Title:
SWADDLING UNIT
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A swaddling unit serves for swaddling and lifting a baby and in particular a premature born or ill baby. The swaddling unit is composed of a lifting cloth and a swaddling cloth, which partially only are connected to each other, whereby the lifting cloth is arranged for lifting the swaddling unit and the swaddling cloth is arranged for swaddling the baby.


Inventors:
Alluna, Carinn (Melby, DK)
Application Number:
14/234613
Publication Date:
06/05/2014
Filing Date:
07/06/2012
Assignee:
ALLUNA CARINN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41B13/06
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090288243SWIMMING GOGGLES WITH STRAP POSITIONING FUNCTIONNovember, 2009Chou
20080201826Laser Safety Goggles for AnimalsAugust, 2008Pryor et al.
20060085894Compression garment with integral donning aidApril, 2006Yakopson et al.
20090151731Head Positioning AidJune, 2009Scott et al.
20050028249Tanning capFebruary, 2005Molnar
20060010551Welding face coveringJanuary, 2006Bishop et al.
20030200589Decorative skirtOctober, 2003Therres
20100005560Pantyhose undergarment for controlling underarm perspiration as well as for providing shape, control and support for the bodyJanuary, 2010Albizre
20030135914Hockey helmet comprising an inflatable bladderJuly, 2003Racine et al.
20080301854System for placing disposable sweatbandDecember, 2008Kingto
20100037375UNDERGARMENT APPAREL SPACERS AND LOW RESISTANCE AIR FLOWFebruary, 2010Plut et al.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WINSTON & STRAWN LLP (PATENT DEPARTMENT 1700 K STREET, N.W. WASHINGTON DC 20006)
Claims:
1. A swaddling unit (5,5′) for swaddling, supporting and lifting a baby (6), preferably a premature and/or ill baby, characterized in that the swaddling unit comprises a lifting cloth (1,1′) and a swaddling cloth (2,2′) and that the lifting cloth (1,1′) and the swaddling cloth (2,2′) are only partly connected to each other, and wherein the lifting cloth (1,1′) is arranged for lifting the swaddling unit (5,5′), and the swaddling cloth (2,2′) is arranged for swaddling the baby (6); wherein the swaddling cloth (2,2′) comprises a lower section (11,11′) to be wrapped over a lower part of the baby (6), a side section (12,12′) divided up into a lower half side section (12b,12b′) to be wrapped over the lower section (11,11′) and a lower part of the baby (6) and an upper half side section (12a,12a′) to be wrapped over an upper part of the baby (6) and, if desired, over at least a part of the head (8) of the baby (6), whereby a slit (13,13′) is formed between the upper and lower side sections (12a,12a′,12b,12b′) and another slit (14,14′) is formed between the lower section (11,11′) and the lower half (12b,12b′) of the side sections (12,12′); and wherein the lifting cloth (1,1′) comprises a handle that comprises two opposing lifting openings (3,3′) arranged for lifting the lifting cloth (1,1′) when the baby (6) is swaddled in the swaddling cloth (2,2′).

2. A swaddling unit (5,5′) according to claim 1, characterized in that the swaddling cloth (2,2′) comprises a number of sections (11,11′,12,12′,12a,12a′,12b,12b′).

3. A swaddling unit (5,5′) according to claim 2, characterized in that the slits (13,13′,14,14′) are provided for accommodating patient care tubes or the like.

4. 4-6. (canceled)

7. A swaddling unit (5,5′) according to claim 1, characterized in that the lifting cloth (1,1′) is connected with an area of the underside of the swaddling cloth (2,2′), and that said area is placed between the two opposite lifting openings (3,3′) while the remainder of the lifting cloth (1,1′) is free.

8. A swaddling unit (5,5′) according to claim 1, characterized in that the lifting cloth (1,1′) is connected with the swaddling cloth (2,2′), by stitching or welding in a center area of both the swaddling cloth (2,2′) and the lifting cloth (1,1′.

9. A swaddling unit (5,5′) according to claim 1, characterized in that the lifting openings (3,3′) are positioned in such way on the lifting cloth (1,1′) that they during a lifting operation will be situated at least approximately vertically above the center of gravity of the baby (6) swaddled in the swaddling cloth (2,2′).

