Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20070056109 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/223,903
Publication dateMar 15, 2007
Filing dateSep 9, 2005
Priority dateSep 9, 2005
Publication number11223903, 223903, US 2007/0056109 A1, US 2007/056109 A1, US 20070056109 A1, US 20070056109A1, US 2007056109 A1, US 2007056109A1, US-A1-20070056109, US-A1-2007056109, US2007/0056109A1, US2007/056109A1, US20070056109 A1, US20070056109A1, US2007056109 A1, US2007056109A1
InventorsSharon Forshpan
Original AssigneeSharon Forshpan
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Portable infant feeding and sleeping unit
US 20070056109 A1
Abstract
An infant sleeping and nursing unit is described. The unit includes a base, which includes two side walls and a rear wall and a platform extending between the side walls and the rear wall, where the base is substantially rigid, a cover, where the cover substantially overlays at least the platform of the frame, and where the overlaying cover is removably secured to the base. Also included is at least one positioning support that is removably securable to the platform.
Images(4)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(21)
1. An infant sleeping and nursing unit, comprising:
a base, said base comprising two side walls and a rear wall and a platform extending between the side walls and the rear wall, said base being substantially rigid;
a cover, wherein said cover substantially overlays at least said platform of said frame, and wherein said overlaying cover is removably secured to said base;
at least one positioning support, wherein said at least one positioning support is removably securable to said platform.
2. A sleeping and nursing unit according to claim 1, wherein said at least one positioning support is removably securable to a mattress pad, and wherein said mattress pad is removably securable to said base.
3. A sleeping and nursing unit according to claim 2, wherein said mattress pad is removably securable to said cover, wherein when said mattress pad is removably secured to said cover, and said cover is secured to said base, said mattress pad is secured to said base.
4. A sleeping and nursing unit according to claim 1, further comprising at least one handle.
5. A sleeping and nursing unit according to claim 1, wherein said frame further comprises a removably securable front wall.
6. A sleeping and nursing unit according to claim 1, wherein said platform comprises at least one molded region.
7. A sleeping and nursing unit according to claim 1, wherein said cover comprises a protective liner.
8. A sleeping and nursing unit according to claim 1, wherein said cover is machine washable.
9. A sleeping and nursing unit according to claim 1, wherein said at least one positioning support is machine washable.
10. A sleeping and nursing unit according to claim 1, wherein said at least one positioning support comprises a removable cover.
11. A sleeping and nursing unit according to claim 1, wherein said frame further comprises a plurality of support legs on the bottom surface of said base.
12. An infant sleeping and nursing unit, comprising:
a base having two side walls, a rear wall, and a platform extending between said side walls;
a cover, wherein said cover substantially overlays at least said platform of said base, and wherein said overlaying cover is removably secured to said base;
at least one positioning support, wherein said at least one positioning support is removably securable to said covered platform; and
wherein said base limits substantial deformations of said platform when said platform is lifted.
13. The sleeping and nursing unit of claim 12, wherein said sleeping and nursing unit further comprises a mattress pad, and wherein said positioning support is removably secureable to said mattress pad.
14. The sleeping and nursing unit of claim 12, wherein said platform comprises a substantially planar structure, said substantially planar structure having ribs to stiffen said substantially planar structure, and wherein said platform further has a left and a aright edge and a rear edge, and wherein said platform is joined to said right side wall along said first edge and joined to said left side wall along said second edge.
15. A sleeping and nursing unit according to claim 14, wherein said platform is further joined along said rear edge to said rear wall.
16. A sleeping and nursing unit according to claim 15, further comprising a first handle disposed on said right side wall and a a second handle disposed on said left side wall.
17. A sleeping and nursing unit according to claim 16, wherein said base further comprises a removably securable front wall.
18. A sleeping and nursing unit according to claim 16, wherein said base is formed from a moldable plastic.
19. A sleeping and nursing unit according to claim 12, wherein said cover comprises a protective liner.
20. A sleeping and nursing unit according to claim 12, wherein said at least one positioning support comprises a removable cover.
21. A sleeping and nursing unit according to claim 12, wherein said frame further comprises a plurality of support legs on the bottom surface of said base.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to infant carriers, and, more particularly, to a portable baby bed designed for feeding and moving sleeping infants.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

