Health Library
Gastrostomy Feeding by Syringe

What is Gastrostomy Feeding by Syringe?

Because your child cannot eat by mouth or requires more calories to grow, you will give your child's feeding through a gastrostomy tube that is placed into your child's stomach.

A gastrostomy tube is commonly called a "g-tube." These instructions will help you feed your child through this tube.


  • EnFit syringe (35 ml or 60 ml)
  • Formula
  • Measuring cup
  • Extension set if desired, Bolus extension set for g-tube buttons


  1. Gastrostomy TubeExplain the procedure to the child.
  2. Wash your hands with soap and water.
  3. Gather all the supplies.
  4. Pour the correct amount of formula into a clean measuring cup or clean baby bottle.
  5. Place the child in a comfortable position. If possible, place the child in a highchair at the table during mealtimes.
  6. Insert the syringe tip into the feeding tube or bolus extension set for the MIC-KEY or Bard button.
  7. Flush tubing with 3-5 ml of water or as directed by your nurse or doctor prior to starting the formula feeding.
  8. Slowly pour the formula into the syringe.
  9. Unclamp the feeding tube. Control the feeding rate by raising or lowering the syringe. The feeding should take about the same amount of time as it would take a child to drink the formula, about 15-20 minutes. Disconnect the feeding if the child becomes nauseated, shows signs of discomfort, abdominal distension, vomiting or trouble breathing.
  10. If the child cannot be fed by mouth, provide oral stimulation with a pacifier during the gastrostomy feeding. Discuss oral stimulation suggestions for your older child with your child's doctor, nurse or occupational therapist.
  11. When all the formula has been given, flush the tubing with water as directed by your doctor or nurse, recap the tube or disconnect all tubing and close the cap on the g-tube button.
  12. Try burping the child after each feeding if appropriate.
  13. Rinse the feeding supplies with warm water after each feeding and allow to air dry. Replace syringes and extension sets every two weeks.

If the Formula Backs Up

  • Change the position of the tubing to slow the rate
  • Chang the child's position
  • Flushing the feeding tube with 3-5 ml tap water

Safety Tips

  • Remember to flush the feeding tube with water between all feeding and medicines.
  • Watch the child for feeding problems: nausea, vomiting, discomfort, distension, or change in stool pattern.
  • Call your doctor or nurse with any feeding concerns.

Last Updated 05/2022

Reviewed By Kim Sobel, RN
Contact Us.
Use our online contact form. Or, for more information about the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition call 513-636-4415. More Information