10. A swaddling unit (5,5′) according to claim 1, characterized in that the swaddling cloth (2,2′) is made of a soft, flexible, thermally insulating non-woven material, which is permeable for moisture and air.

11. A swaddling unit (5,5′) according to claim 1, characterized in that the swaddling cloth (2,2′) is made of a non-woven material, which does not absorb moisture.

12. A swaddling unit (5,5′) according to claim 1, characterized in that the inner and/or the outer surface of the swaddling cloth (2,2′) has a roughness sufficient to prevent that the swaddling cloth(2,2′) loosens and/or detaches when the swaddling cloth (2,2′) is wrapped around the baby (6).

13. A swaddling unit (5,5′) according to claim 1, characterized in that the swaddling cloth (2,2′) does not comprise any added fasteners such as zippers, Velcro®, snaps, pockets and/or buttons.

14. A swaddling unit (5,5′) according to claim 1, characterized in that the lifting cloth (1,1′) is made of a non-woven material, which is sufficient strong and solid to be able to lift the baby (6).

15. A swaddling unit (5,5′) according to claim 1, characterized in that the lifting cloth (1,1′) has a smooth inner surface while the outer surface may have a honeycombed or figured structure.

16. A swaddling unit (5,5′) according to claim 1, characterized in that the lifting cloth (1,1′) is permeable for moisture and air.

17. A swaddling unit (5,5′) according to claim 1, characterized in that the lifting cloth (1,1′) is arranged for being resistant and/or repellent to liquid.

18. A swaddling unit (5,5′) according to claim 1, characterized in that the lifting cloth (1,1′) is arranged for carrying/lifting at least 6 kg, preferably at least 8 kg.

19. A swaddling unit (5,5′) according to any of the preceding claims claim 1, characterized in that the unit is made of a hypoallergenic material that is non-reactive with human tissue.

20. 20-24. (canceled)

25. A swaddling unit for swaddling, supporting and lifting a baby, characterized in that the swaddling unit comprises a lifting cloth and a swaddling cloth and that the lifting cloth and the swaddling cloth are only partly connected to each other, and wherein the lifting cloth is arranged for lifting the swaddling unit, and the swaddling cloth is arranged for swaddling the baby; wherein the swaddling cloth comprises a lower section to be wrapped over a lower part of the baby, a side section divided up into a lower half side section to be wrapped over the lower section and a lower part of the baby and an upper half side section to be wrapped over an upper part of the baby and, if desired, over at least a part of the head of the baby, whereby a first slit is present between the upper and lower side sections and a second slit is present between the lower section and the lower half of the side sections; and wherein the lifting cloth comprises a handle that comprises two opposing lifting openings arranged for lifting the lifting cloth when the baby is swaddled in the swaddling cloth.

Description:

The present invention relates to a swaddling unit for swaddling, supporting and lifting a baby. More specifically, the present invention is for premature or ill infants, who may have special developmental requirements, which can be improved through proper care, support, handling and positioning.

Improvements in medical technology have increased the overall survival rate of prematurely born infants and/or infants born with medical complications.

While general medical technology has provided the means to help the infants survive, such infants still encounter developmental problems, which occur as a result of their delicate condition. Their developmental problems may be aggravated by the prolonged period of time, which they may spend in the intensive care unit of a hospital.

More particularly, premature and critically ill infants, or developmentally challenged infants, experience developmental problems since they are not prepared to handle the stimuli of the extravitro world as a result of their young gestational age, health status or other developmental limitation.

At the same time, the premature babies are often subjected to a variety of patient treatment devices, such as catheter tubes of various functions, feeding tubes, breathing tubes, and electrode lead lines of various monitoring devices.

The tubing and lead lines operatively interconnected with the infant patient must often be taped or similarly secured in place, both as to the infant and in relation to e.g. the intensive care unit.

It is therefore extremely important to provide a developmentally appropriate environment for such infants to enhance their development, eliminate further medical complications, which can be brought on by developmental deficiencies, and improve their life quality both in long- and shot-term perspectives.

