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Publication numberUS20060179574 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/057,722
Publication dateAug 17, 2006
Filing dateFeb 14, 2005
Priority dateFeb 14, 2005
Publication number057722, 11057722, US 2006/0179574 A1, US 2006/179574 A1, US 20060179574 A1, US 20060179574A1, US 2006179574 A1, US 2006179574A1, US-A1-20060179574, US-A1-2006179574, US2006/0179574A1, US2006/179574A1, US20060179574 A1, US20060179574A1, US2006179574 A1, US2006179574A1
InventorsRachel Margalit
Original AssigneeRachel Margalit
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Adjustable pillow for supporting an infant
US 20060179574 A1
Abstract
A pillow that provides support for an infant, especially during feeding. The pillow is preferably adjustable to accommodate for the varying lengths and thicknesses of different caretakers' arms. Further preferably, the pillow is also adjustable to help secure the pillow about the upper portion of the caretaker's arm. Still further preferably, the pillow is adjustable to help secure the pillow about the lower portion of caretaker's arm.
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Claims(26)
1. A pillow for supporting an infant comprising:
a substantially tubular body having a substantially uniform width and having a first open end and a second open end and defining a bore therebetween, said bore dimensioned to retain an arm of a user inserted through one of said first open end and said second open end so that said substantially tubular body covers substantially all of said arm of said user and said substantially tubular body having a length sufficient to support a substantial portion of a body of an infant, said substantially tubular body comprising:
an inner surface;
an outer surface coupled to said inner surface to form a void defined by and located between said inner surface and said outer surface; and
filling inserted within and distributed substantially equally between said inner surface and said outer surface of said substantially tubular body thereby providing said substantially tubular body with a substantially uniform thickness; and
at least one adjustment device coupled to at least one of said first open end and said second open end, said at least one adjustment device allowing at least one of said first open end and said second open end to be securely coupled about at least one of an upper portion of said arm of said user and a lower portion of said arm of said user.
2. The pillow of claim 1 having a first adjustment device coupled to said first open end and having a second adjustment device coupled to said second open end.
3. The pillow of claim 1 wherein at least one of said first open end and said second open end defining a slit, said slit extending substantially perpendicularly from said at least one of said first open end and said second open end towards a middle area of said substantially tubular body proximate said at least one of said first open end and said second open end, at least one of said first open end and said second open end defining a first edge and a second edge proximate said slit.
4. The pillow of claim 3 wherein said at least one adjustment device comprises:
a band, one edge of said band being coupled to one of said first open end and said second open end of said substantially tubular body so that a first end of said band being proximate said first edge proximate said slit and a second end of said band being proximate said second edge proximate said slit;
a first coupling mechanism coupled to said first end of said band;
a second coupling mechanism dimensioned to mate with said first coupling mechanism and coupled to said second end of said band in order to maintain a desired circumference of said band.
5. The pillow of claim 3 wherein said at least one adjustment device comprises a zipper, a first half of said zipper being coupled along said first edge proximate said slit and a second half of said zipper being coupled along said second edge proximate said slit.
6. The pillow of claim 1 wherein said at least one adjustment device comprises at least one annular elastic strip, said at least one annular elastic strip being coupled to said inner surface of said substantially tubular body and being coupled proximate at least one of said first open end and said second open end such that a portion of said substantially tubular body extends beyond said at least one annular elastic strip.
7. The pillow of claim 6 wherein said portion of said substantially tubular body extending beyond said annular elastic strip being capable of folding back upon itself and thereby shortening a length of said substantially tubular body.
8. The pillow of claim 7 wherein said outer surface and at least a portion of said inner surface proximate said annular elastic strip comprising a substantially soft material so that when said portion of said substantially tubular body extending beyond said annular elastic strip is folded back upon itself, said substantially soft material of said at least a portion of said inner surface being exposed.
9. The pillow of claim 6 wherein said at least one adjustment device further comprises:
at least one strap, a first end of said at least one strap being coupled to said substantially tubular body proximate at least one of said first open end and said second open end and a second end of said at least one strap being disposed opposite said first end of said at least one strap and extending beyond one of said first open end and said second open end;
a first coupling mechanism coupled to a bottom surface of said strap proximate said second end of said strap;
a second coupling mechanism coupled to said outer surface of said substantially tubular body proximate one of said first open end and said second open end so that said first coupling mechanism and said second coupling mechanism being dimensioned to be mated such that said portion of said substantially tubular body extending beyond said annular elastic strip being gathered and thereby shortening a length of said substantially tubular body.
10. The pillow of claim 1 further comprising at least one pocket coupled to said outer surface of said substantially tubular body and coupled at a distance from at least one of said first open end and said second open end such that said at least one pocket being accessible to said user despite any length adjustment of said substantially tubular body.
11. The pillow of claim 10 wherein said at least one pocket being oriented such that an opening of said pocket being proximate said second open end.
12. The pillow of claim 1 further comprising at least one loop coupled to said outer surface of said substantially tubular body, said loop being dimensioned such that an infant feeding accessory may be passed therethrough and secured to said pillow.
13. A pillow for supporting an infant comprising:
a substantially tubular body having a substantially tapered width and having a first open end and a second open end and defining a bore therebetween, said bore dimensioned to retain an arm of a user inserted through one of said first open end and said second open end so that said substantially tubular body covers substantially all of said arm of said user and said substantially tubular body having a length sufficient to support a substantial portion of a body of an infant, said substantially tubular body comprising:
an inner surface;
an outer surface coupled to said inner surface to form a void defined by and located between said inner surface and said outer surface; and
filling inserted within and distributed substantially equally between said inner surface and said outer surface of said substantially tubular body thereby providing said substantially tubular body with a substantially uniform thickness.
