Title:
Baby blanket clip
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A baby blanket clip which holds a baby blanket in the user preferred position relative to the baby carriage rail, which position usually best provides the baby the desired comfort level and protection against the elements. The baby blanket clip has flexible legs connected by a connecting portion, where the flexible legs and connecting portion define a clip interior space. The baby blanket clip is placed over a carriage rail to hold a portion of the baby blanket and the baby carriage rail in the clip interior space. The baby blanket clip holds the blanket in such a way as to prevent damage to the blanket due to dragging on the ground, entangling in the baby carriage wheels, or similar. Spring features of the invention, either as an integrated feature or as a separate spring element, may provide a compressive and retaining force which maintains the position of the baby blanket and baby blanket clip.



Inventors:
Blitstein, Iris (Sharon, MA, US)
Strunin, Lisa (Sharon, MA, US)
Application Number:
11/008513
Publication Date:
06/16/2005
Filing Date:
12/09/2004
Assignee:
BLITSTEIN IRIS
STRUNIN LISA
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A44B1/04; A47D15/02; (IPC1-7): A44B1/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LAVINDER, JACK W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard D. Zimmerman (Providence, RI, US)
Claims:
1. A baby blanket clip for holding a baby blanket on a carriage rail, comprising two or more flexible legs, each of the flexible legs having two ends, one end of which is connected to a connecting portion and the other end of which has a protective edge, so that the flexible legs and connecting portion define an interior space, and the flexible legs will flex over and around a carriage rail to hold the baby blanket to the baby carriage.

2. The baby blanket clip of claim 1 in which the clip interior space is substantially circular.

3. The baby blanket clip of claim 1 in which the clip interior space is substantially elliptical.

4. The baby blanket clip of claim 1 having protective edge to assist in the outward movement of the flexible legs as the baby blanket clip is pressed over the baby blanket and baby carriage rail, and in which the protective edge runs along the entire length of the baby blanket clip, and which protects the baby blanket against damage when the baby blanket clip is pressed over the baby blanket and carriage rail.

5. The baby blanket clip of claim 1 having a foam insert located in the clip interior space.

6. A baby blanket clip for holding a blanket on a carriage rail, comprising two or more flexible legs, each of the flexible legs having two ends, one end of which is connected to a connecting portion and the other end of which has a protective edge, so that the flexible legs and connecting portion define an interior space, and the flexible legs will flex over and around a carriage rail to hold the blanket to the carriage rail, and one of the flexible legs having a cut-away to create a flexible finger which flexible finger will provide a compressive force to hold the blanket in an approximately fixed position relative to the carriage rail, when the blanket is placed in the interior space and underneath the flexible finger.

7. The baby blanket clip of claim 5 with a protective edge to assist in the outward movement of the flexible legs as the baby blanket clip is pressed over the baby blanket and baby carriage rail.

8. The baby blanket clip of claim 6 in which the flexible finger has a finger protective edge which runs along the entire perimeter of the flexible finger, where the protective edge protects the baby blanket against damage when the baby blanket is positioned underneath the flexible finger.

9. The baby blanket clip of claim 5, with a foam insert located in the clip interior space.

10. A baby blanket clip for holding a blanket on a carriage rail, comprising: an upper clip having grip ends; a lower clip having grip ends; a spring element; an attachment clip, where the lower clip has a plurality of flexible legs which will flex over and substantially around the carriage rail to maintain the desired relative position of the blanket clip and the carriage rail; a pivot point; and a spring element such that, when the grip ends of the upper and lower clips are pressed together, an opening is created, which opening will accept the blanket and, when the grip ends of the upper and lower ends are released, the spring element biases the upper clip and lower clip together to provide a compressive force which approximately maintains the desired blanket position, relative to the carriage rail.

11. The baby blanket clip of claim 9 having an attachment clip which attaches to the carriage rail to provide a semi-permanent attachment to the carriage rail.

12. The baby blanket clip of claim 10 having a protective edge to assist in the outward movement of the flexible legs as the baby blanket clip is pressed over the blanket and carriage rail.

