Title:
Baby bathtub supporter
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A baby bathtub supporter for supporting a baby bathtub above a basin having an inner surface and an upper lip, the baby bathtub supporter comprising a board with a top surface and a bottom surface and an outer edge, and a plurality of stoppers extending from the bottom surface and which contacts the inner surface of the basin.



Inventors:
Parson, Sanya (Orlando, FL, US)
Parson, William T. (Winston-Salem, NC, US)
Application Number:
11/125601
Publication Date:
12/08/2005
Filing Date:
05/09/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K3/074; (IPC1-7): A47K3/024
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FETSUGA, ROBERT M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Terry M. Sanks (Winter Park, FL, US)
Claims:
1. A baby bathtub supporter for supporting a baby bathtub above a basin wherein said basin has an inner surface, an inner wall, and an upper lip, said baby bathtub supporter comprising: (a) a solid four-sided board with a top surface, a bottom surface and an outer edge; (b) a plurality of cylindrical stoppers with each stopper extending from said bottom surface of said board and one of said plurality of stoppers near each corner of said board; and (c) a passage disposed therethrough said outer edge of said solid board to provide access for at least one of a faucet or water flowing from said faucet so as not to at least one of contact with said board or interfere with a horizontal placement of said board; (d) wherein said baby bathtub is placed upon said solid four-sided board and remains stationary while said baby bathtub is in use.

2. The baby bathtub supporter of claim 1 wherein each of said plurality of stoppers are independently adjustable to secure each of said plurality of supporters to a plurality of different sized basins.

3. The baby bathtub supporter of claim 1 wherein said top surface of said board comprises a material that results in a non-skid surface.

4. The baby bathtub supporter of claim 1 wherein said bottom surface of said board sits on said upper lip of said basin, near said outer edge of said board and each said plurality stoppers is positioned against a sidewall of said inner surface of said basin.

5. The baby bathtub supporter of claim 1 wherein said board comprises an opening formed therethrough said board for use as a handle.

6. The baby bathtub supporter of claim 1 further comprising a stand having a back vertical support and a front support connected by two side supports and a base, all collectively creating an opening for holding said baby bathtub supporter in at least one of a vertical or near-vertical direction when an end of the baby bathtub supporter is placed against at least one of a vertical or near-vertical structure.

7. The baby bathtub supporter of claim 5 further comprising a connecting apparatus for securing an object to said baby bathtub supporter.

Description:

This application is a continuation-in-part of and claims the benefit of the May 24, 2002 filing date of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/156,223.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to an infant bathing apparatus and, more specifically, to support apparatus for allowing an infant bathtub to rest near or above a rim on a bathtub.

The predominate product in the market today for bathing infants is a small bathtub that is placed in sinks or bathtubs to bathe infants. While infant bathing trays, or bathtubs, are designed to fit on a flat surface, these products are not designed to fit on top of a sink or regular bathtub, but must be placed inside the bathtub or sink, resting on the bottom of the bathtub or sink. With respect to a bathtub, an individual washing a baby where the infant bathtub is placed within a bathtub, the individual usually must bend over in order to wash an infant. Bending over can put undue strain on the individual's back.

Thus, individuals who wash infants using infant bathtubs would benefit from an infant bathtub that is positioned near or above a rim of a bathtub so that less stress is exerted on the individual's back due to bending over the bathtub.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Towards this end, a baby bathtub supporter for supporting a baby bathtub above a basin having an inner surface and an upper lip is disclosed. The baby bathtub supporter comprises a board with a top surface and a bottom surface and an outer edge, and a stopper extending from the bottom surface and which contacts the inner surface of the basin. In another preferred embodiment, a baby bathtub system is disclosed. The baby bathtub system comprises a baby bathtub, a basin with an inner surface and an upper lip, a board with a top surface and a bottom surface and an outer edge a stopper extending from the bottom surface and which contacts the inner surface of the basin. The board is positioned on the basin where the bottom surface of the board contacts the upper lip of the basin and the stopper contacts the inner surface of the basin. The baby bathtub is placed on the top surface of the board. In another embodiment, a baby bathtub apparatus for use over a basin is disclosed. The apparatus comprises a baby bathtub with a side wall and a base, a board having an outer edge and a bottom surface, connected to the baby bathtub, extending from the base of the baby bathtub beyond the side wall, and a stopper extending from the bottom surface of the board. The board, connected to the baby bathtub, is placed across the basin and is held in place by the stopper.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the invention when read with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a top view of a preferred embodiment of a baby bathtub supporter in place over a basin;

