US 3254815 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 7, 1966 BUGGE 3,254,815
INFANT CARRIER UNIT Filed May 1, 1964 I NVENTOR. MA RY D. BUGGE BY find/us i Stark 3,254,815 INFANT CARRIER UNIT Mary I). Bugge, 119 W. Chateau Place, Milwaukee, Wis. 53217 Filed May 1, 1964, Ser. No. 364,161
Claims. (Cl. 224-6) This invention relates to an infant carrier unit and more particularly to such a unit having the infant supported in a carrier which is suspended by a strap across the shoulder of an older person.
Various devices have been suggested for providing a lightweight carrier within which a young child or infant can be supported on a shoulder of a person while allowing the person to have free use of the hands for other purposes such as shopping or the like. Most generally, all of the prior art devices have suggested seating units wherein the child sits in an upright sitting position; for example, as shown in recently issued Patent 2,376,657. Although such devices can be employed with young children, they are not particularly suitable for infants who are not capable of supporting their necks and heads in a raised or upright position at least for any significant period. A carrier suitable for an infant has been suggested and is shown, for example, in US. Patent 2,689,672 wherein an elongated tubular carrier is provided within which the child is strapped in the laying position. The shoulder strap is secured generally centrally of the carrier and the older person will necessarily have to be careful to prevent tipping of the carrier about the strap attachment. Further, a young infant will often prefer to be held in some other position so as to more readily see the surrounding environment.
The present invention is particularly directed to a safe, reliable and convenient infant carrier which can be employed to carry an infant in a comfortable position while permitting free use of the arms and hands of theolder person. In accordance with this invention, the infant is comfortably supported in a semi-sitting position within a carrier with the weight distributed to prevent danger of tipping of the infant carrier while permitting ready removal and placement of the child within the carrier. The semi-sitting position permits the infant to see about him and also provides a comfortable position for sleeping. The present invention eliminates the necessity of the usual multiple securement straps or the like for holding the infant within the carrier and thereby facilitates placement and removal of the infant. Although the present invention can be employed with small children of any desired age, it is particularly adapted for young infants to the age of about six months and prior to the time they are able to pull themselves to an upright position. An infant of six months or more will normally prefer to sit in an upright position and thus generally prefer some other form of carrier. Further, a young child could possibly jump from the structure of this invention.
In accordance with the present invention, the carrier unit includes a carrier formed of a fabric or other suitable material within which the infant is disposed and a strap means is secured to opposite sections to define a shoulder tension support from the shoulder of an older person. The carrier of this invention is generally a cup-shaped carrier within which the infant lies with its legs extending-up and over a generally vertical front wall section. An angularly related back, neck and head support section is secured to the lower edge of the front wall section, preferably as a continuous portion, or extension thereof, and extends angularly upwardly to support the infant in a semi-sitting position. Inner and outer wall sections project upwardly to either side of the infant. The opposite ends of the tension strap are ates Patent 0 3,254,815 Patented June 7, 1966 ice secured to the inner and outer wall sections in rearwardly or laterally spaced relation to the vertical front wall section with the connection so located and arranged to provide a tension force on the back portion of the inner and outer wall sections adjacent the back support section to hold the child in the semi-sitting position with the Weight of the child extending downwardly in the area of the strap connections. In a preferred construction of this invention, a tapered fold or tuck is formed in the inner wall section and the adjacent back support section. The tension strap is twisted degrees and secured to the base of the tuck. The twisted strap further provides a generally folded structure having the inner edge secured'to the adjacent edge of the carrier to positively provide a holding tension on the back support section.
The present invention has been found to provide a very comfortable semi-sitting infant support holding the child in the semi-sitting position conveniently employed with infants of the first year. The precise semi-sitting position may be adjusted by merely moving the relative length of the tension to the front and back of the older person. The carrier can readily be formed of flexible and Washable material to provide ease of maintenance and simplicity of storage. In short, the present invention provides a comfortable infant support closely simulating the carrying of an infant in the forearm of a mother in a natural position without danger of the infant falling from the carrier. However, the open top carrier permits ready placement of the infant and removal of the infant and eliminates the necessity for interconnect- A FIG. 1 is a pictorial view of an infant being carried by an older person in a carrier constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a pictorial view of the carrier and shows certain details showing the several details of construction;
FIG. 3 is a vertical section through the carrier shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 with an infant, shown in phantom, in a carrying position; and
FIG. 4 is an enlarged vertical section taken on line 4-4 of FIG. 2 showing a detailed construction of a tuck in the back portion of the carrier to which the inner end of the tension strap is secured.
