Animas Ping vs. Omnipod for 3 year old

My son is 3 years old and we are ready to start pumping! We have it narrowed down to the Omnipod or Animas. Last week we tested the omnipod (with saline) and we really liked not having to mess with tubes and it didn't seem to bother him much (wearing it). Now today we're testing the Animas. It is so much harder for us to deal with these tubes! Going potty, taking a bath, going to has all been a struggle. I'd pick the omnipod but I hear mixed reviews about it's effectiveness and some people have defected pods on a regular basis.

Please give me your honest thoughts!

We chose the Omnipod for our daughter, who started using it at 4 (dxd @ 23 months). We LOVE the tubelessness of the pod and the fact that it is discreet and requires no pump packs or belts, and she can swim and bathe with it. We have only had a few defective pods in a year and a half of using it. Some hiccups will occur, no matter which pump you choose. Go with your gut feeling about what is right for your son. Best of luck to you!

Thank you Tonya!

My pleasure! Keep me posted. :)

We also had it down to the Omnipod and the Animas, and decided to try them both and let my son decide. He hated the Animas from the moment it was on, and the filling and priming was so much more complicated. He also plays multiple sports and we LOVE not having to disconnect or worry about damaging the pod - if it would get ripped off or damaged (we put tape over it so that may have happened a couple times in a couple of years) we can put a new one on when he's done. He loves the freedom of the pod - he carries all his supplies in a bag including the PDM - he would have to have the supplies anyway so I don't think that's really much different.

Downsides: We have lost the PDM once because another kid accidentally took my son's backpack home. That's a frustration that wouldn't happen with the Animas - at home his stuff is always in exactly the same place so we don't lose it. Yes, you will have occlusions (which happens with any pump) and malfunctioning pods. We went through a bunch last winter that failed and beeped. Yes it drove me crazy, but it wasn't enough to sway my son to a tube, or shots. Also - for a 3 year old, the smallest delivery amount is larger with a pod than the animas.

Upsides: NO TUBE. He can swim with it on for hours, play sports, etc. It is easy to wear on his arms which he loves. I can download info while he's asleep because the PDM doesn't have to be attached. It's easier to wear in a lot of different places since you don't have to figure out where the tube and pump will be attached. Not having to have a pump attached - my son also wears the Dexcom, and he has the receiver in a spibelt around his waist - he would hate to have to figure out where to put the pump as well.

Lastly - the "insulin on board" calculation for boluses is different with the two pumps. The animas subtracts all insulin on board when you give another bolus, while the omnipod only subtracts the insulin that was a correction - not the insulin given for the food.

My daughter is 7, almost 8. I debated between the same two pumps and 8 months ago we started pumping with the Animas Ping. We love it. Not once has the tubing been an issue. I'd say it took a couple days to a week for her to get used to the tubes but it's really not a big deal - not once has she complained about them. I remember after the first day or so I thought, darn it I think those tubes are going to be an issue and I wondered if we should have gone with the Omnipod, that went away quickly! I love that we can disconnect the pump. My daughter spent last summer swimming for hours some days and sometimes we completely disconnected the pump and others she wore it in the pool (Animas Pump is waterproof). With the Ping we do not have to use the remote to test and bolus, I do 99% of the time but there have been times where she has manually bolused for her food via the pump directly which was nice (at diabetes camp). My daughter is in the tub right now and because she is sick she has the pump on and next to her in the water (not a big deal), normally disconnects for the shower or bath. I don't know too much about the Omnipod details anymore but I like being able to see the total IOB on board so I can adjust the amount of insulin I'm going to give based on the upcoming activity (sleep vs sports). One thing you might consider is the training available and accessibility to someone who knows all about each of the pumps in your area for the long term. We had FANTASTIC training and continue to have access to an Animas nurse that if I need anything she is just a call away (like our endo). Actually Animas even took us out to lunch and showed me how to take my daughter through Sweet Tomatoes and let her eat whatever she wanted and bolus her appropriately. Maybe that sounds silly but after months of strict carb portions for snacks/meals and dealing with NPH rather than humalog at each meal/snack was a bit overwhelming at the time. Like someone mentioned below they both have wonderful things about them and no pump will be flawless 100% of the time. Pumps are smart but we are smarter! :) Good luck and go with your gut on what would be best for you and your family!

