Title:
Baby bath & changing unit
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cabinet having a bathing compartment, a notions storage compartment positioned lateral to the bathing compartment, at least one drawer positioned below the bathing compartment and a diaper storage compartment lateral to the drawers. The bathing compartment and the storage compartment each provide hinged covers, and a spray head positioned for dispending water into the bathing compartment and for rinsing the baby.



Inventors:
Bean, Randal E. (Hines Creek, CA)
Application Number:
11/203537
Publication Date:
02/15/2007
Filing Date:
08/12/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K1/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HUYNH, KHOA D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATENT LAW & VENTURE GROUP (1668 E. Verde Blvd., San Tan Valley, AZ, 85140, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for caring for a baby, the apparatus comprising: a cabinet having a bathing compartment providing a means for draining water therefrom, a diaper storage compartment positioned lateral to the bathing compartment, at least one drawer positioned below the bathing compartment; the bathing compartment and the storage compartment each providing hinged lids; a water sprayer positioned for dispensing water into the bathing compartment, the faucet adapted for receiving water from a source of water for delivering the water into a bathing tub; a drain hose interconnected with the tub for directing water therefrom using a pump.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the at least one drawer comprises two drawers positioned one above the other.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the diaper storage compartment provides a front door adapted for sealing the storage compartment, the door providing a rest shelf attached thereto so as to be movable to the front of the apparatus when the front door is ajar.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a spray head engaged within the bathing compartment and enabled for spraying water within the bathing compartment.

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Related Applications

None

2. Field of the Present Disclosure

This disclosure relates generally to specialty cabinets and more particularly to a specialty cabinet for tending to the care of an infant or small child.

3. Description of Related Art

The following art defines the present state of this field and each disclosure is hereby incorporated herein by reference:

Saba, U.S. Des. Pat. No. 17,930, discloses an ornamental design for a combined bassinet and chest.

Swaney, U.S. Des. Pat. No. 190,951, discloses an ornamental design for an infant's combined storage cabinet and convertible bed.

Klara, U.S. Des. Pat. No. 214,863, discloses an ornamental design for a combined bed, chest of drawers and diaper changing support.

Sommer, U.S. Des. Pat. No. 260,827, discloses an ornamental design for a combined crib, dressing table and storage unit.

Riehm, U.S. Des. Pat. No. 284,531, discloses an ornamental design for a combined dressing table and storage unit for an infant.

Goertz, U.S. Des. Pat. No. 367,105, discloses an ornamental design for a portable sink for pet care.

Levine, U.S. Des. Pat. No. 375,419, discloses an ornamental design for a baby changing table with universal drawer.

Maddux et al., U.S. Des. Pat. No. 409,732, discloses an ornamental design for a portable self contained sink and water storage cart.

Freedberg, U.S. Des. Pat. No. 426,982, discloses an ornamental design for a combined dresser and changing table.

Pai, U.S. Des. Pat. No. 463,646, discloses an ornamental design for a sink cart.

Underbrink, U.S. Des. Pat. No. 489,155, discloses an ornamental design for an outdoor station with a sink and foldable faucet.

Aper, U.S. Pat. No. 1,409,330, discloses a cabinet, with the combination of a casing that includes a rear wall, end walls, and a bottom wall, a horizontally disposed transversely extending partition arranged in the casing terminating short of the upper end thereof, a vertically disposed partition arranged transversely in the casing forming a pair of compartments, a set of drawers arranged in one of the compartments, a front strip secured to the end walls terminating flush with the rear wall, a commode slidably mounted in the casing on the opposite side of the vertical partition from said drawers, hinged doors secured to the end walls arranged to hide said set of drawers and said commode, a support arranged in the upper end of said casing above said sets of drawers, a tub secured to said support, end strips secured to the upper edge of the casing, and a hinged leaf arranged intermediate the strips.

