A great way to help your child prepare for or get comfortable with having a feeding tube is to make or buy a doll or stuffed animal equipped with a feeding tube. When a child has a toy that looks like him or her and feeds in the same way, your child will likely feel more confident and comfortable with the feeding tube.

tubie_friends_logoThere are several options available for obtaining a stuffed friend with a feeding tube. One is requesting one from Tubie Friends, a nonprofit that uses “surgeons” to create a stuffed animal with the exact type of feeding tube your child has. The stuffed friend can have an NG-tube, G-tube, or GJ-tube. In addition, they are able to create Tubie Friends with other medical technologies including trachs, oxygen cannulas, and central lines. Tubie Friends are available free of charge, though they request a donation to cover shipping. No family will be turned away.

Another option is to make your own doll or stuffed animal with a feeding tube. Feeding Raya has a detailed blog outlining the steps required to make one. A pictorial from the blog is presented below.