13. The baby blanket clip claim 10 in which the upper clip has a clip end opposed to the grip end, and a protective edge on the clip end, which clip end extends along the perimeter of the upper clip and protects the blanket against damage.

14. The baby blanket clip of claim 13 having a foam insert located in the clip interior space.

15. The baby blanket clip of claim 1 having a gripping feature to aid in the removal of the baby blanket clip.

16. The baby blanket clip of claim 1 having two cantilevered wings connected to the connecting portion and forming an arced surface, where each of the cantilevered wings cantilever over and away from one or more flexible legs.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE AND PRIORITY

Applicants reference and claim the benefit of prior filed United States Provisional Application titled Baby Blanket Clip, by Iris Blitstein and Lisa Strunin, believed to be U.S. Ser. No. 60/528,394, and to have been filed on Dec. 11, 2003.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

None

SEQUENTIAL LISTING

None

BACKGROUND

This invention relates to baby blanket accessories, specifically to accessories which attach to the rails of a baby carriage and retain the desired position of the baby blanket despite the movement of the baby and/or the movement of the baby carriage. Oftentimes, during carriage walks, the movement of the baby and/or the motion of the baby carriage itself can cause the blanket to shift its position. The shift may prevent proper covering or comfort of the baby. In addition, this shift may allow the blanket to become dirty or damaged by dragging on the ground, by entangling in the carriage wheels, or the like.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,081,730 to Moody (1992), U.S. Pat. No. 3,737,955 to Hakim (1973), U.S. Pat. No. 2,772,460 to Berkowicz (1956), U.S. Pat. No. 2,637,047 to Zurzolo (1953), U.S. Pat. No. 2,129,487 to Bleier (1938) all describe blanket holders which provide a means of retaining the position of a baby blanket in a crib. The retaining method for all of the patents consists of a feature of the invention which fixtures on the crib rail, and a second feature of the invention which grasps the blanket.

These blanket holder inventions for cribs do maintain the intended position of the blanket despite the movement of the baby, but they are not intended for use with a baby carriage. In addition, they cannot be readily used with a baby carriage because it would require disassembly of the carriage in order to correctly install the blanket holder.

No known blanket clip formerly developed provides both a means to easily attach to a baby carriage and a means to retain a baby blanket in the desired position, despite the movement of the baby and/or the movement of the baby carriage, thereby keeping the baby comfortable and protected while keeping the blanket safe against damage or wear.

SUMMARY

The invention, a baby blanket clip for baby carriages, fits over the rail of the baby carriage and is used to hold the baby blanket in the desired position for best protection and comfort of the baby, despite the movement of the baby and/or baby carriage. The baby blanket clip has flexible members which provide a means for applying a compressive and retaining force to a baby blanket which is draped over the baby carriage rail. These flexible members have an end feature which flexes around the geometry of the carriage rail to allow the baby blanket clip to pass over the baby blanket and baby carriage rail, without causing damage to the baby blanket. The spring characteristic of these flexible members then closes the around the baby carriage rail, providing the compressive and retaining force which maintains the position of the baby blanket despite the movement of the baby and/or the baby carriage.

DRAWINGS

FIG. 1. is a perspective right-side view of the preferred embodiment of the baby blanket clip;

FIG. 1a. is a perspective right-side view of the preferred embodiment of the baby blanket clip shown with a gripping feature;

FIG. 2. is a front view of the baby blanket clip;

FIG. 3. is a perspective right-side view of the baby blanket clip and baby blanket as assembled on a typical baby carriage rail;

FIG. 4. is a perspective right-side view of a second embodiment of the baby blanket clip;

FIG. 5. is a perspective right-side view of the second embodiment baby blanket clip assembled on a typical baby carriage rail, with a baby blanket attached;

FIG. 6. is a perspective right-side view of a third embodiment of the baby blanket clip;

FIG. 7. is a perspective right-side view of a third embodiment of the baby blanket clip in the open position;

