Title:
HAND GRIPS FOR NURSING BOTTLES
United States Patent 3773287


Abstract:
Hand grips to be placed on nursing bottles to assist an infant in holding its own bottle while nursing, and also providing a supporting structure which prevents the bottle from rolling out of reach. The device consists essentially of a ring or band which may be slid over the bottle and removably attached thereto. The band may either be a complete circular ring providing a friction fit or having means for tightening the band onto the bottle, a split ring relying on the spring compression of the band to secure itself to the bottle or partial ring segments may be used with suitable hooks or the like for attachment. The band has at least two laterally projecting legs which are substantially straight, oriented radially with respect to the band and positioned at an obtuse angle.



Inventors:
HECHINGER A
Application Number:
05/241695
Publication Date:
11/20/1973
Filing Date:
04/06/1972
Assignee:
HECHINGER A,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
19/159A, 294/31.2, D24/199
International Classes:
A61J9/06; (IPC1-7): A47D15/00
Field of Search:
248/102,103,104,105,106,153,145
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3627244BOTTLE HOLDER1971-12-14Nicholas
3222020Apparatus for holding nursing bottles1965-12-07Rea
3117759Bottle holder1964-01-14Herer
3058708Holder1962-10-16Murray et al.
2789002Holder for nursing bottle1957-04-16Nicholas
2733883N/A1956-02-07Gourley
2552844Bottle holder1951-05-15Clinehens
2033296Holder for nursing bottles1936-03-10Porter



Primary Examiner:
Parsons Jr., Marion
Claims:
I claim

1. Hand grips for nursing bottles or the like, comprising:

2. The device set forth in claim 1 wherein said fixture means comprises an annular band the inner diameter of which is chosen to be somewhat greater then the outer diameter of a nursing bottle, said band having a liner of resilient material disposed about the inner surface thereof.

3. The device set forth in claim 2 wherein said annular band is further provided with a threaded aperture, a threaded screw situated in said aperture, said screw extending radially through said band with an end thereof disposed within said band, a disk-like member affixed to the inner end of said screw, said disk member having a layer of resilient material affixed to the inward surface thereof.

4. The device set forth in claim 2 further including a radially extending protrusion formed upon said band at a position remote from the position of said gripping members, said protrusion having a rounded body portion the lateral dimension of which is substantially the same as the radial extension of said protrusion, said protrusion providing a third gripping member.

5. The device set forth in claim 2 wherein said band is divided to provide a gap between adjacent ends thereof, the diameter of said band being substantially equal to or slightly less than the diameter of a nursing bottle to provide a spring clip fixture means, said liner extending around the inner periphery of said band except for said gap.

6. Hand grips for nursing bottles or the like, comprising:

7. The device set forth in claim 6 wherein said band is divided to provide more then one gap whereby said band is formed in one or more segments, and hook means formed at the ends of each said segment.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Small infants who still possess limited muscle coordination and dexterity have a great deal of difficulty in holding their own nursing bottles. Their hands are small as compared to the circumference of the bottle and it is necessary for them to use both hands, one on each side, a skill which many infants are slow to master. To the infant the bottle is relatively heavy and he often tires of holding it before he is through nursing. As a result, he often drops it or through involuntary muscle response knocks it out of his mouth whereupon it falls into the crib, leaks and wets the bed.

I am not aware of any satisfactory solution heretofore made to this problem. The closest approach known to me appears to be that disclosed in the patent to E. S. Nichols, U.S. Pat. No. 2,789,002 which discloses a device for attaching handles to a nursing bottle by means of an elastic strap, the handles being loops oriented along the longitudinal axis of the bottle. That device does not solve the problems previously enumerated for several reasons. The orientation of the handles and their particular configuration are not readily grasped by the infant. Further, the location of the handles at opposing sides of the bottle does not provide a support for the bottle by which the infant can nurse without using his hands. And finally, the handles in their position do not readily prevent the bottle from rolling about in the crib.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

I have solved all of the foregoing difficulties by providing an improved means for attaching removable hand grips to a nursing bottle wherein the hand grips are formed in the configuration of two longitudinal, downwardly projecting legs of relatively substantial length having a diameter easily grasped by an infant. The legs project radially outwardly from a circular band adapted to fit securely around the bottle. The legs are positioned so that they project at an abtuse angle providing a bipod supporting structure. In this manner, the nursing bottle with the holder applied thereto can rest upon the infant's chest without rolling about and without the necessity for the infant actually grasping the hand grips. However, the particular location of the hand grips and their shape make it relatively easy for an infant to grasp them either with one or both hands in that they are located in a natural plane of the baby's grasp. Furthermore, the bipod effect achieved by the relatively long length of the hand grips prevents the bottle from rolling about. In addition to the foregoing advantages, it is apparent that the provision of the hand grips on the bottle greatly aids in encouraging the infant by using the grips to more rapidly improve his hand and eye coordination. The band to which the legs are attached may simply provide a friction fit about the periphery of the bottle or a threaded pressure screw may be used. Alternately, the band may be split so that it functions as a spring clip, or as another alternative, the band may be formed in segments having hooks to secure to portions of the bottle.