14. The pillow of claim 13 further comprising at least one adjustment device coupled to at least one of said first open end and said second open end, said at least one adjustment device allowing at least one of said first open end and said second open end to be securely coupled about at least one of an upper portion of said arm of said user and a lower portion of said arm of said user.
15. The pillow of claim 14 having a first adjustment device coupled to said first open end and having a second adjustment device coupled to said second open end.
16. The pillow of claim 14 wherein at least one of said first open end and said second open end defining a slit, said slit extending substantially perpendicularly from said at least one of said first open end and said second open end towards a middle area of said substantially tubular body proximate said at least one of said first open end and said second open end, at least one of said first open end and said second open end defining a first edge and a second edge proximate said slit.
17. The pillow of claim 16 wherein said at least one adjustment device comprises:
a band, one edge of said band being coupled to one of said first open end and said second open end of said substantially tubular body so that a first end of said band being proximate said first edge proximate said slit and a second end of said band being proximate said second edge proximate said slit;
a first coupling mechanism coupled to said first end of said band;
a second coupling mechanism dimensioned to mate with said first coupling mechanism and coupled to said second end of said band in order to maintain a desired circumference of said band.
18. The pillow of claim 16 wherein said at least one adjustment device comprises a zipper, a first half of said zipper being coupled along said first edge proximate said slit and a second half of said zipper being coupled along said second edge proximate said slit.
19. The pillow of claim 14 wherein said at least one adjustment device comprises at least one annular elastic strip, said at least one annular elastic strip being coupled to said inner surface of said substantially tubular body and being coupled proximate at least one of said first open end and said second open end such that a portion of said substantially tubular body extends beyond said at least one annular elastic strip.
20. The pillow of claim 19 wherein said portion of said substantially tubular body extending beyond said annular elastic strip being capable of folding back upon itself and thereby shortening a length of said substantially tubular body.
21. The pillow of claim 20 wherein said outer surface and at least a portion of said inner surface proximate said annular elastic strip comprising a substantially soft material so that when said portion of said substantially tubular body extending beyond said annular elastic strip is folded back upon itself, said substantially soft material of said at least a portion of said inner surface being exposed.
22. The pillow of claim 19 wherein said at least one adjustment device further comprises:
at least one strap, a first end of said at least one strap being coupled to said substantially tubular body proximate at least one of said first open end and said second open end and a second end of said at least one strap being disposed opposite said first end of said at least one strap and extending beyond one of said first open end and said second open end;
a first coupling mechanism coupled to a bottom surface of said strap proximate said second end of said strap;
a second coupling mechanism coupled to said outer surface of said substantially tubular body proximate one of said first open end and said second open end so that said first coupling mechanism and said second coupling mechanism being dimensioned to be mated such that said portion of said substantially tubular body extending beyond said annular elastic strip being gathered and thereby shortening a length of said substantially tubular body.
23. The pillow of claim 14 further comprising at least one pocket coupled to said outer surface of said substantially tubular body and coupled at a distance from at least one of said first open end and said second open end such that said at least one pocket being accessible to said user despite any length adjustment of said substantially tubular body.
24. The pillow of claim 23 wherein said pocket being oriented such that an opening of said pocket being proximate said second open end.
25. The pillow of claim 13 further comprising at least one loop coupled to said outer surface of said substantially tubular body, said loop being dimensioned such that an infant feeding accessory may be passed therethrough and secured to said pillow.
26. A pillow for supporting an infant comprising:
a substantially tubular body having a substantially tapered width and having a first open end and a second open end and defining a bore therebetween, said bore dimensioned to retain an arm of a user inserted through one of said first open end and said second open end so that said substantially tubular body covers substantially all of said arm of said user and said substantially tubular body having a length sufficient to support a substantial portion of a body of an infant, said substantially tubular body comprising:
an inner surface;
an outer surface coupled to said inner surface to form a void defined by and located between said inner surface and said outer surface; and
filling inserted within and distributed substantially equally between said inner surface and said outer surface of said substantially tubular body thereby providing said substantially tubular body with a substantially uniform thickness;
a first annular elastic strip, said first annular elastic strip being coupled to said inner surface of said substantially tubular body and being coupled proximate said first open end such that a portion of said substantially tubular body extends beyond said first annular elastic strip, said portion of said substantially tubular body extending beyond said first annular elastic strip being capable of folding back upon itself and thereby shortening a length of said substantially tubular body;
a second annular elastic strip, said second annular elastic strip being coupled to said inner surface of said substantially tubular body and being coupled proximate said second open end such that a portion of said substantially tubular body extends beyond said second annular elastic strip, said portion of said substantially tubular body extending beyond said second annular elastic strip being capable of folding back upon itself and thereby shortening said length of said substantially tubular body, wherein said outer surface and at least a portion of said inner surface comprising a substantially soft material so that when at least one of said portion of said substantially tubular body extending beyond said first annular elastic strip and said portion of said substantially tubular body extending beyond said second annular elastic strip is folded back upon itself, said substantially soft material of said at least a portion of said inner surface being exposed;
at least one pocket coupled to said outer surface of said substantially tubular body, said at least one pocket being oriented such that an opening defined by said at least one pocket being proximate said second open end and said at least one pocket coupled at a distance from said second open end such that said at least one pocket being accessible to said user despite any length adjustment of said substantially tubular body; and
at least one loop coupled to said outer surface of said substantially tubular body, said loop being dimensioned such that an infant feeding accessory may be passed therethrough and secured to said pillow.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention pertains in general to pillows and pertains in particular to an adjustable pillow for providing support to an infant.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