FIG. 8. is a perspective right-side view of a third embodiment of the baby blanket clip and baby blanket as assembled on a typical baby carriage rail;

FIG. 9. is a perspective front view of a baby blanket clip with an elliptical shaped clip interior space;

FIG. 10. is a side perspective view of a baby blanket clip;

FIG. 11. is a plan view of the top of a baby blanket clip;

FIG. 12. is a plan view of the bottom of a baby blanket clip;

FIG. 13. is a front perspective view of a baby blanket clip with a round interior space;

FIG. 14. is a side perspective view of a baby blanket clip with a round interior space;

FIG. 15. is a plan view of the front of the baby blanket clip shown in FIG. 9;

FIG. 16. is a plan view of the side of the baby blanket clip shown in FIG. 9;

FIG. 17. is a plan view of the front of the baby blanket clip shown in FIG. 13; and

FIG. 18. is a plan view of the side of the baby blanket clip shown in FIG. 13.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1. is a perspective right-side view of the right side of the preferred embodiment of the baby blanket clip 11.

FIG. 1a. is a perspective right-side view of the preferred embodiment of the baby blanket clip which shows a gripping feature 38.

FIG. 2. is a front view of the baby blanket clip. The baby blanket clip features two flexible legs 12. A protective edge 13 is located at the end of each flexible leg 12 and runs along the entire length of the baby blanket clip. A foam insert 14 may be attached to the underside of the baby blanket clip 11.

FIG. 3. is a perspective view of the right side of the baby blanket clip and baby blanket as assembled on a typical baby carriage rail. The baby carriage rail 16 is covered by the baby blanket 15. The baby blanket clip 111 is placed over the baby blanket 15 and around the baby carriage rail 16.

FIG. 4. is a perspective view of a second embodiment of the baby blanket clip 17. This second embodiment features two flexible legs 18. A rounded edge 19 is located at the end of each flexible leg 18 and runs along the entire length of the baby blanket clip 17. A foam insert 14 may be attached to the underside of the baby blanket clip 17. An open cut-away 20 is located on one side of the baby blanket clip 17. A flexible finger 21 is located within the open cut-away 20. A finger protective edge 22 runs along the flexible finger 21.

FIG. 5. is a perspective right side view of the second embodiment of the baby blanket clip 17 and the baby blanket 15 as assembled on a typical baby carriage rail 16.

FIG. 6. is a perspective right side view of a third embodiment of the baby blanket clip 23. This third embodiment comprises of an upper clip 24, a lower clip 25, an attachment clip 34 and a spring element 26. The baby blanket clip 23 may have cut-outs 27 and raised finger grips 28. The upper clip 24 features a grip end 29 and a clip end 30. The lower clip 25 features a grip end 31 and a clip end 32.

FIG. 7. is a perspective right-side view of the third embodiment in the open position. The upper clip 24 rotates about the pivot point 33. A foam insert 14 may be used on the underside of the upper clip 24 and/or the underside of the lower clip 25. The attachment clip 34 is hinged to the lower clip 25. The lower clip 25 features a flexible leg 35 and a rounded edge 36. The upper clip 24 features a protective edge 37 which runs along the entire length of the upper clip 24.

FIG. 8. is a perspective right-side view of the third embodiment of the baby blanket clip 23 and baby blanket 15 as assembled on a typical baby carriage rail 16.

REFERENCE NUMERALS

    • 11 baby blanket clip, first preferred embodiment
    • 12 flexible leg
    • 13 protective edge
    • 14 foam insert
    • 15 baby blanket
    • 16 baby carriage rail
    • 17 baby blanket clip, second preferred embodiment
    • 18 flexible leg
    • 19 rounded edge
    • 20 cut-away
    • 21 flexible finger
    • 22 finger protective edge
    • 23 baby blanket clip, third preferred embodiment
    • 24 upper clip
    • 25 lower clip
    • 26 spring element
    • 27 cut-out
    • 28 finger grips
    • 29 upper clip, grip end
    • 30 upper clip, clip end
    • 31 lower clip, grip end
    • 32 lower clip, clip end
    • 33 pivot point
    • 34 attachment clip
    • 35 flexible leg
    • 36 rounded edge
    • 37 protective edge
    • 38 gripping feature
    • 39 cantilevered wing
    • 40 arced surface
    • 41 connecting portion
    • 42 clip interior space
    • 43 side
    • 44 edge
    • 45 baby blanket clip, fourth preferred embodiment
    • 46 baby blanket clip length
    • 47 baby blanket clip width
    • 48 baby blanket clip height
    • 49 leg interface
      Operation