No matter what equipment a parent or caregiver has at their disposal, caring for and meeting the needs of an infant child will always be a challenge. For example, a nursing mother must create a suitable environment conducive to breastfeeding. Such an environment involves comfortable positioning of the baby, as well as comfortable positioning for the mother. Also, because breastfed babies typically feed around naptimes or even in the middle of the night, and because infants often fall asleep near or at the end of their feeding time, the process of breastfeeding must accommodate the needs and safety requirements of a sleeping infant.

In an effort to minimize the possibility of sudden infant death syndrome and other infant death (“SIDS/OID”), many doctors recommend that infants sleep in particular positions, to increase the flow of oxygen into the infant as well as reduce the number of episodes of apnea. Numerous products have been designed to help position a sleeping baby. For example, such products often involve foam props and/or materials that may be molded to the shape of an infant to hold or support the infant in specific positions, such as lying on their back or on their side.

Another infant care issue relates to the movement of a sleeping infant. A parent or caregiver will at times be required to go to great lengths to get their infant to sleep. In these situations, the infant invariably will fall asleep in an undesirable location and will need to be moved without disturbing the sleeping child. For example, a nursing mother may need or choose to breastfeed their infant in the mother's bed in the middle of the night. In such a case, the mother may wish to move the infant back to a crib or bedside bassinette without waking the infant up. In another example, the baby may fall asleep in a living room and may need to be moved to a nursery. Such transporting of the baby must be done with minimal disturbance to the infant's sleeping position, lest the infant awaken, and require the parent to start the process over again.

While there are many products available to address some of these infant care issues, no single product answers all of these needs. For example, a nursing pillow, while providing a comfortable position for the baby and mother during breastfeeding, does not provide a safe sleeping environment, should the infant fall asleep after feeding. The mother must then move the infant to a safer sleeping environment, which requires disturbing the sleeping infant by lifting the infant from the pillow and moving the infant to the new location. Thus, the nursing pillow does not provide enough rigidity and other safety supports to allow the pillow to be picked up without the position of the infant being disturbed. In another example, an “infant nest” which may be similar to a bassinet, but with an assortment of added foam supports and positioners, can provide a safe sleeping environment. However, while such infant nests may decrease the occurrence of SIDS/OID, they do not provide suitable access to a nursing mother who wishes to breastfeed the infant in the infant nest.

Thus, a need exists for a device that provides for both the ease and comfort of breastfeeding, or even bottle feeding, as well as, an infant sleeping environment that not only provides for safe positioning of the infant, but also allows for transport of the device without disturbing the position of a sleeping baby in the device.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention describes an infant sleeping and nursing unit. The unit includes a base having two side walls, a rear wall, and a platform extending between the side walls, a cover, where the cover substantially overlays at least the platform of the base, and wherein the overlaying cover is removably secured to the base. Also included is at least one positioning support, where the at least one positioning support is removably securable to the covered platform. Also, the base limits substantial deformations of the platform when the platform is lifted.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

Understanding of the present invention will be facilitated by consideration of the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the present invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like numerals refer to like parts:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of an internal base according to the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a top view of an outer cover according to the present invention;

FIG. 4 is an isometric view of a positioning insert placed inside the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 5 is a bottom isometric view of a cover illustrating one method of fastening the cover to a base.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

It is to be understood that the figures and descriptions of the present invention have been simplified to illustrate elements that are relevant for a clear understanding of the present invention, while eliminating, for the purpose of clarity, many other elements found in infant feeding and sleeping units. Those of ordinary skill in the art may recognize that other elements and/or steps are desirable and/or required in implementing the present invention. However, because such elements and steps are well known in the art, and because they do not facilitate a better understanding of the present invention, a discussion of such elements and steps is not provided herein. The disclosure herein is directed to all such variations and modifications to such elements and methods known to those skilled in the art.

