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Title:
CUSHIONING BOLSTERS FOR A CRIB OR BED
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Bed accessories are generally discussed herein with particular discussions extended to an arrangement of cushion members for use with a crib, a regular bed, or a floor surface. The arrangement of cushion members provided according to aspects of the present invention comprises first and second longitudinal cushion members and first and second lateral cushion members. Each of the first and second longitudinal cushion members comprises a body section defining an axis and first and second end surfaces. Each of the lateral cushion members comprises an angled planar major surface abutting flush against one of the ends surfaces of the first and second longitudinal members.


Inventors:
Gatzke, Carolyn Jo (Long Beach, CA, US)
Lechner, Diane Holnagel (Long Beach, CA, US)
Application Number:
13/050744
Publication Date:
07/07/2011
Filing Date:
03/17/2011
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/658
International Classes:
A47C27/00; A47C27/08; A47C27/14
View Patent Images:
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20080005845Mattress cover and mattress pad coverJanuary, 2008Moran Pfleger
20090119836Personalized exercise matMay, 2009Sharp
20080216245Universal Portable Seat CushionSeptember, 2008Liners
20050150050Novelty neck pillowJuly, 2005Wolf et al.
20080271252MATTRESS WITH A QUILTED PANEL AND MANUFACTURING METHODS THEREOFNovember, 2008Abrigo et al.
20070294826Amazing blanketDecember, 2007Chu
20060123551Foldable mattress frame for baby furnitureJune, 2006Hsia
20060272090Standing stationDecember, 2006Woodward
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An arrangement of cushion members having first and second opposed ends and first and second opposed sides defining a rectangular perimeter, the arrangement comprising: first and second longitudinal cushion members configured to be arranged along the first and second sides of the perimeter, respectively, each of the longitudinal cushion members comprising a body section defining a first axis and having first and second end surfaces, the first end surface defining a first angle relative to the first axis of the body section and the second end surface defining a second angle relative to the first axis of the body section; and first and second lateral cushion members configured to be positioned along the first and second ends of the perimeter; the first lateral cushion member having an abutment portion configured to abut flush against the first end surfaces of the first and second longitudinal cushion members, and the second lateral cushion member having an abutment portion configured to abut flush against the second end surfaces of the first and second longitudinal cushion members.

2. The arrangement of claim 1, wherein the abutment portion of the first lateral cushion member comprises a first angled planar major surface defining a third angle relative to the first axis of the body section of the longitudinal cushion members; and the abutment portion of the second lateral cushion member comprises a second angled planar major surface defining a fourth angle relative to the axis of the body section of the longitudinal cushion members, the first angle and the third angle being supplementary and the second angle and the fourth angle being supplementary.

3. The arrangement of claim 2, wherein the first angle is an obtuse angle and the third angle is an acute angle.

4. The arrangement of claim 1, wherein each of the cushion members comprises: a foam core; a water-resistant cover disposed over the core; and a slipcover removably disposed over the water-resistant cover.

5. The arrangement of claim 1, wherein each of the cushion members comprises: an inflatable bladder; and a slipcover removably disposed over the bladder.

6. The arrangement of claim 1, wherein the first and second sides of the perimeter are defined by first and second side structures, respectively, and wherein the arrangement further comprises a plurality of securing members arranged on the longitudinal cushion members so as to be removably securable to the first and second side structures.

7. The arrangement of claim 1, wherein the first angle and the second angle are equal to one another in absolute value.

8. The arrangement of claim 1, wherein each of the lateral cushion members comprises a body section defining a second axis perpendicular to the first axis, and each of the abutment portions of the first and second lateral members comprise first and second end surfaces.

