I look back at when I was a first time mom and remember feeling completely overwhelmed by the millions of products available. I tried weeding through the items that didn't seem practical but also listening to the veterans that swore by certain things. I used a cup from the kitchen to pour over heads at bath time, warmed bottles with hot water and a bowl, and my babies' butts were wiped with wipes that weren't warmed. This is what worked well for our family. I felt like I could use my common sense and determine what was needed and what wasn't.
Fast forward three years to my second son Arlo's birth and NICU experience. His team of doctors have coined the term "multi-factorial" when referring to his long list of medical complications that continue to present both new and ongoing conflicts with one another as he grows. I was quickly thrown into a new world of feeling desperate to get/have/use anything to help my son grow, thrive, leave the NICU, eat, breathe, develop, etc. Even though some of these items didn't make those things happen, some items simply helped heal this mama's aching heart and it's tough at the time to weed through which is which.
It's a very confusing place being in the NICU. Things that weren't necessary suddenly seem to have importance. For example, I was desperate to make his NICU room in the hospital feel like home. He didn't need a personal quilt from home on his crib to lay on... but he did need it. We all needed it. It made the cold, beeping, always bright hospital feel more like home. There's a new set of rules for tubies, NICU residents, or medically fragile babies, and after living this 'tubie' life with our son, my family has blended together what helps our hearts (wants) and what's best for him (needs). The world of feeding tubes can be a scary and overwhelming one to enter into and I've seen time and time again families starting off on this journey wondering, "what do we REALLY need?". This is a bare bones list of what we find helpful and necessary for life with a tubie. Think of it as a 'starter kit'. Hope you find it helpful!
As a disclaimer, I will say that this is very personal for each individual so I will not be going into food items, formulas, thickeners, etc. as everyone is on a different path when it comes to eating. Know that for OUR busy toddler son and his g tube, these our the top ten must have items for day to day ease.