Download NG to G Handout

Parents and caregivers are often concerned about moving from an NG- to a G-tube. It can feel like a big step, and it seems more permanent because it requires a surgical procedure. But, understanding more about it from other parents who have been through it can help a lot.

The procedure itself is pretty quick. Expect to stay in the hospital for 1 night to a few days. There will be some pain, but kids recover well and are able to resume normal activity within a week or so. It may take some time to find a feeding method and schedule that works for your child.

A very common response to switching from NG-tube to G-tube is “I wish we had done it sooner!” Most families find the tube much easier to use, more discreet, and more comfortable for their child.

To help you make your decision, check out some of our other pages on G-tubes listed in the box below. We also have numerous parent testimonials about the process listed below.

Best thing ever. My two daughters had NG-tubes for 9 months or so and they pulled them out up to 8 times a day. Complete nightmare having to rethread them. G-tube is amazing.
Ruth
Best thing we could have done for our son! He was on an NG for about 6 months before we switched. I’m so glad we did. G-tube has been in since October and we love it!!
Stacey
It was a good choice for us. The G-tube went in during another abdominal surgery. Changing the G-tube takes a few seconds every few months, and isn’t traumatic for my child. My son was a ninja when it came to pulling out his NG-tube. I did get good enough at placing NG-tubes that I could do it by myself on a squirmy infant, but I hated having to do so. It also lets him be a more typical little boy since his feeding issue isn’t out in public all the time. The G-tube isn’t much more difficult to manage than a piercing.
Megan
We were so nervous about the transition. Overall though it has been the best choice we have made!!! Our son has made so much progress since we switched him to a G-button! We are to the point now where they think we may be able to get rid of the button within the next 6 months & he’s only had the tube since November!!
Christeena
I hated the idea at first, but it seriously was the best choice. My son wouldn’t be where he is now developmentally without his.
Staci
Best thing we ever did! No more tape bothering my babies little cheeks & much easier for parents to handle than an NG.
Whitney
I wish I would’ve had my sons placed so much sooner. Took away the stress of trying to get formula or extra calories into him. It has been a positive experience for us and so glad we did it.
Amanda
I was definitely nervous at first, but for us the G-tube was easier and less stress. I was constantly worrying about her pulling the NG-tube out. It’s easier to protect the G-tube. All in all, I can tell a huge difference in her personality. The G-tube doesn’t bother her at all like the NG-tube did.
We just made the switch a month ago. It has been AMAZING. The NG-tube was filling me with stress and dread–it was pulled out almost daily, she wasn’t getting enough calories, and she was developing an oral aversion. A month later she’s gained weight, we are all much happier and less anxious, and she just recently started to let herself be spoon fed again.

Benefits of a G-tube

  • The G-tube is a more comfortable tube for children once the stoma (tube site) is healed. Infants and children pull out their NG-tubes with frequency, but it is rare for a child to repeatedly pull out the G-tube. Moreover, for children who have allergies or sensitivities to adhesives, taping isn’t usually required, and there are alternatives like protective belts and wraps if needed.
  • G-tube changes are less traumatic for children than NG-tube changes, and they happen less frequently. Changing a G-tube can become as easy as changing an earring.
  • There is less risk of misplacement. Once the stoma is formed it is very difficult for a G-tube to dislodge or get displaced.
  • G-tubes allow for venting the stomach to get out excess air. This can make it more comfortable for the child and improve tolerance of tube feeds and oral eating.
  • There is no tape on your child’s face!

Myths and Facts

Fact: No feeding tube is permanent. A G-tube can be removed easily when it is no longer needed. Kids can just as easily wean from a G-tube as an NG-tube. In fact, G-tubes may make it more comfortable for a child to eat orally.
Fact: G-tube infections do happen, but not to everyone and very rarely. G-tube infections are usually very easily treated.
Fact: Many kids with G-tubes actually eat some of their diet orally. In fact, sometimes kids eat more with a G-tube because they no longer feel as pressured to eat, and the G-tube is much easier to eat orally with.
Fact: There is no reason your child cannot eat orally with a G-tube, as long as he or she is safe to swallow. Kids with G-tubes who used to eat orally typically continue to eat orally after they receive their G-tubes.