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Publication numberUS20070113339 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/657,839
Publication dateMay 24, 2007
Filing dateJan 24, 2007
Priority dateAug 6, 2005
Publication number11657839, 657839, US 2007/0113339 A1, US 2007/113339 A1, US 20070113339 A1, US 20070113339A1, US 2007113339 A1, US 2007113339A1, US-A1-20070113339, US-A1-2007113339, US2007/0113339A1, US2007/113339A1, US20070113339 A1, US20070113339A1, US2007113339 A1, US2007113339A1
InventorsCaitlin Field, Campbell Field, Bryant Field
Original AssigneeField Caitlin N, Field Campbell E, Field Bryant W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Weighted baby blanket
US 20070113339 A1
Abstract
A weighted baby blanket and methods for using the same are provided. A feature of the weighted baby blanket is the presence of at least one weight stably associated with at least one edge of the blanket, where the weight may or may not be readily separable from the blanket.
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Claims(20)
1. A baby blanket comprising:
a cloth dimensioned to be used with a baby; and
a weight stably associated with at least one edge of said cloth.
2. The baby blanket according to claim 1, wherein said weight is separable from said cloth.
3. The baby blanket according to claim 1, wherein said weight is present in a sealed element of said cloth.
4. The baby blanket according to claim 1, wherein said cloth is a woven material.
5. The baby blanket according to claim 1, wherein said woven material includes cotton.
6. The baby blanket according to claim 1, wherein said cloth is a rectangle.
7. The baby blanket according to claim 6, wherein said rectangle is a square.
8. The baby blanket according to claim 1, wherein said baby blanket includes at least two distinct weights positioned along an edge of said blanket or along an entire edge of said blanket.
9. The baby blanket according to claim 1, wherein said baby blanket includes a clasping element.
10. The baby blanket according to claim 9, wherein said clasping element is positioned at an edge of said blanket that is different from said edge that includes said weight.
11. The baby blanket according to claim 10, wherein said clasping element is positioned at an edge of said blanket opposite said edge that includes said weight.
12. The baby blanket according to claim 1, wherein said baby blanket includes a viewing window.
13. The baby blanket according to claim 12, wherein said viewing window comprises a flap in said blanket.
14. The baby blanket according to claim 13, wherein said flap includes a fastening element to secure said flap to the remainder of the blanket.
15. The baby blanket according to claim 14, wherein said fastening element is a hook and loop fastening element.
16. A method comprising:
positioning a child in a child transporter; and
placing a baby blanket according to claim 1 over said child in said child transporter.
17. The method according to claim 16, wherein said child is an infant.
18. The method according to claim 16, wherein said child transporter is an infant carrier.
19. The method according to claim 16, wherein said child transporter is a stroller.
20. A kit comprising:
a baby blanket having at least one pocket for holding a weight; and
a weight configured to fit in said at least one pocket.
Description
    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application is a continuation in part of application Ser. No. 11/197,940 filed Aug. 6, 2005 and pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 119 (e), this application claims priority to: U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/762,007 filed on Jan. 24, 2006; the disclosures of which priority applications are herein incorporated by reference.
  • RELEVANT LITERATURE
  • [0002]
    U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,547,325; 6,513,164; 6,457,193; 6,266,821; 6,145,932; 5,735,004; 5,243,724; as well as United States Published Application Nos. 20050125960; 20040031099; 20040026965 and 20020125747.
  • INTRODUCTION Background of the Invention
  • [0003]
    Baby blankets are well-known consumer items that are made of soft materials and dimensioned to be used with children, particularly infants, babies and toddlers. As is known in the art, baby blankets may be fabricated from materials having decorative prints.
  • [0004]
    While baby blankets are employed for traditional uses such as covers during sleeping, oftentimes baby blankets are placed over strollers or infant carriers to prevent sun, rain or light from reaching a child placed therein. However, in such applications, the blankets are prone to shift and even separate from the stroller or carrier, causing the child's care giver to have to reposition the blanket.
  • [0005]
    As such, there is a need in the art for a baby blanket that can be stably positioned over a child in a carrier or stroller, where the blanket is not susceptible to shifting and yet is easy to use. Of particular interest would be such a blanket, where the blanket was not specifically fitted for covering a stroller or carrier, such that the blanket could also be employed for traditional uses.
