US 3419923 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 7, 1969 v s. c. cowAN 3,419,923
BABY ENVIRONMENT SIMULATOR Filed Dec. 6, 1965.
' Swan 6. Cowan United States Patent 3,419,923 BABY ENVIRONMENT SIMULATOR Stuart C. Cowan, Box 52, Reading, Kans. 66868 Filed Dec. 6, 1965, Ser. No. 511,688 US. Cl. 5348 Int. Cl. A470 27/08; A61y 7/04 5 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to a sleeping pad for comforting young animals, including human babies, puppies and like animal life, and has as its primary object the provision of structure in the form of an inflated pad maintained at a relatively low pressure, the pressure being intermittently decreased and increased to simulate the breathing movement of the mother as felt by an animal in its prenatal environment. In furtherance of this object, the pad is designed to embrace rather than support the baby with the intermittent variation of the low pressure within the pad simulating breathing movement rather than massaging the baby.
An important object of this invention is to provide a simulator of the aforementioned character wherein a novel pump structure is utilized to create optimum pressure variation for simulating the breathing of the mother and additionally, the pump is simple and lightweight in construction to render the simulator highly portable so that it may be easily transported when traveling from place-to-place with the baby.
In the drawing, FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a baby environment simulator made pursuant to the teachings of my invention, parts thereof being broken away and in section for clearness; and
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view thereof showing a vertical cross section of the pad and a horizontal cross section of the pumping mechanism with portions thereof shown in elevation to reveal details of construction.
The present invention broadly comprises a hollow pad 10 interconnected to a pumping mechanism 12 by a fluid flow tube 14. Pad 10 includes a top sheet 16 and a bottom sheet 18 interconnected at their peri heral edges 20 by heat sealing or the like. Top 16 and bottom 18 are constructed of flexible surgical rubber or similar material which is impervious to fluid flow and, preferably, top 16 has an area appreciably greater than bottom 18 and also is thinner and more pliable than bottom 18 for a purpose to be hereinafter explained. A coupling 22 is provided on top 16 for connection to one end 23 of tube 14.
Pumping mechanism 12 includes structure presenting a chamber in the nature of a sectioned cylinder 24 having a cup-shaped piston 26 mounted for reciprocation therein, there being an annular groove 28 in the outer surface of piston 26 for reeciving an O-ring 30 which is biased against the inner surface of cylinder 24. A prime mover or electric motor 32 is mounted on cylinder 24 by a bracket 34 and is coupled through gear reduction or similar transmission means 36 to a drive shaft 38. A crankshaft 40 is disposed in cylinder 24, the pintles 42 thereof being journalled in bosses 44 provided in cylinder 24 with drive shaft 38 being connected to proximal pintle 42. Spaced crank portions 46 are interconnected by a pin 48 3,419,923 Patented Jan. 7, 1969 ice which pivotally receives one end of a connecting rod 50, the other end of the latter being pivotally connected to the inner surface of piston 26.
Cylinder 24 has an end wall 52 proximal piston 26, and a coupling 54 is provided in cylinder 24 adjacent wall 52. Coupling 54 telescopically receives the other end 55 of tube 14. Pump mechanism 12 also includes a pair of support legs 56 on the normally lower surface of cylinder 24, and a handle 58 is secured to the normally uppermost surface of cylinder 24.
In operation, pad 10 is inflated to a predetermined pressure slightly above atmospheric pressure, such as by removing end 23 of tube 14 and manually blowing air into pad 10 through coupling 22. End 23 of tube 14 is then retelescoped over coupling 22 and motor 32 operated to rotate drive shaft 38 and thereby reciprocate piston 26 within cylinder 24. As piston 26 reciprooates, air will be alternately pumped into and withdrawn from pad 10 to intermittently increase and decrease the pressure therein.
For purposes of illustration, a baby 60 wrapped in a blanket is shown lying on pad 10, it being noted in FIG. 2 that the weight of baby 60 causes the central portion of top 16 to distend downwardly toward said bottom against the action of the air pressure within pad 10 to present a nest 62 embracing the baby and defining a bight 64, and an upwardly bowed peripheral boundary 66. Since the pressure within pad 10 is relatively low, bight 64 will be disposed in juxtaposition to bottom 18 and, therefore, nest 62 is substantially nonsupporting with respect to baby 60. The pressure maintained within pad 10 is thus below that required to support baby 60 and, of course, the initial pressure may be varied to correspond to the particular weight of baby 60.