9. An arrangement of cushion members for use with a crib having left and right sides, a head end, and a foot end, wherein the arrangement comprises: first and second longitudinal cushion members configured to be positioned along the left and right sides, respectively, each of the longitudinal cushion members comprising a body section defining a first axis and having first and second end surfaces, the first and second end surfaces each defining a first angle relative to the first axis of the body section; first and second lateral cushion members configured to be positioned along the head end and the foot end, respectively, the first lateral cushion member having an abutment portion configured to abut flush against the first end surfaces of the first and second longitudinal cushion members, and the second lateral cushion member having an abutment portion configured to abut flush against the second end surfaces of the first and second longitudinal cushion members; and a plurality of securing members arranged on the longitudinal cushion members so as to be removably securable to the first and second sides of the crib.

10. The arrangement of claim 9, wherein each of the abutment portions of the first and second lateral cushion members comprises an angled planar major surface defining a second angle relative to the first axis of the body section of the longitudinal cushion members, the second angle and the first angle being supplementary.

11. The arrangement of claim 10, wherein the first angle is an obtuse angle and the second angle is an acute angle.

12. The arrangement of claim 9, wherein each of the cushion members comprises: a foam core; a water-resistant cover disposed over the core; and a slipcover removably disposed over the water-resistant cover.

13. The arrangement of claim 9, wherein each of the cushion members comprises: an inflatable bladder; and a slipcover removably disposed over the bladder.

14. The arrangement of claim 9, wherein each of the first and second lateral cushion member comprises a body section defining a second axis, each of the abutment portions of the first and second lateral cushion members comprises a first and second end surfaces, each defining a third angle relative the second axis, the third angle and the first angle being complementary.

15. A method for arranging cushion members to define a substantially rectangular surface area having first and second opposed ends and first and second opposed sides, the method comprising: (a) providing first and second lateral cushion members, each of the lateral cushion members having an abutment portion; (b) placing the first lateral cushion member along the first end with the abutment portion thereof facing inward and away from the first end; (c) placing the second lateral cushion member along the second end with the abutment portion thereof facing inward and away from the second end; (d) providing first and second longitudinal cushion members, each of the longitudinal cushion members comprising a body section defining a first axis and having first and second end surfaces, each of the end surfaces defining a first angle relative to the axis of the body section; (e) placing the first longitudinal cushion member along the first side so that the first and second end surfaces thereof are in surface-to-surface abutment with the abutment portions of the first and second lateral cushion members, respectively; and (f) placing the second longitudinal cushion member along the second side so that the first and second end surfaces thereof are in surface-to-surface abutment with the abutment portions of the first and second lateral cushion members, respectively.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein each of the abutment portions of the first and second lateral cushion members comprises an angled planar major surface defining a second angle relative to the axis of the body section of the longitudinal cushion members, the second angle and the first angle being supplementary.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein the first angle is an obtuse angle and the second angle is an acute angle.

18. The method of claim 15, wherein each of the cushion members comprises: a foam core; a water-resistant cover disposed over the core; and a slipcover removably disposed over the water-resistant cover.

19. The method of claim 15, wherein each of the cushion members comprises: an inflatable bladder; and a slipcover removably disposed over the bladder.

20. The method of claim 15, wherein the first and second sides of the surface area are defined by first and second side structures, respectively, and wherein the method further comprises removably securing the longitudinal cushion members to the first and second opposed side structures.

21. The method of claim 15, wherein each of the first and second lateral cushion member comprises a body section defining a second axis, each of the abutment portions of the first and second lateral cushion members comprises a first and second end surfaces, each defining a third angle relative to the second axis, the third angle and the first angle being complementary.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of co-pending International Application Serial Number PCT/US2009/057106, filed on Sep. 16, 2009, which claims priority under 35 U.S.C. Section 119(e) from U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/097,601 filed on Sep. 17, 2008. The contents of both prior applications are expressly incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

BACKGROUND

Bed accessories are generally discussed herein, with particular discussions extended to cushion members configured to form a padded enclosure, advantageously for use with a crib or a regular bed.

An infant's crib typically comprises a headboard and a footboard connected by a mattress support element and a pair of sides. Each of the sides typically comprises top and bottom horizontal bars interconnected by a plurality of vertical spindles or slats. To reduce the chances of a baby or infant hitting his or her head on the hard headboard and footboard, and of having the head or a limb entrapped between the spaced slats of the crib, crib bumpers are typically used.

