I've created this page to put all of the different tips I've gotten from nurses, doctors, other parents, and even a few I came up with on my own! If your kiddo has an NG tube, this page is for you! This page may also help even if your kiddo has other medical issues too! I am a relatively new tubie mom and I'm sure I don't even know most of everything yet, so this page will be updated the more I learn! Also please remember that I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or anything medical. I am simply a mamma. So therefore don't take any of this as medical advice!
Table of Contents
IV Pole Decorating/Organizing
Mixing, Storing, Transporting, & Warming Formula Tips
Medical Supply Storage
Helpful Tubie Websites
Taping the Tubie
Travelling with the Tubie
IV Pole Decorations and Organization!
Lets talk IV poles. They're ugly but unfortunately necessary at times. BUT wait, do we have to let them stay ugly? NO!! Lets decorate! There are companies that you can buy IV decorating products from, however for much much cheaper, you can go to the dollar store and buy awesome supplies! Here's two ideas of what we've done for my tubie!
So our most recent IV pole is the one in the top photo here! This time we bought some washi tape. You can get this from Michaels, Amazon, Walmart, etc... It is tape that sticks, but doesn't leave any residue when it's pulled off! We wrapped two different rolls down and around the pole. Then on the top hanging part, each side of the pole was wrapped in a different tape.
I bought a super cute sticker for her feeding pump! The lady who makes these is great! She is at Affordable Feeding Tube Backpacks for Kids You can message her right on Facebook! She gives you 2 decals for $5 shipped! Talk about a great deal!
The little black table attachment is called a microphone stand tray, I found mine for $16 on Amazon. It clips right to the IV pole and is awesome for putting stuff on while wrangling the kiddo with the tube!
I also love the big white clips. They're great for clipping notes, paper, pens, really anything that you could need to the tray or pole! I found them at Dollar Tree, but I'm sure you can find them pretty much anywhere.
We also have a ton of 3M hooks to hang the bag and pump off of. We put Duct Tape on the back of her pump, then hang two 3M hooks about three inches apart all around the house! This way we only have the IV pole in her bedroom and we can easily hang her pump and bags anywhere :).
First I cut a hole in a $1 plastic circular drip pan. Then I unscrewed the hooks from the to and slid the pan down the pole to rest on the feet of the pole. In this pan I put extra supplies and the toolbox.
Then I put two cheap $1 Easter streamers going down the pole! Luckily its right before easter so they had "girlie" colored streamers out. If you can't find any decorative streamers, try the paper ones that are put up for parties!
Next we grabbed a $1 plastic weaved basket and hung it from the top with string. I put some bottles of sterile water in there, extra tape, scissors, etc..
Next we also grabbed a $1 princess plastic cup. I cut a hole in the side and use it to put clean syringes in. We currently have an NG tube so we put a few empty ones for placement checks and a few ones with water for flushing.
Then I also picked up a mesh bag and put a circular keyring on it to hang it from the pole. In here we put the used syringes that need to be washed.
Finally at the top we put ribbons for fun!
We also made sure to put stickers (the wall kind that remove cleanly) on the pump and on her homecare binder that the hospital sent us home with. We use it to track in's and outs, meds, appointments, weights, etc...
If you are interested in seeing the binder layout or getting copies of binder papers- I'll be blogging about that tomorrow!!
Mixing, Storing, Transporting, & Warming Formula Tips
There are many ways to mix, store, transport, and warm formula, I'm sure. I will give you a quick idea of what we do and why it works for us!
Mixing Formula Ideas
I typically mix our formula in big batches (24 hours worth) so that the formula has time to settle any air out before it goes in the bottle or tube. We recently switched to Elecare from Neocate and the instructions are different now that she's on 24k/cal instead of the normal instructions on the can. Luckily, our nutritionist at the children's hospital created a cheat sheet for us! So below are the supplies I use and the steps I take!
Blender Bottles are great! You can use the side measurements. It has ml and oz measurements on the back side. I also love it because it has a blender ball that it comes with to help break up any chunks, comes in multiple sizes, and also the top is spill proof!
The blender bottle also comes with this blender ball! It is great. The formula doesn't clump and mixes very quickly!
After mixing formula once or twice you will spill some on the counter. You will also learn that when water is also dripped on said powder formula on the counter, it creates a hard substance that's hard to clean off the counters. Putting the can of formula on a dishtowel along with the bottle that's being filled ensures that you don't have to scrub the counters!
Make sure you also have your mixing instructions handy! If you lose them, you can always call the doctor/nutritionist and/or check out your formula's website. They tend to have the 20, 22, 24, 26 & 28 cal mixing instructions on the sites.
Storing & Transporting Formula Ideas
There are so many ways to store formula. Lets hear what works for you! Here's what works well for us :)
This is how our formula comes. Boxed! (Elecare is actually better than Neocate in this sense, Neocate came four to a box where Elecare now goes six! Less boxes to carry haha!) I use a bookshelf to put all of the formula on! This makes it easy for me to see how much we have left on the off chance that we were to run low and I need to ask for more.
If you don't make your formula ahead of time and you travel with the powder, these things are awesome! You put the right amount of powder in the container, then the whole container sits inside the bottle and you put the top back on the bottle and viola! When you're ready to make the bottle, you pull out this little thing, add water to the bottle, and then open this and pour the powder in!
As we talked about above, if you pre-mix formula, blender bottles are the best way to go for me! Buy the right size, mix er up, stick her in the cooler/fridge, and away you go!
This contraption is amazing! So basically that white container you see on the left that has the bottle in it goes on top of the whole thermos. You fill the thermos with hot water, close it up, and bring it with you. When you need to warm up a bottle, fill up the white container with the hot water, stick the bottle in and in a few minutes, viola!
Keurig! I don't even drink coffee and I have one. Want to know why? Its to quickly heat up water for bottles! I have a large cup I stick under there and keep there, whenever we need to warm up a bottle, get hot water from the Keurig, stick the bottle in the hot water, two minutes later, bam! warm bottle :)
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