  • [0006]
    The present invention provides such a baby blanket.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0007]
    A weighted baby blanket and methods for using the same are provided. A feature of the weighted baby blanket is the presence of at least one weight stably associated with at least one edge of the blanket, where the weight may or may not be readily separable from the blanket. In certain embodiments, the blanket includes a viewing window, e.g., made up of a flap, which flap may be secured relative the remainder of the blanket. Also provided are kits that include a blanket having a pocket for holding a weight, e.g., positioned along an edge of the blanket, and a weight configured to be positioned in the pocket.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
  • [0008]
    FIG. 1 provides a view of a baby blanket according to a first embodiment of the invention;
  • [0009]
    FIG. 2 provides a view of a baby blanket according to a second embodiment of the invention.
  • DESCRIPTION OF REPRESENTATIVE EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION
  • [0010]
    A weighted baby blanket and methods for using the same are provided. A feature of the weighted baby blanket is the presence of at least one weight stably associated with at least one edge of the blanket, where the weight may or may not be readily separable from the blanket. In certain embodiments, the blanket includes a viewing window, e.g., made up of a flap, which flap may be secured relative the remainder of the blanket. Also provided are kits that include a blanket having a pocket for holding a weight, e.g., positioned along an edge of the blanket, and a weight configured to be positioned in the pocket.
  • [0011]
    Before the present invention is further described, it is to be understood that this invention is not limited to particular embodiments described, as such may, of course, vary. It is also to be understood that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only, and is not intended to be limiting, since the scope of the present invention will be limited only by the appended claims.
  • [0012]
    Where a range of values is provided, it is understood that each intervening value, to the tenth of the unit of the lower limit unless the context clearly dictates otherwise, between the upper and lower limit of that range and any other stated or intervening value in that stated range, is encompassed within the invention. The upper and lower limits of these smaller ranges may independently be included in the smaller ranges and are also encompassed within the invention, subject to any specifically excluded limit in the stated range. Where the stated range includes one or both of the limits, ranges excluding either or both of those included limits are also included in the invention.
  • [0013]
    Methods recited herein may be carried out in any order of the recited events which is logically possible, as well as the recited order of events.
  • [0014]
    Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. Although any methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can also be used in the practice or testing of the present invention, the preferred methods and materials are now described.
  • [0015]
    All publications mentioned herein are incorporated herein by reference to disclose and describe the methods and/or materials in connection with which the publications are cited.
  • [0016]
    It must be noted that as used herein and in the appended claims, the singular forms “a”, “an”, and “the” include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. It is further noted that the claims may be drafted to exclude any optional element. As such, this statement is intended to serve as antecedent basis for use of such exclusive terminology as “solely,” “only” and the like in connection with the recitation of claim elements, or use of a “negative” limitation.
  • [0017]
    The publications discussed herein are provided solely for their disclosure prior to the filing date of the present application. Nothing herein is to be construed as an admission that the present invention is not entitled to antedate such publication by virtue of prior invention. Further, the dates of publication provided may be different from the actual publication dates which may need to be independently confirmed.
  • [0018]
    As summarized above, the subject invention provides a weighted baby blanket, as well as methods of using the same and kits thereof. In further describing the subject invention, representative embodiments of the baby blanket are reviewed first in greater detail, followed by review of methods of using the subject blankets and a description of representative kits of the invention.
  • [0000]
    Weighted Baby Blankets
  • [0019]
    As summarized above, the invention provides weighted baby blankets. The subject weighted baby blankets includes a piece of cloth dimensioned to be used with a child, particularly a child under 5 years of age, such as a child under 4 years, of age, including but not limited to an infant (i.e., 0 to about 6 months), baby (i.e., about 6 months to about 1.5 years) and toddler (i.e., about 1 year to about 2 years). In representative embodiments, the piece of cloth has a length ranging from about 1.5 to about 6.5, such as from about 2 to about 5 feet, including from about 2 to about 4 feet, and a width ranging from about 2 to about 8 feet, such as from about 2.5 to about 6 feet. The cloth may have any convenient shape, including but not limited to rectangular (including square), oval, circular, triangular and even irregular, where in representative embodiments, the cloth has a rectangular shape, such as a square.