A typical crib bumper comprises four flexible, resilient and soft cushioning pads of generally rectangular configuration connected end-to-end. A typical bumper pad may be, for example, approximately 1.3 to 2.5 cm thick and approximately 25 cm high. The pads are enveloped in an attractive cover that keeps the pads connected. The pads are secured to the crib by a plurality of strings or ribbons sewn on the pad cover and tied to the crib sides and/or the footboard and headboard.

The softness of the cushioning pads may expose a baby to the risk of suffocation. Furthermore, conventional crib bumpers lack stable positioning within the crib. Indeed, even though tied to the crib, they can move up the sides of the crib and thus create an uncovered gap in the sides. Moreover, being floppy, the bumper pads do not fit snuggly, and the strings or ribbons used to secure the bumpers to the crib can become unfastened, leaving the sides of the crib exposed. Also of concern is that floppy, unfastened bumper pads may create an additional smothering hazard.

Thus, there remains a need for a crib or bed cushioning device or assembly that minimizes the aforementioned shortcomings of conventional crib bumpers.

SUMMARY

In accordance with one aspect of the present disclosure, an arrangement of cushion members defining a substantially rectangular surface having first and second opposed ends and first and second opposed sides is provided. The arrangement comprises first and second longitudinal cushion members configured to be arranged along the first and second sides of the area, respectively. Each of the longitudinal cushion members comprises a body section defining a first axis and having first and second end surfaces, each of the first and second end surfaces defining a first angle relative to the first axis of the body section. The arrangement further comprises first and second lateral cushion members configured to be positioned along the first and second ends of the area, respectively. The first lateral cushion member has an abutment portion that is configured to abut flush against the first end surfaces of the first and second longitudinal cushion members; and the second lateral cushion member has an abutment portion that is configured to abut flush against the second end surfaces of the first and second longitudinal cushion members.

In one embodiment, the abutment portions of the lateral cushion members are provided by an angled planar major surface on each of the lateral cushion members, the major surface defining a second angle that is supplemental to the first angle. In a second embodiment, each of the lateral cushion members comprises a body section defining a second axis and having first and second end surfaces. The abutment portion in this embodiment is provided by the first and second end surfaces of the lateral cushion members, wherein each of the first and second end surfaces defines a third angle relative to the second axis. In the second embodiment, the first and third angles are complementary. In both embodiments, the first and second angles allow the first ends of the longitudinal cushion members to seat flush against the abutment portion of the first lateral cushion member, and the second ends of the longitudinal cushion members to seat flush against the abutment portion of the second lateral cushion member.

In another example, an arrangement of cushion members having first and second opposed ends and first and second opposed sides defining a rectangular perimeter is provided. The arrangement includes first and second longitudinal cushion members configured to be arranged along the first and second sides of the perimeter, respectively. Each of the longitudinal cushion members comprises a body section defining a first axis and having first and second end surfaces, the first end surface defining a first angle relative to the first axis of the body section and the second end surface defining a second angle relative to the first axis of the body section. The first and second lateral cushion members are configured to be positioned along the first and second ends of the perimeter. The first lateral cushion member has an abutment portion configured to abut flush against the first end surfaces of the first and second longitudinal cushion members, and the second lateral cushion member has an abutment portion configured to abut flush against the second end surfaces of the first and second longitudinal cushion members.