It is furthermore important to ensure that the baby is handled in a way, which affects the infant as little as possible. In this respect handling includes, but is not limited to, lifting, nursing, dressing and adjusting technical devices attached to the baby.

When handling a premature baby, e.g. when the infant is lifted in order to carry it from one location to another, it is important that the arms and legs are kept as close to the body as carrying the body as a “secure package” is less stressful to the infant than allowing arms and legs to dangle.

It is well known in the art that in order to provide the best possible environment for the premature infants it is essential to modify the intensive care unit environment to reduce detrimental stimuli to the lowest possible level in order to promote homeostasis.

Modification of the environment helps the infants to regulate their physiological and behavioral functioning. Basic and critical components of the environmental modification include providing proper support and positioning of the infant and minimization of stress.

When an infant's body is properly supported and the overall environmental stress level is reduced, the infants can properly rest thereby promoting healthful development. If infants do not receive the necessary rest, environmental stresses and bodily discomfort can slow the infant's development and possibly cause long-term harm.

In this respect healthcares often cover the premature infant with a blanket in order to keep the baby warm and simulate the situation the baby experienced in the womb. However it can be very difficult to ensure that the blanket is fitted snugly and securely around the baby. This can e.g. be due to an inflexible material of the blanket or to an excess of material. Furthermore, it is not possible to carry the baby without also carrying the blanket with the risk that the blanket falls away from the infant exposing the body of the baby to the surroundings.

The baby is alternatively often swaddled in the blanket. This is an age-old technique utilized in many countries, and is the art of snugly wrapping an infant in a blanket for warmth and security, leaving the infant with a sense of well being, as if the infant were still in the mother's womb.

It has been experienced and observed by both mothers and health care providers that this method of wrapping a premature born infant is soothing and reduces crying, keeps the infant temperature higher until his/hers own internal thermostat develops and make it safer and easier for the mother and healthcares to transport the infant, thereby reducing the risk of injury.

However premature babies are often subjected to a variety of patient treatment devices and if access is required to the baby, for example to adjust a feeding tube, take a blood sample or simply nurse the baby, a large portion of the swaddling have to be removed in order for the health career to be able to handle the baby properly, thereby exposing a large part of the baby's body. As premature babies are affected negatively by e.g. an excess of outside stimuli, this exposure will not only reduce the infant's body temperature but also provide an overall stressful environment, thereby hampering healthful development.

Furthermore, most known swaddles utilized added fasteners such as zippers, Velcro®, snaps, pockets and buttons. Each of these fasteners presents problems. For example, the zipper cannot achieve the tightness needed for a secure feeling nor does it allow for needed size adjustments. Velcro® is noisy and while attempting to adjust the blanket to infant size for the needed tight fit, the caretaker can awaken and startle a sleeping infant, contrary to the desirable aspects of the swaddle method.

Several attempts have been made to meet these problems. One example can be found in WO2007141490, which describes a neonatal swaddling device arranged as a bag or sleeve having perforations to facilitate access to the baby in the region of its umbilical stump or to the baby's arms. Another example is known from U.S. Pat. No. 4,254,900, which describes a baby carrier, which can be used for swaddling a baby.

However, both of the constructions described in these publications cannot be fitted snugly to the baby's body nor does the design of the swaddling devices allow e.g. a health career to nurse the baby or change the baby's diaper, without removing either the baby from the swaddling or exposing a large part of the baby's body, with the consequence that the baby e.g. risk getting cold which could be dangerous for especially a premature baby.

Thus there is a large demand for providing an improved pediatric patient care, especially for premature babies, which not only provides adjustability for periodically assessing and modifying patient care, but which also facilitates the use and interaction of conventional patient technical support treatment devices such as tubes and leading lines and which at the same time is fitted for securely and carefully lifting a swaddled baby.

Thus, it is a first aspect of the present invention to provide a device for supporting and handling an infant which provides flexibility and improvement in originally positioning and subsequently repositioning patient care tubes or the like,

It is a second aspect of the present invention to provide a device that simultaneously is protective and at least partly encloses a pediatric patient and also enables ready access to the baby's body, without impeding a caregivers access to said patient,

It is a third aspect of the present invention to provide a device that is completely safe for the pediatric patient while also being very simple to use and relatively inexpensive to manufacture, and

It is a fourth aspect of the present invention to provide a device that can accommodate babies of different sizes satisfactorily, and that maintain an infant in a thermally balanced environment.

