Title:
Bedding bumper set
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a bedding set for a child's crib or bed, and in particular to a bumper set with removable pillow inserts. The bumper set comprises one or more panels. Each panel is fashioned from a fabric pane that is formed into a pocket having a plurality of sides. At least one of the panel sides has a closure means forming a closable opening. A pillow comprising a fill surrounded by an outer shell is inserted within the pocket. An attachment means capable of attaching the bedding bumper to the crib or bed is fixed to one or more of the panels. A method for fabricating the bumper set is also disclosed.



Inventors:
Rao, Vijayanta (Watchung, NJ, US)
Application Number:
10/835661
Publication Date:
11/04/2004
Filing Date:
04/30/2004
Assignee:
RAO VIJAYANTA
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47D15/00; (IPC1-7): A47G9/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SPAHN, GAY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
VIJAYANTA RAO (WATCHUNG, NJ, US)
Claims:
1. A crib bumper set comprising: one or more panels, each panel being fashioned from a quilted fabric pane formed into a pocket having a plurality of sides, at least one side having a closable opening; a pillow inserted within the pocket, the pillow comprising a fill surrounded by an outer shell; and an attachment device fixed to one or more of the panels, the attachment device capable of attaching the bedding bumper to a crib.

2. The bumper set of claim 1 wherein the closable opening comprises a closure device.

3. The bumper set of claim 2 wherein the closure device comprises a zipper.

4. The bumper set of claim 2 wherein the closure device comprises a hook and latch system.

5. The bumper set of claim 2 wherein the closure device comprises a button.

6. The bumper set of claim 2 wherein the closure device comprises a tie.

7. The bumper set of claim 2 wherein the closure device comprises a snap.

8. The crib bumper set of claim 1 wherein the attachment device is a buckle and strap.

9. The crib bumper set of claim 1 wherein the attachment device is a hook and loop fastener.

10. The crib bumper set of claim 1 wherein the attachment device is a snap.

11. The crib bumper set of claim 1 wherein the attachment device is a tie.

12. A bumper set comprising: a plurality of panels, each panel being formed into a pocket having a plurality of sides, at least one side having a closing device, at least two panels being connected by a connection device; and a pillow insert inserted within the pocket, the pillow insert being removable through the closing device.

13. A bumper set comprising: one or more modular sections, each modular section comprising one or more panels formed into a pocket having a plurality of sides, at least one side having a closing device; and a pillow insert removably inserted within the pocket.

14. A bumper set comprising at least two detachably coupled panels having pockets in which padding can be removably disposed.

15. A method for fabricating bumper set, the method comprising the steps of: providing a rectangular quilted fabric pane; folding the rectangular quilted fabric pane in half to form a folded panel having front and back sides, each side having two open and parallel edges and a third open edge; securing the front and back sides to each other along each of the two parallel edges to form the folded panel into a pocket having a closable opening; placing a pillow insert into the pocket.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/467,299, filed May 2, 2003.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention generally relates to a bedding bumper set, and in particular to a bumper set for children's bedding with removable pillow inserts. A method for fabricating the bumper set is also disclosed.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Bumper sets have become increasingly popular additions to children's bedding, both as an aesthetic article and as a safety device. As an aesthetic item, bumper sets are used for decorative purposes, adding style and flair to a child's bedding. As a safety device, bumper sets are used to protect infants and toddlers from contacting the head, foot, side rails and slats of a crib or bed, where such incidental contact may cause injury. An infant's head, arms or legs may become trapped between the slats that comprise the crib sides, further injuring the child. In addition, bumper sets may also prevent children from rolling out of a bed. Accordingly, the use of the terms bumper set, crib bumper, and the like are used to describe any bedding bumper set that will provide aesthetic and/or safety attributes for a bedding, including bumper sets for cribs as well as beds.

[0004] Crib bumpers are shaped or formed as generally flat members, segmented into at least four panels corresponding to the head, foot and two sides of the crib. Accordingly, the length of the crib bumper is generally equal to the interior perimeter dimension of the crib. To achieve this configuration, some crib bumpers are formed of substantially coextensive padded and unpadded sections separated by a longitudinally extending flexible fold line. These one-piece crib bumper sets measure approximately sixteen feet in length, including three-foot long panels along the head and foot sections of the crib, and five-foot long sections along the sides of the crib. Other bumper sets, particularly bumper sets used for a child's bed may consist of stuffed cylinders sized to prevent the child from rolling off the side of a bed. These bed bumpers are substantially rigid members between three and five feet in length.

[0005] Bumper sets are primarily fabricated with an exterior cotton shell and a polyester fill. The shell completely encapsulates the fill, and is typically stitched or sewn closed to contain the fill. In addition, cotton padding may be added to the polyester fill to increase the bumper thickness, providing additional protection against injury caused by incidental contact with the crib components. To provide additional decorative features, some crib bumpers are quilted, either by hand or machine.