In accordance with another aspect of the present disclosure, an arrangement of cushion members is provided for use with a crib or bed having left and right sides, a head end, and a foot end. The arrangement comprises first and second longitudinal cushion members configured to be positioned along the left and right sides, respectively. Each of the longitudinal cushion members comprises a body section defining a first axis and having first and second end surfaces, the first and second end surfaces each defining a first angle relative to the first axis of the body section. The arrangement further comprises first and second lateral cushion members comprising a body section defining a second axis and configured to be positioned along the head end and the foot end, respectively. The first lateral cushion member has an abutment portion configured to abut flush against the first end surfaces of the first and second longitudinal cushion members, and the second lateral cushion member has an abutment portion configured to abut flush against the second end surfaces of the first and second longitudinal cushion members. The arrangement further comprises a plurality of securing members arranged on the longitudinal cushion members so as to be removably securable to the first and second sides of the crib. The first angle is defined by each of the first and second end surfaces relative to the first axis of the body section. In one embodiment the abutment portions of the lateral cushion members are provided by an angled planar major surface of each of the lateral cushion members, wherein each of the angled major planar surfaces defines a second angle that is supplementary to the first angle. In another embodiment, the abutment portions are provided by opposing end surfaces of each of the lateral cushion members, each of the opposing end surfaces of the lateral cushion members defining a third angle relative to the second axis that is complementary to the first angle. In one embodiment, the second axis is perpendicular to the first axis.

In yet another aspect of the present disclosure, a method is provided for arranging cushion members to define a substantially rectangular surface area having first and second opposed ends and first and second opposed sides. The method comprises: (a) providing first and second lateral cushion members, each of the lateral cushion members having an abutment portion; (b) placing the first lateral cushion member along the first end with the abutment portion thereof facing away from the first end; (c) placing the second lateral cushion member along the second end with the abutment portion thereof facing away from the second end; (d) providing first and second longitudinal cushion members, each of the longitudinal cushion members comprising a body section defining a first axis and having first and second end surfaces, each of the end surfaces defining a first angle relative to the axis of the body section; (e) placing the first longitudinal cushion member along the first side so that the first and second end surfaces thereof are in surface-to-surface abutment with the abutment portions of the first and second lateral cushion members, respectively; and (f) placing the second longitudinal cushion member along the second side so that the first and second end surfaces thereof are in surface-to-surface abutment with the abutment portions of the first and second lateral cushion members, respectively. In one embodiment, in which the abutment portions of the lateral cushion members are provided by a single, angled major surface, the first angle, defined by each of the first and second end surfaces relative to the first axis of the body section, and a second angle, defined by the angled major surface of each of the lateral cushion members, are supplementary. In another embodiment, in which the abutment portions are provided by angled end surfaces of the lateral cushion members, and in which a third angle is defined by the angled end surfaces of the lateral cushion members relative to a second axis defined by a body section of the lateral cushion members, the first and third angles are complementary. In one embodiment, the second axis is perpendicular to the first axis.

Other aspects and variations of the arrangements and methods summarized above are also contemplated and will be more fully understood when considered with respect to the following disclosure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other features and advantages of the present invention will become appreciated as the same become better understood with reference to the specification, claims and appended drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a crib shown with part of an assembled arrangement of exemplary cushion members in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an assembled arrangement of exemplary cushion members provided in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a lateral cushion member of the arrangement shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a longitudinal cushion member of the arrangement shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 5-5 of the longitudinal cushion member shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 6-6 of the lateral cushion member of the arrangement shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of an alternative embodiment of the longitudinal cushion member;

FIG. 8 is a top plan view of a cushion member provided in accordance with another embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 9 is a front elevational view of the cushion member shown in FIG. 8

FIG. 10 is an end view of the cushion member shown in FIG. 8;

FIG. 11 is a rear elevational view of the cushion member shown in FIG. 8; and

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of an assembled arrangement of the cushion members shown in FIGS. 8-11.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The detailed description set forth below in connection with the appended drawings is intended as a description of the presently preferred embodiments of the arrangement of cushion members provided in accordance with aspects of the present disclosure, and is not intended to represent the only forms in which the arrangement of the present disclosure may be constructed or utilized. The description sets forth the features and the steps for constructing and using the arrangement of the present disclosure in connection with the illustrated embodiments. It is to be understood, however, that the same or equivalent functions and structures may be accomplished by different embodiments that are also intended to be encompassed within the spirit and scope of this disclosure. As denoted elsewhere herein, like element numbers are intended to indicate like or similar elements or features.