  • [0020]
    The cloth may vary considerably, as is known in the art, where the cloth may be a structure of a single material or a composite of 2 or more different fabric layers, such as an outer layer of a first, soft material, encasing an inner layer of an insulative material. In representative embodiments, the cloth is a woven material, e.g., that includes cotton, such as a 100% cotton blanket or a cotton blend blanket. The cloth may be fabricated from natural or synthetic fibers, or a composite of both as is known in the art. The cloth may also be fabricated from a material such as Pertex or Solarweave, which blocks out the sun's harmful rays or of a waterproof material. The cloth may be monochromatic (such as blue, pink, yellow, white), or have a decorative print, e.g., a print suitable for a young child, e.g., a print of teddy bears, stars, angles, clowns, puppies, kittens, ducks, flowers and the like.
  • [0021]
    A feature of the invention is that stably associated with at least one side of the cloth is at least one weight. A weight is considered to be associated with a given side of the blanket if it is proximal to the side. In representative embodiments, a weight is considered to be proximal to a side if it is no more than about 6 inches from the side, such as no more than about 3 inches from the side, including no more than about 2 or even 1 inches from the side, e.g., no more than about 0.5 inches from the side, including immediately at the side. By stably associated with the at least one side is meant that the weight has a fixed position relative to the side, such that the weight does not separate from the side with which it is associated without intervention by a user of the blanket. While the subject blankets include at least one weight, depending on the particular embodiment, a given blanket may include two or more distinct weights, e.g., three or more distinct weights, four or more distinct weights, etc. Furthermore, the one or more weights may be stably associated with a single side of the blanket, or multiple sides of the blanket, including all sides of the blanket. In certain embodiments, the weight(s) is not associated with all sides of the blanket. In yet other embodiments, each side of the blanket is weighted.
  • [0022]
    The weight may be permanently fixed to the cloth or removable from the cloth. For example, the weight may be present in a sealed enclosure of the cloth, such as being sewn into the structure of the cloth. Alternatively, the weight may be positioned in a re-sealable pocket located proximal to an edge of the cloth, where the pocket can be opened and closed with a fastening element, such as a button, tie, zipper or a hook and loop fastener e.g., such as those sold under the registered trademark of VelcroŽ, to provide for readily placing the weight in the pocket and then removing the weight from the pocket, e.g., for washing the blanket. Where the fastener is a hook and loop fastener, as is known in the art such a fastener includes of two layers: a “hook” side, which is a piece of fabric covered with tiny plastic hooks, and a “loop” side, which is covered in even smaller and “hairier” plastic loops. There are many variations to this structure which include hooks on both sides, for example. As is known in the art, the two sides may be referred to as “posi-cro and neg-cro”. When the two sides are pressed together, the hooks catch in the loops and hold the pieces together. When the layers are separated, the strips make a telltale ripping sound.
  • [0023]
    The weight(s) component of the subject blankets may vary greatly, depending on the particular embodiment. While the mass of a given weight may vary, the collective mass of the weight or weights of a given blanket should be sufficient to substantially if not completely prevent a blanket, or at least the edge thereof that is associated with the weights, from shifting relative to a stroller or carrier on which the blanket is placed, at least under standard conditions, such as carrying at a walking pace, strolling at a walking pace, in the presence of wind and wind gusts having speeds ranging up to about 10 mph or higher, e.g., up to about 15 mph or higher, such as up to about 25 mph or higher, and even up to about 35 mph or higher. In representative embodiments, the mass of a given weight ranges from about 5 to about 250 grams, such as from about 10 to about 100 grams, including from about 25 to about 75 grams. A given weight may have a variety of different configurations, such as but not limited to disc shaped, block shaped, ovoid shaped, spherical shaped, cylindrically shaped, irregularly shaped, etc., as desired. The weight(s) may be fabricated from any convenient material or materials (i.e., where the weight is a composite structure), where representative materials include, but are not limited to: metals, plastics, ceramics, fabrics, etc., where in certain embodiments the weights may comprise a solid but pliable casing which encloses a fluid or gel like material. In certain embodiments, the weights should be fabricated from a material that can withstand washing or other forces associated with routine use, and in certain embodiments the material of the weights is inert, at least with respect to the cloth of the blanket.
