US 3289874 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 6, 1966 D, E. DAILEY ETAL NURSING CONTAINER 2 Sheets-Sheet l Filed May 18, 1959 Dec. 6, 1966 D. E. DAILEY ETAI. 3,289,874
NURSING CONTAINER Filed May 18, 1959 2 sheeNS-snef. 2
United States atent ffice 3,289,874 Patented Dec. s, ieee 3,289,874 NURSING CONTAINER Donald E. Dailey and Anton F. Eilers, Evansville, Ind., assignors to Mead Johnson & Company, a corporation of' Indiana Filed May 18, 1959, Ser. No. 814,110 Claims. (Cl. 21S-11) This invention relates to la nursing container and more particularly to a disposable or throw-away nursing container for infants.
The nursing container with which the invention is concerned is collapsible so that air is not admitted as the contents are drained. Accordingly the likelihood of the infant swallowing air during feeding, believed to be a major cause `of colic, is reduced.
One feature of the invention is a provision of a nursing container including a first section of formed plastic material, a second section of formed plastic material scale-d to the first, one lof the sections having a nipple receiving opening therein, a nipple receive-d in the opening and a removable cover over the nipple. Ano-the-r feature is that the container surface surrounding the nipple opening has a generally spherical configuration and the removable cover has a flange which conforms with and overlies the surface of the container.
A further fea-ture is that the top section of the container has the nipple receiving opening therein and the bottom section is collapsible into the top section. The bottom section is more fiexible than the top section to facilitate the collapse thereof.
Yet another feature is that a plurality of concentric ribs are 4formed in the `sections of the container, the ribs in the bottom section yguiding `and aiding collapse thereof and the ribs in the top section provide an indication of the quantity of liquid in the container.
Still ya further feature is that the container is provided with supporting means extending outwardly from the container adjacent t-he seal between the first and second sections, preferably taking the form of a tab with an open ing therein through which a finger of the user may be extended.
And another feature is that the body member with the nipple receiving opening is provided with a re-entrant vneck surface surrounding the -opening and the nipple has a channel in which the reentrant neck surface is received, the neck surface being deformed in the channel locking the nipple and body mem-ber together. A further feature is the provision of a locking rib on the 4body member which engages the surface of the nipple holding itis place.
Further features and advantages will readily be apparent Ifrom the lfollowing specification and from the drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a plan view of a nursing container embodying the invention;
FIGURE 2 is an elevation of the container with the cover removed;
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged section taken generally along line 3 3 of FIGURE l;
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged sect-ion similar to FIGURE 3, with the nipple cover removed -and the nipple exten-ded;
FIGURE 5 is a Ifragmentary section through the nipplereceivin-g opening in the top section -of the container, without the nipple;
FIGURE 6 is a partial sectional view illustrating the progressive collapse of the bottom section of the container into the top; and
FIGURE 7 is a perspective view illustrating a preferred manner of holding the container.
Cleaning and sterilizing bottles `and nipples and the preparation of milk based formulas occupy a substantial portion of the time of mothers of young infants and require considerable investment in personnel, equipment and time in the nurseries of hospitals. Disposable nursing containers have been proposed in the past land some have enjoyed at least limited use. The nursing container discclosed tand claim-ed herein is particularly designed to facilitate formula preparation with a minimum of equipment a-nd work, to provide improved nursing action and for construction l`from inexpensive components for throw away use.
In the drawings, container 10 comprises top and bottom sections 11 and 12, both preferably of a molidable, heat scalable plastic material, as polyethylene, joined together along la central sealed surface 13. The sealed surface 13 lmay be 4cut to `an appropriate size with a hot knife, melting or vulcanizing the material and fonming a bead 13a around the periphery of the seal. An opening .14 in top section 11 receives a nipple 15 which may be yfolded within itself d-uring ,storage and shipment, as shown in FIG. 3. A cover 16 is secured over nipple 15 to protect it and maintain sterility, and is provi-ded with a tab 17 to facilitate removal.