The novel and unique feature whereby this is achieved is the fact that the swaddling unit comprises a lifting cloth and a swaddling cloth and wherein the lifting cloth and the swaddling cloth are only partly connected to each other, and wherein the swaddling cloth is arranged for swaddling the baby and the lifting cloth is arranged for lifting the swaddling unit.

In this way the lifting cloth and the swaddling cloth are partly interconnected, constituting a single unit. The swaddling cloth is preferably divided into sections arranged for in co-operation swaddling the baby, in preferably in a way that restricts movements of the limbs of the baby. Babies that are wrapped in a snug bundle promote an increase in their emotional well-being as well and the swaddling imitates conditions in the womb. Premature babies often have lower muscle tone and less control of their arms and legs and swaddling will therefore help the infant feel more secure. Furthermore, the swaddling will reduce detrimental stimuli to the lowest possible level and therefore promote homeostasis.

Thereby is provided a simple, inexpensive and essentially maintenance free device which can be used during swaddling a baby, as early intervention in supporting and positioning the infant can prevent the need for long-term and expensive physical therapy and physical implements such as splints or surgery to correct abnormalities which develop.

Thereby is advantageously achieved that by using a swaddling unit according to the invention, a weak and vulnerable neonatal or premature born baby can be lifted without in any way being harmed since the baby still is effectively protected by means of the swaddling cloth against being injured by influences from the environment.

In the context of the present invention the term “connected” means that the swaddling cloth and the lifting cloth are securely attached to each other, preferably in an irreversible manner and the term “partly” means that the cloths only are attached/connected in some areas, leaving other areas of the cloths free. Preferably the swaddling cloth and the lifting cloth are connected only in a center area, which in a preferred embodiment is the area supporting the baby when the swaddling unit is in the lifting state. In this way the means for connecting the two different cloth together will advantageously also function as a reinforcement, providing an additional level of security during the lifting process.

The swaddling cloth and the lifting cloth can be connected and/or assembled by means of any convenient technology, e.g. by stitching or welding the two cloths together. A preferred method of connecting the two different cloths together is by using ultrasonic welding. These technologies are well known in the art of e.g. non-woven fabrics and will not be discussed in further details.

In the context of the present invention the term “baby”, “infant”, “premature baby” and “neonatal baby” is used interchangeable, and the person skilled in the art will from the present application understand that the swaddling unit according to the invention can be used for any kind of baby in need of swaddling, included but not limited to, premature babies, neonate and/or ill babies.

Neonates typically enjoy, and in fact need, a swaddled or enclosed space in which they are cradled and securely held. This position provides a degree of psychological stability and comfort as the infants make the transition from the womb to the outside world.

When infants are hypotonic, they lack the ability to draw their limbs inwardly to achieve this swaddled or fetal position. This problem is exacerbated when infants are prematurely born since the fetal position would be an essential posture if they were still developing in the womb, and this advantageously position is obtained using the unit according to the invention.

A developmentally challenged infant needs to be positioned and supported by a system, which can be configured for his/hers specific needs. As the swaddling cloth according to the invention preferably is made from a soft and flexible non-woven fabric said cloth would be able to easily be reconfigured as the infant grows or as his/hers needs change so that the support and positioning is always appropriate for the stage of development or status of condition.

However, using a flexible swaddling cloth, said cloth is also standardized, meaning that it can be used for babies with different needs, such that hospital personnel, and even parents can use the cloth in a easy and convenient manner without complications.

It is important for an infant positioning and support system to help reduce or eliminate other environmental stresses such as heat dissipation and to minimize the interference with the infant when the system needs to be reconfigured. Using the swaddling unit according to the invention also helps achieve these effects.

It is important too, and often critical, to the infant's stability to maintain temperature homeostasis. Since the swaddling cloth according to the invention preferably comprises a number of sections it is possible to only partly open the cloth and thereby ensure that the temperature is maintained at a desired level. Between said section is preferably arranged at least one slit for accommodating patient care tubes or the like.