  • [0024]
    In certain embodiments, the baby blanket includes a clasping element for clasping or fastening the blanket to a structure, such as a child transporter, e.g., an infant carrier, a stroller, etc. The blanket may include a single clasping element or multiple clasping elements, e.g., 2 or more, 3 or more, 4 or more, etc., as desired. The clasping element may be associated with any side of the blanket, where in representative embodiments the clasping element(s) is associated with a side that is different from the side having one or more associated weights, e.g., a side opposite the side having the associated weight(s). A clasping element is considered to be associated with a given side of the blanket if it is proximal to the side. In representative embodiments, a weight is considered to be proximal to a side if it is no more than about 6 inches from the side, such as no more than about 3 inches from the side, including no more than about 2 inches or even 1 inch from the side, e.g., no more than about 0.5 inches from the side, including immediately at the side. The fastening element may be any convenient element that is capable of securing the edge of the blanket to a part of the child transporter, where representative fastening elements include, but are not limited to: buttons, ties, zippers, compression fasteners, e.g., clips, or a hook and loop fasteners, e.g., such as those sold under the registered trademark of VelcroŽ, where the fasteners may or may not include fanciful decorations, e.g., of baby animals, princesses, frogs, sports items, and the like, which decorations may or may not be separable from the clasping element with which they are associated.
  • [0025]
    In certain embodiments, the blanket may further include a viewing window, which may also be referred to herein as a “peak-a-boo” window, where the viewing window provides for the ability to view the child in a child transporter that is covered with the blanket without removing the blanket from the child transporter. The viewing window may or may not be closable. For example, the viewing window may be made up of a clear piece of material positioned in the blanket, e.g., a transparent polymeric material, such as plastic, where the material is secured on all sides to the blanket and cannot be removed from the blanket. In yet other embodiments, the viewing window can be opened and closed. For example, the viewing window may be made up of a flap in the blanket, where the flap can be opened or closed, e.g., rolled up when it is desired to view the child and then rolled down when one desires to completely cover the child with the blanket, e.g., while the child is sleeping. In these embodiments, a fastening element(s) may be associated with the flap or analogous structure, which provides for the ability to secure the window in the open or closed position. Fasteners of interest include, but are not limited to, those reviewed above.
  • [0026]
    The subject blankets having been described in general terms, a representative embodiment of the subject blankets is now reviewed in greater detail with reference to FIG. 1. In the representative baby blanket shown in FIG. 1, blanket 10 includes pockets 11 associated with a first side of the blanket, e.g., in the corners of the blanket. Present in each pocket 11 is a disc shaped weight 12. The pockets may be sealed, or include a fastening element that provides for the ability to open and close the pockets to remove and insert the weights, as reviewed above. Located at a second side of the blanket opposite the pockets and weights are ties 16 which can be employed to secure the second side of the blanket to a child transporter. Also present in the middle of the blanket is a viewing window (i.e., “peek-a-boo” element) that is made up of a foldable flap 14 which can be rolled up in the direction of arrow 15 and secured with hook and loop fastening elements 17 and 18 to provide for ready viewing of a child positioned under the blanket 10. It is noted that the blanket depicted in FIG. 1 is merely representative of a blanket according to the invention, with many other configurations coming within the scope of the present invention.
  • [0027]
    An alternative embodiment is of a weighted baby blanket according to the invention is shown in FIG. 2. In the blanket depicted in FIG. 2, disc shaped weights 12 have been replaced with a continuous cylindrical weight, e.g., a heavy nylon chord or analogous structure, 22 that is integrated with the periphery of the blanket, i.e., all four edges of the blanket. As such, the edges of the blanket are heavier than the interior of the blanket. In such embodiments, any given region of the weighted edge of the blanket is 10% or more, such as 25% or more, including 50% or more, e.g., 75% or more, 85% or more, etc., (by weight) heavier than an interior region of equal surface area. While the embodiment shown in FIG. 2 has each edge of the blanket weighted, not all of the edges need be weighted, e.g., only 3 of the edges may be weighted, only two of the edges may be weighted, only 1 of the edges may be weighted, only a portion of the one or more of the edges may be weighted.