In operation one uses the baby blanket clip to retain a baby blanket in the desired position relative to the baby carriage rail.

When using the first embodiment of the baby blanket clip 11, shown in FIG. 1, the baby blanket 15 is draped over or otherwise placed on the baby carriage rail 16, and the baby blanket clip 11 is pressed over the baby blanket 15 and baby carriage rail 16. A baby carriage rail 16 and baby blanket 15 are not part of the invention, but rather are, respectively, a location, and an item on which the invention is used. As the baby blanket clip 11 is pressed over the baby carriage rail 16, the protective edge 13 prevents damage to the baby blanket 15 and provides a lead-in to the flexible legs 12. The flexible legs 12 flex outward to allow the baby blanket clip 11 to press around the baby blanket 15 and down to the baby carriage rail 16, as shown in FIG. 3. Once in place, the flexible legs 12 provide a compressive force against the baby blanket 15 and baby carriage rail 16, which keeps the baby blanket clip 11 and baby blanket 15 in the desired position, and some portion of the baby carriage rail 16 in the clip interior space 42. The ends of the flexible legs having the protective edges 13 form a leg interface space 49, which is a gap between the flexible legs. The leg interface space varies in size in different embodiments. As shown in FIGS. 1, 9 &13, when the flexible legs are unflexed, the leg interface space may vary from at or near zero distance to a distance that is a significant fraction of the widest part of the clip interior space 42.

As shown in FIGS. 2 & 4, a foam insert 14 may be used on the underside of the baby blanket clip 11, 17, 23 &45 meaning within the clip interior space to help prevent damage to the baby blanket 15. The foam insert 14 can be many sizes and shapes, but preferably is a rectangular strip spanning most of the length of the clip interior space 42. The purpose of the foam insert 14 is to provide additional compressive force on the baby blanket, as a means of further retaining the baby blanket in its desired relative position to the baby carriage rail, and to provide additional protection against damage to the baby blanket by the physical contact of the baby blanket clip.

To remove the baby blanket clip 11 shown in FIG. 1, the baby blanket clip 11 is grabbed along the sides 43, or less preferably, the edges 44 and pulled up. The flexible legs 12 will flex outward as the baby blanket clip is pulled away from the baby carriage rail 16 and release the baby blanket 15. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the sides 43 correspond to the flexible legs 12 along the width of the baby blanket clip 11, and the edge 44 to the flexible legs 12 along the length of the baby blanket clip 11.

As shown in FIG. 1a, which is a fourth embodiment of the baby blanket clip, it may be desirable to add a gripping feature 38 to the baby blanket clip 45 to help aid in the removal of the baby blanket clip 11. The baby blanket clip shown in FIG. 1a has an arced surface 40 attached to, or formed as a part of, the connecting portion 41, which arced surface 40 preferably extends to or over the flexible legs 12. The arced surface 40 has two cantilevered wings 39 extending away from the connecting portion 41, the cantilevered wings 39 terminate in the gripping feature 38, which form edges 44 of the baby blanket clip 45. This gripping feature 38 may run along the entire length of the baby blanket clip 11 in order to provide a comfortable and secure area for gripping the baby blanket clip during removal. The arced surface 40 also provides an ergonomic surface for resting the users hand when the baby blanket clip is in use. When removing the baby blanket clip, the user may reach around one gripping feature 38 with the index and middle fingers, and around the other gripping feature 38 with the thumb, and pull the baby blanket clip from the baby carriage rail 16. The cantilevered wings 39 provide leverage to more easily remove the baby blanket clip.

