Omnipod and Young Children

Hi, I’m new here. I stumbled on this site while trying to find info on the Omnipod. I have a petite 5-year-old daughter who was diagnosed with Type I on July 12, 2007. Our goal is to get her on the pump ASAP. We’re considering the Omnipod and the Medtronic Minimed. I’m favoring the Omnipod because of the tubeless pumping, but am unsure about how her little body will be able to handle its size. I wore a “dummy” pod for three days and thought it was pretty comfortable overall except for some minor tugging from the adhesive. Anyone have any experience with the Omnipod and young children? Any feedback you can give me would be great!

Here is a thread at Children with Diabetes on toddlers using the OmniPod. They should be able to give you some help as well.

Our 9yo boy is using it with great success. There are issues trying to keep it attached to the skinny runt,as the pod does have more mass than an infusion set. Our kid likes to wear it on his arm and developed a tube sock arm band to wear over the pod. It makes him look like a warrior! He is into history and re-enacting so that played into his interests.

With no tubes to get tangled and pulled, it is an even trade off. Not having to sleep with tubing and have a pump on your body all the time is the big payoff.

Go OmniPod, it’s a big jump in technology that you should take advantage of.

My daughter is older (age 11) but she is quite slim & petite with little to no body fat! She still wears the pod on her thigh, arm, and upper butt cheek without problems. She can also wear it on her tummy but doesn’t like it there as much. The good thing is that the omnipod inserts the canula at an angle which is great for kiddos with little body fat. Some others (aduts with more body fat as an example) might not like this feature since it’s unchangeable as of now, but for us it is fantastic! Hope this helps. We LOVE our omnipod & couldn’t imagine using anything else. EVERY SINGLE thing you will read about has SOME drawbacks… bue them’s the breaks, kid! Overall, we would recommend the Omnipod whole-heartedly.

Hi Jonna,

I was one of the first OP users on the West Coast and have interviewed numerous families whose kids use it. Quite the life-changer. I – and the people I’ve interviewed – would never go back to injections given the choice.

More on my own experience here:

All the best,

Hi Amy,

Thanks for your comment. I have actually been to your website before! I found it when searching the net. We have ordered the Omnipod and are hoping to get insurance approval with the next week or so and then have Devyn started on it by the end of Jan. or early Feb. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it works well for us, too!

Hi Jonna -

We just started our 2 year old on the OmniPod this week. So far, it’s been pretty great. He obviously is smaller than your child and it does seem rather large on him but he’s growing so that will change eventually. I would give it a go if I were you.

Take care,
mom to Carter, 6 years, William, 2 years, dx April 2007

Hey Susan,

Thanks for your feedback. Please keep me updated with your experiences. We were actually approved by our insurance company for the Omnipod on January 9, only to find out that they approved us OUT OF NETWORK, UGHH!!! I sent an appeal letter out to the company this past week because three different representatives told me Insulet was an In-Network provider before we decided on this pump. Keep your fingers crossed for us, because without in-network approval, I don’t think we can afford the Omnipod. So, our pump start will probably be delayed a couple of months.

I hope your son does well on it.


Hi Jonna -

That is such a drag!! Let’s hope they were wrong! Check your out-of-network co-pay max - if it’s small enough, you might be ok. Ours in actually in-network (we have Aetna PPO) but before that we had Blue Shield and had to write about 3 different letters before it got approved (only to have my hubby switch jobs and therefore insurance…go figure…it worked out that Aetna needed no pre-approvals so we got it right away).

Our only issue so far with the Pod is that instead of changing it every 3 days, like they suggest, we’re more like every 2.5 days. Not too big a deal but it’s something to think about if you have to pay anything out of pocket.

This week has gone surprisingly well. Once you program the PDA with all your correct presets, it works really well. The times I thought it was wrong and overrode the system, it turned out the PDA was right and I was wrong!! That’s refreshing!! I hope it works out for you. So far, we’re pretty impressed with it.

Take care,

Hi Jonna -

Just wanted to drop you a line. Yesterday we celebrated our 1 month anniversary with Will on the OmniPod. I have to say, it’s changed our life dramatically. Pod changes in the beginning were pretty horrible but now they are getting better. Went from it taking 30 minutes down to around 5 minutes (much, much, better). It also helps when we put the used pod on a stuffed animal. Dealing with this disease with a two year old really sucks but I wish that we had been put on a pump at diagnosis. It really would have made our life soooooo much easier.

Have you decided to go for it?


Hey Susan,

Thanks for your update. I’m glad that things are going well for you on the Omnipod. Unfortunately, my insurance has refused to cover the Omnipod for Devyn. I appealed their decision based on the fact that three different reps on three different occasions told me that it would be covered in-network, but they denied my appeal. We are in the process of applying for the Medtronic Minimed and hope to get her on it by mid-March. We’ll see how it goes. It’s a very frustrating process. She’s completely opposed to going on any kind of pump — I think it 's fear of the unknown, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that temper tantrums will be kept down to a minimum. Good luck with Will. I think the fact that he’s so young may be a blessing in disguise for you. Before long, it will become routine for him. Keep me posted on your progress – maybe someday we’ll have the opportunity to use the Pod, too!

Jonna -
Sorry to hear about the insurance issues. We live in Indiana and have Anthem insurance. The interesting thing is, when I call Anthem, they say Insulet is out of network. Insulet however has informed us we are in network. I’m not sure the final status as we have not received our first bill from insulet. I know the pod is not common in Indiana so I’m sure there will be issues with the insurance. I spoke with Insulet over the weekend and should be receiving my first bill shortly. I’ll keep you posted but you may want to verify with Insulet. Confusing isn’t it?