  • [0028]
    As reviewed above, the subject blankets include a weight that substantially, if not completely, reduces shifting of the blanket from a child transporter when the blanket is used as a cover on a child transporter. However, because of the integrated feature of the weight(s) and the otherwise conventional design of the blanket, e.g., no fitted or tailored features to secure around an element of a child transporter, the blanket may readily be employed in traditional applications, such as for warmth, e.g., during sleeping, etc. As such, the subject blankets are extremely versatile and find use in a variety of different applications, including the applications of providing protection to a child from the elements while the child is in a child transporter, as reviewed in greater detail below.
  • [0000]
    Methods
  • [0029]
    As indicated above, the subject baby blankets find use in a variety of different applications. In representative applications, the subject blankets provide protection for a child from the elements, e.g., sun, wind, rain, snow, etc., while the child is present in a child transporter. The term child transporter, as indicated above, refers to any device or structure that is configured from moving a child from one location to another, where representative child transporters include, but are not limited to: infant carriers, car seats, strollers, perambulators, child carriers, e.g., such as carriers sold under the mark Baby Biorn™, etc., and the like.
  • [0030]
    In these representative applications, the methods generally include positioning the child in the child transporter, and then placing the blanket over the child in the transporter such that the blanket is held in place relative to the transporter by the associated weight(s) and fasteners. For example, whether a given blanket includes weights associated with one side and fasteners associated with another, such as the representative blanket shown in FIG. 1, the blanket may be placed over a stroller such that the weighted side of the blanket is proximal to the feet of the child and fasteners secure the blanket to the stroller proximal to the head of the child.
  • [0031]
    As indicated above, the above method of using a blanket according to the invention is merely representative of the numerous diverse ways in which the blanket may be employed. For example, blankets of the subject invention may also be employed in traditional manners, e.g., for providing warmth to a child, e.g., during sleep, etc.
  • [0000]
    Kits
  • [0032]
    Also provided by the subject invention are kits. The kits may include a complete blanket or components thereof, packaging in a suitable packaging material. In representative embodiments, the kits include a complete and fully assembled blanket, as described above. In yet other embodiments, the kits may include a blanket without one or more weights present therein, but with sealable locations for the placement of such weights (as reviewed above) as well as one or more weights for placing in the sealable location(s). Advantages of these embodiments include providing the user of the kit with the ability to tailor the amount of weight that is associated with the blanket for a given particular use.
  • [0033]
    In addition to above-mentioned components, the subject kits typically further include instructions for using the subject baby blankets. The instructions are generally recorded on a suitable recording medium. For example, the instructions may be printed on a substrate, such as paper or plastic, etc. As such, the instructions may be present in the kits as a package insert, in the labeling of the container of the kit or components thereof (i.e., associated with the packaging or subpackaging) etc. In other embodiments, the instructions are present as an electronic storage data file present on a suitable computer readable storage medium, e.g. CD-ROM, diskette, etc. In yet other embodiments, the actual instructions are not present in the kit, but means for obtaining the instructions from a remote source, e.g. via the internet, are provided. An example of this embodiment is a kit that includes a web address where the instructions can be viewed and/or from which the instructions can be downloaded. As with the instructions, this means for obtaining the instructions is recorded on a suitable substrate.
  • [0034]
    It is evident from the above discussion that the subject invention provides for dramatically improved baby blankets. Advantages of the subject baby blankets include the ability to readily secure a blanket to a child transporter in a manner that does not shift under normal conditions. As such, the subject invention represents a significant contribution to the art.
  • [0035]
    All publications and patent applications mentioned in this specification are herein incorporated by reference to the same extent as if each individual publication or patent application was specifically and individually indicated to be incorporated by reference.
  • [0036]
    The invention now being fully described, it will be apparent to one of skill in the art that many changes and modifications can be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
USD392146 *Jan 11, 1996Mar 17, 1998 Combined beach towel and pillow
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7811243 *Feb 21, 2007Oct 12, 2010Kollmann Ronald JReverse applied pinpoint pressure system and method of use
US20110135395 *Jun 9, 2011Lundman Philip LInflatable tunnel seal
US20150282979 *Apr 8, 2014Oct 8, 2015Cherie ChristensonFoot sleeve
Classifications
U.S. Classification5/482, 5/502
International ClassificationA47G9/02
Cooperative ClassificationA47G9/068
European ClassificationA47G9/06F2