[Image shows a blue and grey backpack laying on the floor, to the left of it are a feeding bag and Infinity feeding pump, to the right is a pair of purple scissors and black thread. In the bottom left corner is the blog banner for “Thee Crohnie Grace”. In the center is a clipart of torn white notebook paper with a red paper clip. On the paper in black text reads “Making Your Own Feeding Tube Backpack” and has a picture of a small blue backpack and in small red text along the bottom of the paper reads “Thee Crohnie Grace”.]
I think every tubie knows that nothing smells as gross as the formula you put down your tube, and even worse, spilling that formula in your backpack and never being able to really get the smell out. I’ve had the same small black feeding tube backpack for close to four years now, ever since I started with NG feeds. I’ve spilled formula in it, had bags leak, and even after washing it, I open the bag and the smell of spoiled dry formula still lingers.
On top of that I had the struggle last semester of having to take two separate backpacks to college, one for my feeds and one for books and college supply. So I finally decided it was time for a new backpack, one that could hold my formula and pump and also have room for books. I got extremely lucky at Walmart finding a backpack that had three compartments, one that fit my pump perfectly, the second could be used to hold my formula feeding bag and the third was large and roomy enough to fit books and other school essentials in.
And it was cute, which is always a perk. The only issue was that it zipped the opposite way of my tubing, and it needed a clip to hold the formula bag. Luckily with some basic hand sewing skills and scissors, I was able to transform it in to the perfect feeding tube backpack and here’s how:
First things first, you will need a clip to attach your feeding bag to! I was able to find mine at Walmart.
[Image on the left shows a blue plastic clip sewn into black satin material. Image on the right shows black thread with a needle in the top of it and purple scissors out of focus.]
Using thread that matches the inside of the fabric just so it doesn’t stick out, sew in the clip you have. You will want to go over the same stitch a handful of times so that it is secure enough to hold up the full bag. The bags I get only hold 500ml at a time, I know some hold way more than that, so you will want to test it out after you sew it in to make sure it will hold up.
[Image shows the inside of a backpack, a blue clip in the upper center and clipped to it a feeding bag filled with a blue liquid (blue gatorade)]
I filled mine up to test the clip weights, and once I felt the stitching was secure I moved on to the next step. Since I wanted to be able to fully zip up the backpack, I decided to put my own slots in the sides of the bag so that I could thread the tubing through the slots into the bottom compartment into the pump.
To do this I took my scissors and just cut a small hole big enough to fit the tubing through, right next to the zipper, and another small hold in the side of the front compartment to feed the tubing through into the pump and back out.
[Image on the left shows the blue and grey backpack from the side, next to the zipper is a cut which has been stitched up with black thread, a tube coming out from it. The image on the right shows the front compartment of the backpack, a hole also in the side of it with blue stitching and a tube coming in through the hold and connected to the pump laying on top of the backpack.]
After I cut the holes in the side, I noticed fraying in the fabric, so I used a simple stitch to go around the fabric and also used some fray glue that you can get in the sewing section to go along the edges and stop the fraying as to not lead to a bigger hole than necessary. I tried to match the thread color to the backpack, using blue on the front and black along the edge near the zipper.
And that’s really it! After that was done, I let the glue dry and then ran all the tubing through to hook myself up to the gatorade I poured into the bag.
[Image shows a blue and grey backpack with black seams with zippers. It has a lot of decorative pins along the front. On the sides you can see the tubing coming out from the sides and the tube connector laying in front of the backpack]
You can customize your backpack as much as you’d like, I love enamel pins which I get on Etsy. But you can get iron on patches, pins from stores, etc. Anything you want to make your backpack feel more like yourself. After all, if you’re going to be attached to something 24/7 you are going to want it to be something you like to look at!