When feeding an infant, a caregiver usually cradles the infant in his/her arm to hold the infant upright. Oftentimes, the caregiver may sit in a chair or couch and will rest his/arm upon the chair's arm for support. However, during a prolonged feeding period, the infant may experience discomfort from the caregiver's arm and the caregiver may experience fatigue. Further discomfort may arise from the build-up of perspiration on the caregiver's arm. Several attempts have been made to address these issues.

For example U.S. Pat. No. 5,239,717, issued to Sue, appears to disclose a pillow for a caregiver's arm for supporting the head of a baby. The pillow is comprised of two side-by-side interconnected layers which lie flat and are juxtaposed relative to each other. The pillow forms a tube when a part of the arm of a caregiver is inserted between the two layers. While wearing this tube about his/her arm, the caregiver and the infant are provided with cushioning for a more comfortable feeding. A problem arises, however, when the caregiver is young and has a thinner and shorter arm than an adult caregiver would. The Sue invention does not provide any adjustability to accommodate for the different arm lengths that caregivers may have. Furthermore, the Sue invention is not secured about the caregiver's arm, therefore creating the possibility that the pillow may accidentally slip down the caregiver's arm.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,381,786, issued to Cadden, discloses an infant pillow feeding sleeve. The sleeve is slipped over the arm of the caregiver and when the arm is bent to position the baby for feeding, the sleeve props the infant's head up, thereby reducing fatigue and increasing the comfort of the caregiver and the child. Like the Sue invention, the Cadden infant pillow feeding sleeve does not account for the varying arm lengths of different caregivers. And the Cadden invention also lacks any sort of securing device to ensure that the pillow feeding sleeve is held firmly in place. Furthermore, the Cadden device discloses a reduced thickness at both ends, which could cause an infant's head to accidentally slip off of the pillow.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,440,769, issued to Thomas, appears to disclose another cylindrical pillow for supporting a baby's head. The pillow is slipped onto the caregiver's arm like a sleeve and has elastic bands to hold the pillow in place around the caregiver's arm. Although these elastic bands help provide security, they are rough and may cause abrasions on the highly sensitive skin of the infant. And again, the Thomas invention fails to provide any adjustability for the varying arm lengths of different caregivers.