[0006] There are several inherent problems with the present bumper set designs. For example, the sheer size of the typical crib and bed bumper sets make them difficult, if not impossible to clean using standard residential washing equipment. As previously disclosed, standard crib bumpers are approximately 16 feet in length and have an integrated, irremovable (sewn-in) fill. Similarly, other bedding bumper sets are substantially rigid and also have an irremovable fill. The relatively large size and bulk of these bumpers make them nearly impossible to fit in standard washing machines. This deficiency is of paramount importance since infants and toddlers frequently soil their bedding. Frequent cleaning of the bumper sets may be necessary to maintain a clean environment for the child.

[0007] Another problem with currently available bumper sets is related to the diminished protection afforded the child caused by thin, flimsy quilted bumpers. The few bumper sets on the market that are hand quilted tend to be extremely thin, typically less than one inch thick. In addition, these bumper sets generally have very little hand quilting due, in part, to the fact that the quilting needle cannot pass very easily through thicker padding. In fact, it is extremely difficult to hand quilt a crib bumper of any appreciable thickness. This results in hand quilted bumpers that are extremely thin and flimsy, and inadequately protect the child against incidental contact with the wood and metal components surrounding the crib walls. In addition, because these quilted bumper sets are thin and flimsy, they also tend to sag, which similarly results in less than optimal protection for the infant from the hard surfaces of the crib.

[0008] What is needed is a bumper set that is compartmentized and can be easily assembled and disassembled to facilitate cleaning. In addition, what is needed is a bumper set that is richly quilted, yet still thick enough to provide adequate protection to infants and toddlers against incidental contact with crib and/or bed components.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] The present invention relates to a bumper set for a child's crib or bed having a removable inner padding. In one embodiment of the invention, the crib bumper set comprises one or more panels. Each panel is fashioned from a quilted fabric pane that is formed into a pocket having a plurality of sides. At least one of the panel sides has a closure device forming a closable opening. A pillow comprising a fill surrounded by an outer shell is inserted within the pocket. An attachment device capable of attaching the bedding bumper to a crib is fixed to one or more of the panels.

[0010] In another embodiment of the invention, the bumper set comprises a plurality of panels. Each panel is formed into a pocket having a plurality of sides. At least one side of the pocket has a closure device for forming a closable opening. At least two panels are connected by a connection device. A pillow insert is inserted within the pocket, and may be removed when desired through the closable opening.

[0011] In still another embodiment of the present invention, a bumper set comprises one or more modular sections. Each modular section has one or more panels formed into a pocket having a plurality of sides. At least one side of the pocket has a closing device. A pillow insert is inserted in the pocket, and is capable of being removed through the closing device.

[0012] The present invention also discloses a method for fabricating a crib bumper set. The method comprises the steps of providing a rectangular quilted fabric pane. The rectangular quilted fabric pane is then folded in half to form a folded panel having front and back sides. Each side of the rectangular quilted fabric pane has two open and parallel edges and a third open edge. The front and back sides are secured to each other along each of the two parallel edges to form the folded panel into a pocket having a closable opening. A pillow is insert into the pocket to form the crib bumper.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a quilted crib bumper set according to one embodiment of the present invention.

[0014] FIG. 2A illustrates a perspective view of a quilted bumper cover according to one embodiment of the present invention.

[0015] FIG. 2B illustrates a section view of a quilted bumper cover according to one embodiment of the present invention.

[0016] FIG. 3A illustrates a perspective view of a crib bumper cover without quilting according to one embodiment of the present invention.

[0017] FIG. 3B illustrates a section view of a crib bumper cover without quilting according to one embodiment of the present invention.

[0018] FIG. 4A illustrates a perspective view of a crib bumper pillow insert according to one embodiment of the present invention.

[0019] FIG. 4B illustrates a section view of a crib bumper pillow insert according to one embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0020] The present invention addresses the shortcomings of existing bumper sets by combining the unique qualities and pleasing, rich aesthetics of hand quilted bedding products, with the thickness, rigidity and support necessary to adequately protect children from injury caused by incidental contact with crib and/or bed components. In addition, the present invention is uniquely compartmentized, allowing the crib bumper to be easily assembled and disassembled for machine washing and cleaning.

[0021] A quilted crib bumper set according to one embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIG. 1. The crib bumper set depicted in this figure is illustrated in the inverted (upside down) position so that many of the inherent design features can be clearly seen.

[0022] The bumper set is formed from a plurality of separate modular sections, each section having at least 1 bumper panel. This configuration will permit the bumper set to be separated into smaller pieces for ease of cleaning in a standard residential washing machine. In a preferred embodiment, the crib bumper set is made in two separate sections, each having two bumper panels, as shown in FIG. 1. The first section comprises the head panel 100 and first long side panel 105. The second section (not shown) comprises the foot panel and second long side panel.

