US 3532242 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1970 R. c. TIBBS 3,53
INFANT FEEDING APPARATUS Filed Feb. 26, 1969 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Robert C. Tibbs INVENTOR.
Oct. 6, 1970 R. c. TIBBS 3,532,242
INFANT FEEDING APPARATUS I Filed Feb. 26, 1969 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Fig. 6 7
Robert 6. Tibbs h INVENTOR.
United States Patent m 3,532,242 INFANT FEEDING APPARATUS Robert C. Tibbs, Hospital Drive, Cleveland, Miss.
Filed Feb. 26, 1969, Ser. No. 802,388 Int. Cl. A613 9/00, 11/04 US. Cl. 215--11 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The infant feeding apparatus of the instant invention includes components which may be utilized either separately or in combination with each other. The bottle component of the apparatus may be utilized with conventional nipples and the nipple component may be utilized with conventional bottles. However, when the nipple and bottle components are utilized together coaction exists between the two components resulting in advantageous operation of the feeding apparatus defined by the combined components.
The bottle may be simply defined as including an offset neck portion whereby substantially all liquids within the bottle may be drained therefrom by only slightly downwardly inclining the neck end of the bottle. In addition, the offset position of the neck of the bottle enables the outlet end of any nipple operatively associated with the bottle to be maintained below the liquid level within the bottle when the latter is only slightly downwardly inclined at its neck end, until substantially all of the liquid within the bottle has been drained therefrom. This of course enables infants feeding from the apparatus to continuously feed without intaking air.
The nipple component, on the other hand, is constructed so as to include an outer closed end portion having an outlet opening therein and with the outlet end portion of the nipple being generally oval in longitudinal and cross-sectional shape. The inner end portion of the nipple is frusto-conical in configuration so as to simulate the areola of a mothers breast. The oval longitudinal and transverse shape of the outer end of the nipple simulates the nipple of a mothers breast, more closely than a nursing nipple of circular cross-sectional shape, while the outer end of the nipple of the instant invention is being suckled between the tongue and palate of an infant. In addition, the nipple, bottle and cap of the feeding apparatus include coacting means whereby when the cap is tightly secured on the bottle mounting the nipple thereon the greater transverse dimension of the outer end of the nipple extends in a direction normal to the direction of offset of the neck of the bottle from the centerline of the bottle. In this manner, the oval nipple outer end portion is correctly oriented relative to the side of the bottle toward which the nipple is offset.
When an infant is being nursed by its mother the most desirable position of the infant is with his torso in a slightly upwardly inclined position. Thus, when an infant is being fed from a bottle the infant should also be in a sligrtly head upward inclined position. When an infant is disposed in this position with his neck straight, a bottle in alignment with the longitudinal centerline of the mouth 3,532,242 Patented Oct. 6, 1970 of the infant is disposed in a base upward slightly inclined position and if a conventional baby bottle is held in this position while feeding a baby a considerable portion of the milk within the bottle remains therein as the baby begins to draw air from within the bottle. Accordingly, the importance of providing a bottle with a laterally offset neck portion so as to allow substantially complete drainage of the milk from the bottle before air is drawn through the nipple can be readily appreciated.
The main object of this invention is to provide an infant feeding apparatus including a bottle and nipple assembly which will allow an infant to be bottle fed while disposed in a head upwardly slightly inclined position and with the feeding apparatus so constructed to allow substantially complete discharge of all of the milk therein while in a base upward slightly inclined position before it is possible for the feeding infant to draw air through the nipple of the feeding apparatus.
Another important object of this invention is to provide a bottle construction with an offset neck portion to allow more complete emptying of the bottle from the side thereof toward which the neck portion is offset.
Yet another important object of this invention is to provide a nipple construction including structural features thereof which more closely simulate the nipple and areola portion of a mothers breast.
