Title:
Breast-feeding and burping bib
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bib for use during burping or breast feeding a baby including one or more panels of sufficient size to conceal the chest and shoulders of a wearer; a neck opening formed in the upper portion of at least one of the one or more panels; a fastener supported by at least one of the one or more panels for permitting the size of the neck opening to be selectively adjusted about the wearer's neck; and at least one opening formed in the one or more panels, the opening being of suitable size for receiving a portion of a nursing mother's breast.



Inventors:
Andrews, June E. (Chicago, IL, US)
Application Number:
10/631520
Publication Date:
05/13/2004
Filing Date:
07/30/2003
Assignee:
ANDREWS JUNE E.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D1/20; (IPC1-7): A41B13/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VANATTA, AMY B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Reed Smith, LLP (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:

What is claimed:



1. A bib for use during burping or breast-feeding a baby comprising: one or more panels of sufficient size to conceal the chest and shoulders of a wearer; a neck opening formed in the upper portion of at least one of the one or more panels; a fastener supported by at least one of the one or more panels for permitting the size of the neck opening to be selectively adjusted about the wearer's neck; and at least one opening formed in the one or more panels, the opening being of suitable size for receiving a portion of a nursing mother's breast.

2. The bib defined in claim 1 further including at least one adjustable flap for concealing a portion of the nursing mother's breast received in one of the one or more openings.

3. The bib defined in claim 1, wherein the nipple portion of the nursing mother's breast is received in one opening comprising the one or more openings.

4. The bib defined in claim 1 further including a pocket supported by the front panel.

5. The bib defined in claim 1, wherein the fastener is a hook and loop fastener, snap, button, clip or tie strap.

6. The bib defined in claim 1 further including a winged portion formed adjacent the upper portion of one of the one or more panels that extends out over the shoulders and upper body of the wearer.

7. The bib defined in claim 1, wherein the bib is formed of a breathable material.

8. The bib defined in claim 7, wherein the bib is formed of cotton.

9. The bib defined in claim 8, wherein the bib is made of terry cloth.

10. A method for using a bib during burping or breast-feeding a baby comprising: adjusting the bib about the wearer's neck such that one panel of the bib faces outwardly away from the wearer; placing the baby outside the bib adjacent the outwardly facing panel; and receiving a portion of a nursing mother's breast in one or more openings formed in the outwardly facing panel.

11. The method defined in claim 10 further including the step of covering a portion of the nursing mother's breast received in the one or more openings by a layer of material sized so as not to substantially cover the baby's face.

12. The method defined in claim 10 further including the step of covering a portion of the nursing mother's breast received in the one or more openings by a layer of material sized so as not to cover the baby's face.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE

[0001] This nonprovisional patent application claims priority to Provisional Application No. 60/399,958 entitled “Breast Feeding and Burping Bib” filed on Jul. 31, 2002.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] This invention relates to a breast-feeding and burping bib. More particularly, the invention relates to a bib that may be used by mothers during the breast-feeding process.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Burping and nursing bibs are known. Typically, these bibs require the baby to be placed under the bib in order to reduce exposure of the mother's breast during the nursing process. Bibs of this type may provide a mesh covering or an oversized neck opening to permit the mother to view the baby during nursing. Thus, there is needed a bib that permits a mother to nurse her baby in public with limited exposure and which permits the baby to be placed outside the bib, not underneath as in prior art bibs.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0004] The invention relates to a bib for use while burping or breast-feeding a baby. The bib generally includes one or more panels of sufficient size to conceal the chest and shoulders of a wearer; a neck opening formed in the upper portion of at least one of the one or more panels; a fastener supported by at least one of the one or more panels for permitting the size of the neck opening to be selectively adjusted about the wearer's neck; and at least one opening formed in the one or more panels, the opening being of suitable size for receiving a portion of a nursing mother's breast. The bib also may include at least one adjustable flap for concealing a portion of the nursing mother's breast received in one of the one or more openings. More particularly, the nipple portion of the nursing mother's breast is received in one opening comprising the one or more openings, and the adjustable flap is sized such that the flap does not substantially cover the baby's face. Additionally, the bib may include a pocket supported by the front panel.

[0005] The invention also relates to a method for using the bib including the steps of adjusting the bib about the wearer's neck such that one panel of the bib faces outwardly away from the wearer; placing the baby outside the bib adjacent the outwardly facing panel; and receiving a portion of a nursing mother's breast in one or more openings formed in the outwardly facing panel. In covering a portion of the mother's breast, the covering material is sized so as not to substantially cover the baby's face.

[0006] One advantage of the bib is to enable breast-feeding a baby, wherein the baby is placed outside the bib verses underneath as taught by many prior art nursing/burping bibs. Thus, the bib of the present invention permits the mother to view directly the baby while breast-feeding. Additionally, placing the baby outside the bib may create an unobstructed airflow path to the baby.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] FIGS. 1A and 1B illustrate a bib formed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention;

[0008] FIG. 2 shows an alternative embodiment of the bib shown in FIG. 1, wherein the bib includes at least one opening in the body portion thereof;

[0009] FIG. 3 shows an alternative embodiment of the bib shown in FIG. 1, wherein the winged shoulder portions are less pronounced;

[0010] FIG. 4 shows an alternative embodiment of the bib shown in FIG. 3, wherein the bib includes at least one opening formed in the body portion thereof;

[0011] FIG. 5 shows an alternative embodiment of the bib shown in FIG. 1, wherein the bib includes a pocket supported by the body portion; and

[0012] FIG. 6 shows an alterative pocket design for the bib shown in FIG. 5.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0013] The invention relates to a bib for safeguarding a wearer's clothing when nursing or burping an infant. Generally, the bib includes front and back panels. Typically, the front and back panels are mirror images of one another. In the most general form, the front and back panels include an upper portion for covering the shoulders and chest area of the wearer and a lower portion for covering the lower portion of the wearer's upper torso such as the waist and the abdominal area. The bib may be sized such that the length also permits a portion of the user's lap to be covered by the lower portion.