FIGS. 1 and 2 are perspective views of an exemplary assembled arrangement of cushion members or cushion assembly 10 for use with a bed, such as, for example, a crib 12. The crib 12 comprises a first end wall or headboard 14, a second end wall or footboard 16, and opposite sides 18 and 20. Each of the opposite sides 18 and 20 comprises an upper side rail 22 and a lower side rail 24 connected by a plurality of vertical slats 26. In FIG. 1, the end walls 14 and 16 are shown as solid surfaces; however, alternative end walls comprising horizontal end rails connected by vertical slats are also suitable. The arrangement of cushion members 10 comprises first and second longitudinal cushion members 30, 32 and first and second lateral cushion members 34, 36 (FIG. 2). The first and second lateral cushion members 34, 36 are placed along the first and second end walls 14, 16, respectively, and the first and second longitudinal cushion members 30, 32 are respectively placed along the opposite sidewalls 18 and 20. The two longitudinal cushion members 30, 32 and the two lateral cushion members 34, 36 form a cushioned or padded perimeter around the mattress or pad 28 within the crib 12. Alternatively, the arrangement 10 can be used on a floor for large motor plays, as bed bolsters, as reading wedges or other similar activities. In one embodiment, the arrangement 10 is assembled on a floor surface 38, as shown in FIG. 2, to provide a cushioned or padded perimeter around a defined area of the floor.

As best shown in FIG. 2, in one exemplary embodiment, the first and second longitudinal cushion members 30, 32 are advantageously substantially similar in shape and size. Specifically, in this exemplary embodiment, each of the longitudinal cushion members 30, 32 comprises an elongate body section 50, which defines a longitudinal axis A and comprises a first end surface 56 and a second end surface 58 (FIG. 4). Each of the first and second end surfaces 56, 58 defines an obtuse angle β with respect to the axis A. Each of the longitudinal cushion members 30 and 32 further advantageously comprises a plurality of securing members 90 that may be used to secure the first and second longitudinal cushion members 30 and 32 to the sidewalls 18 and 20 of the crib 12. The securing members 90 may include, but are not limited to, ribbons, chords, strings, hook-and-loop fasteners, etc. The securing members 90 may be fixed to the longitudinal cushion members 30, 32 at predefined locations, as shown, or they may be provided separately or at different locations. When assembled on a floor surface 38 such as for motor plays, as shown in FIG. 2, the first and second longitudinal members 30 and 32 are unsecured. Even without attachment to any sidewalls, the cushion members of the arrangement 10 still provide a freestanding cushioned perimeter around a defined area 38 of the floor, as shown in FIG. 2.

Likewise, in one embodiment, the first and second lateral cushion members 34, 36 are advantageously of similar size and shape. Specifically, each of the lateral cushion members 34, 36 defines a right triangle in cross-section (see FIG. 6), having an abutment portion provided by an angled planar major surface 76, a first triangular end surface 78, and a second triangular end surface 80. The angled planar major surface 76 forms an acute angle α with respect to the longitudinal axis A of the longitudinal cushion members 30, 32. As best shown in FIG. 2, in the assembled state, the angled planar major surface 76 provides a flush abutment or seating against one of the end surfaces 56 or 58 of each of the first and second longitudinal cushion members 30 and 32.

In one example, the angles α and β are supplementary and together add to 180 degrees. Preferably, the angle α is about 45 degrees, and the angle β is about 135 degrees with variance of about ±15-20 degrees from these preferred values contemplated. For example, α may be about 65 degrees, and the angle β may be about 125 degrees. Furthermore, the two end surfaces may have different angles (such as β and β′) and the angles of the two end cushions may differ (such as supplementary α and α′). Still furthermore, since the angles are measured in different directions (such as clockwise and clockwise), the angles are said to be equal in absolute value when one is 45 degrees and the other is negative 45 degrees.