The present invention is a multi-functional unit for the care of infants. While an infant as described herein may generally be thought of as a child of less than one year of age, the present invention may be most suitable for infants of approximately six months of age or less, or for those infants who cannot yet crawl. For example, the present invention may be used to increase the comfort of both a nursing mother and a feeding infant. The present invention also provides a safe sleeping environment designed for sleeping in selective positions. Additionally, the present invention provides for the movement of a sleeping infant inside the same unit without disruption of the infant's sleeping position.

Referring to FIG. 1, an exemplary embodiment of the present invention is shown. In this embodiment, a multi-functional unit 10 may have a horizontal, planar surface area 140, defined on three sides by a back wall 120 and two end walls 130, and an opening 150. Planar surface area 140 may be roughly rectangular in shape to accommodate an infant lying down within surface area 140. Surface area 140 may vary in length between end walls 130, but should be suitable to fit a fully extended infant from head to toe within surface area 140 without touching end walls 130. The width of surface area 140 between back wall 120 and opening 150 may also vary, though this width should be suitable for an infant lying lengthwise between end walls 130 to fit with slightly extended arms between back wall 120 and opening 150.

Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3, unit 10 may be composed of an internal base 200 (shown in FIG. 2) and a removable outer cover 300 (shown in FIG. 3), which may cover at least the walls and top surfaces of internal base 200. The general shape of unit 10 may be defined by internal base 200. Therefore, the three wall design and dimensions of planar surface area 140 as described for unit 100 above may also apply to internal base 200. Internal base 200 may be made of a plastic mold, or constructed from any sturdy, preferably lightweight material, however, internal base 200 must provide enough rigidity such that when an infant is lying within surface area 140, the infant's sleeping position will be minimally disturbed should unit 10 be picked up and moved to a new location.

Internal base 200 may have attachment sites 210 on surface area 140 near end walls 130 and back wall 120 for securing outer cover 300 to internal base 200. Attachment sites 210 may also be located on any portion of surface area 140, including back wall 120 and/or end walls 130, provided the attachment sites are placed so that outer cover 300 does not significantly shift when placed over top and attached to internal base 200. Such attachment sites may be, for example, Velcro, snaps, buttons, reusable adhesives, or any other attachment mechanism as understood by those skilled in the art.

Internal base 200 may also contain ridges, grooves or additional structures on surface area 140 or any of end walls 130 and back wall 120. For example, multiple ridges running parallel to back wall 120 may form part of surface area 140 to help create a better contact surface for outer cover 300 to rest on, as well as to act as stiffeners for the platform.

The bottom surface of internal base 200, and consequently the bottom surface of unit 10 (not shown in Figure), may be flat, such that unit 10 may be placed on a table, floor, bed, co-sleeper, or even the lap of an adult. Alternatively, the bottom surface may contain fixed or foldable supports, such that unit 10 may be slightly raised off the surface it is placed on. Such supports may provide space for blankets or other items to pass under or around unit 10 without decreasing the stability of unit 10.

As can be seen in FIG. 3, outer cover 300 may be defined by two portions, a fitted portion 330 and an underneath portion 340, where both portions are differentiated by a folding region 310. Fitted portion 330 may generally conform to the shape of internal base 200 when placed overtop of internal base 200, and underneath portion 340 may fold at folding region 310 along opening 150 of internal base 200, such that underneath portion 340 may cover the bottom of internal base 200. Fixed to the inside surface of outer cover 300 (not shown), the reciprocal portions of the attachment system for attachment to attaching regions 210 may be found, such that when the attachment system is engaged, outer cover 300 may fit smoothly and not significantly shift along the surface of internal base 200. Outer cover 300 may be made of any sort of fabric or other flexible material that is generally soft to the touch and is machine washable, such material may also include desirable features such as fire retardation, water resistance, and anti-staining.