A final object of this invention to be specifically enumerated herein is to provide an infant feeding apparatus inaccordance with the preceding objects which will conform to conventional forms of manufacture, be of simple construction and easy to use so as to provide a device that will be economically feasible, long lasting and relatively trouble free in operation.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a conventional form of infant feeding bottle provided with the improved nipple construction of the instant invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 1 but illustrating the improved nipple construction mounted on the improved bottle construction of the instant invention;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary elevational view illustrating the manner in which a conventional baby bottle must be inclined to insure substantially complete drainage of milk from the interior thereof before the feeding infant draws air through the nipple of the bottle;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the improved infant feeding apparatus of the instant invention illustrating the reduced inclined position thereof requifed to insure complete drainage of substantially all of the liquid contents of the bottle prior to the feeding infant drawing air through the nipple of the feeding apparatus;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary elevational view illustrating the manner in which an infant is usually breast fed and showing the similarity between the infant feeding positions of FIGS. 4 and 5 as opposed to the more inclined infant feeding position illustrated in FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a first form of the nipple portion of the instant invention adapted to be utilized in conjunction with a conventional feeding bottle;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged vertical sectional view taken substantially upon the plane indicated by the section line 77 of FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken substantially upon the plane indicated by the section line 8-8 of FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a top plan view of the nipple illustrated in FIGS. 6-8;
FIG. 10 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional View taken substantially upon the plane indicated by the section line 1010 of FIG. 9;
FIG. 11 is a top plan view of a nipple construction similar to that illustrated in FIGS. 6-10 but provided with a slot-like opening in lieu of a cylindrical opening in its end wall;
FIG. 12 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view taken substantially upon the plane indicated by the section line 12-12 of FIG. 11;
FIG. 13 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view taken substantially upon a plane passing through the center of the feeding apparatus illustrated in FIG. 2; and
FIG. 14 is a top plan view of the assemblage illustrated in FIG. 13.
Referring now more specifically to the drawings, the numeral 10 generally designates an infant feeding apparatus including a conventional bottle 12 provided with a centrally disposed neck 14 at its upper end upon which an improved nipple construction generally referred to by the reference numeral 16 is secured by means of a conventional bottle cap 18.
In FIG. 2 of the drawings, there may be seen an infant feeding apparatus generally referred to by the reference numeral 20 and which is substantially identical to the feeding apparatus 10 except that the apparatus 20 includes a bottle 22 provided with an eccentrically disposed upper neck portion 24 upon which an improved nipple 17 is secured by means of a modified cap structure 26 having an eccentric nipple receiving opening formed therein.
With attention now invited more specifically to FIGS. 3-5 of the drawings, there may be seen an infant 28 nursing a mothers breast 30. It may be seen that the infant 28 has not only taken the whole nipple 32 within his mouth but also that his upper and lower lips 34 and 36 have received therebetween a major portion of the areola portion 38 of the breast 30. As the infant 28 suckles, the nipple and adjacent portions of the areola are received between the infants tongue and palate and the nipple is transversely compressed in a rippling manner from the base end thereof to the outer end thereof whereby the milk is stripped from the milk ducts extending through the nipple 32.
Further, it may be seen from FIG. 5 of the drawings,
that the infants head is generally upright, the head being usually somewhat in a chin downward position toward the chest (not shown) of the infant whereby the torso of the infant is more inclined away from an upright position. Further, it may be seen that the outer end of the nipple 32 is in a slightly endwise outwardly and downwardly inclined position for substantial alignment with the longitudinal axis of the infants mouth.
With reference now to FIG. 3 of the drawings, there may be seen a conventional baby bottle feeding apparatus referred to in general by the reference numeral 40. The bottle 40 includes a centrally disposed diametrically reduced neck 42 on which a cap and nipple construction referred to in general by the reference numeral 44 is secured in the usual manner. However, it may be seen that in order to substantially fully drain the bottle portion 46 of the feeding apparatus 40 the base end of the bottle 46 must be upwardly inclined in the neighborhood of 45 degrees. With the bottle 46 in this position and the nipple portion 48 of the apparatus 40 in a similar inclined position, the infants head must also be similarly inclined if the longitudinal centerline of the mouth of the infant is to be aligned with the centerline of the nipple portion 48. Thus, if the infant is still disposed in a slightly chin downward toward the chest position, the infants torso is considerably more horizontally disposed than the torso 4 of the infant 28 illustrated in FIG. 5 and the infant is considerably more likely to aspirate the milk being fed to him. Thus, by utilizing the feeding apparatus 40 of FIG. 3 it is necessary that the infant feed while in a supine or nearly supine position while the breast fed infant 28 in FIG. 5 may feed while in a semi-upright position.
