This page contains a list of helpful products that make using a feeding tube easier for some families. While none of these products are necessary, many families find them helpful in making tube feeding more comfortable for their children. While we no longer are listing specific providers for each item, this page also provides information on where you might be able to find products.
See also our page on Books for books with characters who use feeding tubes and books about tube feeding.
G or GJ-Tube Pads
Button pads can help absorb leakage from the stoma and tube and help to reduce irritation and inflammation around and under the tube. Many parents and doctors feel that they help reduce and prevent granulation tissue. And, they are fun when so little about tube feeding is.
The number of makers in this area have exploded and they come in a wide variety of closures (snap, velcro, button, or none), shapes, and materials. Many makers are tube feeders or parents/caregivers of tube feeders. Prices and fabrics vary. We recommend asking about possible wait times as some makers produce products to order.
You can find these pads on Etsy, Facebook, shops that cater to disabilities and adaptive lines, and similar places.
These protective belts help to keep hands away from their tubes and can help to protect from accidental pulling and removal. More protective belts can even be used during sports. Many makers do custom designs and have a selection of fabric. These are made both by commercial makers, disability companies, and private individuals. Those made commercially may be available through a medical equipment supplier and may be coverable by insurance.
Tube holders are designed for those who syringe feed, and provide an extra helping hand by holding the syringe during feeding. Some are commercially available, while many are made by small businesses.
There are a number of ways you can secure your child’s tube. These include clips designed to hold the tubing itself and secure it to clothing or a diaper and securement devices designed to either keep together the feeding set and extension set or prevent little fingers from accessing the connection. These devices come in soft plastic, hard plastic, and handmade fabric styles. Some are made commercially and may be covered by insurance.
There are also a wide range of medical-quality printed tapes and stickers available to secure feeding tubes and other tubing, such as oxygen tubing.
Backpacks are essential for feeding kids on-the-go, whether you carry the pack for them or they wear it. While there are specialized backpacks made for feeding pumps, any small backpack with slight modifications can be used for feeding. Insurance will sometimes cover the standard backpack for your pump; check with your medical supplier.
Beds and Inclines
Many children with feeding tubes also have reflux and find that sleeping on an incline can help to reduce reflux. Also, children who are more medically complex may require adaptations that may make a traditional bed or a hospital bed unsafe. Specialized beds and inclines are often covered by insurance with letters of medical necessity. For more information on obtaining a bed, see this article on Funding for Specialty Medical Beds from Complex Child.
Adaptive clothing allows for access to tubes without undressing, or offers more protection through one-piece garments. Many stores, such as Target and Kohl’s, have now begun to carry their own lines of adaptive clothing. There are numerous individuals who also sew specialized garments and are available on Etsy or through the Internet.
Some children with feeding tubes use sensory products to help them learn to chew or tolerate things in their mouths. These are widely available through speech pathologists and disability companies. Products include chewable jewelry, other chewable items, oral motor brushes and devices, and compression or weighted garments.
Other products that may be helpful include:
Tube feeding stuffed animals – a doll or stuffed animal with a feeding tube, available through Tubie Friends