Hayward, U.S. Pat. No. 2,752,614, discloses a bassinet in combination with a mounting comprising a portable carriage presenting a table-like top having a longitudinal edge, two mounting links of substantially equal lengths, which lengths are approximately not more than half the width of the bassinet, a pair of pivot means on the top for free swinging movement in a horizontal plane about a vertical axis, the two vertical axes being spaced apart on a line substantially parallel to said longitudinal edge and spaced from that edge by a distance substantially less than the lengths of the links, the lengths between that line and the central longitudinal line of the table top, and pivot means on vertical axes carried at the outer swinging end of each mounting link, said two last mentioned pivot means supportingly connected to the bassinet with their axes at points approximately on the longitudinal central line of the bassinet and spaced apart on the line a distance approximately equal to the axial spacing of the two first mentioned pivot means.

Coffman, U.S. Pat. No. 3,192,537, discloses a readily portable shampoo device comprising a cabinet mounted on a rotatable support means, an upper hot water supply tank and an upper cold water supply tank mounted in side-by-side relation interiorly of said cabinet rearwardly thereof, a shampoo bowl mounted interiorly of said cabinet forwardly of said pair of water supply tanks and extending forwardly and upwardly exteriorly of said cabinet, a cover hinged on said cabinet extending rearwardly over said pair of supply tanks, a second cover hinged on said cabinet extending forwardly over said shampoo bowl, said covers in closed position providing a substantially flat table surface, a closed top drainage water storing tank mounted in said cabinet underneath said supply tanks and the portion of said shampoo bowl within said cabinet, drain means connecting said shampoo bowl to said drain tank through the closed top thereof, a spray hose and spray head thereon connected to a mixing valve mounted in said shampoo bowl, electric motor operated water pump means mounted within said cabinet, and water conduits connected through said water pump means from each said supply tank through faucet controls to said mixing valve means, said shampoo bowl having a neck-receiving recess in an end ledge in its forward upwardly extending portion exteriorly of said cabinet for conveniently supporting the head and neck of a chair occupying patient.

Navarra, U.S. Pat. No. 3,931,652, discloses an inflatable liner for a standard kitchen sink has a bottom, sides, and ends formed from contiguous inflatable ribs. The sides and ends are formed from horizontal ribs which extend above the level of the sink. An inflatable pillow with an air valve in its lower side extends from one end of the liner to rest on the sink top. A drain is formed in the end of the bottom of the liner opposite the pillow. The liner, when used with a sink, provides a tub for bathing infants.

Raphael et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,181,284, discloses an infant bathtub apparatus having a tub housing having an inside including an inside bottom and a plurality of housing walls for holding bath water therein. The tub housing has two slanted walls and a flange around the periphery of the housing. A plurality of legs are removably attached to the tub housing for supporting the tub thereon while a plurality of article containers are formed in the tub housing flange around the periphery of the housing. A removable support surface is removably located in the tub housing and has an arcuate surface on one end thereof for support on said flange around the periphery of the housing. The removable support has hook and loop material located beneath the other end portion thereof for removably attaching the support surface to the bottom of the tub housing so that an infant bathtub can support a baby therein.

Allman et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,465,438, discloses a mobile nursing home unit that is formed by an upright cabinet containing an assembly of nursing facilities including a sink and a superposed gray water tank and fresh water reservoir selectively supplying water to and draining from the sink into the gray water tank. Miscellaneous washcloths, soaps, lotions, towels and other desired small items are temporarily stored on the cabinet top wall and maintained thereon during mobile movement of the cabinet-by a kitchen rail extending along adjacent edge limits of the top wall.

Chao, U.S. Pat. No. 5,926,866, discloses a movable bathtub for a baby. The movable bathtub comprises a body and a plurality of wheels on the bottom of the body so as to move the bathtub. The body is separated into a bathing space and a storage space by a separator. The bathing space is placed with a curve-shaped supporting net in one end of which a tub drain and a tub stopper are provided. The storage space is provided with a water-pot in a front end thereof and several drawers in the back end thereof. With the structure of the invention, a parent can pour heated water to the bathtub and bath a baby while standing.

