PEG Tube and G-Button Accessories with Personality

Sometimes a medical condition or symptom creates the need for a gastrostomy, either long-term, or for a short period. This can be a life-altering procedure, not because it is a complicated one, but because of the impact it has on the lifestyle of the person needing it.

There are many different kinds of gastrostomies, and they all have different names. As a general group, they are often called g-buttons for short. They can be placed in adults, teens, children, or babies. The care and maintenance is similar regardless of the type or age of the person.

I spent many years working in the NICU, or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. During those years, I worked with countless families as their children had g-buttons placed. Often they were intimidated by the device, and saw it as something foreign and unattractive on their baby’s body. It was far more difficult to adjust emotionally to the button, for most families, than it was to learn the logistics of how to care for it.

If you live with a medical device such as a g-button, you may struggle to feel that the button is anything but clinical. You were likely sent home from the hospital with stacks of white cotton gauze to apply around your site. While functional, it may feel like just a further reminder of the presence of this device.

If you or your child has a g-button, here are some accessories and suggestions that might help the device to feel just a little less medical, and perhaps allow you to express your personality through it.

G-tube Pads

Image of three taco-shaped embroidered g-button pads, with link to Etsy seller.
A set of three embroidered fabric g-button pads are shaped like half-circle tacos arranged in a triangular layout. There is a Mickey g-tube device shown with the pad on top. The taco on the bottom left has oval embroidered black eyes and a bushy mustache. Each pad has a small slit with circular opening at the center of the pad, and a yellow snap fastener. “Adora Belly Design” is written in white font across image.

Oh, my. How can you not smile when you see the mustache on this taco? These adorable g-tube pads are brimming with personality! This seller offers a massive range of pads that are fun and whimsical, from these tacos, to chicken nuggets, to flowers, to whales. Sold in a variety of shapes and sizes, you’re sure to find something that makes you smile! And the beauty of fabric pads like this, other than the fun factor, is that they are re-usable. Simply wash them, and use them again. No waste!

Image of reusable fabric g-button pads with Charlie Brown Peanuts characters. Links to Etsy seller.
A collection of five fabric g-button cover pads shows an assortment of cartoon drawings of Charlie Brown characters. The colors are predominantly the characters’ skin color, bright yellow, dark blue, and light pink. The pads are circular in shape with a triangle-shaped slit and they fasten with plastic snaps in black or yellow.

Oh, Charlie Brown… Old Chuck is a perennial favorite, from adults on down to children. This set of pads has all the old gang together in one place. The design of these pads makes them versatile and easy to use with a variety of devices. A multipack like this could make a great gift, too!

Image of reusable embroidered video game controller g-tube pads, with link to Etsy seller.
A collection of embroidered g-button pads is shown in the shape of PlayStation video game controllers. The controllers are shown in black, white, hot pink, and lime, and each color option is labeled with black font. There are embroidered circles and small cross shape to represent the controller buttons. Each pad has a slit with circular opening, and fastens with coordinating plastic snap. “Adora Belly Design” is seen in white font across bottom of image.

For an older child or an adult, is there anything more fitting than videogame controllers? With the option to choose the color, you could have a different color for each day of the week! Again, these pads are washable and re-usable, for long-lasting wear.

Image of four mermaid reusable g-button pads, with link to Etsy seller.
A collection of iridescent mermaid-themed octagonal g-button pads has metallic gold stitching. Four pads are shown in four different colors: teal, bright purple, bright blue, and pink. Each pad has a scallop design in matching gold to look like scales, and a slit with circle opening and coordinating plastic snap. The blue pad has a Mickey g-button device at its center.

For the mermaid lover, these iridescent pads are simply beautiful, and sure to inspire a smile! There are countless options for fabric button covers. Find some that reflect your personality or draw a smile!

Button Covers and Belts

Image of woodland animal themed fabric belly band for child g-button, with link to Etsy seller.
A wide off-white belt for a child made of soft flannel material has outline images of elk, moose, bears, and teepees in black and gray. The belt is folded on itself and is rounded at one end. There is a small rectangular flap of matching fabric just before the rounded end.

Feeding tube covers, or belts, come in a variety of styles and sizes. They’re not essential, but they do help to protect the tube from catching on clothing, keep the area clean, and add a little additional padding to even out the appearance of the site under clothing. And they’re another place to infuse some personality and fun. This seller offers belts in a variety of fabric choices, and in several lengths, so they can fit from infant up through adult sizes. They’re washable and reusable, and comfortable to wear under clothing. A “hatch” provides easy access to the button site for care and feeding.

Image of pink belly band for adult, with flap to access feeding tubing. Links to Lynn Klein Nutrition site.
A Caucasian women’s lower torso is covered in a wide hot pink band with a flap in matching fabric at the front. There is an inset photo that shows the flap lowered, and we see an assortment of clear feeding tubing coiled and secured with black velcro tabs. The belt appears to be made of a stretchy fabric.

A simple band like this is another option. Similar to the previous belt, this style provides some protection under clothing. The larger flap on this particular belt allows you to store coiled tubing as well.

Image of wide stretchy fabric band covering woman's pants and abdomen, with link to Etsy seller.
A medium-skinned woman’s lower torso and legs are shown against a white background. The woman wears black skinny jeans with right leg slightly bent. She has no shirt, and a wide heathered gray band of stretchy fabric is seen covering the top of her pants and her abdomen.