FIG. 3 illustrates a perspective view of one of the lateral cushion members 34, 36 of the arrangement 10 according to aspects of the present invention. As mentioned above, each of the lateral cushion members 34, 26 defines a right triangle in cross-section, as shown in FIG. 6, wherein the angled planar major surface 76 forms a hypotenuse, and a first planar surface 72 and a second planar surface 74, which are perpendicular to each other, define the sides. In alternative embodiments, instead of a triangular body section, the lateral cushion members 34 and 36 may include a body section that is rectangular, hexagonal, octagonal or is irregular in shape.

In one embodiment, the dimensions of the first and second lateral cushion members 34 and 36 are configured to fit a standard crib. When assembled for use in the crib 12, as best shown in FIG. 1, the first planar surface 72 is placed along the end wall 14 or 16 and the second planar surface 74 contacts the supporting pad or mattress 28. The angled major surface 76, as set forth above, abuts or seats substantially flush against one of the end surfaces 56, 58 of both of the first and second longitudinal cushion members 30 and 32. In one specific embodiment, the first planar surface 72 and the second planar surface 74, in addition to being perpendicular to each other, also have the same width. As best shown in FIG. 2, in this embodiment, the first triangular end surface 78 and the second triangular end surface 80 are right isosceles triangles, with two equal sides and one right angle. In other embodiments, the first and second planar surfaces 72 and 74 may have different widths.

FIG. 4 illustrates a perspective view of the first and second longitudinal cushion members 30 and 32. The first end surface 56 and the second end surface 58, each defining the angle β relative to the longitudinal axis A, protrude away from each other. In one embodiment, the angle β is an obtuse angle and supplementary to the angle α, defined by the major planar surface 76 of the lateral cushion members 34 and 36 relative to the axis A. As the first and second end surfaces 56 and 58 are angled relative to the longitudinal axis A, the body section 50 comprises an upper side 52 and a lower side 54 of unequal lengths; the upper side 52 being longer than the lower side 54. While the body section 50 shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 is substantially cylindrical, the longitudinal cushion members 30 and 32 may have other cross-sectional configurations, such as, for example, rectangular, hexagonal, octagonal, or other cross-sections, such as the half-cylindrical cross-section illustrated in FIGS. 8-12.

As set forth above, the securing members 90 attached to the body section 50 may be used to secure the first and second longitudinal cushion members 30 and 32 to the sidewalls 18 and 20 of the crib 12. When the arrangement of cushion members 10 is placed on a non-confined surface area such as on a regular bed or on the floor, the unsecured securing members 90, such as ribbons or ties, may contribute to the esthetic appeal of the longitudinal cushion members 30 and 32.

FIG. 5 illustrates a cross-sectional view taken along line 5-5 of the longitudinal cushion member 30, 32 of FIG. 4. FIG. 6 illustrates a cross-sectional view taken along line 6-6 of the lateral cushion member 34, 36 of FIG. 3. In one embodiment, the first and second longitudinal members 30, 32 (FIG. 5) and the first and second lateral cushion members 34, 36 (FIG. 6) each comprises a resiliently firm and cushioning core 40, covered by a water resistant cover 42, enveloped in a removable slipcover 44. In one embodiment, the core 40 is made of polymeric foam, preferably a fairly high density foam (such as polyurethane, for example) to provide the desired balance of firmness and softness. In one specific embodiment, the core 40 is made from polyurethane foam with a density of 1.2 pounds per cubic foot and a weight of 30 lbs. At this density and weight, among other things, the core 40 has a suitable firmness and substance. In alternative embodiments, suitable materials typically used in making pillows and cushions and having different densities and/or weights may be used.

The water-resistant cover 42 may be made from natural or synthetic waterproof fabrics such as rubber, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyurethane, silicone elastomers and/or combinations thereof. The water-resistant cover 42 protects the core 40 from undesirable contamination. In one embodiment, the core 40 is permanently enclosed within the water resistant cover 42. In alternative embodiments, the water resistant cover 42 may be removable.

