US 3841543 A
A unitary sling-type infant carrier made from an elongated sheet of fabric, folded about its longitudinal axis to form a tubular body, and connected at its ends to form a closed loop. An infant is inserted and removed through an opening in the body of the tube, and is supported on a resilient, semi-rigid pad therein.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Bolton 1 Oct. 15,1974
[ INFANT CARRIER  Inventor: Anita M. Bolton, 9840 N.W. Murlea Dr., Portland, Oreg. 97229  Filed: Apr. 13, 1972  Appl. No.: 243,738
 US. Cl. 224/6  Int. Cl. A61g 1/00, A45f 3/02  Field of Search... 224/6, 5 M, 5 N, 5 Q, 5 MA, 224/46 R, 5 W
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 484,065 10/1892 Taylor 224/6 755,554 3/1904 Turnbull 224/6 2,411,331 11/1946 Nett1eship.... 224/6 2,550,851 5/1951 Nichols 224/6 2,554,340 5/1951 Maxwell 224/6 2,617,105 11/1952 Backman 224/5 W X Dl47,494 9/1947 Eisner 224/5 0 UX Primary Examiner-Robert G. Sheridan Assistant ExaminerJerold M. Forsberg Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Kolisch, Hartwell, Dickinson 8i Stuart  ABSTRACT A unitary sling-type infant carrier made from an elongated sheet of fabric, folded about its longitudinal axis to form a tubular body, and connected at its ends to form a closed loop. An infant is inserted and removed through an opening in the body of the tube, and is supported on a resilient, semi-rigid pad therein.
1 Claim, 3 Drawing Figures 1 INFANT CARRIER BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention relates to an infant carrier, and more particularly to a unitary sling-type infant carrier adapted to be draped across the shoulder of a wearer. The present invention is particularly directed to a safe, convenient, lightweight infant carrier which allows an infant to be carried in a comfortable position, freeing the wearers hands and arms. The carrier is especially suitable for young infants to the age of about 6 months.
The novel carrier of the invention consists generally of an elongated, tubular enclosure constructed of fabric or other flexible lightweight material, and having extended ends which are joined to form a closed loop. An opening into the central portion of the enclosure provides access to a pocket in which an infant may be carried. Mounted adjacent this pocket for supporting an infant received therein is a resilient, semi-rigid pad. In use, the carrier sling is draped over the shoulder and across the body of a wearer, supporting an infant in a stable and comfortable semi-reclining position. The fabric construction allows the sling to conform to the wearers body for comfort, and when not in use the carrier may be compactly folded and stored.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS These and other advantages of the novel carrier of the invention will become more apparent as the description which follows is read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 illustrates the invention in use;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the invention; and
FIG. 3 is a longitudinal section of the infant-receiving enclosure portion of the carrier.
Referring to the drawings, and in particular to FIG. I, the infant carrier of the invention, designated generally by the reference character 10, is shown in use, an infant-receiving enclosure portion 12 of the carrier being supported by a sling portion 14 which passes over the shoulder of the wearer to suspend the infant at approximately waist height.
Referring to FIG. 2, enclosure portion 12 and sling portion 14 of carrier are formed generally from a single continuous elongated sheet 15 of fabric. Sheet 15 is folded about its longitudinal axis and partially joined at the edges to form a generally tubular body in which opposite ends of enclosure portion 12 are integrally joined with opposite ends of sling portion 14. The term sheet herein is intended to include not only a single unitary web of material, but also a layered composite construction having multiple layers. Sheet 15 is marginally configured in such a way as to provide, when folded and partially edge-joined as indicated, an opening 16 into enclosure portion 12. Indicated generally by dot-dash outline 18 is the head of an infant received in the enclosure portion. Sheet edge portions 20 along the enclosure portion are joined by a zipper 22 so that they may be conveniently opened for placing the infant in the carrier. In the sling portion of the carrier, sheet edge portions 24 are sewn together. A unitary carrier is formed by connecting ends 26 of the sling portion through a portion of an elongated flexible band 28 to form a closed loop. In carrier 10, band 28 is continuous, and is sewn to sheet 15 generally along the longitudinal axis thereof. Band 28, in addition to connecting ends 26, provides continuous longitudinal reinforcement throughout the carrier. If desired, of course, any suitable releasable, or length adjusting, connecting means may be employed to connect ends 26.
Considering now FIG. 3 in conjunction with FIG. 2, a first rectangular fabric panel 30 is sewn to sheet 15 along both sides and across the bottom to form a pocket 31 which removably receives a support pad 32. Support pad 32 consists of a semi-rigid stiffening member 34, which may be of any suitable material, such as fiberboard, and a resilient cushion 36 of foam rubber, both encased in a vinyl covering 38. Stiffening member 34 is chosen to provide a pad having sufficient stiffness to prevent the infant from being doubled up when supported in the carrier. Alternatively, stiffening member 34 and cushion 36 may consist of a single slab of material having suitable stiffness and resiliency. It should be noted that pad 32 has a stiffness, i.e., resistance to bending, considerably greater than the stiffness of sheet 15. This is important in assuring proper support for an infant, while allowing the sling portion of the carrier to have ample flexibility to enable comfortable wearing by a user.
A second rectangular fabric panel 40 forms with panel 30 an infant-receiving pocket 42 in which the infant is carried. Panel 40 is substantially equal in width to panel 30, but short enough so that the infants head is not covered. Like panel 30, panel 40 may be sewn to sheet 15 along both sides and across the bottom. Preferably, however, panel 40 is sewn along the bottom and but one side, and is provided with a zipper for releasable attachment to the sheet along its other side. The latter construction is used in carrier 10, the zipper being concealed in the drawings.
There is thus provided a safe, convenient, lightweight infant carrier which can be easily fabricated at low cost, and which is comfortable for both the infant and the wearer.
Although a preferred embodiment has been described herein, it is understood that variations and modifications are possible without departing from the spirit of the invention.
It is claimed and desired to secure by letters patent is:
l. A unitary infant carrier comprising an elongate, flexible sheet folded! about its longitudinal axis to form an elongate, generally tubular body including an enclosure portion, and connected adjacent its opposite ends to form a closed loop,
means defining an opening into said body along the inner circumference of said loop adjacent one end of said enclosure portion,
means defining an infant-receiving pocket in said enclosure portion, exposed by said opening,
infant support means disposed adjacent said pocket and extending along said enclosure portion, comprising a resilient, semi-rigid pad,
means defining another pocket adjoining said infantreceiving pocket and removably receiving said pad, and
an elongate reinforcing band joined to said sheet along its longitudinal axis and extending circumferentially about said loop outwardly of said pockets and support pad.