Weaning children from tube to oral feeding

Childs Nerv Syst. 1996 Oct;12(10):590-4. doi: 10.1007/BF00261653.


Most of the children seen by specialists in neonatalogy, neuropaediatrics or neurosurgery do not have any problems in starting with oral feeding after a period of tube feeding lasting between 15 and 20 days. Children who have been tube fed for a longer period, however, can find it very difficult or even impossible to re-establish oral feeding when they have sufficiently recovered from their underlying problem. To cope with this situation we propose a procedure based on the afferentation or re-afferentation of the oropharyngeal cavity by sensory stimulations and by re-establishment of the biological clock (circadian rhythm) by applying these stimulations during tube feeding at regular hours. In 19 children who showed difficulties oral feeding became possible a short time after such a procedure had been applied. If the principles of swallowing neurophysiology and the biological rhythm are respected, this procedure, which also involves a contribution from the family, leads to quicker oral feeding and shorter stay in hospital.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Deglutition / physiology
  • Deglutition Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Enteral Nutrition*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male