Referring to the drawing and particularly to FIG. 1,
an infant carrier 1 is shown constructed in accordance with the present invention and includes a supporting strap 2 secured to the opposite side of the carrier and passing over the shoulder of an older person to suspend the infant at approximately waist height and to the front of the. older person.
As shown most clearly in FIGS. 2 and 3, the infant carrier of the present invention is shown as a single continuous fabric defining an upwardly opening generally cup-shaped pocket within which the infant lies in a semi-sitting position.
The carrier 1 is formed of a suitable fabric or the like such that the carrier generally conforms to the shape of the body portion of the child. Its construction is however such as to define a front seat support panel or section 3 which extends in a generally vertical direction and a continuous back section 4 connected integrally with the lower edge of the front section 3, and approximately twice the length of the seat section 3. Section 4 projects upwardly and rearwardlytherefrom to define a generally L-shaped support surface within which the infant is disposed. In the illustrated embodiment of the invention, wherein the carrier is formed of a continuous uninterrupted fabric, the front or seat section 3 is formed with a-plurality of tucks as at 5 and which are interconnected through a seam or other suitable securement means. Integrally formed with the seat section or panel and the back section 4 are an outer wall section 6 and an inner section 7 disposed immediately adjacent the older person holding the inf-ant in the position of use.
The several sections 3, 4, 6 and 7 are shown, as previously noted, formed of a single continuous fabric with the various sections integrally interconnected. If desired, separate panels might be interconnected in any suitable manner to produce the carrier.
In use, the device generally provides a cup-shaped membet or pocket having an L-shaped cross-section defined by seat section 3 and back section 4, as shown in FIG. 3, to support the child in a semi-sitting position with the infants legs looped over the upper front edge of the seat section 3 and with inner and outer sections 6 and 7 laterally holding the infant within the pocket.
The inner panel or section 6 includes a triangularshaped or tapered tuck or flap 8 on the outer side. Tuck it is formed by gathering a v shaped portion of the coin tinuous fabric alo g the biseeting line nd sewing a seam line 9-. The seam line 9 extends from a point 10 generally in the enter area of the back section 4 and extends lateralit) upwardly across the inner panel or section 7 terminatmg in a top edge 11 which extends behind the back section 4 generally in alignment with the top edge of the inner wall section 7. The tuck 8 as hereinafter described is folded rearwardly beneath the back support section 4 and the inner section 7 to receive the adjacent end of strap 2, asshown 3 and t. Beginning at the top edge of the tack 8, the inner section 7 of the carrier it includes it raised or upwardly extending portion dean angularly disposed tension edge 12 to which the strap 2 is secured as presently developed.
The illustrated support strap 2 is an elongated fabric element formed of a suitable fabric or the like and secured at the opposite end to theopposite top edges of the sections 6 and 7t The strap 2 is adapted to rest on the shoulder of the older person, as shown in FIG. 1, to suspend the carrier 1 with the infant therein in front of the older person at approximately waist height. The strap 2 is made adjustable to accommodate persons of different height in any suitable manner. For example, in FIGS. 1 and 2, a series of longitudinally spaced groups of three adjustable hook eyes 13 are secured generally to the center portion of the strap 2. interconnecting hooks 14 are secured to a tab 15 on the front portion of the strap 2 such that the strap can be folded and the hooks interconnected with the eyes to shorten the strap. The tab 15 is shown .formed as an integral portion of the strap 2 which is folded on itself and sewed together to provide the outwardly projecting tab construction.
The outer end of strap 2 is overlapped with the top of the outer section 6 and is secured thereto by correspondingly spaced seams 16 and 17, one of which is generally aligned with the lowermost edge of the strap 2 and the other of which is generally aligned with the upper edge of the section of the carrier section 6.
