Tube feeding generally involves delivering a liquid feed through the nose (nasal tube) or stomach (gastrostomy tube). Tube feeding helps your child to meet their nutritional needs when they are not able to eat or drink enough by mouth.
A general guide, to support your child progressing to oral feeding. Make sure you discuss this with your health professional, who knows your child well. Your health professional will help you to create a plan for your child.
Several things will affect the success of your child's move to oral feeding in the future. These include your child's age and how long they've been able to try oral feeding. Health professionals recommend introducing your child to oral feeding as early as possible, and to use a non-food item if it is not safe for them to feed by mouth.
Being a tube feeding family can have its challenges, but there are things which can help make the journey easier. Families have shared their tips, tricks and life hacks on what works for them. For advice about your own child, check with your health professional.
It is important tube-fed children are in the correct position when eating and drinking. Tamariki need to sit upright with their hips, knees and ankles at 90-degree angles. This will help them coordinate the muscles needed to eat. It will also help them focus on eating, rather than keeping their bodies upright.
Tube feeding your child can feel overwhelming for many parents. There are some things parents who have made the transition from tube feeding at hospital to tube feeding at home have identified as being important, especially in the first few weeks.
To give others easy access to all KidsHealth's tube feeding content, you can share a QR code poster. Anyone can scan the QR code with their phone and go straight to the KidsHealth tube feeding section.