Top and bottom sections 11 and 12 of container 10 are preferably of a thin Iformed plastic sheet material or the like. By plastic any suitable flexible material is intended, including rubber, synthetic plastics and the like. The sections may be vacuum molded, thermo fonmed, cast or blow molded, for example. Both sections have a generally spherical configuration and are somewhat less than hemispherical in extent. In the specific container illustrated in the drawings, the two sections are defined by a central `angle of the order of l. This relationship provides a finished container which has a rounded configuration `and is convenient to hold. Concentric ribs 11a and 12a are forme-d in sections 11 and 12, respectively, by the molding operation. A fla-nge 18 extends outwardly from cover 16 overlying and conforming with the surface of top section 11 keeping the area surro-unding the nipple receiving opening 14 clean.
Referring to FIGURE 5, the configuration `of the nipple receiving lopening prior to insertion of the nipple is illustrated. An inwardly tapered neck portion 22 extends upwardly from the surface of top section 11 and is separated therefrom yby an .inwardly indented rib 23.. A flat inwardly extending top surface 2li joins neck portion 22 with a `depending ree-nt-rant surface 25 which terminates in an inwardly extending fiange 26.
Nipple 15 has a channel 28 formed therein yfor receiving certain of t-he neck surfaces `of the container. The channel 4opens outwardly from an angular wall of the nipple and is defined by a vertical inner surface 29, generally horizontal top and bottom surfaces 30 and 31 and an angularly -outwardly extending outer surface 32. Nipple 15 is inserted in the upper section 11 Aof the container before the two sections are sealed together, and is preferably inserted from the inside. Upon insertion of the nipple 15 the reentrant portion yof the neck of the container seats in channel 28 with the bottom of the nipple locked above rib 23, as best seen in FIGURES 3 and 4. The top surface 24 -o-f the container opening is held against the upper surface 3f) of channel 28 with segment 25a of reentrant portion 25 extending `ang-ularly Iacross the channel from the upper inner corner to the lower outer corner, while segment 25b lies along the bottom surface of the channel. Flange 26 extends upwardly along inner channel surface 29. The bottom ,surface 34 of nipple 15 lodges above inwardly indented rib 23 aiding the compression forces of the reentrant neck structure in holding the nipple in place. An outer peripheral rim 35 of the nipple lodges between deformed reentrant neck portion 25 and neck portion 22. Of course, after the two sections of the container are sealed together nipple 15 cannot :be removed inwardly through the opening .as it was inserte-d, and a substantial for-ce is requi-red to pull it out through opening 14. Indented rib 23 serves a dual function in receiving a complementary indented rib 36 formed at the :base of cover 16, FIGURE 3.
For hospital use, container is provided in collapsed form with the bottom section 12 inverted inside top section 11. Nipple is folded within itself and cover 16 is in pla-ce. Preferably, the container is provided with a powdered formula constituent during manufacture, and the formula may be completed by the addition of sterile or distilled water. The water may be added directly from a bulk container through a gravity feed system and a manual or automatic metering device. The additive mechanism (not shown) is preferably provided with a needle or the like which is inserted through the cross-cut opening 37 in the end of the nipple 15, the flow of water into the container causing the bottom section 12 -to expand to the position of FIGURE 2. In a hospital, for example, this procedure may be set up on a mass production basis and the entire formula requirements for each feeding prepared in a short time. After filling, the cover 16 is replaced and left over the nipple until the container is used for feeding the infant.
At the time of feeding, lcover 16 is removed and nipple 15 is extended to the positions of FIGURES 2, 4 and 7, as by applying pressure to the wall of the container forcing the nipple out. At the same time, any air left in -the container during filling is expelled through the nipple so that the infant swallows no air from the container. The nipple may also be extended by pulling it out, but this is not recommended for sanitary reasons. In nursing an infant, the container is preferably held as illustrated in FIGURE 7 with the second finger inserted through opening 38 in a tab 39 extending outwardly from the juncture line 13 of the container sections, and preferably formed as an integral part of lthe sections. The peripheral edge 40 of the two container sections is grasped by the thumb and forefinger on one side of tab 39 and by the third and little finger on the other side with the bottom of the container resting against the palm of the hand. This is an extremely stable support for container 10 which may readily be moved to accommodate changes in the position ofthe infant. The thin peripheral flange and light weight of the container permit the baby to hold the container and feed itself at an ear-lier age than with a heavy glass nursing bottle.