The removable slipcover 44 enveloping the water resistant cover 42 and the core 40 may be made from a soft, pliable fabric material, such as cotton, polyester, silk and the like. For aesthetical appeal, the slipcover 44 may be made from decorative and colorful fabric. The color and pattern of the removable slipcover 44 are a matter of choice. In one embodiment, serene and soothing colors and patterns are used to provide a peaceful and relaxing environment for an infant. In other embodiments, busy patterns and loud colors may be used to provide sensory stimulation to the infant. The removable slipcover 44 may comprise a closure member 46 to allow easy removal of the slipcover 44 from the core 40 and water resistant cover 42. In one specific embodiment, as illustrated, the closure member 46 is a zipper. In other embodiments, hooks, loop, adhesives, ties, ribbons and other types of fasteners, and/or a combination thereof may be suitable.

As shown in FIGS. 3 and 6, in one embodiment, the closure member 46 is placed along the lower side 54 of the cylindrical body section 50, where it is hidden from view and least likely to come into contact with the infant in the crib 12. However, it may also be placed on the upper side 52 if desired.

On the first and second lateral cushion members 34 and 36, in one embodiment, the closure member 46 is placed along the first planar surface 72, where it is hidden from sight and also least likely to come into contact with an infant in the crib 12. In other embodiments, the closure member 46 may be placed along the second planar surface 74 or at the interface between the angled planar major surface 76 and second planar surface 74, or between the angled major surface 76 and the first planar surface 72, as desired.

FIG. 7 illustrates an alternative embodiment having longitudinal cushion members 130, 132 each of which comprises an inflatable bladder 140 covered in a removable slipcover 144 secured by a closure member 146, such as hook-and-loop fastener (as shown), or alternatively, a zipper (as in the previously-described embodiment), or any suitable functional equivalent. The bladder 140 may be made of any suitable polymeric film, and it may be inflated through an inflation valve (not shown), of the type commonly used, for example, in inflatable pillows and air mattresses. An advantage of this embodiment is that there is no need for a separate water-resistant cover, because the bladder material is itself impervious to liquids. Another advantage is that the degree of firmness may be adjusted by adjusting the inflation pressure. It will be understood that this inflatable bladder construction may also be used for the lateral cushion members.

The cushion members provided in accordance with aspects of the present invention fit snuggly and firmly relative to each other, even free standing such as when used on a non-confined area. When assembled, for example, within a crib, their snug and firm assembly inhibits any cushion member from substantial movement, thereby significantly reducing the likelihood of the arrangement of the cushion members in the crib becoming disassembled. In addition to being easy to assemble, they provide a firm, secure and comfortable environment for the infant. The water-resistant cover 42 keeps the core 40 clean and prevents undesirable contamination. The removable slipcover 44 facilitates the washing and changing process. In addition to be part of an arrangement as disclosed above, the first and second lateral cushion members 34 and 36 may also be used separately to divide the crib in cozy and smaller enclosures. Furthermore, each cushion member may be used individually as play props, reading and bed wedges, motor enhancement tools, etc.

FIGS. 8, 9, 10 and 11 illustrate the top, front, end, and rear views, respectively, of a cushion member 150 provided in accordance with another embodiment of the present disclosure. This embodiment is particularly advantageous for use as a crib bumper, as will be discussed below, but other applications will readily suggest themselves. In this embodiment, when used, for example, as a crib bumper, four cushion members 150, substantially identical in configuration, are used as the two longitudinal cushion members and the two lateral cushion members, with the longitudinal cushion members differing from the lateral cushion members only in that the former would be longer than the latter for use in a typical crib, as described above, and as shown in FIG. 12.

In this embodiment, the cushion member 150 comprises a half cylindrical body section 152 defining a longitudinal axis B. As best shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, the body section 152 comprises a flat, planar base 154, an arcuate (e.g., semi-circular) dome section 156, and beveled or slanted end surfaces 158, the latter defining an angle relative to the longitudinal axis B. The dome section 156 meets the base 154 at an upper edge 162 and a lower edge 164. As shown in FIG. 9, each of the end surfaces 158 may advantageously define a semi-circle having a diameter D that corresponds to the width of the base 154.

