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10 Items a Newly Diagnosed Mom of a Type 1 Must Carry

If I had to guess, I’d say you are here because your a newly diagnosed Mom of a Type 1 and you’ve just gotten home from the hospital after your child’s Type 1 diagnosis.  I am sure you are feeling quite overwhelmed and are probably still in shock.  

Get organized and confident to leave the house with these 10 items a newly diagnosed Mom of a Type 1 must carry.   

You will soon find that the ways in which you used to do things before diagnosis, will have to change.  You will find it hard to just up and leave the house to run to the store.  Going out to dinner will bring some stressful feelings, and meal times will certainly pose a big challenge. But, You CAN do this!  

I am here to tell you… YOU CAN DO THIS! 

These 10 Items a Newly Diagnosed Mom of a Type 1 Must Carry will go a long way in being prepared and will lessen the burden and unrest you will feel.  There are a few KEY things that will make leaving the house (whether spontaneous or not) easier, and, today I want to share what you should carry to feel confident in managing your child’s diabetes while on the go.

So.  I want you to take a deep breath.  Slowly let it out, and read on.  

From today on, you will now be referred to as the “Bag Lady.”  You will come to love and accept this term of endearment… trust me on that! You know that game of “what’s the weirdest thing in your purse?”  Yes.  That is you! 

Mom's Supply Bag.

This bag within a bag will be your savior for the first couple of months.  It will give you the confidence to go out to eat, or run to the store.  As you become comfortable with managing your child’s diabetes, you can do away with some items in this bag.  

This list is going to sound a little crazy, and off the wall…. but I found it SUPER HELPFUL when I was a newly diagnosed Mom of a Type 1 to create a bag of odds and ends that would help me feel less stressed when trying to calculate carbs at a restaurant.  

Chances are you weren’t a pro at counting carbs or portion control in your previous life, nor eyeballing how much ketchup is on that burger.  And, when your child says “I’m hungry,” you now have to think about what their blood sugar is and what you have on hand to give them.  

10 Items for Your Supply Bag

Tablespoon & Teaspoon 

Medicine Syringe

Container for Lancets

Makeup bag to put supplies in

Rectangle Storage Container for Needles

4 Tablespoon Measuring Cup

Water Enhancer (Squirt Juice)

Individual Wrapped Beef Sticks


Lower Carb Snack Bars 

  1. Tablespoon & Teaspoon.  Great for measuring out Ketchup or BBQ sauce.  Order the burger plain and measure your sauces. There is A LOT of SUGAR in Ketchup!!  And 1 to 2 Tablespoons could mess some numbers up real quick.
  2. Medicine Syringe.  This came in handy MANY nights when my son ran low and I could not wake him to drink juice or Fairlife Chocolate milk.  I ended up using REAL Maple Syrup (I mean, we do live in Vermont!).  The medicine syringe made it easy to get in his mouth just enough for him to taste it and swallow.  I have also, sheepishly admitting this, used these with chocolate milk in the middle of the night – having to fill it a few times, but it works!  These technically don’t need to get carried around with you
  3. Container for Lancets.  I ended up finding, using, and loving (and still using to this day), these OXO containers.  They are the perfect size and the lid screws on.  They come 3 in a pack, and are great for bringing nut butter on the go also!  I say nut butter because my lil guy is allergic to peanuts, so we opt for sunbutter, but works for any kind of nut butter.  And that is great for sustaining BG.  
  4. Makeup Bag for Supplies.  You don’t need it to be huge, but they offer a variety of sizes and cute prints. 
  5. Storage Container for Syringes (needles).  These 4×6 Photo Storage Boxes work REALLY well.  They are thin and do not take up a lot of space, and they have a clasp to keep shut.  Label them “NEEDLES” or “SHARP”   They make traveling with needles easy.  My suggestion is to have two of them with you; one for the needles and one for needle disposal (used ones).  Nothing worse than being out and not having a place to put used syringes.  
  6. Traveling with insulin is always tricky.  Especially if you live in warm climate. Nevertheless, you’ll need to carry it around with you, so you best protect it while doing so.  Depending on your insurance, insulin can be ridiculously expensive.  A smashed vial is sure to ruin your day… or week!  Protect the vials with a silicone jacket.  While you may not be carrying the long-acting insulin around, dropping it on the tile floor at home can also result in a smash.  This pack of Vial Protectors comes with two protectors, one for a small vial and one for a larger vial.  They are clear in color, so not fancy, but for the price – one of each is perfect.  
  7. Squirt Juice.  Honestly, I really didn’t know what this stuff was called.  I had to Google it.  Ahhh..yes.  Water Enhancer.  Think Mio or Crystal Light.  The zero calorie, zero carb water flavoring.  Your kiddo is going to get sick of just water…makes going out to eat easier.  Just order a water and add a couple of squirts. 
  8. Individual Wrapped Beef Sticks.  These are individually wrapped and no refrigeration required.  The brand we love the best is Vermont Smoke & Cure.  They also make Individually wrapped Pepperoni ones.  The size is perfect for kids and when your Type 1 is hungry, but needs a no carb snack…these do the trick!  We find ours at Costco in bigger quantity and its worth it!!
  9. Candy and Juice boxes.  This goes without saying, but we like to opt for smarties, jelly beans, Swedish Fish, or Sour Patch Kids.  You can find them individually wrapped, so they don’t go stale or get hard.  You can eat 1 or 2 and give the rest to treat a low.  Make sure to double check the carb count on the juice boxes you choose.  Some of them may be more carbs than you need.  Honest Brand makes a great one, 7-9g carbs in the whole organic juice box.  
  10. Lower Carb Snack Bars.  In the beginning my son loved chocolate chip granola bars. Not really LOW carb, but the digestion is slower and helps sustain BG after a low. Once you’ve treated a low (with candy or juice), a granola bar is great for sustaining the energy.  Granola is slow digesting so it will take a bit to digest and help keep steady blood glucose.  Just keep an eye on the carb count of these too.  Fiber One makes a great lower carb one.

Now you just need to throw in that bag, Glucagon, some insulin, and a glucometer… and you’re ready to head out the door!

Picture of Shannon Leigh

Shannon Leigh

Shannon is the Mom of a Type 1 Diabetic son who is determined to help other Moms become confident and in-control of their Child's diabetes. Finding ways to lessen the burden Moms feel as the primary caregiver of a Type 1 is her passion. She also loves cooking and creating kid-friendly, low-carb recipes that are yummy and don't impact blood sugar.

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One Response

  1. I don’t have a child with type one diabetes but I am a type 1 myself. I found this article very helpful and will apply it to my everyday shenanigans. Thank you!!

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hi! I'm Shannon!

Full-time problem solver, part-time pancreas.  Boy Mom & solo-parent. Lover of the beach.  I enjoy reading, cooking, and traveling.

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