The baby blanket clip shown in FIGS. 1a, 13 &14, also referred to herein as a circular type clip, has a substantially circular shaped clip interior space 42 identified in FIG. 2, which is defined by the flexible legs 12 and the connecting portion 41. The clip interior space 42 can vary in its geometric shape, and should be shaped and sized to fit the baby carriage rail 16 in which it is intended to be used. As shown in FIGS. 9 & 10, the clip interior space 42 of the fourth embodiment can be elliptical, and, not shown, a variety of shapes as appropriate to fit around a carriage rail.

The round style clip, shown in FIG. 1a., is intended for use with baby carriage rails having a substantially circular cross-section, while the elliptical style clip, as shown in FIG. 9, is intended for use with substantially non-circular carriage rail cross-sections. A predominantly rectangular shaped interior space 42 could be used for baby carriage rails having right angles in their cross-sectional shapes.

In the preferred embodiments, the elliptical style blanket clip is approximately 3 inches in length, by approximately 1.5 inches in width (from gripping feature 38 to gripping feature 38), and approximately 2¾% inches in height (from protective edge 13 to connecting portion 41), and the round style blanket clip is approximately 2⅝ inches in length, by approximately 1.5 inches in width, and approximately 1¾ inches from protective edge 13 to connecting portion 41.

The arced surface 40 is meant to provide a comfortable size and shape that fits well in either hand when pushing the clip into place. The distance from protective edge 13 to connecting portion 41, also referred to as the height 48, shown in FIGS. 9 & 10, of the baby blanket clip, should be sized to provide the proper clearance and contact area to hold the clip in place on non-circular cross-sections. The width 47 should be sized to provide sufficient frictional area to hold the clip in place without damaging the blanket.

The length of the legs can vary greatly depending on the use. The nominal thickness of the legs for the round style clips, FIG. 1a, is approximately 0.08 inch, and the nominal thickness of the legs for the elliptical version, FIG. 9, is approximately 0.10 inch. Using a typical polypropylene homopolymer, this subjects the leg to a stress which is 80% of material yield stress in the worse case condition. This worse case condition occurs as the blanket clip passes over the widest area of the carriage rail. Since the blanket clip operates below the material yield stress, the blanket clip works within the elastic region and will not exhibit permanent deformation. This is the desirable operation. Typical elliptical carriage rail cross-sections range from 1.0 inch to approximately 1.5 inch in the direction of the shorter axis.

As shown in FIGS. 4 & 5, when using the second embodiment of the baby blanket clip 17, the baby blanket clip 17 is pressed over the baby carriage rail 16. As the baby blanket clip 17 is pressed over the baby carriage rail 16, the rounded profile of the protective edge 19 provides a lead-in for the flexible legs 18. The flexible legs 18 flex outward to allow the baby blanket clip 17 to press down to and around the baby carriage rail 16. Once in place, the flexible legs 18 provide a compressive force against the baby carriage rail 16 which keeps the baby blanket clip 17 in the desired position. A foam insert 14 may be used on the underside of the baby blanket clip 17 to provide better grip on the baby carriage rail 16.

As shown in FIG. 4, this baby blanket clip 17 features a cut-away 20. Within this cut-away section is a flexible finger 21. To secure the baby blanket, the baby blanket 15 is pressed up and under the flexible finger 21. The curved design of the flexible finger 21 provides a compressive force on the baby blanket 15, and retains the baby blanket 15 in its desired position. The rounded edges of the finger protective edge 22 help prevent damage to the baby blanket 15, and preferably are found on all edges of the flexible finger.

To remove the baby blanket 15, the baby blanket 15 is gently pulled from underneath the flexible finger 21. To remove the baby blanket clip 17, the baby blanket clip 17 is grabbed along the sides 43 and pulled up. The flexible legs 18 will flex and release the baby blanket 15.

