Your Child's Nasogastric Tube: Pump Feeding

Your Child's Nasogastric Tube: Pump Feeding

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Your Child's Nasogastric Tube: Pump Feeding

Feedings through a nasogastric (NG) tube can be given either as continuous feeds over part or all of a day or as bolus feeds, meaning a larger amount is given over a shorter period of time every few hours. For bolus feeding, your child’s healthcare provider or home health nurse will tell you how much liquid food to use for each feeding. You’ll also be told how often to feed your child every day. Write these numbers below:

How much to give at each feeding: _____________

How often to feed: __________________________

  • For continuous feeding, the amount of food to be given and time frame are often set on the pump for you. Do not change pump settings unless you’re instructed to do so.


  • NG tube

  • Liquid food

  • Clean feeding bag with tubing

  • Feeding pump

  • 5 to10 ml syringe (for flushing)

  • Water (for flushing)

Closeup of hands pouring liquid food into feeding bag.

 Closeup of hands connecting feeding bag tubing to port on NG tube. Feeding bag tubing is connected to pump.


  • Wash your hands with soap and water.

  • Make sure the pump is in the STOP/OFF mode.

  • Check the placement of the tube to confirm that it’s in the stomach (as you were shown in the hospital). Always do this BEFORE starting a feeding. Feeding bag hanging from pole on pump. Feeding bag tubing goes from bag to pump. Clamp is in middle of tubing. Finger is pressing the On button.

  • Check the label and expiration date of the liquid food. Don’t use any can (or bag) if the expiration date has passed. Instead, get a new can (or bag).

  • Make sure the clamp on the feeding bag tubing is closed.

  • Pour a little more than the prescribed amount of liquid food into the feeding bag.

  • Hang the feeding bag on the pole above the pump. Make sure the feeding bag tubing hangs straight.

  • Open the clamp on the feeding bag tubing slowly. Let a small amount of food run through the end of the feeding bag tubing. This clears air out of the feeding bag tubing. It also helps keep your child from having gas later.

  • Load the feeding bag tubing into the pump.

  • Close the clamp on the feeding bag tubing.

  • Open the feeding port cap at the end of the NG tube.

  • Connect the feeding bag tubing to the feeding port of the NG tube.

  • Open the clamp on the feeding bag tubing.

  • Check that the settings on the pump are correct.

  • Turn the pump to START/ON.

  • After the feeding, flush the tube with water (as you were shown in the hospital).

  • Disconnect the syringe from the NG tube.

  • Close the feeding port cap of the NG tube.

Additional instructions: ____________________________________________________________________




Call the doctor right away if any of the following occurs:

  • Your child has trouble breathing.

  • Redness, swelling, leakage, sores, or pus develops in the skin around the tube site.

  • You see blood around the tube, in child’s stool, or in contents of the stomach.

  • Your child coughs, chokes, or vomits while feeding.

  • Your child is vomiting between feeds.

  • Your child has a bloated or rigid abdomen (belly feels hard when gently pressed).

  • Your child has diarrhea or constipation.

  • Your child has a fever 100.4°F  (38°C) or higher.