As piston 26 reciprocates to increase and decrease the pressure within pad 10, pulsations will be created in top 16 which will be sensed by baby 60. Since the air pressure within pad 10 is a predetermined, relatively low pressure, it embraces or envelops the baby rather than raising or. supporting the same whereby the pulsations created in top 16 will simulate certain fetal environmental movement for baby 60. More particularly, the movement simulated is that transmitted to the fetus in the womb by the mothers diaphragm as the latter moves in response to the breathing of the mother. A baby placed on pad 10 will thus have a feeling of security similar to that which he has heretofore experienced in his prenatal environment, it being anticipated that the primary use of the simulator would be to comfort and lull the baby to sleep.
It will be recognized that nest 62 will be more readily formed in top 16 if the latter is, as illustrated, appreciably greater in area, thinner and more pliable than bottom 18. This provision precludes appreciable upward distending of bottom 18 and thus optimum embracing relationship is created.
It is noteworthy that mechanism 12 increases and decreases the pressure within pad 10 by varying the communicating volume of cylinder 24 with respect thereto, and thus, the pressure differential is merely an intermittent relocation of the air initially directed into pad 10. This structure obviates the need for any complicated valved or recirculation apparatus and, therefore, a lightweight, highly portable construction is provided so that the simulator may easily be transported when it is desired to travel from place-to-place with the baby. In this regard, handle 58 is provided for convenient carrying of mechanism 12 and legs 56 are normally utilized for supporting the same. If air is lost through mechanism 12, it is only necessary to slip end 23 from coupling 22 for re-inflation of pad 10.
Preferably, tube 14 is located adjacent the babys head as illustrated in FIG. 1 so that the sound produced by the intermittent flowing air may be heard by the baby. The flow of air will inherently be in sequence with the pulsation of the pad and thus the intermittent sound produced thereby will simulate the mothers breathing move ment as in its prenatal environment.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. Apparatus for simulating certain fetal environmental movement for an animal, said apparatus comprising:
a hollow pad;
structure having a chamber;
a tube communicating with the pad and with the chamber,
said pad and said chamber being adapted to contain a fluid maintained at a predetermined pressure above atmospheric pressure,
said pad having a top and a bottom of material impervious to flow of said fluid therethrough, the material for said top being flexible whereby the same is distended downwardly toward said bottom against the action of the pressure of said fluid in the pad by the weight of the animal upon said top,
the maintained pressure of said fluid being below that required to support the animal on said top whereby a nest is formed in the top embracing the animal; and
mechanism having means for alternately pumping said fluid from the chamber into the pad and pumping the fluid from the pad into the chamber whereby to create pulsations in said top sensible to the animal in the nest during operation of the mechanism.
2. The invention of claim 1, said structure comprising a cylinder and said mechanism comprising a piston received in said cylinder; and
a prime mover operably connected with the piston for reciprocating the same within the cylinder.
3. The invention of claim 1,
said top having an area appreciably greater than the area of said bottom whereby, when the nest is formed therein, there is presented in the nest a bight disposed in juxtaposition to the bottom and an upwardly bowed peripheral boundary in the top for the nest surrounding the animal therein.
4. The invention of claim 3,
the material for the top being thinner and more pliable than the material for the bottom whereby the latter is not appreciably distended by the fluid pressure in the pad and said boundary is readily formed in the top by the fluid pressure in the pad when the animal is in the nest. 5. Apparatus for simulating certain fetal environmental movement for an animal, said apparatus cornprising:
a hollow pad including upper and lower sheets of fluid impervious material interconnected only at the peripheral margin of said sheets, said pad being adapted to contain a fluid maintained at a predetermined pressure above atmospheric pressure, the material for said upper sheet being flexible whereby the same is distended downwardly toward said bottom against the action of the pressure of said fluid in the pad by the weight of the animal upon the upper sheet;
a piston and cylinder assembly, said piston being movable along a reciprocable path of travel within the cylinder;
a tube interconnecting said pad and said cylinder for fluid flow therebetween; and
prime mover means operably coupled with the piston for reciprocating the latter within the cylinder in timed sequence simulating the breathing rate of said fetal environment,
said assembly, tube and pad comprising a closed fluid system whereby movement of the piston toward one end of its path of travel withdraws fluid from the pad into the cylinder and movement of the piston toward the other end of its path of travel forces said fluid through the tube and into the pad to distend the latter into partial enveloping relationship around the animal on said upper sheet, said partial enveloping proceeding in corresponding relationship to said breathing rate.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 611,585 9/1898 Andress 5-348 957,892 5/1910 Lavrila 5348 1,371,919 3/1921 Mahony 5-348 2,626,407 1/1953 Kurry 5--99 2,819,712 1/1958 Morrison 5348 X 3,292,611 12/1966 Belkin 28-1 US. Cl. X.R.