Nothing by mouth NPO instructions (1018)

Key points below

For your child’s safety, it is very important that these instructions are followed the night before and the day of a procedure or surgery.

The procedure or surgery may be cancelled if instructions are not followed.

Your procedure is scheduled for ____________________(date) ______________(time)


Your child’s instructions for getting liquids and food are based on when they will get to the hospital which is ____________________(time)

Last usual or full meal _____________________(time)

No milk, formula or breast milk with additives after _____________________ (time)

No breast milk after _____________________(time)

No clear liquids after _____________________ (time)

The times may need to be changed if unexpected schedule changes are needed.

**Please fill in the blanks after times are provided to you by the Pre-op Call Nurse.

Type of liquid or food allowed / Definition

Usual / full meal: Any food and all juices are fine.

Formula / milk:  Cow’s milk, soy milk, infant or adult formulas; expressed breast milk with additives.

Breast milk: Breast milk, without additives.

Clear liquids: Enfalyte® / Pedialyte, apple juice, white grape juice, Jell-O, popsicles, only apple juice or white grape juice, water. No red or purple liquids

These instructions are based on the following NPO guidelines.

Type of Feeding | Number of hours to stop before hospital arrival

Usual, full meal (by mouth): 8 hours

Formula, Milk or breast milk with additives (by mouth or NG/G-tube):  6 hours

Breast Milk (by mouth or NG/G-tube): 4 hours

Clear Liquids (by mouth or NG/G-tube): 2 hours

Any J-tube Feeds: 2 hours

Special Information

For more information


Call your child’s doctor, nurse or clinic if you or your child have any concerns or your child has special health care needs not covered by this information.