With attention now invited more specifically to FIG. 4 of the drawings wherein the infant 28 is illustrated being fed from the feeding apparatus 20, it may be seen that the offset neck 24 enables the bottle 22 to be substantially drained of milk with the bottle 22 only slightly upwardly inclined at its base end. Thus, the head 50 of the infant 28 need be less inclined and is disposed in the same general inclined position that the infants head 50 in inclined in FIG. 5 of the drawings illustrating the infant 28 being breast fed. Accordingly, the feeding apparatus 20 may be seen to enable an infant to be bottle fed while in a semiupright position as opposed to a supine or nearly supine position in which there is more likelihood of the infant aspirating milk.
With attention now directed more specifically to FIGS. 6-9 of the drawings, it may be seen that the nipple 16 includes a body 54 including a base end portion 56 and an outer end portion 58. The base end portion 56 is ge erally truncated cone shaped in configuration and terminates at its major diameter end portion in a generally cylindrical extension 60 including a radially outwardly projecting and circumferentially extending mounting flange 62. The base end portion 56 includes a radially outwardly projecting and circumferentially extending rib 64 disposed about the area of intersection of the base end portion 56 with the extension '60 and the outer end portion 58 of the body 54 is generally oval in longitudinal and cross-sectional shape and includes an outer end wall 66 including a thin central portion 68 having an opening 70 formed therethrough. The end of the outer end portion 58 adjacent the base end portion 56 is open and the adjacent wall portions of the base end portion 56 and the outer end portion 58 merge smoothly together in a circumferential zone 72 extending about the nipple 16.
The mounting flange 62, the rib 64 and the extension 60 are of conventional design and provide a means for securing the base end portion 56 of the nipple 16 through the centrally apertured end wall 74 of the cap 18. Additionally, a slightly modified form of nipple referred to in general by the reference numeral 16 may be seen to be illustrated in FIGS. 11 and 12 of the drawings. The nipple 16' is substantially identical to the nipple 16 except that the opening 70' in the center portion 68' of the end wall 66' thereof is in the form of an elongated slit or slot, as opposed to a cylindrical opening. The slot 70' generally parallels the major dimension of the oval cross-sectional shape of the outer end portion of the nipple 16'.
With attention now invited more specifically to FIGS. 13 and 14 of the drawings, it may be seen that the nipple 16 may be further modified in the form of the nipple 16" whose mounting flange portion 62" is eccentrically disposed relative to the major diameter end of the base end portion 56" so as to conform to the offset positioning of the opening 75 formed through the end wall 74 in the cap 18". The side of the end wall 74 from which the opening 75 is offset includes three circumferentially spaced and generally radially extending grooves 77 in which coacting circumferentially spaced and radially extending upstanding ribs 79 carried by the mounting flange 62" are seated. In addition, the cylindrical wall portion 81 of the cap 18" includes an outer axially extending rib 83 which is registrable with an upstanding rib 85 formed on the inclined portion 87 of the bottle 22.
It is to be noted that the cap 18" is internally threaded and that the eccentrically disposed neck 24 is externally threaded. Further, the pitch of the threads on the bottle 22 and cap 18" is reasonably great and whenever a nipple construction such as the nipple 16' has its mounting flange portion 62" properly clampingly secured between the end wall 74" and the open end of the neck 24 the rib 83 will be registered with the rib 85. Of course, with the rib 79 seated in the grooves or recesses 77, the nipple 16" is keyed to the cap 18" for rotation therewith during securement of the cap 18" to the neck 24. It may be seen from FIG. 14 of the drawings that the major transverse dimension of the outer end portion of the nipple 16 is disposed normal to the direction in which the neck 24 is offset from the centerline of the bottle 22. Accordingly, the minimum transverse dimension of the outer end portion of the nipple 16" will extend between the tongue and palate of the infant feeding from the nipple 16" and the side of the bottle 22 toward which the neck 24 is offset will be aligned with the chin of the feeding infant.
