Title:
Equipping baby cribs with refrigerators
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Kits, devices, and methods equip a baby crib with a small refrigerator. The refrigerator is attached to the crib, oriented such that the infant can open its door while still being in the crib. After the infant goes to sleep, the parent prepares a bottle of milk, and stores it in the refrigerator. When the infant wakes up, they can open the refrigerator and retrieve the bottle of milk by themselves, after a few days training. And if they need no more attention beyond the milk they might not cry, sparing the parent from having to wake up one more time.



Inventors:
Kavounas, Gregory T. (Kirkland, WA, US)
Application Number:
10/740117
Publication Date:
06/23/2005
Filing Date:
12/17/2003
Assignee:
KAVOUNAS GREGORY T.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/658, 62/259.1, 5/421
International Classes:
A47D7/00; A47D15/00; (IPC1-7): A47D7/00; A47D15/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20100064436DUVET AND DUVET COVER COMBINATIONMarch, 2010Brandt
20090030456Leather furnitureJanuary, 2009Kuo
20080256712Versatile cushion deviceOctober, 2008Li
20080235867Sliding device for playpenOctober, 2008Chen
20060053559Encapsulated insulating product and method for making sameMarch, 2006Vantilt et al.
20070220678Support pillows and pillow cases thereforSeptember, 2007Ciliento
20050000026Tray support for a mattressJanuary, 2005Gladney
20080216245Universal Portable Seat CushionSeptember, 2008Liners
20090249526Natural curve baby pillow and garment for preventing flat head syndromeOctober, 2009Carangelo
20100005585PATIENT LIFT WITH HANGER BAR ATTACHMENTJanuary, 2010Spidare et al.
20090217458SLEEP AIDSeptember, 2009John



Primary Examiner:
SANTOS, ROBERT G
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KOLISCH HARTWELL, P.C. (PORTLAND, OR, US)
Claims:
1. An assembly kit for a crib suitable for an infant to sleep in, comprising: a crib base; a plurality of side walls for attaching vertically with respect to the base so as to form a space suitable for the infant to sleep in; and a refrigerator accessible to the infant while in the space.

2. The kit of claim 1, wherein the refrigerator has an interior capacity of less than 4 cubic feet (0.108 m3).

3. The kit of claim 1, further comprising: at least one fastener to attach the refrigerator to at least one of the side walls.

4. The kit of claim 1, further comprising: a damper to provide vibration isolation between the refrigerator and one of the crib walls.

5. The kit of claim 1, further comprising: a cord fastener to attach to one of the side walls a segment of a power cord of the refrigerator.

6. The kit of claim 1, wherein the refrigerator has an ON indicator light.

7. The kit of claim 1, wherein the refrigerator has a door with a handle, and the handle is shaped like a toy.

8. The assembly kit of claim 1, wherein the refrigerator has a door, and one of the side walls has an access opening shaped such that the door can open through it.

9. The assembly kit of claim 8, wherein the wall has additional view openings that are constricted such that a rigid ball of a certain diameter cannot pass through them, while the access opening is shaped such that the ball may pass through.

10. A retrofitting kit for a crib having a crib base and a plurality of side walls attached vertically to the base so as to form a space suitable for an infant to sleep in, the kit comprising: a refrigerator; and at least one fastener to attach the refrigerator to at least one of the side walls such that the refrigerator is accessible to the infant while in the space.

11. The kit of claim 10, wherein the refrigerator has an interior capacity of less than 4 cubic feet (0.108 m3).

12. The kit of claim 10, further comprising: a damper to provide vibration isolation between the refrigerator and one of the crib walls.

13. The kit of claim 10, further comprising: a cord fastener to attach to one of the side walls a segment of a power cord of the refrigerator.

14. The kit of claim 10, wherein the refrigerator has an ON indicator light.

15. The kit of claim 10, wherein the refrigerator has a door with a handle, and the handle is shaped like a toy.

16. The kit of claim 10, wherein the refrigerator is to be attached such that it opens from its top side.

17. A crib suitable for an infant to sleep in comprising: a crib base; a plurality of side walls attached to the base so as to form a space suitable for the infant to sleep in; and a refrigerator attached to at least one of the walls so that the refrigerator is accessible to the infant while in the space.

18. The crib of claim 17, further comprising: a damper between the crib wall and the refrigerator.

19. The crib of claim 17, wherein the refrigerator is attached near a top rim of the side wall.

20. The crib of claim 17, wherein the refrigerator has an interior capacity of less than 4 cubic feet (0.108 m3).

21. The crib of claim 17, further comprising: a cord fastener attaching to one of the side walls a segment of a power cord of the refrigerator.

22. The crib of claim 17, wherein the refrigerator has an ON indicator light.

23. The crib of claim 17, wherein the refrigerator has a door with a handle, and the handle is shaped like a toy.

24. The crib of claim 17, wherein the refrigerator has a door, and one of the side walls has an access opening shaped such that the door can open through it.

