Tips while using a G Tube
- Lock the G tube extension and double check by turning it to the right before starting the feeding. When you have other kids, much to do and are feeling overwhelmed, locking your child’s G tube may slip your mind like it has mine.
- Avoid transferring your child while feeding or disconnect the tube and reconnect when your child has moved. When Savannah first got a G tube, I made the mistake of moving Savannah from the car to the house and from a chair to my lap which caused her G tube to come out.
- The G tube extension has 2 outputs, use bandage tape to block off one of the outputs, then the G extension tube cap will not remove on its own and will not leak.
Before I discovered taping one of the extension outputs, we have had days, which formula leaked all over the place, causing huge messes and Savannah didn’t receive her entire feeding.
- Figure out the amount of formula that your child can tolerate and figure out what amount is too much.
- If your child has a G tube and has reflux, my suggestion is to separate the water intake from the formula feedings.
- Bend your child’s leg(s) when putting him or her (criss-cross applesauce position) in a chair or car seat, which makes it much easier to get his or her behind all of the way in the seat.
- Bring extra clothes, wipes and supplies when you go out in the community.
- If you make changes to anything (i.e. routine, feedings, medications), make one at a time, then you know what worked and didn’t worked.
- Make sure your child’s wheelchair/ stroller is lightweight and not too heavy or difficult to handle.
- Make sure you explore all of your options before ordering equipment especially a stroller/ wheelchair. Some companies will give you a loaner to try out before purchasing.
- A swallow study should be done every year to ensure your child is swallowing properly. Adapt her/his oral diet according to the results of the swallow study and what foods your child can handle.
- Create a daily routine/ schedule and be flexible to change it at times.
- Besides taking care of your special needs child, spend quality time doing preferred activities that he or she loves.
- Take a break. Everyone feels overwhelmed and stressed at times. Taking breaks from taking care of your child/ children will elevate some of that stress.
- Organization is key to locate items when you need them. I have specific designated areas for all Savannah’s feeding and hygiene care supplies and therapy equipment.
- Prepare items such as lunches, formula and clothes for the next dwyrge night before.
- If you have an active child like I do, padding equipment such as strollers and toilet chairs and seating devices are essential. I use pool noodles and colored duck tape to pad Savannah’s equipment.