In the context of the present invention the term “slit” is not limited to long, straight, narrow cut or openings, but is intended to cover any kind of opening between two section which is capable of accommodating patient care tubes or the like, and which ensures that e.g. patient care tubes with a minimal interaction with the swaddling unit can be positioned and subsequently repositioned.

In one embodiment according to the invention the swaddling cloth according to the invention can comprises a lower section to be wrapped over a lower part of the baby, a side section divided into a lower half side section to be wrapped over the lower section and a lower part of the baby and an upper half side section to be wrapped over an upper part of the baby and if desired over at least a part of the head of the baby, a slit is preferably formed between the upper and lower side sections and another slit is preferably formed between the lower section and the lower half of the side sections.

In other preferred embodiments the swaddling cloth can comprise more or less sections for covering the baby, pending on the demands and needs of the baby, as long as said swaddling cloth is capable of fitting snugly and tight around the baby while still providing access for the needed patient treatment devices.

In this way the premature baby can easily be subjected to a variety of patient treatment devices. If access is required to the baby, for example to adjust a feeding tube, take a blood sample or simply nurse the baby, only the relevant sections of the swaddling cloth have to be removed in order for the health career to be able to handle the baby properly, since only a very limited part of the baby's body is exposed. This will not only reduce the outside stimuli to a minimum but also ensure that the infant's body temperature is maintained.

According to a preferred embodiment according to the invention, the lifting cloth can be formed with a handle for manually lifting the baby. Said handle preferably comprises two opposite lifting openings arranged for lifting the lifting cloth with the baby swaddled in the swaddling cloth.

Such a handle is a simple, inexpensive, comfortable and also very secure means for manually lifting a baby swaddled in the swaddling cloth when a hand inserted in both openings brings the openings close to each other. Other handles can also be contemplated within the scope of the present invention.

Even though the handle can be used also for carrying the baby, the person skilled in the art will understand that it is preferred to support the baby further, with the caregivers hand and/or arms, if the baby has to be carried and/or transported for more than a short distance. However, said handle can in some situations conveniently be used, if the baby only have to be moved back and forth e.g. from an incubator to a weight standing next to said incubator.

The openings can according to the invention moreover be placed in such way in the lifting cloth that the handle, in form of both openings, will be situated vertically above the center of gravity of the baby swaddled in the swaddling during a lifting operation.

Thereby is advantageously achieved that the baby automatically is balanced while being lifted and optionally carried so that the baby effectively is spared from being subject to injurious shocks caused by more or less abrupt changing of positions of the resting baby.

In a preferred embodiment the handle is simply through openings in the lifting cloth, however in a different embodiment the openings are reinforced, e.g. by welding along the periphery of said openings.

The swaddling cloth according to the invention can be made of one or more layers. It is however preferred that independently on the number of layers, the swaddling cloth is made of a super soft, flexible, thermally insulating non-woven material, which is permeable for moisture emitted from the baby and for air too, so that the baby is allowed to breath even if some of the swaddling cloth covers the face of the baby more or less. For preventing that the swaddling cloth adheres to the very immature and delicate skin of the baby, the non-woven material is preferably of a kind, which doesn't absorb moisture.

The surface of both the inner and outer side of the swaddling cloth is preferably identical, and has a sufficient roughness in order to prevent that the swaddling cloth, when being wrapped around the baby loosens or detach because overlapping parts of the swaddling cloth tends to slide from each other when the surfaces are too smooth.

It is preferred that the only means for swaddling the baby is the swaddling cloth, and it is preferred that said swaddling cloth does not comprise any added fasteners such as zippers, Velcro®, snaps, pockets and/or buttons. In this way it is possible to adjust the swaddling cloth to the desired tight fit, without awaken and startle a sleeping infant as the use of noisy and inconvenient additional fasteners are eliminated.

The lifting cloth is preferable made of a strong and solid non-woven material, which has a smooth inner side while the outer side may have a honeycombed or figured structure. As for the swaddling cloth the non-woven material of the lifting cloth is preferably also permeable for moisture and air. The lifting cloth is preferably arranged for being able to lift more than 6 kg, preferably more than 8 kg, as this ensures that the swaddling unit according to the invention can be used for e.g. premature babies without having to worry about the swaddling unit not being able to withstand the lift.

