packaged products in the beginning (not as healthy but easy carb counts) until we got the hang of dosing for fruits and veggies and other foods. If you have a food scale that can help.