If the infant requires stimulation to cause it to nurse properly, a slight pressure applied to the bottom of the container by the palm of the hand forces some of the formula out through the nipple into the infants mouth. As the formula is withdrawn from the container the bottom section 12 collapses within the upper section 11 as indicated in FIGURE 6 forcing formula into the nipple keeping it fil-led. This collapse starts at the juncture line 13 between the container sections and progresses inwardly therefrom so that formula is not trapped between collapsed portions of the bottom section wall and the wall of the top section. It is not necessary for air to enter the container as the formula is withdrawn and the cross cut nipple acts as a check valve allowing only the outward flow of formula and restricting inward flow of air. Thus the Ilikelihood of the infant swallowing substantial quantities of air during nursing is reduced. As the container and nipple are free of air at all times during feeding, it is not necessary that the container be elevated above the infant, but it may be in any position above or below. The ribs 12a formed in the bottom section 12 of the container facilitate and guide the collapse of the bottom section into the top section.
Several factors contribute to the progressive collapse of bottom section 12 as the contents of the container are withdrawn. The bottom section is more flexible than top section 11 so there is little or no tendency for the top to collapse. The re-entrant nipple receiving neck structure in the top contributes to the stiffness of the top, and the sections may be formed from materials having different physical characteristics or thickness with bottom sections 12 more flexible. Of particular importance is the fact that bottom section 12 is formed in its inverted or collapsed position. The tendency of the bottom is to return to this position as the container is emptied. Furthermore, the collapsed configuration of ythe bottom section may be controlled with accuracy so that it mates with the interior of the top section insuring complete emptying of the container.
If the baby does not take all of the formula in the container, the amount remaining may be measured by means of the ribs 11a formed in the upper section which are preferably so spaced that they indicate fluid ounces. Before measuring is effected, the bottom-or lower section 12 should be expanded to its original condition so that it does not occupy any space within top section 11. A pull tab 42 formed at the center of the bottom section 12 facilitates this.
A quantity of the nursing containers 10 may be packaged i-n a sterile receptacle, as a sealed can, which is opened only when the containers are ready for use. As pointe-d out above, the containers may initially be provided with a powdered formula constituent, or they may be sold empty and the user can add such formula as is desired in addition to :the necessary liquid. The containers may also be prepared by the manufacturer with the complete formula 'already mixed. Although the speciiic container described herein is intended for use in a hospital or the like where many of them may be filled simultaneously on a mass-production basis, the container may be used at home by the mother where the formula for each feeding is prepared as it is needed. As the nursing container is designed for only one use following which it is thrown away,l nipple 15 may be softer than the usual new nipple which is designed for a long period of use. This is particularly important in feeding young infants who sometimes have difficulty in manipulating stiff nipples. The throw-away container also obviates the objections of some mothers that nipples found in hospitals are often gummy or sticky as a result of frequent and extensive boiling to insure sterilization. Each nipple is new and has exactly the right consistency and characteristics for easy nursing. The overall shape 0f the container conforms generally with the shape of the mothers breast adding further inducement to the baby to nurse.
For babies who have graduated from a straight liquid diet, the container may be used for semiliquid or liquid paste compositions as of cereal or the like. The collapsible nature of the container permits the mother to assist feeding such compositions by gently squeezing to force the material into the babys mouth.
While we have shown and described certain embodiments of our invention, it is to be understood that it is capable of many modifications. Changes therefore, in the construction and arrangement may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as disclosed in the appended claims.
1. A disposable, plastic infant nursing container of the character described, comprising: a container body of plastic material having a nipple receiving opening therein defined by an upstanding neck, the container surface surrounding said nipple opening extending outwardly from the base of said neck and having a generally spherical configuration with a locking rib formed therein at the base of said neck; a nipple received in said opening; and a removable cover having a body extending over said nipple, and having a flange of generally spherical configuration which conforms with the surface of the container overlying the surface adjacent said nipple, said removable cover having an indented rib formed therein adjacent the juncture of said ange and body, said indented rib engaging the locking rib on the container body, forming a seal between the cover and the container.
