In the fifth season episode 9 of This Is Us, Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan) finally brought home their new baby from the hospital. However, in all the scenes with Kate and Toby holding the new baby, it is not a real baby, this is why the actors were unable to have a live baby during filming.
On the February 23, 2021 episode of This Is Us Kate pulled her new baby out to meet Toby, she cradles Hailey Rose in a wrapped blanket and places her in Toby’s arms. They talk about how the birth mother, Ellie (Ashley Johnson), is signing the papers to deliver the baby to them.
Kate and Toby plan to have an open adoption with Ellie, as they want to send her pictures and let her visit the baby. However, Ellie unexpectedly changes her mind on the way home from the hospital, it is already too difficult for her to see the baby at this point, so she asks them to leave her alone.
So Kate is devastated that the adoption changed so quickly and wants her son to meet his biological mother because she saw how difficult it was for his brother, Randall (Sterling K. Brown), not to meet his biological parents, though, Toby I assured him that everything will be fine.
Jon Huertas and co-executive producer Julia Brownell recently spoke about how COVID-19 changed the script for This Is Us season 5. Let’s not forget that Huertas directed the February 23 episode, so he has first-hand knowledge of the pandemic protocols in place.
“With COVID-19, we weren’t even allowed to film our actors with live babies,” Huertas revealed.
He described what the This Is Us actors were holding in place of a baby and how they made things work even with challenging biosafety protocols due to the pandemic.
“So the challenge was to get the actors to be at that moment, in that place where they are looking for a replacement,” he continued.
“We have these dolls that are very realistic, but they actually feel a real connection to them and hopefully carry over into post-production allowing for a realistic result,” he added.