It is an object, therefore, of the present invention to provide an improved attachment for nursing bottles which affords not only one or more hand grips for the infant but also a secure support therefore so that the bottle cannot readily escape the infant's grasp.

Further objects and advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent upon reading the ensuing detailed description of the various embodiments, together with the accompanying drawings.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of the present invention in which the ring employs a friction fit.

FIG. 2 is a front view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a second embodiment of the present invention in which attachment to the bottle is accomplished by means of a threaded compression screw.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the first embodiment in place on a typical nursing bottle.

FIG. 5 is another embodiment of the invention using a split spring clip band.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a modification of the first embodiment having an added handgrip.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of another embodiment in which the band is provided with hooks.

FIG. 8 is a modification of the embodiment shown in FIG. 7 in which the band is formed in partial segments having hooks to engage portions of the bottle periphery.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

In FIGS. 1, 2 and 4, the device is shown to consist of a completely circular band 10 the inner diameter of which is slightly larger than the outer diameter of the typical baby bottle 12. The inside surface of the band 10 is lined with a layer of relatively soft resilient material 14 such as foam rubber or plastic film thus providing a friction fit when slid onto a typical nursing bottle. The legs 16 are formed integrally with the band 10 and preferably are aligned with the radii of the band. The legs 16 are oriented to form an obtuse angle, approximately 140° apart. This angle is not particularly critical but it is found to be preferable to maintain an obtuse angle and to have the lowermost extension of the legs 16 project below the base of the band. In that manner, the legs provide a bipod type of support when the device is installed on a bottle 12 so that if resting upon a flat surface, the bottle rests upon its base end and upon the two legs. It has been found that the diameter of the legs should be approximately five-eighths of an inch to afford a handle which may be easily grasped by most infants.

FIG. 6 shows one modification of the preferred embodiment in which a supplementary top grip 18 has been added which provides the infant with an additional gripping surface as an alternative to either of the legs and gives him some variety in so doing.

DESCRIPTION OF THE ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENTS

Since not all nursing bottles are of the same diameter, some means must be provided for attaching the band to bottles of different diameter. FIG. 3 shows a modification in which the band 10 is provided on its inside surface with a partial frictional liner 20 formed in the bottom area of the ring adjacent the leg 16. Opposite the liner 20 is a threaded screw shaft 22 having a handle 24 and provided with a base 26 upon which is secured a resilient pad 28. The threaded shaft 22 may be readily adjusted to tighten the band onto bottles of lesser diameter than the ring 10 so that the device can be securely mounted on the bottle. The handle 24 then affords another gripping area similar to handle 18.

FIG. 5 is similar to the preferred embodiment of FIG. 1 except that the band 10 is split at 30 so as to allow it to be spread apart as it is slid upon the nursing bottle whereupon it acts as a spring clip holding the band in place. Again, a layer of resilient material 14 is applied to the inside surface of the band 10. This configuration may also include the additional top hand grip 18 if desired.

There are types of nursing bottles which employ a cylindrical sleeve in which are attached disposable plastic liners to contain the milk such as the type commercially available known as the Playtex Nurser. Here, the cylindrical outer body of the nursing unit employs a plurality of longitudinal open slots. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 7, the band 10 is split at 32 and the band is bent inwardly to provide the tabs or hooks 34. The hooks 34 engage these longitudinal slots to securely fasten the band to this type of nursing unit. Here again, it may be desirable to line the inner surface of the band with the layer of resilient material 14 to gain the further advantage of a frictional fit.

As a further embodiment of the invention, FIG. 8 shows the band in a form of a partial segment 36 each of which is provided with an integral leg 38 of the same type and configuration as the legs 16. The band segment 36 is provided with two inwardly turned hooks 40 spaced circumferentially a sufficient distance to engage the longitudinal slots of the type of nursing unit previously mentioned. Typically, two units of the type shown in FIG. 8 would be used with each of the nursing units previously mentioned although it is equally possible that more than two such units may be applied if desired.

By providing the various embodiments of the present invention in a manner in which they can be readily attached or removed from any typical nursing bottle, they may be easily cleaned and transferred from one bottle to another. By molding the units in one piece from any suitable plastic material, they can be made both non-toxic and non-allergenic. The various embodiments shown herein make the present invention readily adaptable to any size or shape of nursing bottle and although the various embodiments shown herein disclose a circular band it is equally contemplated as being within the scope of this invention that the bands may be made of triangular or rectangular shape to accommodate any bottles of such configuration. While several embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described it will be obvious to persons skilled in the art that other changes and modifications might be made without departing from this invention in its broader aspects and it is contemplated that the present invention includes all such changes and modifications as adopt the salient features disclosed herein.