2. In a disposable, plastic infant nursing container a nipple mounting of the character described, comprising a container including: a body member of sheet plastic material having a nipple receiving opening with an upstanding neck including an inwardly extending re-entrant neck surface; and a rubber nipple having a channel therein which said reentrant neck surface is received, said nipple having a surface overlying a portion of said channel with the neck having a portion extending under and engaging said nipplesurface, said reentrant container neck surface extending across said channel locking the nipple and body member together.
3. In a disposable, plastic infant nursing container a nipple mounting of the character described, comprising a container including: a body member of sheet plastic material having an upstanding inwardly tapered neck with an inwardly extending top surface, a depending reentrant surface, inwardly extending ange at the bottom of said depending surface, and an inwardly extending locking rib on the outer wall of the body surrounding the base of said neck; and a rubber nipple having a channel therein opening outwardly in an angular side wall thereof above the bottom of the nipple, said channel having a generally vertical inner surface, horizontal top and bottom surfaces and an outer surface extending angularly outwardly and upwardly, said nipple being received in the opening of said container with the top surface of said neck engaging the top surface of said channel, the re-entrant neck surface extending diagonally across the channel and along the bottom surface thereof, said iiange extending upwardly along the inner channel surface, and said nipple having a surface engaging the locking Vrib on said body member. v
4. A disposable, plastic infant nursing container of the character described, comprising: a top section of selfsustaining formed plastic sheet material having the configuration of a portion of a sphere, less than a hemisphere, and having centrally located thereon a nipple opening defined by an upstanding neck with a depending reet-rant surface; a nipple having a channel therein in which said reetrant neck surface is received, said nipple having a surface overlying a portion of said channel with the neck surface of the container section having a portion extending under and engaging said nipple surface, said reentrant neck surface extending across said channel locking the nipple and container section together, said nipple having a slit therein defining a valved nursing opening; and a bottom section of formed, flexible plastic material sealed to the top section and collapsible thereinto, said bottom section being more exible than the top section and having a shape and size substantially the same as that of the top section so that in collapsed condition it closely mates with the interior of the top section, said bottom section retaining a position in which it is placed, whereby the bottom section readily collapses upon withdrawal of the container contents, without retarding or aiding the ow of the contents therefrom, and the contents being withdrawn without admission of air to the container.
5. A disposable, plastic infant nursing container of the character described, comprising: a top section of self-sustaining plastic material having the configuration of a portion of a sphere with a central angle of the order of and having centrally located therein a nipple receiving opening defined by an upstanding, inwardly tapered neck with. an inwardly extending top surface, a depending reentrant surface, and an inwardly extending ange at the bottom of the depending surface; a bottom section of formed exible plastic material having the configuration of a portion of a sphere with a central angle of the order of 80 and of a size substantially the same as that of the top section, sealed to the top section along a planar circumferential area, the sealed area extending outwardly from the container, the bottom section being more flexible than the top section and having a shape such that in the collapsed condition it closely mates with the interior of the top section, the bottom section retaining a position in which it is placed, whereby the bottom section readily collapses upon withdrawal of the container contents without retarding or aiding such withdrawal; and a rubber nipple having a channel therein opening outwardly in an angular side wall thereof, above the bottom of the nipple, said channel having a generally vertical inner surface, horizontal top and bottom surfaces and an outer surface extending angularly outwardly and upwardly, said nipple being `received in the opening of the top section with the top surface of said neck underlying the top surface of the channel, the reentrant neck surface extending diagonally across the channel and along the bottom surface thereof and said flange extending upwardly alon y the inner channel surface, said nipple having a slit therein defining a valved nursing opening.
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LOUIS G. MANCENE, Primary Examiner.
EARLE J. DRUMMOND, FRANKLIN T. GARRE'IT,