As shown in FIGS. 6, 7 &8, when using the third embodiment of the baby blanket clip 23, the clip end of the lower clip 32 of baby blanket clip 23 is pressed over the baby carriage rail 16. As the lower clip 25 is pressed over the baby carriage rail 16, the rounded edge 36 provides a lead-in for the flexible leg 35. The flexible leg 35 flexes outward to allow the baby blanket clip 23 to press down to and around the baby carriage rail 16. Once in place, the flexible leg 35 provides a compressive force against the baby carriage rail 16 which keeps the baby blanket clip 23 in the desired position.

The third embodiment of the baby blanket clip 23 is considered to have a semi-permanent attachment. The attachment clip 34 is brought around the underside of the baby carriage rail 16 and firmly attached to the clip end of the lower clip 32. The attachment clip 34 semi-permanently attaches the baby blanket clip to the baby carriage rail to impede unintentional removal or misplacement of the baby blanket clip.

Pressing together the grip end of the upper clip 29 and the grip end of the lower clip 31 opens the spring element 26, pivots the upper clip 24 about the pivot point 33, and puts the baby blanket clip 23 in the open position. The cut-outs 27 and finger grips 28 provide an aid for a secure grip. The baby blanket 15 is placed between the clip end of the upper clip 30 and the clip end of the lower clip 32. The grip ends 29, 31 are released. The spring force of the spring element 26 provides a compressive force which gently engages and retains the baby blanket between the clip end of the upper clip 30 and the clip end of the lower clip 32. The protective edge 37 of the upper clip helps prevent damage to the baby blanket. A foam insert 14 may be used on the underside of the clip end of the upper clip 30 to prevent damage to the baby blanket 15. A foam insert 14 may by used on the underside of the clip end of the lower clip 32 for better fit to the baby carriage rail 16.

To remove the baby blanket 15, the grip end of the upper clip 29 and grip end of the lower clip 31 are pressed together. The upper clip 24 rotates about the pivot point 33, releasing the baby blanket 15. To remove the baby blanket clip 23, the attachment clip 34 is released and the baby blanket clip 23 is grabbed along the sides and pulled up. The flexible arm of the lower clip 32 will flex outward around the baby carriage rail 23 and release the baby blanket clip 23.

For all the preferred embodiments, the baby blanket clip may be used as a single clip, in pairs, or in large numbers. For example, one pair may be used for the baby carriage rail at each side of the seat area. An additional pair may be used for each baby carriage rail or foot rest edge at each side of the foot rest area. A single clip, or additional clips, may be used as desired to hold the baby blanket in such as way as to prevent damage from dragging on the ground, or from becoming entangled in the baby carriage wheels.

The baby blanket clip is a means of maintaining the desired relative position of the baby blanket to the baby carriage rail as a means of maintaining the baby blanket position which best provides to the baby the desired comfort level and protection against the elements while holding the blanket in such a way as to prevent damage to the blanket due to dragging on the ground, entangling in the baby carriage wheels, or similar.

All protective edges provided herein may be satisfied by the physical geometry of the flexible leg edge, such as by a rounded, tapered or chamfered edge created in the manufacturing process, by a separate component permanently attached to the protective edge, or by similar means.

The baby blanket clip also can be used on blankets that are not for babies, including blankets used by children, adolescents or adults, whether healthy or invalid, and can be used on other types of seats, including seated transportation means such as a baby stroller, wheelchair, infant bicycle seat, bicycle trailer, and can be used on fixed seats, such as stadium seats.

The blanket clip can be manufactured using a wide range of materials and processing techniques. The cross-section of the blanket clip is generally consistent over the entire length, making the clip suitable for manufacturing processes such as screw extrusion, injection molding, and the like.

Preferably, the blanket clip is formed of a material that can deform to pass over and grip the carriage rail cross-section while exhibiting a stress level sufficiently below that which will cause plastic deformation or fracture, i.e. operating in the elastic deformation region. Polypropylene, polyethylene, and similar materials are suitable for use in the geometry described above. Other polymers can be used as required to ensure proper stress at maximum deformation.