In a preferred embodiment the lifting cloth is resistant and/or repels liquid, as this will ensure that any moisture or liquid in a location where the swaddling unit is placed, will not be absorbed by the lifting cloth, preventing the baby from being exposed to unnecessary moisture. Such effects can e.g. be achieved by coating the lifting cloth with a liquid resistant component. Such component is well known in the art, and will not be explained in further details here. It is however relevant that both the lifting cloth and the swaddling cloth do not contain any materials which is harmful for the baby, and the unit is therefore preferably made of a hypoallergenic material that is non-reactive with the patient's tissue.

The swaddling cloth according to the invention can further comprise an absorbent layer, which will ensure that any unnecessary moisture will be transported away from the baby. Said absorbent layer can within the scope of the present invention be part of the swaddling cloth or an independent cloth placed in combination with the swaddling cloth.

It is preferred that the swaddling unit is intended for being disposed after use, thereby providing a unit which is more convenient and hygienic in use than hitherto known.

The invention relates also to a method for swaddling and lifting a neonatal or premature born baby by means of the swaddling unit and optionally carry the infant from one location to another.

This method can according to the invention comprise the steps of laying the baby on the swaddling unit, wrapping the lower section of the swaddling cloth over a lower part of the baby, and wrapping the side sections of the swaddling cloth over the lower section and the body of the baby and if desired over at least a part of the head of the baby.

It is noticed that the order of succession, in which the different sections of the swaddling unit is placed on top of each other, can be different from the order of succession mentioned above within the scope of the invention.

The invention relates moreover also to a use of the swaddling unit and comprises the steps of uncovering a selected part of the baby only, positioning and subsequently repositioning patient care tubes or the like through a slit.

In this way the selected parts of the baby can be properly inspected and the swaddling cloth can still keep the baby comfortable warm and in desired position.

The swaddling unit according to the invention is an essential medical device which can be used either alone, as a means for swaddling and/or lifting the baby from one position to the next, or in combinations with other well known devices for premature babies, e.g. incubators and devices which helps maintaining the premature baby in a fetal position. An example of such a device is the fetal position device described in the inventor's European Patent No. 1474019.

The invention will be explained in greater details below, giving further advantageous features and technical effects and describing exemplary embodiments with reference to the drawing, in which

FIG. 1 shows an unfolded lifting cloth according to a first embodiment of the invention,

FIG. 2 shows a swaddling cloth according to a first embodiment according to the invention in unfolded state,

FIG. 3 shows a swaddling unit according to a first embodiment of the present invention, composed of the lifting cloth mentioned in FIG. 1 and of the swaddling cloth mentioned in FIG. 2 and also a neonatal or premature baby lying on the swaddling unit,

FIG. 4 shows a first step of the swaddling operation for the first embodiment according to the present invention,

FIGS. 5-9 shows different steps of the swaddling operation for the first embodiment according to the present invention,

FIG. 10 is an elevated view of the swaddling unit according to the first embodiment in lifting position,

FIG. 11 shows a swaddling unit according to a second embodiment of the present invention,

FIGS. 12-15 shows different steps of the swaddling operation for the second embodiment according to the present invention, and

FIG. 16 is an elevated view of the swaddling unit according to the second embodiment in lifting position.

The swaddling unit according to the invention is especially adapted for swaddling a neonatal or premature born baby, who owing to the condition of such babies has very special requirements.

For being able to meet these requirement the desired material for the swaddling cloth is soft, flexible, thermally insulating and permeable for moisture and air, so that the baby is allowed to breath even in the situations were some of the swaddling cloth covers the face.

FIG. 1 shows in unfolded state a lifting cloth 1 for lifting a neonatal or premature baby wrapped in a swaddling cloth 2, which in FIG. 2 is shown also in an unfolded state.

The lifting cloth is formed with two opposite lifting openings 3 arranged for optionally carrying the lifting cloth being in the lifting state shown in FIG. 10.

The surface of both the inner and outer side of the swaddling cloth is sufficiently rough to prevent that the swaddling cloth when being wrapped above the baby comes loose because overlapping parts of the swaddling cloth tends to slide from each other when the surfaces are too smooth.