[0014] In one embodiment, the bib may include one or more openings that extend through the front and back panels. These one or more openings are designed to accommodate a portion of a nursing mother's breast such as the nipple portion. An adjustable flap that conceals at least a portion of the woman's breast while nursing the baby may cover the one or more openings.

[0015] FIGS. 1-6 show illustrative embodiments of a bib 10 formed in accordance with the teachings of this invention. Each embodiment of the bib 10 includes a front panel 12 and back panel 14. The front panel 12 and the back panel 14 are generally mirror images of one another such that the front panel 12 and back panel 14 may be sewn together to form a bib 10 having front and back surfaces. Thus, the front panel 12 and the back panel 14 may be formed from a single sheet of material, or the front panel 12 and back panel 14 may be made from separate panels that are sewn together.

[0016] The front panel 12 and back panel 14 include an upper portion 16 for covering the shoulder and chest area of the wearer and a lower portion 18 for covering the lower portion of the wearer's upper torso. As best seen in FIGS. 1-6, the front and back panels 12, 14 also include an opening 20 formed in the upper portion 16 for receiving the neck of a wearer. The size of the opening 20 may be adjusted as necessary to provide for a comfortable fit about the wearer's neck. A fastener 22 such as a Velcro® fastener is applied adjacent the opening 20 as best seen in FIG. 1 to facilitate adjustment about the wearer's neck. It will be appreciated that Velcro® is a trademark for a fastener comprising a fastening tape including opposing pieces of nylon fabric, one with tiny hooks and the other with a dense pile, that interlocks when pressed together. Other fasteners such as traditional snaps, buttons, hook and loop fasteners, zippers, one or more clips, tie straps or other similar devices may be used to close the opening 20 about a wearer's neck. As best seen in FIGS. 1A, 1B and 2, one embodiment of the bib 10 may include flanged or winged portions 24 that extend outward from the neck area to provide a covering for the shoulders and upper body of the wearer. As best seen in FIGS. 3 and 4, the bib 10 may be formed with a less pronounced winged portion 24.

[0017] In an alternative embodiment, shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the bib 10 can include a pocket 26 formed on the front panel 12. The pocket 26 can be structured as a single continuous pocket as best seen in FIG. 5, or the pocket 26 can be compartmentalized to form two or more smaller pockets as best seen in FIG. 6.

[0018] In still another embodiment as shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, the bib 10 can include at least one opening 28 formed in the upper or lower portions or both. In one embodiment, the openings 28 are sized for receiving a portion of the breast of a nursing mother such as the nipple portion.

[0019] In still another embodiment as shown in FIG. 2, the bib 10 can include an adjustable flap 30 (illustrated by the phantom lines shown in FIG. 2) that covers the one or more of the openings 28 formed in the body portion of the bib 10. The flap 30 can be designed to look like a pocket, wherein one end of the flap is sewn or fastened onto the front panel 12 and the other end is fastened to the front panel 12 using a fastener such as a Velcro® fastener, a button, snap or other similar fastener. The flap 30 can be opened by manipulating the fastener whether the fastener is a button, snap, Velcro® or other similar device.

[0020] Alternatively, the flap 30 may be secured to the front panel 12 using a Velcro® fastener, button, snap, clip or other similar device such that the flap 30 is completely removable from the front panel 12. This arrangement permits the flap 12 to be repositioned on the bib 10 such that a single flap may be used to cover one or more openings 28. It will be appreciated that certain methods for securing the flap 30 to the front panel 12 may require mating components to be located on the front panel 12. For example, if a Velcro® fastener is used, a portion of the faster will be secured to the flap 30 and the mating portion of the fastener will be secured to the front panel 12.

[0021] In making the bib 10 of the present invention, the front panel 12 may be covered with or made from a cotton material. In a preferred embodiment, the front panel 12 and the back panel 14 are formed from a lightweight breathable material such as cotton. More specifically, the front panel 12 and the back panel 14 may be made from a cotton material such as terry cloth in order to provide a soft smooth surface for contacting the baby when the bib 10 is in use. The back panel 14 can also be made of or covered with a cotton material or other similar material. In a preferred embodiment, the back panel 14 includes a water-repellant backing. It will be understood that water-repellant as used herein means the ability of the material to repel liquids or to prevent the absorption of liquids by the material. It will also be understood that the front panel 12 and back panel 14 may be formed so as to be reversible, i.e., either side may be worn outwardly and placed in contact with the baby. It will be appreciated that one or more layers may be sandwiched between the panels 12, 14. These intermediate layers may be formed of a water repellant material.

[0022] In using the bib 10 during the breast-feeding process, the wearer adjusts the bib 10 about her neck. The baby is placed outside the bib 10 adjacent the front panel 12 or the outwardly exposed surface. A portion of the breast, preferably the nipple portion, is placed through one of the openings 28 formed in the body portion of the bib 10 (see FIG. 2). The flap 30 may be used to cover at least a portion of the wearer's breast without substantially covering the baby's face. In fact, the flap 30 may be sized such that the baby's face remains completely uncovered by the flap 30.

[0023] Once feeding is completed, the baby's chest can be placed against the wearer's shoulder and positioned in the traditional burping position or positioned face down across the lap of the wearer. In either position, the bib 10 overlaps the shoulders and the upper arm area, and the baby rests against the bib, not the wearer's clothing.

[0024] This written description discloses illustrative applications for the bib described herein. It will be understood that a variety of additional uses exist for which the disclosed bib would be suitable.