The inner end of the strap 2 is folded or twisted 180 degrees on itself as at 18 to reverse the position of the side edges of the strap at the inner section 6 with respect to the corresponding side edges at the outer section 7. The twisted end of strap 2 overlaps the base or upper portion of the tuck 8 and is secured thereto by a pair of spaced seams 19 and 20 in the manner similar to the securement of the outer end of strap 2 to the section 6. Additionally, the reverse edge 21 of the inner fold of strap 2 is sewed or otherwise secured (by a seam to the tension edge 12 of the back portion of the carrier inner section '7.
In use, the carrier 1 is employed by passing the sup porting strap 2 over the shoulder with the front portion of the strap extending downwardly and laterally across the front of the person and with the opposite or back portion of the strap extending along the back and underneath the opposite arm of the person. The strap 2, if necessary, is adjusted through the adjustable hook and eye system or any other suitable means provided until the carrier is properly located with respect to the olderperson. The infant is then placed in the carrier 1 with his legs extending over the front section 3 and with his back, neck and head resting on the back section 4. The strap 2 is secured in an intermediate position in spaced relation to the seat section 3 to exert a holding tension on the back portion of carrier 1 to dispose or hold the child with the weight or center of gravity slightly forwardly thereof where-by the child will tend to assume the sitting position shown in FIG. 3. The tension force in the adjacent area of the neck and shoulders and particularly the connection of the twisted strap to the flap d and the tension control edge 12 positively supports the neck and head portion of the infant and essentially confines the infant so that he will not fall therefrom while leaving the older persons hands free for other purposes.
In the preferred construction, a safety strap 22 is secured to the opposite edges of side wall panels or sections 6 and 7 immediately adjacent the top edge of the seat section 3 and across the tucks 5. In use, the strap 22 may be extended across the knees of the infant, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, to prevent all danger accompanying the movement of a hi hly active infant. Strap 22 is preferably formed of a suitable elastic material and includes a hook and eye attachment 23 for separation of the strap for ease of attachment while providing a comfortable securement of the infant.- Of course, if the infant is quite placid, the infant can be placed in carrier 1 without placing of the strap 22 across the knees.
An important feature of this invention is the adjustment of the precise position of the child by merely adjusting the relative lengths of strap 2 to the front and back of the older person. For example, the full line illustration of FIGS. 1 and 3 showing the carrier 1 in a corres ending intermediate position with the depths of side sections 6 and 7 approximately equal. By moving the strap 2 backwardly, and thereby relatively decreasing the front length and increasing the back length thereof with respect to the supporting shoulder, the infant assumes a more horizontal position, as shown in phantom in FIG. 3. This results from the increasing of the depth of the inner side section 6 and correspondingly decreasing that of the outer section 7. The reverse positioning of strap 2 results in placing of the infant in a more upright position, not specifically shown. The infant may be placed in the most comfortable position for looking around, for sleeping or the like.
in the more horizontal position, the carrier of the present invention also provide a highly operable rocking support in that it may be gently moved back and forth and thereby rocks the infant to sleep.
The illustrated embodiment of the invention can the readily formed of any suitable fabric or other preferably pliable material which will readily conform to the body portion of an infant and provide an open top support.
The construction with a front section 3 over which the legs of the infant project in combination with the slanted back section not only locate the infant in a very comfortable position but in a convenient and safe position. The strap connection of the present invention particularly in a preferred construction prevents any real danger of the child falling from the carrier proper.
Although shown as formed of a continuous fabric portions, obviously the system or the carrier can be [formed of a plurality of parts interconnected in a reliable and suitable manner and without a completely continuous connection. However, the carrier of the present invention as illustrated in the drawing, may be made conveniently and rapidly from a single piece of material with the various configurations formed by gathering and interconnecting the several portions as heretofore described.
Various modes of carrying out the invention are contemplated as being within the scope of the following claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter which is regarded as the invention.