As mentioned above, and as best shown in FIG. 8, each of the end surfaces 158 defines an angle relative to the axis B. Preferably, both end surfaces 158 define a substantially identical angle θ, which is advantageously 45 degrees. In alternative embodiments, the angle of one of the ends 158 may be different from the angle at the other end. As will be seen, however, the angle of the first one of the ends is advantageously complementary to the angle at the other end, so that when, for example, the left end of a first cushion member is seated in abutment against the right end of an adjoining second cushion member, the two cushion members form a right angle.

In one embodiment, the cushion members 150 include attachment members 166 that may be used to attach the cushion members 150 to a surface, such as a crib mattress, a bed, a floor surface, or an object, such as sidewalls of a crib. The attachment members 166 may include, but are not limited to, attachment tabs, fasteners, strings, ribbons, chords and the like. In one embodiment, the attachment members 166 may be strips or tabs including hook-and-loop fasteners. The attachment members 166 may be fixed to the body section 152 at predefined locations, as shown in FIG. 11, or they may be provided separately or at different locations. In one embodiment, the attachment members 166 are provided on the base 154. In an alternative embodiment, the attachment members 166 are provided along one or both of the edges 162, 164.

Similar to previously described embodiments, referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, the cushion member 150 comprises a resilient firm and cushioning core 40 covered by a water resistant cover 42 and enveloped in a removable slipcover 44. The removable slipcover 44 may comprise a closure member 46.

A plurality of cushion members 150 may be assembled to define a substantially rectangular surface area for use in a crib, a bed or a floor surface. Referring again to FIG. 1, in use as a crib bumper, for example, the cushion members 150 are positioned around the periphery of the crib mattress 28, such that the bases 154 of two longitudinal cushion members respectively contact the opposite sides 18, 20 of the crib, and the bases of two lateral cushion members respectively contact the headboard 14 and the footboard. Thus, the domed portions 156 of the cushion members face inwardly around the perimeter of the mattress. The attachment members 166 may be used, as mentioned above, to secure the cushion members to the sides of the crib and/or to the mattress.

FIG. 12 illustrates a perspective view of an exemplary cushion assembly 200 provided in accordance with aspects of the present disclosure. The cushion assembly 200 comprises a plurality of cushion members, of the type described above in connection with FIGS. 8-11. As shown, the assembly 200 includes first and second opposed longitudinal cushion members 150a and first and second opposed lateral cushion members 150b. The only difference between the longitudinal cushion members 150a, and the lateral cushion members 150b, is that the former are longer than the latter, as mentioned above. The longitudinal cushion members 150a define a first axis B and the lateral cushion members 150b define a second axis B′. In one embodiment, the first axis B is perpendicular to the second axis B′. The ends of the first lateral cushion members 150b are seated in abutment against the respective adjacent first ends of the first and second longitudinal cushion members 150a. The ends of the second lateral cushion member 150b are seated in abutment against the respective adjacent second ends of the longitudinal cushion members 150a. If the ends 158 of each abutting pair of cushion members 150a, 150b are slanted or beveled at 45 degrees (or at complementary angles in general, e.g., 60 degrees and 30 degrees, respectively), the assembly of the four cushion members 150a, 150b will define a rectangular perimeter around the mattress area. While a flush abutment may be preferable (for aesthetic and/or other reasons), it is not necessary.

Many alterations and modifications may be made by those having ordinary skill in the art, without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Therefore, it must be understood that the illustrated embodiments have been set forth only for the purposes of examples, and that the embodiments should not be taken as limiting the invention as defined by the following claims. The following claims are, therefore, to be read to include not only the combination of elements which are literally set forth, but all equivalent elements for performing substantially the same function in substantially the same way to obtain substantially the same result. The claims are thus to be understood to include those that have been illustrated and described above, those that are conceptually equivalent, and those that incorporate the ideas of the invention.