Therefore a need existed to provide a pillow for supporting an infant that is adjustable to accommodate for the varying lengths of different caretakers' arms. Preferably the pillow will also be adjustable to help secure the pillow about the upper portion of the caretaker's arm. Further preferably, the pillow will be further adjustable to help secure the pillow about the lower portion of caretaker's arm.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a pillow for supporting an infant that is adjustable to accommodate for the varying lengths of different caretakers' arms.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a pillow for supporting an infant that is adjustable to help secure the pillow about the upper portion of the caretaker's arm.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a pillow for supporting an infant that is adjustable to help secure the pillow about the lower portion of the caretaker's arm.

BRIED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, a pillow for supporting an infant is disclosed. The pillow comprises: a substantially tubular body having a substantially uniform width and having a first open end and a second open end and defining a bore therebetween, the bore being dimensioned to retain an arm of a user inserted through either the first open end or the second open end so that the substantially tubular body covers substantially all of the arm of the user, and the substantially tubular body having a length sufficient to support a substantial portion of a body of an infant. The pillow also comprises at least one adjustment device coupled to at least one of the first open end and the second open end, the at least one adjustment device allowing at least one of the first open end and the second open end to be securely coupled about at least one of an upper portion of the arm of the user and a lower portion of the arm of the user. And the substantially tubular body comprises: an inner surface, an outer surface coupled to the inner surface to form a void defined by and located between the inner surface and the outer surface, and filling inserted within and distributed substantially equally between the inner surface and the outer surface of the substantially tubular body thereby providing the substantially tubular body with a substantially uniform thickness.

In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, a pillow for supporting an infant is disclosed. The pillow comprises: a substantially tubular body having a substantially tapered width and having a first open end and a second open end and defining a bore therebetween, the bore being dimensioned to retain an arm of a user inserted through one of the first open end and the second open end so that the substantially tubular body covers substantially all of the arm of the user and the substantially tubular body having a length sufficient to support a substantial portion of a body of an infant. The substantially tubular body comprises: an inner surface, an outer surface coupled to the inner surface to form a void defined by and located between the inner surface and the outer surface, and filling inserted within and distributed substantially equally between the inner surface and the outer surface of the substantially tubular body thereby providing the substantially tubular body with a substantially uniform thickness.

In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, a pillow for supporting an infant is disclosed. The pillow comprises: a substantially tubular body having a substantially tapered width and having a first open end and a second open end and defining a bore therebetween, the bore being dimensioned to retain an arm of a user inserted through one of the first open end and the second open end so that the substantially tubular body covers substantially all of the arm of the user and the substantially tubular body having a length sufficient to support a substantial portion of a body of an infant. The pillow also comprises a first annular elastic strip coupled to the inner surface of the substantially tubular body and coupled proximate the first open end such that a portion of the substantially tubular body extends beyond the first annular elastic strip, the portion of the substantially tubular body extending beyond the first annular elastic strip being capable of folding back upon itself and thereby shortening a length of the substantially tubular body. The pillow further comprises a second annular elastic strip coupled to the inner surface of the substantially tubular body and coupled proximate the second open end such that a portion of the substantially tubular body extends beyond the second annular elastic strip, the portion of the substantially tubular body extending beyond the second annular elastic strip being capable of folding back upon itself and thereby shortening the length of the substantially tubular body, wherein the outer surface and at least a portion of the inner surface comprising a substantially soft material so that when at least one of the portion of the substantially tubular body extending beyond the first annular elastic strip and the portion of the substantially tubular body extending beyond the second annular elastic strip is folded back upon itself, the substantially soft material of the at least a portion of the inner surface being exposed. In addition, the pillow comprises at least one pocket coupled to the outer surface of the substantially tubular body, the at least one pocket being oriented such that an opening defined by the at least one pocket being proximate the second open end and the at least one pocket coupled at a distance from the second open end such that the at least one pocket being accessible to the user despite any length adjustment of the substantially tubular body. The pillow also comprises at least one loop coupled to the outer surface of the substantially tubular body, the loop being dimensioned such that an infant feeding accessory may be passed therethrough and secured to the pillow. And the substantially tubular body comprises: an inner surface, an outer surface coupled to the inner surface to form a void defined by and located between the inner surface and the outer surface, and filling inserted within and distributed substantially equally between the inner surface and the outer surface of the substantially tubular body thereby providing the substantially tubular body with a substantially uniform thickness.