1. An infant carrier unit for supporting an infant to the body of a person, comprising a flexible, open top pocket carrier including an inclined front section and a back section extending rearwardly and upwardly therefrom for supporting an infant in a semi-sitting position with the infants legs looped over the top edge of the front section, said back section being a minimum of substantially two times as long as said front section so that the back and head of the infant are both supported upon the back section, and
an elongated suspension means secured to opposite sides of the carrier in spaced relation to the front wall section and being of sufficient length to be carried over the shoulder of the person with said pocket carrier disposed to the front of the person, and suspension means being located to dispose the carrier and the infant in substantially a semi-sitting position for carrying the infant without the use of the arms of. the person, said suspension means being secured to the carrier at points that are intermediate the end portions of the back section.
2. The infant carrier unit of claim 1 having a safety strap secured to span the top edge of said front section for passing over the infants legs at the top edge.
3. An infant carrier unit for supporting an infant to the body of a person, comprising a carrier defining a pocket having a seat section and aback section having a generally L-shaped cross section within which the infant is carried in a semisitting position with the infants legs disposed over and the knees at the top edge of the seat section and with the back, neck and head supported on the back section and having outer and inner sections connected to the seat and back sections and extending upwardly to support the infant within an open top pocket, said inner and back sections being interconnected with a tapered tuck extending laterally inwardly through the inner section and into the back section and defining an offset top edge on the inner section, and
a strap secured to the inner and outer sections, said strap being secured to the outer section and extending in a loop to the inner section, the strap being secured at the inner section to the base portion of the tapered tuck and to said offset top edge whereby the strap extends angularly across the front and back of the person from one shoulder with the inner section adjacent the persons body and the back strap passing beneath the arm.
4. The carrier unit of claim 3 having a safety strap secured to the top inner edge of the carrier at the seat section for passing over the knees of the infant to more firmly support the infant.
5. The carrier unit of claim 4 wherein said safety strap is at least partially formed of an elastic ribbon.
6. An infant carrier unit for supporting an infant to the body of a person, comprising a pliable fabric carrier defining a pocket having a seat section and a back section defining a generally L- shaped support within which the infant is carried in a semi-sitting position with the infants legs disposed over the top edge of the seat section and with the back, neck and head supported on the back section and having outer and inner sections integrally formed to the seat and back sections, said inner and back sections being interconnected with a tapered tuck extending laterally from the inner section and defining an offset top edge on the inner section, said tapered tuck being folded rearwardly adjacent the exterior of the back section,
a safety strap of an elastic material secured to the top edge of the carrier at the seat section passing over the knees of the infant, said safety strap including a releasable fastening means for opening thereof,
a pliable fabric strap secured to the inner and outer sections, said strap being secured to the outer section and extending in a loop to the inner section, the strap at the inner section being twisted 180 degrees and having its edge portion secured to the base portion of the tapered tuck and the edge of the inner fold secured to said offset top edge whereby the strap extends angularly across the front and back of the person from one shoulder with the inner section of the carrier adjacent the persons body and the back strap passing beneath the arm, and
means to adjust the length of the strap.
7. The infant carrier of claim 1 having side wall sections secured to the front and back sections, said carrier defining a concave pocket in which the infant is supported in a semi-sitting position with the legs looped over the top edge of the front section.
8. The infant carrier of claim 7 having a safety strap means secured to the top edge at the front section for passing over the infants legs and more securely holding the infant therein.
9. The infant carrier unit of claim 1 in which said carrier is of a substantially continuous flexible fabric material, said carrier including side wall sections secured to the front and back sections and defining a concave support pocket within which an infant is supported with his legs looped over the top edge of the front section with his seat resting at the junction of the front section with the back section, and said elongated suspension means is a strap, the precise position of the infant being determined by the relative portions of the strap extending to the opposite sides of the shoulder.
10. The infant carrier unit of claim 9 in which said carrier is a single piece of flexible fabric material.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,376,657 5/1945 Chamberlain 2446 2,689,672 9/1954 Thompson 2246 2,973,889 3/1961 Phillips 22445 FOREIGN PATENTS 126,761 2/1948 Australia. 25 5,363 1/ 1949 Switzerland.
GERALD M. FORLENZA, Primary Examiner.
HUGO 0. SCHULZ, Examiner.
J. E. OLDS, Assistant Examiner.