[0023] Each individual section or panel of the bumper set may be kept and installed separately on the crib, or may be connected at their ends to form a closed rectangular crib bumper set. Connection of the individual sections may be by any suitable connection devices, including zippers, fabric hook and latch systems (e.g. Velcro®), snaps, buttons, and/or ties. Still other connection devices would be understood by one of skill in the art.

[0024] To further aide machine washing, each bumper panel (100, 105) illustrated in FIG. 1 is compartmentalized, having removable pillow type inserts 110, 120 respectively. By detaching the full bumper set into two separate sections, and removing the separate pillow inserts 110, 120 from each of the respective panels, the quilted crib bumper set can be reduced into very manageable sections for machine washing.

[0025] In a preferred embodiment, each compartmentized panel is formed by first fabricating a quilted rectangular fabric pane, and then folding the quilted pane in half along the smaller length side. The folded pane is sewn or permanently attached on three sides, forming a quilted panel (100, 105) in the shape of a pocket. The pillow insert 110, 120 is then inserted into the quilted panel to provide adequate protection for the child.

[0026] The fourth side of the quilted panel 100, 105 may be closed so that the panel 100, 105 completely encapsulates the pillow insert 110, 120. Closure of the panel may be by any suitable closure device, such as zipper 115 illustrated in FIG. 1. However, the type of closure device illustrated is not meant to limit the scope of the invention, and other closure methods would be understood by one of skill in the art, including, for example, fabric hook and latch systems (e.g. Velcro®), snaps, buttons, and/or ties.

[0027] The compartmentized, modular design of the present invention also allows the bumper set to feature intricate, rich quilting patterns 125. By fabricating each panel from a single relatively thin pane, standard hand and machine quilting needles can easily penetrate the pane to create the intricate patterns. Once the quilting pattern is complete, and the quilted pane formed into the panel, the pillow insert may be placed into the pocket, providing the necessary padding to ward against potential injuries to children by contacting the crib or bed components. The thick pillow insert also provides the necessary rigidity to prevent the bumper set from sagging.

[0028] To prevent the bumper set from moving once installed in the crib or bed, an attachment device may be used. Exemplary attachment devices may include buckle and straps, hook and loop fasteners, snaps, ties and the like. In a preferred embodiment, fabric ties 130 are used as shown in FIG. 1.

[0029] Perspective and section views of a quilted bumper cover are shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B respectively. Pane 200 used to fabricate the panels 100, 105 can be made of many different textiles or fabrics. In a preferred embodiment, the pane 200 comprises a 100% cotton outer fabric 205, a 100% surgical cotton batting 210, and a 100% cotton inner fabric 215. These three materials (205, 210 and 215) comprising the pane are heavily quilted, giving the bumper a richness typically found only in hand made product. In addition to providing aesthetic features, the quilting binds the three materials together at quilt points 220 for an extremely durable outer shell that will hold up to many machine washings.

[0030] Although the quilting does provide some durability, and adds aesthetic features to the bumper set, it is not necessarily a limiting feature of the present invention. FIGS. 3A and 3B respectively, illustrate perspective and section views of a crib bumper cover without quilting. As similarly described above, pane 300 used to fabricate the panels 100, 105 can be made of many different textiles or fabrics. In a preferred embodiment, the pane 300 comprises a 100% cotton outer fabric 305, a 100% surgical cotton batting 310, and a 100% cotton inner fabric 315.

[0031] The present invention has removable pillow type inserts 110, 120 in each bumper panel (100, 105) illustrated in FIG. 1. As described above, these removable inserts 110, 120 allow the bumper panel sections to be easily machine washed, and make rich, quality quilting possible. In addition, the bumper pillow inserts 110, 120 are sufficiently sized to protect the child by providing adequate padding, and are rigid enough to prevent sagging.

[0032] Perspective and section views of typical bumper pillow inserts 110, 120 having these characteristics are shown in FIGS. 4A and 4B respectively. The pillow inserts 110, 120 comprise a polyester fill 405 surrounded by a cotton outer shell 400. The polyester fill 405 has the quality of being light, fluffy and tends to retain it shape extremely well. At its thickest point, the preferred polyester fill 405 will be approximately three inches thick. The cotton outer shell 400 is made from 100% cotton shell and provides an added layer of strength and protection for the fill 405. The fill 405 and outer shell 400 provide, when combined, the bumper set with generous thickness, approximately three inches thick, and sufficient rigidity to prevent sagging.

[0033] While a number of variations of the invention have been shown and described in detail, other modifications and methods of use contemplated within the scope of this invention will be readily apparent to those of skill in the art based upon this disclosure. It is contemplated that various combinations or sub combinations of the specific embodiments may be made and still fall within the scope of the invention.

[0034] The following claims are provided to illustrate examples of some beneficial aspects of the subject matter disclosed herein which are within the scope of the present invention.