The foregoing and other objects, features, and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following, more particular, description of the preferred embodiments of the invention, as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of a pillow for supporting an infant consistent with the present invention. The pillow is shown in use with a caregiver supporting an infant.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the pillow of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an open end of the pillow of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of a pillow for supporting an infant consistent with the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a perspective, partially cut-away view of an open end of the pillow of FIG. 4. The pillow is shown as having a portion of the substantially tubular body folded back upon itself.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of an open end of a third embodiment of a pillow for supporting an infant consistent with the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an open end of the pillow of FIG. 6. The pillow is shown as having a portion of the substantially tubular pillow gathered and held in place by two straps.

FIG. 8 is a perspective, partially cut-away view of an open end of a fourth embodiment of a pillow for supporting an infant consistent with the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a side view of a fifth embodiment of a pillow for supporting an infant consistent with the present invention.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a second open end of the pillow of FIG. 9. The pillow is shown as having a portion of the substantially tubular body folded back upon itself.

FIG. 11 is a side view of the pillow of FIG. 9. The pillow is shown as having a loop and an infant feeding accessory passed therethrough and secured to the pillow.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The novel features believed characteristic of the invention are set forth in the appended claims. The invention will best be understood by reference to the following detailed description of illustrated embodiments when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals and symbols represent like elements.

Referring to FIGS. 1-11, a pillow for supporting an infant 104 (shown in FIG. 1), referred to generically as pillow 10, is disclosed. The pillow 10 comprises a substantially tubular body 12 and at least one adjustment device 38.

The substantially tubular body 12 may have either a substantially uniform width or a substantially tapered width (shown in FIG. 9). The substantially tubular body 12 has a first open end 14 a (shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 4, and 9), referred to generically as open end 14, and a second open end 14 b (shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 9, and 10), referred to generically as open end 14. The substantially tubular body 12 defines a bore 28 (shown in FIGS. 2-6, FIG. 8, and FIG. 10) between the first open end 14 a and the second open end 14 b. The bore 28 is preferably dimensioned to retain an arm 98 (see FIG. 1) of a user 96 (see FIG. 1) that is inserted through the first open end 14 a so that the substantially tubular body 12 covers substantially all of the arm 98 of the user 96. Further preferably, the substantially tubular body 12 has a length sufficient to support a substantial portion of a body 106 (see FIG. 1) of the infant 104. The substantially tubular body 12 comprises an inner surface 30 (shown in FIGS. 2-6, FIG. 8 and FIG. 10), an outer surface 32, and a void 34 (see FIGS. 5 and 6) defined by and located between the inner surface 30 and the outer surface 32. The void 34 contains filling 36 (see FIG. 5) that is distributed substantially equally between the inner surface 30 and the outer surface 32, thereby providing the substantially tubular body 12 with a substantially uniform thickness.

Referring now to FIG. 1, preferably, the pillow 10 has at least one adjustment device, referred to generically as adjustment device 38, coupled to either one of the first open end 14 a and the second open end 14 b. Or, the pillow 10 may have two adjustment devices 38, one coupled to the first open end 14 a and another coupled to the second open end 14 b (see FIG. 2). An adjustment device 38 coupled to the first open end 14 a would allow for the first open end 14 a to be securely coupled about an upper portion 100 of the arm 98 of the user 96, and an adjustment device 38 coupled to the second open end 14 b would allow the second open end 14 b to be securely coupled about a lower portion 102 of the arm 98 of the user 96.

