Nasogastric (NG) Feeding Tube Insertion

In this video series, clinicians in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia present a overview of NG tubes — why a doctor may prescribe this treatment for your child, steps you need to follow before placing an NG tube in your child, troubleshooting any challenges with tube insertion, and teaching your older child how to self-insert the NG tube.

An introduction to NG tubes

Your child’s doctor has prescribed a  NG tube for your child. If your child has feeding or swallowing difficulties, he or she may not be swallowing enough food to grow properly. The NG tube will allow liquid food to supplement whatever your child can eat by mouth.

How does it work? The NG tube is specially designed to be inserted into a child’s nostril, travel down the back of the throat into the esophagus and then into the stomach. Liquid food can then be given through the tube and it will go directly to the child’s stomach.

Linda Bevington, BSN, RN, CPN, patient/family educator at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, demonstrates what equipment you need and steps to take before placing an NG tube into your child.

NG tube placement

After you have washed your hands, assembled all of your NG tube equipment and carefully measured and prepped your child, it’s time to begin the NG tube placement process.

Bevington demonstrates how to position and secure your child for the NG tube insertion. Tube insertion is not a pleasant experience, but it is over soon enough and will provide valuable benefits to your child.

Once the NG tube is placed and secured, you will then check the fluid levels and pH from the recently inserted tube to ensure correct placement. If the tube is not inserted correctly, you will need to remove it and begin again.

Family demonstrations

After training by patient/family educators at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, two families demonstrate how they prepare, insert and ensure proper placement of an NG feeding tube.

In the first family demonstration, a father inserts an NG feeding tube into his baby and secures it so the child does not remove the tube. The father also shows how he checks to ensure the tube is placed correctly and that liquid food will travel directly to the baby’s stomach.

In the second demonstration, a preteen child demonstrates how he places his own NG feeding tube. One tip he’s learned from the patient educators at CHOP is to drink from a straw while inserting the NG tube into his nostril. The liquid allows the tube to easily slide down the back of his esophagus and into his stomach. 

September 2014