FIG. 2 is a bottom view of a preferred embodiment of a baby bathtub supporter;

FIG. 3 is a front view of a preferred embodiment of a baby bathtub supporter illustrating pivotal suction cups;

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of a preferred embodiment of a baby bathtub supporter illustrating rods;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the stand or base for the baby bathtub supporter; and

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the baby bathtub supporter integrated with an infant bathtub.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

With reference to the figures, exemplary embodiments of the invention will now be described. The scope of the invention disclosed is applicable to a plurality of supporter devices, which can be used to support an object over a basin, such as a bathtub or a sink. Thus, even though this invention is disclosed specific to an infant or baby bathtub, this invention is applicable to other apparatus that can be placed on or near an upper lip of a basin in general.

FIG. 1 is a top view of a preferred embodiment of a baby bathtub supporter placed on a basin, such as a bathtub. As illustrated, the present invention 5 is a flat board 10, made of wood, plastic, or some other non-bendable material. For safety purposes, because of the weight of a baby tub with water and a baby included, the board should be made of a solid or integrated material rather than some form of webbing or cloth material. In a preferred embodiment, the board has a top surface 12 and a bottom surface 14 and an outer edge 16. In a preferred embodiment, the board 10 has a rectangular shape with two side edges, a front edge, and a back edge, with rounded corners. In other embodiments, the invention can have any shape, such as, but not limited, more rounded or oval in shape as well as circular or square in shape. The top surface 12 of the board 10 is flat so that a baby bathtub placed upon the surface will remain level with respect to the ground. The top surface 7 is a non-skid surface. In a preferred embodiment, non-skid strips or another non-skid material is applied to the top surface, not shown.

As further illustrated in FIG. 1, in a preferred embodiment, the invention is placed across the shortest length of the basin 20 where the bottom of the board 14, near its outer edge 16, rests on the lip, or upper lip, of the basin 20. If the basin 20, such as a bathtub or sink, in which the invention is used has a faucet 24 that would prohibit the baby bathtub supporter 5 from resting in a level position relative to the ground, a cutout, or passage 26, is provided in the board 10 to allow the faucet 24 not to interfere with the baby bathtub supporter 5 and/or not to contact the board. Thus, a user can place the supporter 5 closer to a third side of a tub or even over the third side as further support for the baby bathtub supporter 5. If the faucet 24 is sufficiently above the baby bathtub supporter, the cutout 26 will allow water from the faucet 24 to reach the bathtub or sink 20 without being obstructed by the baby bathtub or the baby bathtub supporter 5. By doing having this cutout as disclosed, it would be possible to fill the tub, such as with warmer water than would be used for a baby, without having this freshly run water landing on the board 10 and/or the basin 60.

FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the present invention. On the bottom surface 14 of the board 10 are stoppers 30 to hold, or secure, the baby bathtub supporter 5 in place. In a preferred embodiment, the stoppers 30 are stationary. In a preferred embodiment four stoppers are used, but any number of stoppers may be utilized. The stoppers 30 are adjustable so that each stopper 30 can be adjusted to make contact with the sides of the bathtub or sink 20 to secure or hold the invention 5 in place. A track 31 may be disposed within an underside 14 of the board. A mechanism 32 is provided between the track 31 and each stopper 30 to allow each stopper to be moved along the track 31 to a desired location and then locked into place. Even though an individual track is disclosed for each stopper, a single track extending between two stoppers can be used for up to two stoppers. Likewise, though a track 31 is disclosed, those skilled in the art will readily recognize that other techniques may be employed to make the stoppers adjustable, such as but not included to a plurality of holes on the underside of the board through which a plug attached to a stopper fits or a track that is not within the board.

