Title:
INFANT SWADDLING BLANKET
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
One embodiment of a fabric blanket for wrapping infants and of the type having a slit which extends from the perimeter of the blanket to a point approaching the center of the blanket. The flaps formed on either side of the slit wrap over an infant's shoulders. The remaining flaps wrap across the infant in a prescribed manor to wrap said infant in a secure swaddle.



Inventors:
Lamberti, Joseph Nichoias (Castro Valley, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/843589
Publication Date:
01/26/2012
Filing Date:
07/26/2010
Assignee:
LAMBERTI JOSEPH NICHOIAS
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41B13/06
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20050000024Inflatable and fully adjustable foot and seat support for travelersJanuary, 2005Jakubowski
20070186346Support pillowAugust, 2007Jensen
20070277319Pillow adapted for music system engagement and use in the prone or supine head positionDecember, 2007Calvert
20060000020Airbed and cot combinationJanuary, 2006Matheus et al.
20090106904CONVEX PILLOW CONFIGURATIONApril, 2009Swarts et al.
20090126108Oscillating Bed Supporting StructureMay, 2009Rosenbaum
20090300842Ventilated mattress coverDecember, 2009Gendron
20070214568Powered Rocking Base for Infant Car SeatSeptember, 2007Dodder et al.
20050262635Tilt bedDecember, 2005Wing
20060174408Hide away bed railAugust, 2006Flannery
20080015666Air Circulation and Bed-Cover Suspension Unit for a BedJanuary, 2008Spratley



Primary Examiner:
POLITO, NICHOLAS F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Joseph N. Lamberti (18383 Joseph Drive Castro Valley CA 94546)
Claims:
1. I claim an infant swaddling blanket comprising (a) a sheet of flexible material of sufficient size to accommodate an infant (b) a slit extending from the perimeter of said sheet toward said sheet's center whereby said slit forms separate flaps that enables said blanket to be wrapped securely over said infant's shoulders as a swaddle and help secure said infant inside said swaddle.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

Not Applicable

SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND

1. Field

This application relates to infant blankets, specifically blankets that wrap infants securely in a swaddle for a feeling of warmth and security.

2. Prior Art

The benefits of wrapping infants in blankets are thoroughly described in the “Happiest Baby on the Block” by Harvey Karp, M.D. In this book Karp describes how to securely wrap an infant in a blanket to soothe and calm it. At the most basic level a swaddle is a square blanket with one corner is folded inward between ¼ and 1/3. With the blanket laying flat with one folded corner, the infant's shoulders are placed just bellow the fold with its feet lying toward the opposite corner. Next, either the left or right corner is wrapped across the infant and tucked under the infant. Then the corner at its feet is folded up, then the last corner is wrapped across and tucked under the infant. A properly wrapped swaddle restricts the movement of the infant's legs and arms thereby giving it a comforting and soothing womb-like experience. The goal of a good swaddle is to wrap an irritable infant securely enough that it does not wiggle loose before it has a chance to calm down.

Patents listed below aim to achieve a secure swaddle by using various fasteners and/or sewn construction of swaddles or may appear similar in shape but differ in function.

U.S. Pat. No. 7,254,849 (2007) Georgia Gabrielle Fiebrich, et al. “Snug & Tug Swaddling Blanket”

A three sided swaddling blanket with a pouch that relies on passing a blanket flap through a slit on the opposite side of the infant and securing it with hook and loop fasteners. Oblong in shape and manufacture requires assembly of multiple components.

U.S. Pat. No. 7,181,789 (2007) Michael Dean Gatten, “ Swaddling Blanket”

Roughly a wide triangular blanket composed of pouches for the infant feet. Relies on a separate arm restrained attached to main blanket. Oblong in shape manufacture requires assembly of multiple components.

U.S. Pat. No. 7,076,819 (2006) Trani, et al. “Swaddle Blanket”

Recognizes the importance of wrapping an infant's shoulders. Attempts to secure blanket with multi-panel construction.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,928,674 (2005) Blackburn “Swaddling Blanket”

Relies on a blanket with a pouch for the infant's feet.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,757,922 (2004) Chancey “Bifurcated Wrap-Around Covering” is not a swaddle because it does not snuggly wrap around the person. This blanket has a bifurcation for the purpose of conforming to the person's Fig legs similar to pants so that the user may straddle a structure such as a car seat strap. Design to be used on a seated person that is may be young or old.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,269,502 (2001) Exstrom “Method and Apparatus for Combining Pacifier, Pacifier Holder and Swaddling Blanket for Extended Pacification of Infants”

This design combines folding the most basic swaddle from a plain blanket with a means of securing a pacifier to the blanket.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,897,164 Kagan et al. “Blanket Especially Adapted for Covering a Child Placed in a Supporting Structure of the Type Having an Interfering Obstruction” describes a simple square blanket with a slit from the center of an edge to the center of the blanket for the purpose of wrapping around an obstruction of a structure such as a car seat or stroller strap, not for wrapping around the infant or adult. The blanket is a conventional cover and its use does not offer the calming security of a swaddle.