A simple belly band like this can be a great option, as well, to protect the site and hold tubing in place. Bands like this are also often available in maternity clothing sections, and come in a wide range of colors and styles. They are easy to pull down to access the site. A style like this is probably the most subtle beneath clothing, as the bottom edge would simply look like an undershirt or camisole.

Image of black strap harness for holding adult g-button feeding tube, with link to Etsy seller.
A female mannequin wears a bright blue sweater. There is a narrow black strap visible at her neck, and it loops under her shirt and clips to the neckline, so that her sweater is pulled up and held in place. Under the sweater, we see a black strap that wraps around her waist, with clear plastic feeding tubing and syringe held in place with black straps.

This belt is excellent for continuous infusion, to hold tubing, or for dialysis. The straps are easily concealed beneath clothing and a simple backpack could hold supplies that aren’t in use. The straps are adjustable to ensure a good fit.

Tubing and Bag Accessories

Image of lined fabric cover for gastric feeding bag with llama theme. Links to Etsy seller.
A black fabric cover with colorful llama and tent decorations holds a plastic feeding tube bag. The inside of the fabric appears to be lined with white fleecy material. There are three white snaps at the bottom, with clear tubing between two snaps; as well as snaps along the right side and at the top, where narrow flaps are folded back to show the feeding bag. We see a label on the bag reading, “Lalu and Company.”

If your condition requires continuous infusion, or if you need to be able to administer a feeding on the go, a bag like this may be an option. It provides a padded case for the infusion bag, some insulation factor, and plenty of style. The snaps and openings at the bottom make it possible to pass tubing through the bottom of the bag, or potentially even to hang it if needed.

Image of fabric gastric feeding tube connector cover, with link to Etsy seller.
A gastric feeding tubing connection and port rests on a rectangular white flannel fabric cover. The cover is open and appears to fold over the connector, with black snaps to secure it in place.

Tubing covers and port covers are a convenient and stylish way to protect tubing connection points on the go. Covers like this come in all shapes and sizes to meet the needs of your individual tubing system.

Image of red and white polka dot feeding tube clip, with link to Etsy seller.
A small rectangular fabric strap is shown with red background and white polka dots. At the top of the strap, a white clip secures it to a black shirt. Two lengths of clear plastic tubing are attached to the strap with white plastic snap fasteners.

A clip like this is perfect for keeping tubing corralled and out of the way. Snaps make it easy to loop the tubing, and a clip attaches it to clothing (or bedding). This is a great option for keeping tubing secured and out of reach for infants and young children, too. There are countless fabric options available!

G-Button Toys

Image of three stuffed animals, two lions and a bunny, with medical devices including tracheostomy, port, and g-button. Links to Etsy seller.
Three medium-sized stuffed animals are shown side by side: two brown lions, with a blue bunny rabbit between. All three animals have medical devices shown on them, including gray plastic tracheostomies at their necks, a blue plastic port for chemo or I-V access at the right upper chest, and an orange plastic g-button device at the lower left abdomen.

For children dealing with a g-button, or adjusting to a family member with one, nothing dispels fear and uncertainty quite like a toy. A toy like this allows a way to demonstrate button care and feedings in a way that is friendly and non-threatening. Pretend play also helps normalize and de-stigmatize things like g-button feedings. Children can practice administering feedings on their stuffed friend any time they’d like. And after demonstrations, these little stuffed animals are perfect for snuggling! This seller offers a variety of animals with a variety of devices, including feeding tubes, g-buttons, PICC lines, chemo ports, hearing aids, hydrocephalus shunts, and tracheostomies. I’ve also been told that Build-A-Bear will add a button (or trach) to their stuffed animals if you provide a device. Often doctors have expired buttons or trachs that can be taken into the store and added to a special stuffed animal.

Image of cloth African American doll with stitched g-button. Links to Etsy seller.
An African American fabric doll has a black hair bun, embroidered wide-set black oval eyes, a small embroidered black smile, and rosy circles on her cheeks. She is pictured with a striped white and blue skirt, and shirtless to reveal a stitched gray and white felt feeding tube on her left abdomen.

These sweet little dolls come with multiple options for medical devices. While a child can’t connect a real tubing set to this doll, toys with devices help to normalize the need for devices in real life. This seller offers a variety of dolls, both in terms of medical special needs and appearance. They would make a sweet gift for a child living with a medical device.

Image of American Girl Bitty Baby doll being fitted with Mickey g-button, with link to Feeding Tube Awareness site.
A Caucasian person’s hands are reaching around a Caucasian blonde American Girl Bitty Baby doll. There is a Mickey g-button device on the doll’s lower left abdomen, and the hands appear to be holding thread to secure it in place. Across the top of the image in white font, “… then pull the needle through, but keep a loop in the thread.” At the bottom, we see a website, “www.agirlandhertube.blogspot.com.”

If your child already has a favorite doll or stuffed animal, it’s also possible to add a g-button (or other medical device). Again, I can’t stress enough how important it is to normalize these devices, to give a non-threatening opportunity to demonstrate, and to allow for creative play that incorporates the device. Nothing is more perfect for this than a well-loved toy! Follow the simple steps in this post to adapt your own toy.

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