As shown in FIGS. 3 and 5, outer cover 300 may also contain a zipper 320 or other securing mechanism. As illustrated in FIG. 5, zipper 320 or other securing mechanism may be located along the perimeter of underneath portion 340 and the bottom edge of fitted portion 330, such that when outer cover 300 is placed over top of internal base 200 and underneath portion 340 is folded underneath, outer cover 300 may zip shut and enclose internal base 200. Alternative securing mechanisms may be used in place of zipper 320, such as Velcro, snaps, buttons, or any other attaching mechanism that allows outer cover 300 to be detachable from internal base 200 and suitable for machine washing.

Alternatively, outer cover 300 need not fully enclose internal base 200. For example, attachment sites may be located along the bottom edge of back wall 120 and end walls 130, or on any portion of the bottom surface of internal base 200, with the reciprocal attachment portions placed on the corresponding inside surface of outer cover 300. Thus, an underneath portion 340 may be partially or even entirely eliminated. As long as fitted region 330 of outer cover 300 provides a smooth and comfortable, secured surface over surface area 140, any remaining portion of internal base 200 may be exposed.

In another embodiment of the present invention, outer cover 300 may further contain a rubber, plastic, or other water resistant layer built into outer cover 300 or as an additional lining of outer cover 300. Also, a mesh or open-weave section may make up any portion of outer cover 300, such as, for example, a mesh side panel along the inner surface fitted over end walls 130 and/or back wall 120. Such a mesh or open-weave portion may promote better airflow inside surface area 140.

In another embodiment of the present invention, handles or other grasping regions may be provided. For example, handles may be attached or form part of outer cover 300 on the portion covering the outside vertical surface of end walls 130. In another example, handles or indented grasping regions may be placed directly into the outside vertical surface of end walls 130 of internal base 200. In this embodiment, a hole or cut out portion may be placed in the corresponding portion of outer cover 300, such that when outer cover 300 is secured to internal base 200, the handles or grasping regions extend through or are accessible through the holes in outer cover 300. In yet another example, long loops may be attached to end walls 130, such that these loops may be held at one point centered above unit 10, much like a basket. It should be understood that any additional handles or grabbing regions may be placed strategically about the unit, such that the unit may be easily picked up when empty or when holding an infant.

Referring now to FIG. 4, an insert 400 placed within unit 10 is shown. Insert 400 may be of a dimension such that it may fit within surface area 140. However, when insert 400 is placed within surface area 140 of unit 10 with an infant placed atop insert 400, the infant should not be raised above the height of end walls 130 and back wall 120, such that the infant could potentially fall out of unit 10. Insert 400 may include a machine washable surface that may also provide other desirable features, such as flame retardation, water resistance, anti-staining, and the like.

Insert 400 may provide additional comfort and support to an infant when insert 400 is placed inside surface area 140 of unit 10. Such supports are important for attaining safer infant sleeping positions, such as on the infant's back or side. Additionally, the success of any breastfeeding session is greatly affected by the positioning of the infant in relation to the mother, as the correct position promotes a stronger latch, as well as ease of swallowing for the infant.

Insert 400 may include any number of positioning supports 410 to assist in the positioning of an infant when the infant is lying atop insert 400. For example, insert 400 may include two wedges or rolls positioned such that an infant may be placed between the wedges and held from rolling to one side or the other. In another example, a pair of wedges or rolls may be placed such that an infant's head may rest comfortably between or on one of the wedges. In yet another example, a flexible and/or expandable roll may be positioned on insert 400, such that when an infant is placed on insert 400, the flexible and/or expandable roll may wrap or conform to the shape of the infant which is in contact with the roll, such as wrapping around the periphery of the head, for example.