Just saw this on facebook. My disclaimer: This is not intended as a knock against Animas. We've never used one of their pumps. But, considering your question & this convo, I thought I'd pass it along.

IMHO for a 3 year old we would go with the omnipod. I have one daughter on the pod, and one on animas. For each girl it was the right decision, but for younger users i think that the omnipod is more user friendly. I like that you cant disconnect, and it is a more "passive system", that makes bolusing less complicated. the only downside is how bulky the pod is, but if you have tried it and it doesn't bother him, then it may not be an issue. Pump selection is a very individualized decsision.... what is right for some may not be for others.
We have had a few defective pods, but omnipod has been great about replacing them, and on the flipside, we have also had bad insertions with the ping that had to be changed early. Both had very strong features, and not so strong. I am sure that either one will make your life much easier!

that is us also :)

Hi - my daughter is 8 and has been on the Omnipod for a year. We love it as there is nothing confining her and we don't have to unhook to swim and such. Her doctor really pushed the Animas but it was never a consideration for us due to the tubing.
Best of LucK

Thanks Rhonda. Our Endo is pushing the Animas too. That is really the only reason we haven't made a decision yet.

Do you have any problems with the cannulas kinking and not getting the insulin?

The only time we have had an issue with the cannula, the Omnipod has alarmed immediately and we've almost never seen a rise in blood sugar from it. (I say almost because once it happened at school and I had forgot to replenish the extra pod supply and so he had to wait for me to get there to change the pod. That day he went high.)

hello, my son is 13 and has been on the omnipod for 1 year we have had probaby 2-3 true occlusions and also some high bs's after pod changes ( we didnt have this in the very beginning, it may be due to absorption issues and not rotating sites enough) it was the only pump my son would consider i would think a tubed pump would be pretty tricky for a three year old, all told we are overall happy with the omnipod but there are new levels of concern and more complexity of treatment to be honest but the ability to bolus quick for a snack, extend some of the bolus for fatty foods or decrease the basal d/t higher activity is really nice, plus the no shots is the obvious benefit..good luck and if you start podding there is lots of good advise here! best wishes amy

We just made this decision for our 3yr old daughter. In fact we go in today to get started with the pump. We chose the Animas Ping. Her father and I were pushing for the Omnipod but after trying both out it was clear for us - she wanted the Ping. In addition the smaller units of insulin that the Ping offers is suppose to make adjustments much easier. She is so little so being able to tweek the insulin in smaller units is important. The biggest reason though was that removing the pod even with adhesive remover made her cry & left a mark that lasted for a few days. She HATED it. Plus she hated how bulky it was. She typically sleeps through the night, but with the Omnipod on she woke us up numerous times b/c she was uncomfortable. it was too big for her body. I thought when we went to do the Ping afterwards she would hate the tubing, & hate it too but it never bothered her. Obviously I can only speak about what she liked. I would go with whatever your son tolerated the best. Good Luck!

I also wanted to add, that your endo might not have as much experience with omnipod and they feel more comfortable with what they know, our omnipod clinical specialist that came to the house was awesome, if you do go with omnipod, stay connected with your rep, the omnipod support is good with their product and are eager to help and easy to get on the phone when you need assistance but they are not medically trained. ultimately you have to go with what you are comfortable with and what your little guys tolerates better good luck with what ever you decide! amy

OmniPod - Here's 46 reason why -

I completely agree with letting the kid decide. I don't believe there is a "best" pump, and we had the opposite experience. My son's reaction to the Animas was against the tubing (although I have heard most people adjust to that) but it was really more about the painful insertion of the first one he tried. It could have been a fluke but there was no selling him on it after that. I have no idea why the first painful removal of a pod didn't cause the same reaction - but now he's used to it, just like others get used to the tubing I guess. Either way - he's happy, just like your daughter is happy with the Ping, and that's all I really wanted with a pump anyway.