The outer end portion of each of the nipples includes wall portions which are flexible and resilient and yet reasonably firm so as to resist collapsing while an infant is feeding therefrom. However, the central portions of the end walls of the nipples through which the outlet openings are formed are thinner and thus may be more readily flexed so as to afford reasonably unrestricted flow of milk therethrough. However, the central portions of the end walls of the nipples are not so thin as to allow milk to readily fiow therethrough without the nipple being suckled by an infant.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. A baby bottle comprising an upright shape retaining hollow body closed at its lower end and including a hollow neck at its upper end of smaller cross-sectional area than the lower portion of said body below said neck, said neck being eccentrically disposed relative to the center axis of said lower portion and including one inner peripheral wall portion extending through said neck defining a continuation of the corresponding inner wall portion of said lower portion, whereby said baby bottle may be substantially completely drained of liquid therein, by gravity, upon said bottle being only slightly downwardly inclined at its open end when said inner wall portions are disposed lowermost a resilient, flexible and hollow nipple for said bottle including an open base end portion adapted for abutted sealed engagement with the outer end of said neck and a closed head end portion having a small outlet opening formed therethrough, said closed end portion being generally oval in cross-sectional shape, the exterior of said neck being threaded, and an internally threaded cap provided with a centrally apertured end wall and threaded on said neck and removably retaining said nipple thereon with said nipple projecting outwardly through said cap end wall, said cap and base end portion of said nipple including means keying said nipple to said cap against relative rotation thereto, and said cap, when the latter and said nipple are secured on said neck, being positioned so as to position said nipple with the major dimension of said closed end portion extending in a direction normal to the direction in which said neck is offset from the center axis of said lower portion of said bottle.
2. The combination of claim 1 wherein said base end portion of said nipple is hollow and truncated cone-shaped in configuration, the head end portion of said nipple being oval in longitudinal cross-sectional shape, the wall portions of said head end portion defining the open end thereof merging smoothly into the wall portions of said base end defining the minor diameter end thereof, the end of said head end portion remote from said base end portion including a concave-convex end wall, said outlet opening being formed through said end wall.
3. A baby bottle nipple and mounting cap therefor, said cap including an internally threaded cylindrical body having an end wall at one end provided with an eccentrically disposed opening therethrough, said nipple including a hollow elongated body provided with an end wall at one end and a generally radially outwardly projecting and peripherally extending flange at the other end, said end wall being perforated, said flange being eccentrically disposed on said other end and seated against the inner surface of said cap end wall with said body projecting through said opening, said nipple body adjacent said one end thereof being generally oval in cross-sectional shape with its major transverse dimension extending along a path disposed generally normal to the direction in which said opening is offset from the center of said cap end wall.
4. The combination of claim 3 including a baby bottle defining an upright hollow body closed at its lower end and including a hollow neck at its upper end of smaller cross-sectional area than the lower portion of said body below said neck, said neck being externally threaded and said cap being threaded on said neck with the outer periphery of said flange clamped between said cap end wall and the outer end of said neck.
5. The combination of claim 4 wherein said neck is eccentrically positioned adjacent one side of said body, said cap, when threaded tightly on said neck, being positioned with said eccentrically disposed opening offset to the side of said cap adjacent said one side of said body.
'6. The combination of claim 5 wherein said cap and bottle include registrable coacting indicia for indicating the initial rotated position of said cap relative to said neck prior to threaded engagement of said cap with said neck to assure that said cap end wall opening is offset the maximum amount toward said one side of said body when said cap is finally tightened on said neck.
7. The combination of claim 3 wherein said nipple end wall includes a thin central portion, the perforated portion of said nipple end wall comprising said thin central portion thereof, whereby ease of withdrawal of fluids through said thin central portion is assured.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,166,406 12/1915 Baker 215-11 2,544,464 3/1951 Matthews 215-11 2,569,139 9/1951 Abelson.
2,889,064 6/1959 Kurkjian 215-11 3,082,770 3/ 1963 Straub 128-252 3,139,064 6/1964 Harle Zl5--1l X 3,145,867 8/1964 Roberts 21511 DONALD F NORTON, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R. 128-252