25. The crib of claim 24, wherein the wall has additional view openings that are constricted such that a rigid ball of a certain diameter cannot pass through them, while the access opening is shaped such that the ball may pass through.

26. A method comprising: placing an infant to sleep in a crib; preparing a snack for when the infant wakes up from sleeping; and placing the snack in a refrigerator that is accessible to the infant from the crib.

27. The method of claim 26, further comprising: waiting until the infant falls asleep prior to placing.

28. The method of claim 26, further comprising: checking an ON indicator light of the refrigerator prior to placing.

29. A method for an infant comprising: the infant waking up in a crib; the infant then opening the door of a refrigerator attached to the crib without leaving the crib; and the infant then retrieving a snack stored in the refrigerator.

Description:

1. FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is related to the field of baby cribs for infants, and more specifically to kits and devices for baby cribs to be equipped with refrigerators for snacks, and methods for supplying snacks such as milk to infants, especially when they wake up.

2. BACKGROUND

When infants wake up in the morning, they tend to cry until they are given milk A parent needs to wake up to prepare it, sometimes before they were ready to wake up.

For somewhat older infants, parents sometimes prepare the milk in the evening before, and store it in the family refrigerator, which is typically in the kitchen. When in the next morning they hear the infant cry, they go to the kitchen, pick up the bottle from the family refrigerator, and then deliver it to the infant.

In some instances that is not enough, and the infant needs additional attention. But in the majority of the times, the infant is content merely with the bottle. After drinking some, they may even go back to sleep. In those instances, some parents may return to bed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will become more readily apparent from the following Detailed Description, which proceeds with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a diagram of components for describing kits according to embodiments of the invention;

FIGS. 2A, 2B, 2C are perspective diagrams showing configurations of how a refrigerator can be attached to a crib;

FIGS. 3A, 3B are perspective diagrams showing a variant of the configuration of FIG. 2C; and

FIGS. 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D show various configurations of how the refrigerator door can open according to the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Briefly, the present invention provides kits, devices, and methods for equipping a baby crib with a small refrigerator, and using it. The refrigerator is attached to the crib, oriented such that the infant can open its door while still being in the crib. After the infant goes to sleep, the parent prepares a bottle of milk, and stores it in the crib refrigerator, instead of the family refrigerator. When the infant wakes up, they can open the refrigerator and retrieve the bottle of milk by themselves, after a few days training. And if they need no more attention beyond the milk, they might not cry. This will spare the parent from having to wake up one more time during the night.

The invention is now described in more detail.

The invention may be sold in kits. In some embodiments, a kit is an assembly kit for a full crib that is equipped with e refrigerator. In other embodiments, the kit is merely for retrofitting a crib with a refrigerator.

FIG. 1 is a diagram of components for describing kits according to embodiments of the invention. More particularly, FIG. 1 shows components of assembly kit 100 of a baby crib with a refrigerator. Kit 100 includes crib components denoted generally by arrow 120, and refrigerator 140. The crib components include crib base 122, and side walls 124, 125, 126, 127 intended for attaching vertically with respect to base 122. In FIG. 1, these components are shown as already assembled, as may be known without a refrigerator, and together form a space 129 suitable for an infant to sleep in.

Refrigerator 140 includes refrigerator box 142, and refrigerator door 144 that open with respect to box 142. Door 144 preferably has a drawing or toy shape on it, to focus the infant's attention. Box 142 defines interior 149, where the snack is to be placed. Power cord 152 is for plugging into a wall outlet to power the refrigerator, and thus maintaining interior 149 at a cool temperature. Refrigerator 140 also includes ON indicator light 154, which comes on when power cord 152 is plugged in, and refrigerator 140 is working properly to maintain interior 149 cool.

Refrigerator 140 may be any suitable sine. In order to fit a milk cup, interior 149 need be no larger than one cubic foot (0.027 m3). In any event, the refrigerator has an interior capacity of no more than 4 cubic feet (0.108 m3).

Refrigerator 140 is intended for attachment to the crib components, as suggested by general arrow 160. Attachment may be by a fastener, such as bracket 162, a flange, and the like. In addition, damper 164 may be optionally provided from sound insulating material to provide vibration isolation between the refrigerator and one of the crib walls. As will be seen, damper 164 is also shaped according to its eventual use. Moreover, at least one cord fastener may be provided. In the embodiment of FIG. 1, cord fasteners 166 are for at to one of the side walls a segment of power cord 152.

Kit 100 additionally includes incidentals for completing the above described attachments for the assembly, such as screws, nuts, bolts and the like that are typically provide with such kits, as will be discerned by a person skilled in the art. Furthermore, tools such as a screwdriver may be provided.

Further, FIG. 1 shows components of a retrofitting kit according to the invention. These are components of kit 100, without crib components 120.