Good luck with the Pod. Insulet is the one that first told us they were out-of-network for our insurance! I was getting misinformation from my own insurance company. Go figure. We’ve now officially ordered the Minimed and hope to be starting on it in the next couple of weeks. Each pump seems to have their own set of pros and cons. I was told by the Medtronic nurse that visited our house that Medtronic is working on their own wireless pump and hope to have it out in the next year or so.


Hi Jonna -

Just saw your post, sorry to hear about the OmniPod not being covered by insurance. It’s such a bummer!! Glad to hear you are moving ahead with the Minimed, it seems like a great pump. I would be interested to hear how you like it once you are up and running.

I do think that all these pumps do have their pros and cons. I think that any pump would be better than injections for children for the simple reason that you can’t dial down the dose small enough in a syringe.

Pumping has certainly changed our lives and Will’s. He’s so much happier that he can eat whatever he likes, whenever he likes. We’re finally going to playgroups and being “normal” again. It will be a year in April since his diagnosis and I really wish we would have left the hospital on a pump. I think it would have made this whole disease a whole lot easier.

Good luck and hang in there!

mom to Carter, age 6 and William, age 2, dx April 2007

Hi Jonna. I hope you’ve made sure you completely understand what your insurance company means by “not covered.” We thought the Omnipod wasn’t an option with our insurance (Anthem Blue Cross), and had actually received the Minimed before I figured out that the Omnipod would have been covered – although at a higher cost to us. (I don’t think I’m stupid, either. I have two masters degrees. I just think that health insurance is – intentionally? – complicated.) Instead of just paying a co-pay like we would have with the Minimed, we had to first meet an out-of-pocket amount ($1000?), and now the pods are covered 80/20. The insulin is the same as it was with shots – just a co-pay. The test strips cost us twice as much as our old ones because they are not “formulary,” but I figure it’s worth it if it makes having this lousy disease even a little less awful for my kid. He was really put off (for two years) by all the tubing involved with a “traditional” pump. Plus he saw kids at camp have to remove theirs to swim and then watch their BG go up when they stayed in the pool too long. Medtronic was really good about us returning the Minimed, and Blue Cross even processed the order for the Omnipod before I’d received a refund from Minimed. I’ve heard of other people who sent the Minimed back after actually using it in order to switch to the Omnipod, and that wasn’t a problem either. My son has been on the Omnipod (and loving it) since Thanksgiving. One day he even told me, “It’s almost like not having diabetes.” Good luck navigating the insurance maze. Sometimes it feels like a full-time job.

My insurance would cover it “out of network” which means that after meeting our high deductible, we would only be covered at 60/40 (rather than 80/20 if it was in-network). It doubled the operating expenses of the Omnipod for us, and at $34 a pop for the pods, it would be cost prohibitive. Thanks for your input and I agree I can’t stand dealing with the billing issues and insurance red tape!

Hi Jonna -

Have you started your Minimed yet? Just wondering how you are doing?

mom to Carter, aged 6, and William, aged 2, dx April 2007

Nope, not yet. I guess the papers were signed by our endo last Friday (she’s been dragging her feet), but we’re still waiting. This process seems endless. I have a call into Medtronic to see if it’s been shipped, but haven’t heard back from my rep yet. I’ll keep you posted.

We are also looking into the Omnipod for my 2 year old son, Isaac. We’ve just been told we are out-of-network, but are still trying to work with Insulet so that they could use our Insurance Company’s Durable Medical Provider, which would make them in-network. I’m new to this group, and not all that savvy in posting/ how to use these things. Never had a need for it before Type 1! Isaac turned 2 in Jan… he was diagnosed Aug 29, 2007. Medtronic is also our “second choice” if Omnipod does not work out. Both seem like they would have pros and cons, but the idea of just having a pod connected to his little body vs an entire pump is very appealing.
Susan, are you happy with the Omnipod for Will? Are you finding enough sites for him?
Naomi (age 5) and Isaac’s (age 2 - dx 8/07) mom

Hi Tracy -

Sorry to hear about Isaac’s diagnosis. Will was diagnosed when he was 15 months old and we are approaching our year anniversary in April (nothing to celebrate, I’m looking at it more as a survival milestone!!)

We love our OmniPod. It’s really allowed Will the freedom of being a little kid again. Being able to eat whatever he wants, whenever he wants has been fantastic but I’m sure I would feel that way with any pump he had.

Regarding sites, I alternate on either side of his bottom, the top part that hits just above his diaper. I rotate the sides and also where the needle goes, either pointing outward or inward, this gives us 4 sites to rotate around. His tummy still isn’t fat enough to put the pod on it. I’m assuming this will change as he gets a little older.

We only had a few problems with the OmniPod. Most significant, was trying to take it off but we have since remedied that with putting him in the bath and using an adhesive remover to take it off. I’m going to try the De-solve It that another mom suggested instead of the expensive remover I got from my endo.

Who is your insurance provider? We originally had Blue Shield of CA and after three different letters to them, they finally agreed to cover it. Then my hubby switched jobs and our new insurance is Aetna PPO and they cover it entirely. We’re very lucky that way. It does take the stress out of the situation.

We also looked at the Medtronic MiniMed and I think it’s a great pump as well.

Compared to shots, the pump rocks!

Good luck!

mom to Carter, age 6, and William, age 2, dx 4/07