The lifting cloth 1 is preferable made of a strong and solid non-woven material, which has a smooth inner side while the outer side may have a honeycombed or figured structure. Also the non-woven material of the lifting cloth is permeable for moisture.

In FIG. 3 the lifting cloth 1 and the swaddling cloth 2 have been interconnected, i.e. securely attached to each other, by means of welded connections 4 to form a swaddling unit 5, which in the figure is shown in the position of use, i.e. were the swaddling cloth is placed facing the baby.

A neonatal or premature baby 6 is moreover placed upon the swaddling cloth in a preferable supine position. The swaddling cloth can however be used also when the baby is laid in a prone position (not shown) since the swaddling cloth, as mentioned above, is permeable for air so that the baby can breath also in the prone position.

The baby 6 has a body 7, head 8, arms 9 and legs 10 and is placed with its head upon an upper section of the swaddling cloth.

It is well known in the art that infants and especially premature born babies are extremely weak and vulnerable. When handling a premature baby, e.g. when the swaddling unit with the baby is lifted in order to carry the baby from one location to another, it is important that the arms and legs are kept as close to the body as possible as carrying the baby as a “secure package” is less stressful to the baby than a position allowing arms and legs of the baby to dangle in the swaddling cloth.

In order to provide the best possible environment for the baby it is essential to modify the intensive care unit environment to reduce detrimental stimuli to the lowest possible level in order to promote homeostasis. Modification of the environment helps the infants to regulate their physiological and behavioral functioning. Basic and critical components of the environmental modification include providing proper support and positioning of the infant and minimization of stress.

The swaddling cloth is therefore provided with a lower section 11 to be wrapped over a lower part of the baby and two opposite side sections 12 to be wrapped over said lower section and an upper part of the baby. Each of the side sections 12 is moreover divided up into an upper half 12a—and lower half 12b section by means of a slit 13. Between the lower section 11 and the lower half 12b of the side sections is formed another slit 14.

The baby will, when covered with the swaddling cloth in this way, carefully be kept warm while at the same time the arms and legs of the baby conveniently is restrained. In this way the body of the baby is properly supported and the overall environmental stress accordingly reduced, the baby can properly rest thereby promoting healthful development. If a baby doesn't receive the necessary rest, environmental stresses and bodily discomfort can slow the development of the baby.

The covering of the baby by means of the swaddling unit takes place as shown in FIGS. 4-9.

In FIG. 4 the lower section 11 of the swaddling cloth is wrapped over the lower part of the baby 6 including at least some of the legs 10, which thereby suitable are partly restrained against strenuously movements.

The side sections are, as mentioned above, separated in upper and lower half's 12a and 12b, whereby it is possible to gain access to particular parts of the baby, by unfolding only one or two halves of the side sections 11 so that the baby in this way advantageously will not be fully exposed to the environment so that the baby doesn't risk to get cold which could be dangerous for especially a premature baby.

It is noted that one or both of the side sections and/or the lower section, within the scope of the invention can be divided further by means of more slits (not shown), so that only very little of the baby's body needs to be uncovered for examination and/or treatment.

In FIG. 5 is the right side of the lower half 12b of the side section of the swaddling cloth wrapped over the lower section 11, and in FIG. 6 is the left side of the lower half 12b of the side section of the swaddling cloth wrapped over the lower section 11.

FIG. 7 shows the same as in FIG. 6, but with the difference that the lower section 11 and the lower half 12b of the side sections of the swaddling cloth are arranged in such way that only a desired part of the baby is uncovered.

In this case has only the necessary area of the body of the baby been uncovered to be able to inspect said area and to perform care and medical treatment of the baby. Owing to the material and design of the swaddling unit according to the invention the swaddling cloth will still keep the baby in a desired position and cover nearly all of the body of the baby.

The condition of a premature born baby is normally so critical that monitoring of indications of the condition of the baby as e.g. pulse and temperature is necessary constantly.

Monitoring of the pulse of the baby normally takes place by means of an electrically functioning pulse-meter and monitoring of the temperature by means of an electrical thermometer.

