How To Secure A Baby’s NG Feeding Tube (Easy Trick)
Here is an easy trick to secure your child’s NG feeding tube so it stays out of the way. You most likely have this item in your home too. More importantly, it’s quick to use AND it keeps the NG feeding tube out of your kiddo’s mouth and hands!
Both of my baby twins love to play and chew on their NG tubes. They are currently going through the lovely “teething phase” so I use this trick DAILY and it works like a charm.
So let’s get to it.
First, What Is An NG Feeding Tube?
If you’ve never heard of an NG feeding tube before, it may sound like a complicated medical device. But don’t worry – it’s actually a pretty simple concept. NG stands for “nasogastric” which means that the tube goes in through your nose and down into your stomach.
It allows for the delivery of important nutrients, vitamins, and medications directly to the digestive system, bypassing the mouth and throat.
This type of feeding tube is used when a baby isn’t able to eat normally and needs to get their nutrition in a different way.
For instance, both of my twins could drink from a bottle, but it was the volume that was an issue for them. They were taking around 70 ml per feed at 10 months old. Sometimes more, sometimes less. On average, a 6 to 12-month-old baby takes around 90 to 120 ml of infant formula or breastmilk per feed.
Since our girls failed to put on good weight they were admitted to Children’s Hospital to get an NG feeding tube. I know this may sound scary, at least it was for me. But it’s SO nice to have once it’s in. The peace of mind it gives you as a parent during feeds is a game changer because the pressure is off. More importantly, due to the increased volume, our girls are putting on GOOD weight. Hallelujah!
The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Of NG Feeding Tubes…
I’m going to be real with you and tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly of NG feeding tubes.
NG feeding tubes provide a variety of benefits:
- Improve nutrition levels
- Alleviate discomfort during eating
- Help with healing and recovery after surgery or illness
While the idea of an NG tube may seem daunting and sound uncomfortable, it usually is a simple and effective solution if your baby needs one. The good news is most babies find it tolerable.
The bad news is, most try to tug on it, yank it, or chew it, AND the really bad news…
It usually pops out of the nose at some point…at least it did for both of our girls. Ugh, I know.
That’s why it’s super important to keep it as secure as possible on the face with skin-sensitive tape and away from your kiddo’s hands.
So that leads me to the meat and potatoes of this post…how to secure an NG feeding tube to prevent your baby from pulling or chewing on it.
How To Secure Your Baby’s NG Feeding Tube
Use masking tape or painter’s tape! Why? It’s cheap, doesn’t get stuck on clothes, AND you can tear it off easily.
I’ve found hospital tape to be really sticky and depending on the type of hospital tape, you may need to use scissors too. Overall, I’ve found it to be more of a hassle.
Masking tape is my GO TO trick to keep my girl’s NG feeding tubes secure. I know it ain’t the prettiest but it does the job!
Video: How To Secure An NG Feeding Tube (Easy Trick)
BONUS: How To Secure An NG Feeding Tube That’s OH-SO Stylish
It’s called a “Tubie Pocket“. I found this thing on Amazon and it’s GREAT to use to keep an NG tube out of the way. It secures to the back of your child’s clothing with a safety pin. Plus, there are SO many adorable designs to choose from!
The downfall, it’s a pain to put on and take off throughout the day (like during nap time) which is why I resort more to the masking tape hack. Plus, you have to be careful not to stick your kiddo with the safety pin when attaching it to their clothing too.
Overall, it’s a great tool to have on hand when needed.
How long can a baby have an NG tube?
Typically, an NG tube is a short-term feeding solution lasting a few weeks to no more than a few months.
Why would a baby need a feeding tube?
If a baby has difficulty feeding, they may need an NG feeding tube to ensure they are getting the nourishment they need to grow and thrive. This type of feeding tube is inserted through the nose and down into the stomach, allowing for formula or breast milk to be delivered directly to the digestive system.
Some babies who are born prematurely that are cared for in the NICU may require a feeding tube IF they have difficulty feeding.
Is an NG tube painful for babies?
The good news is that in most cases, the insertion of an NG tube is discomfort rather than painful for babies. The tube is gently inserted through the nose and down into the stomach, and while it may feel a little strange or uncomfortable for a few moments, it is not typically a painful experience.
Something that worked really well for both of our twins when they needed to get their NG tube reinserted (because it popped out), was dipping the tube in sterilized water and applying saline drops to their noses beforehand. The added lubrication helped the NG tube go in easier!
Can my baby come home with an NG tube?
Yes, a baby can safely come home with an NG tube. Parents or caregivers are “trained” on how to properly care for their little one’s NG tube prior to coming home with one. Plus, healthcare providers are a phone call away should you have any questions or need assistance.
When our girls were discharged from the hospital with their NG tubes, we had a team of providers who assisted us with follow-up weight checks and care if an NG tube came out. Before coming home, you should be given this information on who to contact and follow up with, OR ask your doctor who your point of contact should be.
To Wrap It Up
This quick and super easy trick of using masking tape OR painter’s tape to secure an NG feeding tube is a lifesaver. Not only does it keep your little one from chewing on the NG tube, but it also keeps it out of the way. Hopefully, this tip saves you a bit of trouble and makes life a little easier!
You are an AMAZING parent and you’ve got this!
Until the next post, I’m sending you lots of positive energy and well wishes for your little one’s NG tube experience. Stay strong!
How’s the NG feeding tube working out for your little one? Do you have anything to add or share about NG tubes? Let me know in the comments below. Your input means a lot and helps other fellow parents who read this!
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About The Author
Linds is the proud mom of two little miracles, Mono Mono twin girls, and one AMAZING older brother! She is the founder and content creator of Mono Mono Twins, Intensive Therapy for Kids, and Co-Founder of The LENN Foundation (a 510c3 that helps children with cerebral palsy receive grants for intensive therapies to thrive). ♥
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