Sauerbrei et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,256,803, discloses a baby changing and washing station that is designed as an apparatus to aid in the washing and/or cleansing of an infant. The present invention comprises a frame that is attached to a wall and provides for a fold down table portion, similar in design to a conventional diaper changing station. A padded vinyl area for the infant is provided along with restraining straps to hold the infant. A water bottle is provided in a heated container to allow the water to be slightly warmed. Tubing is designed to carry the water through a release device at the end of the tube to allow cleansing of the infant after a diaper change or may be used to wash the entire infant. A drain system in the fold down table collects the waste water in a catch basin which may be removed and emptied after bathing duties are complete.

McBroom, U.S. Pat. No. 6,349,715, discloses a mobile cooking device that provides a mobile cart for cooking and cleaning purposes. The mobile cooking device includes a housing. The housing has a front wall, a back wall, a top wall, a bottom wall, a first side wall, and a second side wall. The second wall has a door therein. The door is selectively positioned between an open position and a closed position. An axle extends through the front and back walls. The axle is positioned generally adjacent to the second side wall. Each of a first pair of wheels is rotatably coupled to an opposite end of the axle. Each of a pair of brackets is coupled to the bottom wall and positioned generally adjacent to the first side wall. Each of a second pair of wheels is rotatably coupled to one of the brackets. A sink is positioned in the top wall of the housing. Each of a plurality of burners is positioned on the top wall of the housing. A fuel supply is fluidly coupled to each of the burners.

Our prior art search with abstracts described above teaches specialty cabinets of many types for utility with respect to babies and for infants. It is known to fabricate a cabinet with various compartments for active use and for storage of materials used in such active compartments. It is known to provide such a cabinet to contain a baby as with Saba, U.S. Des. Pat. No. 178,930, for sleeping, bathing, changing and other needs. However, the prior art fails to teach such a cabinet that provides the combination of features described herein which give rise to beneficial advantages over the prior art. The present disclosure distinguishes over the prior art providing heretofore unknown advantages as described in the following summary.

SUMMARY

This disclosure teaches certain benefits in construction and use which give rise to the objectives described below.

Infants require special care fixtures that are normally unavailable to them in a typical household. This, the prior art shows many specialty fixtures and cabinets particularly designed for infant care. The presently described apparatus is used for changing and bathing a baby. The apparatus comprises a cabinet having bathing compartment, a notions storage compartment positioned lateral to the bathing compartment, at least one drawer positioned below the bathing compartment and a water container storage compartment lateral to the drawers. The bathing compartment and the storage compartment each provide hinged covers, and a water faucet or spray head is positioned for dispending water into the bathing compartment and for rinsing the baby. The faucet is engaged with a water container in the water container storage compartment, which may be pressurized using a manual pump, or may be connected using a hose or tube to a source of pressurized water such as a sink faucet.

A primary objective inherent in the above described apparatus and method of use is to provide advantages not taught by the prior art.

Another objective is to conveniently provide all the care essential for servicing a baby in one place.

Other features and advantages of the described apparatus and method of use will become apparent from the following more detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the presently described apparatus and method of its use.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings illustrate at least one of the best mode embodiments of the present apparatus and method of it use. In such drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the apparatus;

FIG. 2 is similar thereto showing the means for access to the several compartments therein; and

FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view showing details of the apparatus and the position of a baby for diapering and such.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The above described drawing figures illustrate the described apparatus and its method of use in at least one of its preferred, best mode embodiment, which is further defined in detail in the following description. Those having ordinary skill in the art may be able to make alterations and modifications what is described herein without departing from its spirit and scope. Therefore, it must be understood that what is illustrated is set forth only for the purposes of example and that it should not be taken as a limitation in the scope of the present apparatus and method of use.