FIGS. 2 and 3 show a first embodiment of the pillow 10, hereinafter referred to as pillow 10 a, of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 3, either open end 14 may define a slit 44 that extends substantially perpendicularly from the open end 14 towards a middle area 26 (also shown in FIGS. 4 and 9) of the substantially tubular body 12 proximate the open end 14. On the other hand, FIG. 2 shows the first open end 14 a as defining a slit 44 that extends substantially perpendicularly from the first open end 14 a towards the middle area 26 of the substantially tubular body 12 proximate the first open end 14 a and also shows the second open end 14 b as defining a slit 44 that extends substantially perpendicularly from the second open end 14 b towards the middle area 26 of the substantially tubular body 12 proximate the second open end 14 b.

In FIGS. 2 and 3, one embodiment of the adjustment device 38, referred to as adjustment device 38 a, is shown. The adjustment device 38 a comprises a band 50. One edge 52 of the band 50 is coupled to the open end 14 of the substantially tubular body 12 so that a first end 54 of the band 50 is proximate a first edge 16 proximate the slit 44 and a second end 56 (see FIG. 3) of the band 50 is proximate a second edge 18 proximate the slit 44. FIG. 2 shows that the adjustment device 38 a may be coupled to each of the first open end 14 a and the second open end 14 b of the pillow 10. The adjustment device 38 a has a first coupling mechanism 58 a (see FIG. 3), referred to generically as coupling mechanism 58, coupled to the first end 54 of the band 50 and also has a second coupling mechanism 58 b (see FIG. 3), referred to generically as coupling mechanism 58, coupled to the second end 56 of the band 50. The second coupling mechanism 58 b is dimensioned to mate with the first coupling mechanism 58 a in order to maintain a desired circumference of the band 50.

Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, another embodiment of the pillow 10, hereinafter pillow 10 b, is shown. The pillow 10 b uses another type of adjustment device 38 b, referred to generically as adjustment device 38. The adjustment device 38 b comprises at least one annular elastic strip 68. The annular elastic strip 68 is coupled to the inner surface 30 of the substantially tubular body 12 and is coupled proximate the open end 14 such that a portion 74 of the substantially tubular body 12 extends beyond the annular elastic strip 68. FIG. 4 shows that an adjustment device 38 b may be coupled to each of the first open end 14 a and the second open end 14 b of the substantially tubular body 12. Although not shown, it should be clearly understood that further substantial benefit may be derived from at least another annular elastic strip 68 being coupled to the inner surface 30 of the substantially tubular body 12 proximate the middle area 26 of the substantially tubular body 12. As shown in FIG. 5, the portion 74 of the substantially tubular body 12 extending beyond the annular elastic strip 68 may be folded back upon itself, thereby shortening a length of the substantially tubular body 12.

Referring now to FIGS. 6 and 7, an alternative embodiment of the pillow 10, hereinafter pillow 10 c, is shown. The pillow 10 c is essentially the same as the pillow 10 b, although the pillow 10 c comprises two straps 80 that are used to adjust the length of the pillow 10 c. Each of the two straps have a first end 82 coupled to the substantially tubular body 12 proximate the open end 14 and each having a second end 84 disposed opposite the first end 82 of the strap 80 and extending beyond the open end 14 of the substantially tubular body 12. A first coupling mechanism 58 a is coupled to a bottom surface 86 of each strap 80 proximate the second end 84 of each strap 80. A second coupling mechanism 58 b is coupled to the outer surface 32 of the substantially tubular body 12 proximate the open end 14. The first coupling mechanism 58 a and the second coupling mechanism 58 b are dimensioned to be mated such that the portion 74 of the substantially tubular body 12 extending beyond the annular elastic strip 68 may be gathered and held in place, thereby shortening the length of the substantially tubular body 12. Although it is preferred that two straps 80 be used, it should be clearly understood that an alternate number of straps 80 may be used so long as the straps 80 gather and hold the portion 74 of the substantially tubular body 12 extending beyond the annular elastic strip 68 in place.

Referring now to FIG. 8, another embodiment of the pillow 10, referred to herein as pillow 10 d, is shown. Like pillow 10 a, the open end 14 of pillow 10 d may define a slit 44 that extends substantially perpendicularly from the open end 14 towards a middle area 26 of the substantially tubular body 12 proximate the open end 14. And like pillow 10 b, the adjustment device 38 b comprises at least one annular elastic strip 68 coupled to the inner surface 30 of the substantially tubular body 12 and coupled proximate the open end 14 such that a portion 74 of the substantially tubular body 12 extends beyond the annular elastic strip 68. The pillow 10 d, however, has a zipper 62 that is used to adjust the length of the substantially tubular body 12 of the pillow 10 d. A first half 64 of the zipper 62 is shown coupled along the first edge 16 proximate the slit 44 and a second half 66 of the zipper 62 is shown coupled along the second edge 18 proximate the slit 44. As the zipper 62 is unzipped, the portion 74 of the substantially tubular body 12 extending beyond the annular elastic strip 68 may be folded back upon itself, thereby shortening the length of the substantially tubular body 12.

