During the COVID-19 global health crisis, pregnant women are advised to go to a hospital only when they're about to give birth. Newborns are susceptible to the disease, and hospitals have protocols in place to make sure the infants receive essential newborn care and that they're protected.
But parents will always worry about their child and go to great lengths to protect them. First-time dad Joey Ong took matters into his own hands when he made a face shield fit for his newborn son. He shared photos of his baby wearing it in the Smart Parenting Village.
Joey's wife Ciara gave birth via C-section to their first child, son Joselito, on April 9, 2020. They in Makati Medical Center for four days and three nights, and "the whole time, it was not 100% easy," the new dad told Smartparenting.com.ph. One of his concerns was the trip from the hospital going home.
"My wife and I had to really plan our game plan on going home. Where we will pass, what we will do when we get home, steps to do as soon as we enter the house," Joey shared. "It's an extraordinary time, and we really need to take extraordinary measures," he stressed.
Why make a face shield for your newborn baby
Since newborns are not allowed in MMC's parking lot, Joey's dilemma was that his wife and son would need to walk in the hospital hallways and meet him outside in the driveway. Since Ciara had a C-section, her only companion going to the lobby was a nurse, while Joey gets the car.
"As a new dad, sobrang nakakatakot now. Kulang na lang balutin ko ng cling wrap yung newborn baby," admitted Joey, founder of Seventeen O' Nine creative kitchens, Dojo Creative Storytellers, and DadBudPH, a Facebook resource group for dads.
So, the new parents hatched a simple plan: get out as fast as they can to the car, which the new dad will already disinfect before picking up Ciara and Joselito in the driveway.
They already decided that Ciara would have a blanket over herself and their son while going to the lobby. But it wasn't enough. Then, the new dad's creativity lightbulb lit up upon seeing photos of newborns in Thailand hospitals wearing face shields.
Joey hoped that hospitals in the Philipines also provide face shields for newborns, but they don't. So the new dad decided to create one. It turned out just as well. "The mask is cute, and it gives you peace of mind in a way," he said.
How to make a face shield for newborns
It was a spur-of-the-moment idea. Joey decided to make a face shield as the hospital was processing his wife and son's discharge papers. The resourceful dad had only an hour to finish creating the face shield using available materials.
"I used a two-liter Royal clear soda bottle. That was the only one available in Mercury Drug store across MMC. Then, a surgical face mask for the band and tissue paper and medical tape. Para-paraan lang," Joey shared.
As of press time, his post in the Smart Parenting Village has more than 3,000 reactions and 175 comments. A lot of parents, especially those expecting moms and dads, are asking how it's done.
If you can't imagine how all the materials ended up as a face shield, Joey uploaded a how-to video on how he made it. He's replicating it for two of his friends who are expecting the arrival of their babies in the next two weeks.
Here's what you'll need:
- two-liter clear soda bottle
- surgical face mask for the band
- tissue or foam for the cushion
- medical tape
Here's how to make it:
- First, cut the soda water bottle in the desired size of the shield, approximately six inches wide, which fits infants' faces nicely. Don't forget to smoothen the corners and make sure there are no sharp edges.
- Next, cut out a 'headband" that's just about the width of the face shield from just below the neck of the soda bottle.
- Using the face mask, wrap the headband with some tissue or foam. Stick it onto the top end of the face shield. Tape the face mask's band at the back to tighten it, so the guard is snug on your newborn's head.
- Place it over your baby's bonnet or beanie for added cushion.
Yes, it's simple as that! Watch Daddy Joey's video below:
What to do if you're pregnant and a suspected, probable, or confirmed COVID-19 patient? Click here.