Raising kids isn’t for the faint of heart. Every age and stage comes with its own challenges, and it sure seems to take a lot of stuff to care for kids, especially babies and toddlers. And now with your little one needing or just getting their G-tube, you’re learning there are other things you now need, too.
Syringes, a feeding pump, feeding bagsand extension tubing – the list seems to go on and on. But aside from all the actual feeding and cleaning supplies, here are five must-have items to make life with a G-tube a little easier for you and your little one.
1. Bottle Drying Rack
Whether your baby is able to take some oral feedings or not, you’ll still want a bottle drying rack for all the syringes you’ll use every day. Syringes are a big part of life with a G-tube. From syringes for bolus feedings, venting, and pulling up and pushing out water to oral syringes for medications, it may seem like you’re a full-time syringe washer (along with all your other jobs). You need a bottle drying rack that works as hard as you do.
Many parents rave about the Munchkin Fold Cup and Bottle Drying Rack for all their syringe and tube feeding supplies. It can hold several syringes of varying sizes at once without taking up a lot of countertop space. It also keeps syringes upright for thorough drying and folds up for easy storage.
2. G-tube Pads
Skin infections, leaking tubes and granulation tissue formation are the most common issues with a G-tube. Some hospitals send you home with an antimicrobial foam dressing to put around your child’s Mic-Key button (the tube that lets your child receive nutrition and medicine directly into their stomachs). But many parents have found that the dressing doesn’t do as good of a job soaking up the drainage and discharge around the stoma (the feeding tube site) as G-tube pads do. These eco-friendly pads are reusable, washable, soft and absorbent. Like the dressing, you place them around the Mic-Key button to help keep your child’s G-tube site clean and to protect their skin.
Etsy is a great place to find G-tube pads in a variety of thicknesses, absorbency levels and adorable styles!
3. Easily Accessible Clothing
If you need to access your little one’s G-tube more than once a day, invest in clothing styles that make the G-tube easy to get to. Bodysuits and pajamas that button, snap or have a two-way zipper, as well as zip-down sleep sacks, are great options, especially for babies. We also can’t say enough about the G-tube clothing from Zipease Rompers. You can get cute rompers for boys and girls – sizes 0-3 months up to 3T – designed with an innovative invisible zipper that saves you time (and your sanity!) for quick and easy access for feeds and changes.
4. Command Hooks & Carabiner Clips
Your child likely feeds in different spots around your house. Being able to put Command Hooks in those spots so you can hang your child’s feeding bag while they eat is so handy. Best of all these hooks won’t damage the walls or crib. Carabiner clips are also tiny lifesavers. Clip one on top of the feeding bag so it doesn’t tip over while your child feeds. It can also clip onto other things while you’re on the go. Many parents also keep a carabiner clip on their stroller.
5. Organizational Storage Cart & Bag
One way to lighten your load is to keep all of your child’s supplies organized and in one place. When you’re at home, that means having a rolling utility or drawer organizer cart. Having these shelves or drawers allows you to hold all the things you may need throughout the day, while the wheels mean the cart can easily move around the house with you during feeds. You can also hang the feeding bag from it.
When you’re on the go, you want a lightweight diaper bag that has plenty of space and pockets to keep your child’s supplies easily accessible and organized. We recommend trying out any of the diaper bags from Ergobaby that are made for parents just like you. “We designed our diaper bags to be stylish, comfortable and practical,” X said. “With a spacious interior that includes insulated pockets and several other interior and exterior pockets, you’ve got plenty of room to stash your stuff and your baby’s supplies. This way, you can stay organized when you’re headed to doctor’s appointments, playdates and wherever else you go.”
We know your child needing a feeding tube isn’t something you asked for, but we sincerely hope that this list of must-haves helps! We also wanted to leave you with a bonus item: G-Tube Babies. This Facebook support group is filled with parents who have been in your shoes. They can offer advice and support in more ways than you know, so be sure to check it out as well.