An apparatus for caring for a baby includes a cabinet 10 mounted on wheels 20 for moving the cabinet 10 on a supporting surface such as a floor (not shown). Preferably, two of the wheels are swivel wheels for improved steering of the apparatus when moving it from one location to another. A bathing compartment 30 is mounted within the cabinet 10 and provides: a baby's bath tub 32, a sprayer 80 and a drain 36. The sprayer 80 is connected by a hose 80′ to a source of water such as a sink (not shown) and such snap-on interconnections are well known in the art so as not to need further explanation here. The drain 36 is connected by a hose 36′ within the cabinet 10 to a pump 33, and then also to the sink. The pump 33 enables drained water to be moved from hose 36′ to the sink which typically requires pumping drain water upwardly. The bathing compartment 30 has a separate hinged lid 31 which serves as a table for placing the baby as shown in FIG. 3 for preparing the baby for bathing and for drying and dressing the baby after bathing. Closing this lid 31 allows a drawn bath to maintain temperature while baby is fetched for bathing. This is considered to be an important novelty in the apparatus. The bathing compartment and the storage compartment each are provided with hinged covers; and sprayer 80 is positioned for dispensing water into the bathing compartment. As shown in FIG. 2, lids 31 and 52 preferably have pneumatic closers, as are well known in the art for enabling soft closure.

A notions storage compartment 50 is positioned to one side of the bathing compartment 30 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. Items such as talcum powder and baby oil are stored here within the immediate reach of the mother when the baby is being tended to as shown in FIG. 3; for diapering, etc. This compartment 50 has a separate cover 52 which may be closed when the baby is being bathed so that water cannot splash into compartment 50. This is considered to be an important novelty in the apparatus.

Preferably, a handle 15, which may be used as a towel bar, is attached to the apparatus as shown in FIG. 1.

Preferably, a pair of drawers 60 and 65, are positioned in the cabinet 10 immediately below the bathing compartment 30 and are mounted so as to be able to be opened like a typical dresser drawer for access to what is placed within them, typically diapers, baby clothing, towels and other necessities.

A compartment 70 is positioned in the cabinet 10 to one side of the drawers 60 and 65 and this compartment 70 stores a diaper pail 40. Compartment 70 provides a front door 72 adapted for sealing the storage compartment 70, that is, door 72 is of such size as to cover the opening to compartment 70 when door 72 is in the closed position as shown in FIG. 1. The door 72 providing a rest shelf 74 attached thereto and which extensible to the front of the cabinet 10 when the front door 72 is ajar as shown in FIG. 2.

The spray head 80 is beneficially employed in this apparatus and is engaged within the bathing compartment 30 and enabled, again, by a hose from a sink or similar fixture, for spraying water within the bathing compartment 30 as for spraying the baby when rinsing bath water and soap from the baby and the tub 32.

The enablements described in detail above are considered novel over the prior art of record and are considered critical to the operation of at least one aspect of the apparatus and its method of use and to the achievement of the above described objectives. The words used in this specification to describe the instant embodiments are to be understood not only in the sense of their commonly defined meanings, but to include by special definition in this specification: structure, material or acts beyond the scope of the commonly defined meanings. Thus if an element can be understood in the context of this specification as including more than one meaning, then its use must be understood as being generic to all possible meanings supported by the specification and by the word or words describing the element.

The definitions of the words or drawing elements described herein are meant to include not only the combination of elements which are literally set forth, but all equivalent structure, material or acts for performing substantially the same function in substantially the same way to obtain substantially the same result. In this sense it is therefore contemplated that an equivalent substitution of two or more elements may be made for any one of the elements described and its various embodiments or that a single element may be substituted for two or more elements in a claim.

Changes from the claimed subject matter as viewed by a person with ordinary skill in the art, now known or later devised, are expressly contemplated as being equivalents within the scope intended and its various embodiments. Therefore, obvious substitutions now or later known to one with ordinary skill in the art are defined to be within the scope of the defined elements. This disclosure is thus meant to be understood to include what is specifically illustrated and described above, what is conceptually equivalent, what can be obviously substituted, and also what incorporates the essential ideas.

The scope of this description is to be interpreted only in conjunction with the appended claims and it is made clear, here, that each named inventor believes that the claimed subject matter is what is intended to be patented.