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Parenting with Diabetes: 8 Tips for Managing Kids and Blood Sugar at the Same Time

Being a parent is difficult enough without having to calculate carbs and check your blood glucose every ten minutes (or at least that’s how often it feels like you’re doing it). So how to people do it? Luckily, if this question has been on your mind, you’re not alone.

Reddit user and soon-to-be parent mancake asks, “How do you guys handle highs and lows when you’re responsible for childcare, or when you’re sleep deprived? How do you baby-proof your supplies? When and how do you explain what your situation is? Any challenges you didn’t expect?”

And again, Redditors have come to the rescue with heaps of good advice and a compassionate pat on the back for this dad-to-be and others like him. So gear up, parents with diabetes. There’s a lot of work to do, but we know you’re more than capable. Try these tips to make life with diabetes and kiddos just a tad bit easier.

NOTE: Some comments have been edited for length, grammar, or profanity.

1. Find a good hiding spot for supplies

“Keep ALL of your supplies sans your insulin on a top shelf. Keep everything in cases on that shelf. Insulin for me only goes kept away in the butter keeper in the fridge.” —Reddit user break_me_down

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2. Answer your kids’ questions

“Kids are curious and ask a lot of questions. Answer them honestly but simply. Mine know about daddy’s pump and not to press the buttons. They know that if I say ‘hang on a second, girls, daddy has low blood sugar’ they will stop climbing all over me and let me go. They know that daddy needs medicine or he’ll get very sick.” —Reddit user badgerpapa

Mother and little girl  having  time together

3. Test more often

“I have a 2-year-old. The way I handle it is to just test a lot. I keep very tight control over my diabetes so it’s a little easier for me than if I was uncontrolled (obviously). I can’t stress enough how important testing is, especially when you have a child in your arms.” —Reddit user Iunderstandthatsir

Bottle of Indicator Strips For Blood Glucose Testing

4. Fix problems before they happen

“When it comes to handling lows, keep glucose tabs on you. Put them in a ziplock 3 servings at a time and keep it in your pocket. Watch that CGM and keep your alarms set for a lower threshold so it can warn you when you’re GOING high or low, not just when you ARE.” —Reddit user break_me_down

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Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?