In FIG. 7 is shown a situation where patient care tubes 16, e.g. IV lines or electrical wires are passed through the slits between the sections for being connected to a monitoring instruments or drips 17.

In FIG. 8 has the upper half 12a of the side sections been partly folded over the face of the baby for in the best possible way protecting against cooling, disturbing light and noise. Said upper half or part of it can also be laid underneath the face of the baby for collecting and/or absorbing secretions from the baby, or cover the face of the baby completely.

In FIG. 9 the upper half 12a of the side sections has been folded in form of a cross over the baby, thereby securely keeping the swaddling cloth in position without the use of any additional fastening means. Said cloth is now ready to be lifted by means of the lifting cloth 1 and optionally securely be carried from one place to another e.g. for being nursed.

In order to perform this operation the lifting cloth 1 has been folded as shown in an elevated view in FIG. 10 with the lifting openings 2 placed opposite and close to each other so that they together make up a handle to be used for lifting the baby by means of a single hand.

FIG. 11 shows a second embodiment of a swaddling unit according to the invention, which in principal corresponds to the first embodiment. In the second embodiment the lifting cloth 1′ and the swaddling cloth 2′ are of the same size. In FIG. 11 the swaddling unit is shown in the unfolded state.

As for the first embodiment swaddling cloth 2′ is provided with a lower section 11′ to be wrapped over a lower part of the baby and two opposite side sections 12′ to be wrapped over said lower section and an upper part of the baby. Each of the side sections 12′ is moreover divided up into an upper half 12a′—and lower half 12b′ section by means of a slit 13′. Between the lower section 11′ and the lower half 12b′ of the side sections is formed another slit 14′, which in the second embodiment is a larger open section.

The lifting cloth 2′ is equipped with a handle 3′, which as for the first embodiment corresponded of two though going openings, placed in the side parts of the lifting cloth.

In FIG. 12 a baby has been laid upon the swaddling unit in a preferable supine position. The covering of the baby by means of the swaddling cloth according to the second embodiment corresponds to the swaddling shown for the first embodiment in FIGS. 4-8.

This is e.g. shown in FIG. 13 where the lower section 11′ of the swaddling cloth 2 has been wrapped over the lower part of the baby including at least some of the legs, and the right side of the upper and lower side sections 12a′ and 12b′. In FIG. 14 the left half of the side sections is also folded over the baby in a tight manner.

The side sections 12a′ and 12b′ are, as mentioned above, separated by means of a slot 13′ whereby it is possible to gain access to particular parts of the baby, e.g. the navel by unfolding only one or two halves of the side sections 12 so that the baby in this way advantageously will not be fully exposed to the environment and thereby doesn't risk to get cold.

In FIG. 14 is shown a situation where a care tubes 16, e.g. an IV lines or an electrical wires are passed through the slit 13′ between the sections 12a′ and 12b′, for being connected to a monitoring instrument or a drip 17.

In FIG. 15 is the baby fully swaddled in the swaddling cloth, and an upper part of the swaddling cloth 2 has been folded to cover the top section of the baby's head.

FIG. 16 is an elevated view of the swaddling unit with the baby 3, but showed in its folded position in which the two handle parts 3′ together make up the handle.

By simply holding or grasping the handle with a hand can the baby in the swaddling unit comfortably be lifted into the upwards direction as indicated with the arrow P.

In both the first and second embodiment according to the invention the handle consist of two openings in the lifting cloth, however in a thirds embodiment (not shown) can the handle be made of strips, which can be tied together to get a better grip for the hand and also keep the swaddling cloth securely placed around the baby.

The above described swaddling cloths and lifting cloths are each made of made of one or two layers. Within the scope of the invention can the swaddling cloth however be made of three or more layers. An absorbing intermediate layer can thus be placed between the outer and inner layer.

Within the scope of the invention can the layers of the swaddling cloth be assembled in more ways, e.g. by stitching or welding the layers together in any conventional way known in the art of e.g. non-woven fabrics.

The swaddling unit of the invention is above described for being used for especially a neonatal or premature born baby.

However, within the scope of the invention can the swaddling unit be used for normal babies too.





 
Previous Patent: 3-POINT BRA FASTENER

Next Patent: REVERSIBLE DRESSES