Any positioning supports may be permanently attached to insert 400, or may be separately attachable to surface insert 400 via an attachment mechanism, such as Velcro, buttons, snaps or the like. Also, positioning supports 410 may be composed of foam, sponge, fabric, or any other soft and/or impressionable material.

The top surface of insert 400 may also include molded regions 420.

These molded regions may be designed to conform to portions of an infant's body when the infant is lying atop insert 400. For example, an indented region may be located at the resting point of the infant's head.

Such a mold may reduce the occurrence or severity of “flat head”, as well as provide better ergonomic support and better posturing for the resting infant. To create a molded region 420 within the surface of insert 400, a breathable and impressionable foam may be used, or any other material that may hold the molded form.

Insert 400 may be a single structure, or alternatively, may be composed of an internal base and a removable and machine washable outer cover, similar to the construction of unit 10.

Insert 400 may be removable from unit 10, such that different inserts may be used as desired with unit 10. Also, insert 400 may further include on its bottom surface an attachment system for attachment to outer cover 300 of unit 10. Such attachment system may be the same as any attachment system described herein, such as Velcro, buttons, snaps, or the like.

In another exemplary embodiment of the present invention, equivalent sleep positioning supports 410 and/or molds 420 may be directly attached to outer cover 300, without the use of insert 400. In such a construction, it would require an attaching mechanism, such as Velcro, snaps or buttons, on both sleep positioning supports 410 and the outside surface of outer cover 300.

In another exemplary embodiment of the present invention, an additional wall or barrier may be attached to unit 10, such that the additional wall or barrier may cover opening 150. For example, if a parent or caregiver places unit 10 on a tabletop with an infant inside unit 10, the additional wall may block opening 150 to help prevent the infant from rolling out of unit 10. Such additional wall or barrier may be a sturdy fabric stretched along opening 150 and attached to each of end walls 130, or it may be a plastic or other rigid retainer wall that fastens to each of end walls 130.

With the above described exemplary embodiments in mind, unit 10 may provide for an array of uses while minimizing the disruption of the infant's environment. In an exemplary scenario of use, a nursing mother may place her infant into unit 10, such that the baby is strategically positioned at an angle optimal for both breastfeeding and safe sleeping, and place unit 10 on the mother's bed. In such a scenario, the infant may be facing toward opening 150 of unit 10, and the mother may comfortably breastfeed by lying up against opening 150. When the infant falls asleep at the end of the feeding, the mother may simply lift unit 10 with the sleeping baby inside, and place unit 10 into a co-sleeper, crib, bassinet, or other location designated as the infant's bed. Because the baby is already in a safe sleeping position within unit 10, and because unit 10 is structurally rigid, the infant is moved to the new location without disrupting the current sleeping position.

In another exemplary scenario of use, a nursing mother may awake in the middle of the night to breastfeed the infant. In this situation, the infant may be positioned and fed as described above, but instead of the mother getting up and moving unit 10 to another location, the mother may simply leave unit 10 on the bed with the infant inside it. Because unit 10 may be an independent safe-sleeping device, and may furthermore provide rigidity and containment walls, it is unlikely to be “rolled on top of” by an adult. Therefore, a safe sleeping environment may be created in the parental bed, which may make the process of multiple nightly feedings less tiring for the mother.

Those of ordinary skill in the art may recognize that many modifications and variations of the present invention may be implemented without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. Thus, it is intended that the present invention covers the modifications and variations of this invention provided they come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8429771Feb 9, 2010Apr 30, 2013Patricia LongEasy-access safety bassinet
Classifications
U.S. Classification5/655
International ClassificationA47D7/00, A47D13/02
Cooperative ClassificationA47D5/00, A47D15/008
European ClassificationA47D5/00, A47D15/00F4
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 27, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: ARMS REACH CONCEPTS. INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:FORSHPAN, SHARON;REEL/FRAME:019486/0498
Effective date: 20070627