How Do You Know When Your Child Is Ready For a Pump?

I spoke with my Endo Nurse the other day about hopefully having Shyla put on a pump in April when she goes for her 6 month check up. From what i've read it would really help keep her regulated and make things much easier for her. Well to my surprise the nurse told me there was no way Shyla could be put on a put that soon and not to mention she is too young for a pump!! She is 6yrs old!! I've heard of children as young as 2 or 3yrs. old that are on pumps. I've also heard of people who after only a few month where put on pumps. Could anyone please share how long after being diagnosed they or their child was put on the pump or what age you (or your child) got your pump... I personally still feel she would be ready for the pump and i'm going to continue to push the issue with the Nurse and then possibly with her doctor as well.

Well she is by no means to young for a pump. Lot of people in here have kids WAY younger on the pump.


Me personally wont be comfortable putting Riley on a pump until she knows and can do most of her self care this way. Carb counting drawing up her insulin injecting herself ect. Our case manager said around 6-12 months because they want us to really know how to care for her this way jic of a pump malfunction or if she just hates it. Our primary doc said 3 months lol so it all depends on how comfortable we are and when Riley is ready.

our son is 5. he was diagnosed last year (feb) and we were given permission for the pump in october. if it wasn't for the cost we would have started him before christmas. I have spoken to many parents (online) with younger children then mine on the pump. they did say that a family has to be familiar with carb counting and able to pay attention to detail.

the only problem is that being in canada we have no 504 plans and no school nurses and no school staff will be allowed to touch the pump or even check to see if he is bolusing correctly. but we still want to put him on it. he likes the idea too. (us for the control and freedom from shots, him for the freedom to eat:)

i was diagnosed at age 3 that was 13 years ago. but i got my first pump when i was 8. my endo at the time said that if i felt like i could handle it, and that i didnt mind having it hooked to me all the time, then i was ready. she said that she always had parents pushing her to let their children be put on a pump, and she had to follow their requests. but she said that really in her eyes it should be the person whom is going to have to wear the pumps choice, because theyre the ones that have to have it connected to them all of the time, and live with it. so for me if i was in your situation, id look at how well shyla handles having diabetes and how involved in her own care she is. if she is more dependent on you, than able and wanting to do things more on her own{with youre help of course because she is young}, than i would think that she is ready. i would ask her how she feels about it, look up information on it, and get some from her endos office. me personally i was happy when i was the one asked how i felt about getting the pump. my mom and my brother went with me to my endos office when i got it, and they taught us how to use it. so really i would talk to your daughter and see how she feels about it, and go with your gut if you feel she can do this and she wants to there is no reason she cant. shes not to young in age, its up to you too dicide if shes too young in her ability to handle it. well i hope you find some use in this information.



I was interested in the feedback for this post too as we are "pushing" for a pump and have been since the day she was diagnosed.  We respect our doctor's opinion but have kept in the good communication about how involved we are in keeping her on target.  He is taking our assertiveness seriously now and has allowed us to put our 3yo on a CGM as a good transitioning tool.  So far, I feel like it is a good step for her to get used to the idea that she will have a medical device attached to her (the sensor) and she hasn't fought it yet.  I'm so proud of her.  He has said that we will be allowed to get on the pump within the year (his rule of thumb is one yr from diagnosis), so I'm hoping she gets it by summer '10.

Lots of good advice from other posters here! Here's my 2 cents:  I agree with the person who said that the individual who is going to have to wear the pump should be comfortable with the idea of being hooked up to a medical device 24/7.  And your daughter is definitely not too young for a pump - I've seen 3, 4, and 5 year olds with pumps.  Obviously, they aren't doing the majority of the work with their care, but they understand that the pump is not a toy and that they should have an adults help when using it.

My son just started this week on the Animas ping--and I really had my reservations that he would do well with it(He's 6 years old). But to my surprise

he's doing really great and he doesn't mind it at all--He prefers the set change over an injection--and he only gets those every 2 days--


Hey your daughter may surprise you--but its your decision not the nurses--you can do anything you set your mind to


Good Luck

You have to wait until they stop honeymooning--and that could take up to a year.


We waited a year and a half and now that my son is 6 we have him on a pump--but my son actually is a little on the babyish side--so I can totally

see a mature 3 year old on a pump--you buy a little fanny pack--and they dont even notice it--and the tubing really stays tucked in well--we have the

ping and I love that I can just give him his insulin without bugging him to stop what he's doing.



There is no minimum age for the pump - nurse sounds like she is just following what they have always done.  That happens. When we finally got our pump they had us using infusion shorts where you manually insert them. I asked her why we couldn't use the spring loaded infusions and she said "that is how they always have done it " and the procedures were set up before the spring loaded devices.

Now, back to the pump - take this up with your endo and not your endo nurse. She would not be making that decision anyway the doctor would be. My son is 14 but had been on MDI's for about 6 1/2 months. I went to the endo and mentioned the pump thinking it would be a real struggle - she said - if you and he think your ready do it - we have classes.  Eight months later he was pumping.

For someone 6 years old a unit like the ping is pretty good - would make the parents and childs life much easier but more important - more comfortable

At this point it is you who would be doing all the work, changing infusions etc.  (I still insist on doing that for my son - I know he could but it is something as a parent I need to do).

When it comes down to it the endo wants to have confidence that you are handling the MDI well and have a clear understanding of the disease. I flooded my endo with charts etc from software so she knew I was more than involved.  Bottom line -if you feel its right and your child feels its right then its time for you to apply pressure and show the endo you have it under control. From all the postings I have seen from you I certainly see that your involved deeply in the care.  

Ahh, the great "when-are-we-ready-for-the-pump" question.


I am fifteen, and I have had diabetes for 11 years. I just got my pump 2 years ago and I love it! I do believe it gives a person more freedom and a better sense of normalcy. My doctor also said for a long time that I was too young for the pump. As long as your daughter knows that playing with the buttons could end in a bad situation, I think she would be fine to get it. .Also, I know a few parents who want to wait until their child could do all the care by themselves.

If you believe your daughter has the maturity level or that you have the time and patience to help her achieve that level, I say go for it. Keep pushing, and I hope you can get her on it soon!

[quote user="Carolyn"]

You have to wait until they stop honeymooning--and that could take up to a year.


We waited a year and a half and now that my son is 6 we have him on a pump--but my son actually is a little on the babyish side--so I can totally

see a mature 3 year old on a pump--you buy a little fanny pack--and they dont even notice it--and the tubing really stays tucked in well--we have the

ping and I love that I can just give him his insulin without bugging him to stop what he's doing.





You do NOT need to wait until they stop honeymooning (Or at least our clinic does not require it.) In fact, our dr. said it can be easier to start in the honeymoon because insulin needs are more stable and then you are comfortable using the pump when the honeymoon ends, which is a transition itself. Also, he said that better BG control seems to help the honeymoon last longer (which is good.)

Our son was dx'd May 28, 2009 and started the pump (Ping) on Dec 17, 2009. We could have gotten him started 1-2 mos sooner, had we really pushed it. Our dr. gave us the green light at our 3 mo check-up because my son had so many lows and we could not really dose any lower with syringes without having to switch to diluted insulin. Our doctor also mentioned the pump to us when we were in the hospital and said they only want people to wait 3 mos just so you know how to do shots because that is the back-up to the pump.

At our clinic there were several classes you have to take before they will start the pump. You do not need 'permission' from the dr. to take them, if your clinic offers anything similar, I would just take the classes since you can get educated about it.