Once kit 100 is fully assembled, or retrofitting has been accomplished, the result is largely as described above. The assembled device has crib base 100, and side walls 124, 125, 126, 127 attached to base 100 so as to form space 129 suitable for an infant to sleep in. Refrigerator 140 is attached to one of the walls, preferably through damper 140. Refrigerator 140 has an interior capacity of less than 4 cubic feet (0.108 m3), and optionally much less. An infant in space 129 can access refrigerator 140. A segment of power cord 152 is attached to one or two of side walls 124, 125, 126, 127 via fasteners 166.

Assembly or retrofitting can be in a number of configurations. Various possibilities are now described.

FIGS. 2A, 2B, 2C are perspective diagrams showing respectively configurations 210, 220, 230 of attaching refrigerator 140 to at least wall 127. While attachment near the middle of wall 127 is shown, that is not necessary. Attachment can be near an end of the wall, and also at a or, attached to two of the side walls at once.

Generally, refrigerator 140 is attached near top rim 227 of side wall 127. That is to prevent the infant from using the refrigerator to climb out of the crib portion.

In configuration 210, refrigerator box 142 is attached on top of rim 227. In configuration 220, refrigerator box 142 is attached on the side of side wall 127, within space 129. In configuration 230, refrigerator box 142 is attached on the side of side wall 127, but outside space 129.

In all of configurations 210, 220, 230, there is no limitation as to which side of box 142 includes door 144. Indeed, box 142 and its attachment may be designed so that door 144 may be located at any of the sides, or even at the top, according to the invention. In the case of retrofitting, the preferred embodiment is configuration 230, with opening from the top.

FIGS. 3A, 3B are perspective diagrams showing two sides of configuration 310, which resents a somewhat different embodiment of configuration 230 of FIG. 2C. Even though refrigerator box 142 is located outside space 129, side wall 127 has access opening 328 shaped such that refrigerator door 144 can open through opening 328. This way the snack can be accessed from inside the crib, by opening handle 332 of door 144. Handle 332 can be shaped as a toy, to draw an infant's attention.

It is interesting how access opening 328 is different from view openings 327 of wall 127. View openings 327 are constricted, such that a rigid ball having a diameter of at least some size cannot pass through them. On the contrary, access opening 328 is shaped such that the same ball could pass through in some instances. It should be noted that, while opening 328 is in itself wide, the infant cannot go through it because refrigerator box 140 would be in the way.

Referring particularly to FIG. 3B, box 142 is attached to wall 127 via a flange 340 that is bolted to wall 127 via bolts 342. Damper 164 is provided between flange 340 and side wall 127, and is shaped like a window to allow door 144 through. Further, cord fasteners 166 attach a segment of power cord 152 to wall 127, so that it attracts less attention.

FIGS. 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D show respectively various configurations 410, 420, 430, 440 of how refrigerator door 144 can open according to the invention. Door 144 can open sideways to the left (arrow 415), to the right (arrow 425), upwards (arrow 435), or downwards (arrow 445). The preferred embodiment is configuration 430, where the upward opening door 144 closes again under its own weight.

A method according to the invention is to place an infant to sleep in a crib, and to prepare a snack for when the infant wakes up. Then the snack is placed in a refrigerator that is accessible to the infant from the crib, such as refrigerator 140. The snack may be a cup of milk. It is preferred to wait until the infant falls asleep, prior to placing. Further, it is preferred to check an ON indicator light of the refrigerator prior to placing, to ensure the refrigerator is working properly, and thus the snack will not spoil while the infant is sleeping.

Another method according to the invention is to wake up in a crib, and to open the door of a refrigerator without leaving the crib. Then a snack is retrieved, which is stored in the refrigerator.

When the child wakes up and cries the first morning the invention is used, the parent should walk over to the refrigerator, and draw the infant's attention to it. Then the door should be opened, and the milk bottle retrieved and delivered. With a few repetitions, a child will learn to directly check the refrigerator in the morning for milk, sometimes without crying.

While the present invention is disclosed in its preferred form, the specific embodiments of the invention as disclosed herein and illustrated in the drawings are not to be considered in a limiting sense. Rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art. Indeed, it should be readily apparent in view of the present description that the invention may be modified in numerous ways. The detailed description is, therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense.

Throughout the specification, the meaning of “a,” “an,” and “the” may also include plural references. The meaning of “in” includes “in” and “on.” The term “coupled” means a direct connection between the items that are connected, or an indirect connection through one or more intermediary devices or components.

Numerous details have been set form in this description, which is to be taken as a whole, to provide a more thorough understanding of the invention. In other instances, well-known features have not been described in detail, so as to not obscure unnecessarily the invention.

The invention includes combinations and subcombinations of the various elements, features, functions and/or properties disclosed herein. The following claims define certain combinations and subcombinations, which are regarded as novel and non obvious. Additional claims for other combinations and subcombinations of features, functions, elements and/or properties may be presented in this or a red document.





 
Previous Patent: Pneumatic lift

Next Patent: Clew attachable plate