US 20070241147 A1
A baby carrier comprising a harness which includes a baby carrying pouch and which comprises a flexible sheet-like front piece that has an upper edge part which can be folded about a generally horizontal fold axis between a first position in the sheet-like surface of the front piece and a downwardly folded second position against the outer surface of a lower part of the front piece, wherein means are provided for releasably securing a respective side part of the upper edge part of the front piece to a respective adjacent part of the harness in said first and said second positions. The upper edge part of the front piece includes a stiffening that extends from the fold axis in a direction towards the free edge extending generally parallel with sad edge part.
1. A baby carrier comprising a harness (36, 37, 14) which is provided with a baby carrying pouch (41, 32, 11, 12, 22) and which includes a flexible sheet-like front piece (22) that comprises a springy elastic material(224) provided with a textile covering (225), and that has an upper edge part (122) which can be folded about a generally horizontal fold axis (124) between a first position in the sheet-like surface of the front piece and a downwardly folded position towards the outside of a lower part of the front piece (22), wherein means (70, 80) are provided for releasably securing a respective side part of the upper edge part (122) of the front piece to a respective adjacent part of the harness in said first and said second positions, characterized in that the upper edge part (122) of the front piece includes a stiffening (223) which extends from the fold axis (124) in a direction towards the free edge generally parallel with said edge part.
2. A baby carrier according to
3. A baby carrier according to
4. A baby carrier according to
5. A baby carrier according to
6. A baby carrier according to
7. A baby carrier according to
8. A baby carrier according to
9. A baby carrier according to
10. A baby carrier according to
The present invention relates to a baby carrier comprising a carrier harness that is provided with a baby carrying pouch and that includes a flexible sheet-like front piece which has an upper edge portion that can be folded between a first position in the sheet-like surface of the front piece and a down-folded second position against the outside of a lower part of the front piece about a generally horizontal fold axis, wherein means are provided for releasably fastening a respective side part of the upper edge portion of the front piece to a respective adjacent part of the harness in both said first and said second positions.
The front piece of such baby carriers earlier known in practice comprises a sheet of plastic foam or the like provided with a cloth or fabric covering, wherewith the front piece is elastically flexible and strives to adopt a sheet-like state when generally flat. The plastic foam sheet is resiliently pliable with respect to compression at right angles to the plane of the surface and also enables the front piece to conform to the shape of the baby carried by the harness to some extent, so as to provide comfort to the baby. In its sheet-like state, the front piece will preferably extend upwards to a level at which the edge portion will support the head of the baby carried in the pouch. The lateral ends of the upper edge part of the front piece can be releasably fastened to adjacent parts of the harness itself, both in the upwardly folded position of the upper edge part and also in its downwardly folded position, possibly to mutually similar fastening points on respective sides. The inherent spring-like flexibility of the front piece allows the front piece to strive towards an upwardly raised state while also enabling the upper edge part to be folded down, for instance in order to expose the head of the baby seated in the pouch. Folding of the upper edge part is established with a generally straight line between the fastening points for the lateral end regions of the upper edge part of the front piece. However, in the downwardly folded state of the upper edge part the fold region has a tendency with time to curl or roll upwards, particularly in the midway region of its width. This upwardly wandering effect constitutes a drawback, at least with respect to the baby. This tendency of a downwardly folded upper edge part to curl or roll upwards appears to be pronounced when the flexible front piece has been given an elastic springiness that tends to impart to the front piece the tendency to adopt a sheet-like state.
Accordingly, one object of the present invention is to prevent upward curling or rolling of the central part of the fold region when the upper edge region is folded down, while retaining the inherent tendency of the front piece to extend the upper edge part to an upstanding position.
This object is fully or partially achieved by means of the present invention.
The invention is defined in the accompanying independent claim.
Exemplifying embodiments of the invention will be apparent from the accompanying dependent claims.
The present invention generally involves providing the upper edge part of the front piece with a stiffening means that extends from the region of the fold axis in a direction towards the free edge, which is generally parallel with said axis. This stiffening of the upper edge part prevents the “hinged region” of the front piece from being displaced upwards in the midway region of the width of the front piece while enabling the desirable properties of the front piece to be retained over a long period.
The fold axis between the upper edge part of the front piece and the lower part of the front piece normally extends horizontally between bottom parts of respective side edge recesses in the front piece. The front piece is normally provided with releasable fastener elements between respective sides of the front piece immediately beneath the fold axis and respective nearby parts of the harness. The sides of the upper edge part can normally be connected to releasable fastener means for connection to nearby parts of the harness, both in the case of the up-folded state of the edge part and its down-folded state. In this regard, the upper edge part may include fasteners that can be secured to an associated co-acting harness-mounted connecting means regardless of whether the front piece is in its up-folded or its down-folded state. This can be achieved by placing the fastening means of the upper edge part on the fold axis.
The invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawing.
The strap portion 37 includes conveniently an adjustment fitting 3 which enables the length of said strap portion to be easily adjusted.
The connection fitting 11, 11′ may be releasably coupled to corresponding connection fittings 12, 12′ in a holder 10 which receives, through the medium of a length-adjustment fitting 13, a strip-like central lower part 21 of a front piece 22. The front piece 22 may comprise a flexible piece of cloth or fabric or its like, the inner part of which has a generally triangular shape, wherewith the upper corners 25 of the triangle are provided with connectors 41, 41′ which consist essentially of a long downwardly depending finger 43 that can be received in a correspondingly deep pocket 32 on respective front straps 31 via a respective pocket-inlet opening 33 situated at the top of the pocket such that the front piece will form a safe baby-carrying pouch.
The front piece 22 also includes an upper edge part 122 that can be folded down towards and folded up from the lower part of the front piece 22 through the medium of a fold line 124. The front piece 22 includes side recesses 123 at the level of the fold line 124.
An opening for the baby's legs is provided between the chest straps 31 on the one hand and the front piece 122 on the other, in the region between the fittings 12, 25; 12′, 75′. The upper edge part 122 may be turned down when the baby is awake. When the baby wishes to rest or to go to sleep, the upper edge part 122 can be folded up and the lateral ends 125 of said edge part then connected to lateral ends 125 of nearby parts of the chest straps 31 with the aid of a releasable two-part coupling means that has one part 70 connected to the top of the part 125 and the other part 80 of which is connected to respective straps 31.
The edge part 122 is flexible, at least in respect of the lateral end part 125 and with respect to folding of the edge part about the fold line 124. The couplings 70, 80 co-act with the edge part 122 such as to form a head rest for a small and/or sleeping baby.
It will be understood that the strap arrangement 60 can be accessed and manoeuvred even when the upper edge part 122 is folded down towards the lower portion of the front piece 22, so as to enable the size of the upwardly facing pouch opening to be adjusted if desired.
According to a particularly preferred embodiment, the coupling typically includes a ring-shaped flat coupling element 70 which can be releasably connected by placing it around a post 80.
As a result of this design, the coupling part 70 can be connected to the post 80 in two positions of rotation that differ through 180° C. about an axis of rotation corresponding generally to the horizontal diameter of the ring opening in the coupling part 70. The coupling part 70 is mounted so that it lies in the vicinity of the fold line 124 through the front piece 22 when said front piece is laid flat. Because the coupling part 70 is non-rotatably connected to the tips 125 of the upper edge, the coupling device 70, 80 will contribute towards keeping the edge part 122 in a downwardly folded state about the line 124. The flexible springy elastic front piece 22 has a tendency to allow the upper edge part 122 to remain in its upwardly folded state shown in
Also shown in
Alternatively, or additionally, there may be provided at this level a strap arrangement 60″ at one side or at both sides of the front piece, wherein the strap arrangement 60″ can be connected at one end to a respective hook fitting.
The strap arrangements 60′, 60″ correspond to the coupling arrangement 60, possibly with the exception of the deformation pattern for the material piece between the end parts fastened to the front piece between the coupling arrangement.
It will be seen from
Also shown in
The element 223 is joined to the front piece by seams along the edges 226 and/or is glued and/or welded thereto.
The element 223 extends vertically from the region of the fold line 124 in a direction towards the free edge of the foldable part 122 of the front piece. The element 223 may possibly extend right up to the region of this free edge, particularly when it is desired to impart stiffness to the part 122 right up to said free edge.
The stiffening element 223 functions to impede or to prevent displacement of the fold region, which is defined initially by the fold line 124, in an upward direction. This effect is achieved by virtue of the stiffening element imparting to the upper edge part 122 a flexural rigidity that will not allow such folding to take place under the action of those forces that act upon the front piece via the fastener fittings 40, 41′ and 70 in response to loads exerted thereon by a baby seated in the pouch.
As an alternative to the described embodiment of the stiffening means, the stiffening means may have the form of relatively narrow stiffening elements which are located in the region of respective side edges 226, particularly when it is desired to maintain a relatively high degree of flexibility and softness of the foldable part 122 between said width mid-way edges 226 and also laterally beyond these edges 226, when such is desirable.