SUMMARY

DRAWING—FIGURES

FIG. 1A shows a plan view of the preferred embodiment

FIG. 1B-H shows plan views of alternative embodiment of blanket shape and slit construction

FIG. 2A shows the placement of the infant on the blanket

FIG. 2B shows the first fold of the tip right over the infant's shoulder and across its chest

FIG. 2C shows the second fold around the infant's torso

FIG. 2D shows the third fold over the infant's feet and legs

FIG. 2E shows the fourth the fold over the infant's other shoulder

FIG. 2F shows the fifth and final fold around the infant's torso from the opposite direction

FIG. 3A shows the placement of the infant on an alternate embodiement

FIG. 3B shows the first fold of the top-right edge straight down

FIG. 3C shows the second fold of the right edge straight across

FIG. 3D show the third fold of the top-left edge straight down

FIG. 3E shows the forth fold straight up

FIG. 3F shows the fifth and final fold straight across

REFERENCE NUMERALS

  • 10 swaddling blanket
  • 12 edging
  • 14 slit
  • 16 slit terminus
  • 18 strain relief
  • 20 base material
  • 22 throat
  • 24 infant
  • 26 first shoulder flap
  • 28 first side flap
  • 30 bottom flap
  • 32 second shoulder flap
  • 34 second side flap
  • 36 top-right corner
  • 38 right corner
  • 40 bottom corner
  • 42 left corner
  • 44 top-left corner
  • 46 top-right edge

DETAILED DESCRIPTION FIRST EMBODIMENT

One embodiment of the blanket (10) is illustrated in FIG. 1A (plan view). The blanket is cut from a sheet of fabric. The rhombus shape of the preferred embodiment the base fabric (20) is cotton flannel but may also be made from wool, polyester, fleece, acrylic or laminated fabric used for infant blankets. It could even be made of aluminized polyester film found in emergency blankets.

The slit (14) in the blanket is essential to its function. The preferred embodiment in FIG. 1A shows the rhombus shaped blanket (10) with a slit (14) extending from the top corner terminating above the horizontal midline of the blanket (10). The slit terminus (16) may be an enlarged opening or throat (22) as in FIGS. 1C, and 1E, a strain relief (18) as in FIGS. 1B, 1F and 1H or nothing at all as in FIGS. 1A and 1D. Strain relief could be achieved with a separate piece of blanket material (20), edge material (12), a third material or additional stitching. The edges (12) of the blanket may be finished with a scalloped edge, folded edge of the blanket material itself, over-locked stitches or an additional piece of fabric out of the same or different material.

In the preferred embodiment, the shape in use is that of a regular rhombus. In other embodiments in FIGS. 1F and 1G the outer shape may be a stretched wider or taller. In other embodiments, the outer edges may be curved concave (FIG. 1D), convex (FIG. 1E), or lobed (FIG. 1H). In still other embodiments, the outer shape could be circular (FIG. 1C) or square (FIG. 1B).

Operation—FIGS. 2A-2F

The swaddling blanket is similar to conventional swaddles with the major exception being the slit (14). The caregiver spreads out the blanket on a horizontal surface with the slit furthest away from him or her. He then places the infant (24) to be wrapped on its back on top of the blanket with its head on the slit (14) and its shoulders just below the slit terminus (16) or throat (22). Then the caregiver pulls the top-right corner (36) snuggly down over the infant's right shoulder and across the infant's body, tucking it securely under the infant's left side. This action of pulling the flap (26) over the shoulder is crucial to keeping the infant contained within the blanket. Next, she pulls the right corner (38) directly across the torso of the infant (24) and tucks it under the infants left side. Then he pulls the bottom corner (40) upward and over the infant's torso. Next he pulls the top-left (44) corner down and across the infant to the infant's right side. Like first shoulder flap (26), the second shoulder flap (32) prevents the infant (24) from moving up and out of the swaddle. Lastly, the caregiver wraps the left corner (42) across the infant (24) and retains second shoulder flap (32).

This sequence of folds is the preferred sequence because subsequent folds of blanket help retain the previous folds, but this is not the only functional sequence. Do to the symmetry of the design, the caregiver could easily substitute right for left and start and finish on opposite sides of the blanket with no adverse effects. Also, the user could change some of the order as long as the top-left and top-right corners are followed by side folds that retain shoulder flaps.

Alternative Operation (FIGS. 8-13)

In this embodiment the infant (24) is again placed on a blanket of the shape shown in FIG. 1B with its shoulders at the slit terminus (16). The top-right edge is folded straight down over the infants shoulder without necessarily crossing to the infant's left side. The swaddle can then be secured by folding the remaining edges across the infant (24).

Advantages

From the description above, a swaddling blanket with a slit has the following benefits.

  • (a) Material folded over the shoulder prevents the infant from sliding out of the top opening.
  • (b) Blanket can be made from a single piece of material with no adjoined pieces.
  • (c) Reduced need for additional fasteners
  • (d) Stretchy fabric not required to have blanket to conform to the shoulders.
  • (e) Shoulders of infant fully covered and protected from cold drafts.

Conclusion, Ramifications and Scope

Accordingly, the reader will see that the additional flaps formed by the slit in the blanket increases the utility of the blanket for little or no cost. The infant is at less risk of working its way out of the swaddle and can stay more protected.

The specificities listed above should not be construed as limiting the scope of embodiments but merely illustration of currently preferred embodiments. For example the throat could be any shape (circular, n-sided polygon). The outer shape is only limited by its ability to form flaps for folding over the infant. “Infant,” “child” and “baby” are used interchangeably through out this document, as are “wrap,” “swaddle” and “blanket.” Also, swaddle and wrap are synonymous for the blanket object as well as the action of using the blanket.

Thus the scope of the embodiments should be determined by the append claims and their legal equivalents, rather than by the examples documented.