In one preferred embodiment, the stoppers 30 are round legs. The stoppers are made out of rubber or plastic. In another preferred embodiment, the stoppers 30 are suction cups 32. The suction cups face outward towards the sides of the sink or bathtub. The suction part of the suction cups 32 nearest the front edge of the board 10 face toward the front of the board 10, and the suction part of suction cups 32 nearest the back edge of the board 10 face toward the back edge of the board 10. In another embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 3, the suction cups 32 are mounted so that they are pivotal, where a user can pivot the suction cups 32 to face in any desired direction so that if the bathtub 20 has an arcuate side wall, the suction cups 32 may be position to best allow each suction cup to form a secure seal with the bathtub inner wall 21. If the basin 20 is sufficiently narrow enough, the present invention can be placed across the longest length of the basin 20, not shown, and the suction cups 32 are then positioned accordingly to secure the supporter 5.

Similarly, as described above, the suction cups 32 are mounted on tracks where the suction cups 32 may be moved to various locations on the bottom surface 14 of the board 10 to best fit within the bathtub 20. Thus, if a preferred embodiment of the present invention is to work with a garden-sized or Jacuzzi™-style bathtub, the board 10 may be over sized to reach across the bathtub and where the suction cups 32 can be adjusted to move along the bottom of the board 10 so that they are placed in positions where they are most secured to the inner surface 21 of the bathtub 20, or make the best contact with the inner surface to insure a secure attachment. Thus, the same oversized board can then be applied to a standard sized bathtub where the suction cups 32 are further adjusted to secure the suction cups 32 to the inner wall of the standard sized bathtub. In another preferred embodiment, the board is an expandable board where its length can be extended or shortened to sufficiently extend beyond the inner walls of a bathtub, using the edge to hold or support the board, in addition to the suction cups.

In another preferred embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 4, extension rods 40 are the stoppers, where the extension rods are attached to the bottom surface 14 of the board and are then extended in opposite directions from the rod base 42, in a preferred embodiment, along the length of the board where the ends of the rods 44 are extended until they make contact with the inner surface, or sides of the sink or bathtub 20 to secure the invention 5 in place. The rods 40 can be either the type of rods, which are extended by rotating the extension part of the rod, or extension rods, where a lever or some other component is moved to allow a user to pull the rod out to a desired length (not shown). In another preferred embodiment, the rods 40 can be rotated to either extend along the length of the board 10 or along the width of the board, where a user makes a determination based on the size of the basin to which the present invention is being connected.

Also illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, in an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, openings, or lifting connections 50, are located at the two most distant ends of the board 10. These openings 50 are for lifting and holding, or handling the present invention 5. Though illustrated at specific locations in FIGS. 1 and 2, these openings 50 may be placed at a plurality of locations on the present invention to assist in handling the present invention 5. As further illustrated in FIG. 2, the openings 50 can also be used to attach a strap, or some other connecting apparatus 52 such as a chain, which has a cup or another device attached to one end which can be used to assist with washing a child. In a preferred embodiment, the strap has Velcro™ fastener at the end distant from the cup so that the cup and strap can be removed from the board. Other components which can be attached to the board, include, but are not limited to, a brush, comb, play toy, etc.

FIG. 5 illustrates a stand for the baby bathtub support. In a preferred embodiment, the stand 55 has an opening in which one end of the baby bathtub support can fit within. As further illustrated in FIG. 2, once in the stand 55, the baby bathtub support holds a bottom end of the support as the top end of the support rests against a wall or some other vertical or near vertical structure. The stand has a back vertical support, a front support, two side supports, and a base which collectively form the opening discussed above.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the baby bathtub supporter 5 integrated with an infant bathtub 60. As illustrated, the board 10′ is part of the base of the infant bathtub 60. In a preferred embodiment, the ends of the integrated board 10′ are extendable so that they can reach across a bathtub 20 and rest on its upper lip 22. The bottom 14 of the integrated bathtub 62 may comprise any of the configurations disclosed above. The shape of the integrated infant bathtub may take on a plurality of shapes as discussed previously, with respect to the board.

While the invention has been described in what is presently considered to be a preferred embodiment, many variations and modifications will become apparent to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the specific illustrative embodiment but be interpreted within the full spirit and scope of the appended claims.