Feeding Tube Product Roundup
by Traci Nagy
The first product that comes to mind when I think feeding tubes is MyButtonBuddies
. It is the "Kleenex" of G-tube pads. There are lots of G-tube pads out there and some mommas have taken to making their own. But MyButtonBuddies has users in 48 states and 12 countries and are preferred by several major hospitals.
My GI started recommending them after seeing how great my son's stoma was with them. Many have found that granulation tissue is reduced when using a G-tube pad because it reduces the friction between the button and the stoma. Let's face it, so little is fun when it comes to tube feeding that having a kid friendly butterfly or fire truck can make you smile. They work for PEGs and GJs too. You can Google "G-tube pads" to see alternatives.
The Kiwi backpack
for the Zevex Infinity pump by Feeding Essentials is a great alternative to the costly super mini backpack made by Zevex. Since I started using the Kiwi, I have stopped using the super mini. I love that it is so slim and lightweight. It is also more functional to have the buckle up on the chest than down at the waist where it can pull on the button as your child moves around. It has a pocket in the front that can be used for drainage bags or ice packs. The fabric designs are colorful and the backpack is durable. Mine has already been washed several times.
The price point is also about half of the super mini, making it more affordable for those who can't get their backpack covered by insurance. Feeding Essentials also makes a range of other tube feeding products including G/GJ-tube pads and line tamers.
The Benik G-Tube Protective Belt
recently caused quite a stir. When one momma posted it on the Feeding Tube Awareness Facebook page one Friday afternoon, Benik received several calls and their website traffic exploded. Once only available at one hospital in Virginia, the G-Tube Protective Belt is now available to all. The G-tube protector is a good solution to keep little hands away from buttons while still allowing easy access for parents. It also has an option for a hard "turtle shell" cover that can offer additional protection during sports or for tummy time. One child even used the protector with the turtle shell on a Slip and Slide!
The belt is made of neoprene, is latex-free, comes in a variety of colors and is machine washable. It can often be covered by insurance if ordered through a doctor or therapist. You can also find cotton G-tube belts at BundieBaby
and G-tube wraps at GusGear
I have heard from parents that use them that they hold well. They can also be used to secure central lines.
Newcomer TUBEalicious Tushies
is giving me hope that my days of changing my son's bedding every morning are over! Lots of people make their own cloth diapers, but this tubie momma is making diaper cover "soakers" that have adaptations to make them even more absorbent for continuous overnight feeders.
They can be worn over cloth or disposable overnight diapers. Bamboo fleece inserts can be added to the soakers. A range of sizes are available, as well as custom sizing.
I have never gravity fed, but the Jofas Clamp
is a great idea to give you a hand. Rather than holding the syringe for the duration of the feed, the Jofas Clamp holds it for you.
It is 24 inches high, flexible, portable and lightweight.
is a protective cover for the med port on the extension set and the connection to the feeding set. I haven't used it, but mommas who have say it is easy to use and it eliminates the "feeding the bed" issue by uniquely covering the med port.
The AMT Clamp
is another option, but it only holds the extension set to the feeding set. It does not do anything for the med port. The AMT Clamp should be covered by insurance and is available through medical suppliers.
With summer outings, TigTag4Kidz ID Bracelets
are a smart accessory for any child with special needs who may become separated from a parent or caregiver. The ID bracelets are personalized to list medical alerts and your contact information. They are durable, waterproof and come in lots of kid friendly designs.
They also have ID bracelets for a cause, with bracelets for Mitochondrial Disease, Eosinophilic Disorders and Make-A-Wish. They will also fit parents who want to lend their support to a cause!
Although my son rejected the Tucker Sling
and wedge, I think it is a great way to elevate those refluxers and keep little ones from tangling in their tubies at night.
I should have tried harder to get my five-month-old used to the wedge and sling. I am sure it would have made for some easier nights and less tangles causing pump alarms. A similar alternative for larger children is the Pedicraft wedge
, which is available through durable medical equipment suppliers, or the ComfyLift bed
There are a lot of options for adaptive clothing. I never used any of them, preferring to just use regular clothing in two pieces or sleepers that had snaps rather than buying specialized clothing. However, other parents feel differently and like the specialized access. This list is certainly not exhaustive, but these are some of the most common suppliers:
Traci notes that she has no financial relationship with any of these products, and neither does Complex Child E-Magazine. Traci either uses them or thinks they are useful. Moreover, this list is not exhaustive and it is possible that alternatives can be found.