Referring now to FIGS. 9 and 10, an alternative embodiment of the pillow 10, hereinafter pillow 10 e, is shown. The pillow 10 e is essentially the same as the pillow 10 b, although the outer surface 32 and at least a portion of the inner surface 30 proximate the annular elastic strip 68 preferably both comprise a substantially soft material 108 so that when the portion 74 of the substantially tubular body 12 extending beyond the annular elastic strip 68 is folded back upon itself, the substantially soft material 108 of the portion of the inner surface 30 will be exposed. Although this is preferred, it should be clearly understood that substantial benefit may be derived if the entire inner surface 30 or none of the inner surface 30 were comprised of the same substantially soft material 108 that the outer surface 32 is comprised of. The pillow 10 e further differs from the previous embodiments in that the pillow 10 e has a substantially tapered width (see FIG. 9). A tapered width is preferable because the upper portion 100 of a user's 96 arm is typically wider than the lower portion 102 of the user's 96 arm.

FIGS. 9-11 also show that the soft material 108 has a plurality of protuberances 110. Such protuberances 110 are present in cloth materials such as Minkey Dot polyester. These protuberances 110 allow for greater comfort and support for the infant 104. Although it is preferred to use Minkey Dot polyester, it should be clearly understood that substantial benefit may be derived from using alternative types of material so long as the material is not uncomfortable to the infant 104.

Referring now to FIG. 2 and FIGS. 9-11, the pillow 10 is shown as having at least one pocket 88 that is coupled to the outer surface 32 of the substantially tubular body 12. Although it is preferred that the pillow 10 have a pocket 88, substantial benefit may still be derived from a pillow 10 without a pocket 88. Preferably, the pocket 88 is oriented such that an opening 90 of the pocket 88 is proximate the second open end 14 b of the substantially tubular body 12. Further preferably, the pocket 88 is coupled at a distance from the open end 14 such that the pocket 88 remains accessible to the user 96 despite any length adjustment of the substantially tubular body 12. Preferably, the pillow 10 may also have at least one loop 92 coupled to the outer surface 32 of the substantially tubular body 12. Although it is preferred that the pillow 10 have a loop 92, substantial benefit may still be derived from a pillow 10 that does not have a loop 92. Preferably, the loop 92 is dimensioned such that an infant feeding accessory 94 (see FIG. 11), such as a burp rag 95 (see FIG. 11), may be passed therethrough and secured to the pillow 10. Although the infant feeding accessory 94 is shown to be a burp rag 95, it should be clearly understood that the loop 92 may be used to secure any infant feeding accessory 94 to the pillow 10, such as a toy set of rings, a pacifier, or some other toy or accessory.

While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the foregoing and other changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, although the coupling mechanisms 58 in FIGS. 2, 3, 6, and 7 are shown as being snaps 60, it should be clearly understood that further substantial benefit may be derived from using an alternate type of coupling mechanisms 58, such as hooks, VelcroŽ fasteners, and buttons. As a further example, although it is preferred that the outer surface 32 comprise a substantially soft material 108, such as polyester, and that the inner surface 30 comprise an alternate material, such as cotton flannel, it should be clearly understood that any type of materials may be used so long as the material is comfortable to both the user 96 and to the infant 104. It should also be clearly understood that it is not required that certain types of adjustment devices 38 be used for any particular embodiment of the pillow 10. The type of adjustment device 38 selected for the pillow 10 may vary so long as the pillow 10 is adjustable to accommodate for the different arm sizes of different caregivers.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8495776 *May 15, 2012Jul 30, 2013Angela KotobToy sleeve
WO2012076996A1Sep 19, 2011Jun 14, 2012Chiara Maria MazzantiWearable article for support of a baby
Classifications
U.S. Classification5/655
International ClassificationA47D15/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47D13/02
European ClassificationA47D13/02