Title:
Infant support device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An infant cradling device includes a casing, a resilient support member contained within the casing and a pouch secured to an outer surface of the casing, the pouch overlying the casing from a central location thereof to a bottom thereof. An infant seating member is secured to the outer surface of the casing interiorly of the pouch.



Inventors:
Munro, Susan E. (Denver, CO, US)
Application Number:
10/967441
Publication Date:
04/20/2006
Filing Date:
10/18/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/482
International Classes:
A47G9/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
LEE, GILBERT Y
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
James J. Daley (Westfield, NJ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An infant cradling device comprising a casing, a resilient support member contained within the casing and a pouch secured to an outer surface of said casing, said pouch overlying said casing from a central location thereof to a bottom thereof.

2. The infant cradling device claimed in claim 1, further including an infant seating member secured to said outer surface of said casing interiorly of said pouch.

3. The infant cradling device claimed in claim 1, wherein said casing comprising first and second sheet members peripherally secured to one another.

4. The infant cradling device claimed in claim 3, wherein said pouch comprises a sheet member secured to one of said first and second sheet members.

5. The infant cradling device claimed in claim 4, further including an infant seating member secured to said one of said first and second sheet members interiorly of said pouch.

6. The infant cradling device claimed in claim 4, wherein said first and second sheet members and said pouch are comprised of cloth material.

7. The infant cradling device claimed in claim 5, wherein said first and second sheet members, said pouch and said infant seating member are comprised of cloth material.

8. The infant cradling device claimed in claim 1, wherein said casing and said resilient support member are of elliptical configuration.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to infant support and pertains more particularly to a support unit or device for cradling an infant, e.g., with the arm and upper torso of a person cradling the infant.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

While car seats, strollers and the like provide for the cradling of an infant, such devices are self-standing and rather expensive and employ structure which can present harm to an infant, e.g., metal elements. Further, these devices do not lend themselves to use by an individual simply wishing to hold an infant while reading or watching television, i.e., they lack portability and lightness of weight.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention has as its primary object the provision of a portable, lightweight infant cradling device which is comprised of components not presenting harm to infants.

In attaining this and other objects, the invention provides an infant cradling device comprising a resilient infant support member, a casing for the infant support member, and a pocket-like structure (pouch) secured to the casing and adapted to receive an infant. Preferably, the infant cradling device further includes an infant seating member disposed between the pouch and the casing and secured to the casing interiorly aside the pouch for engaging the middle of the infant's body.

More particularly, the device of the invention has its casing, its pouch and its infant seating member constituted of cloth segments sewn to one another and has the perimeter of its resilient support member interiorly adjacent the stitching of the casing. All device components are accordingly soft in constitution and present no harm. The configuration of the device of the invention is desirably elliptical with the major axis of the ellipse aligned with the infant insertion direction and the minor axis of the ellipse generally coincident with the top of the pouch.

The foregoing and other objects and features of the invention will be further understood from the following detailed description of preferred embodiments thereof and from the drawings wherein like reference numerals identify like parts throughout.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front elevation of a device in accordance with the invention, with its infant seating member shown in phantom lines.

FIG. 2 is a left side elevation of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a front elevation of one of the cloth segments of a casing in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 4 is a front elevation of a first assembly in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 5 is a left side elevation of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a front elevation of a cloth segment comprising a pouch in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 7 is a front elevation of a infant seating member in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 8 is a top plan view of FIG. 7.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS AND PRACTICES

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, cradling device 10 of the invention includes a casing 12 comprised of front sheet member 14 and rear sheet member 16, which are secured to one another, following disposition atop rear sheet member 16 of resilient support member 18 (FIG. 4).

Pouch 20 is disposed atop front sheet member 14 and is secured to front sheet member 14 or both front sheet member 14 and rear sheet member 16, as will be understood from the preferred practice of the invention, discussed hereinafter. Infant seating member 22 (FIGS. 7 and 8) is of generally trapezoidal configuration, including top segment 24, base 26 and sides 28 and 30. The left and right end margins 24a and 24b of top segment 24 are secured to front sheet member 14 and the central portion 24c thereof is movable outwardly of front sheet member 14. Base 26 of infant seating member 22 is secured to front sheet member 14 and sides 28 and 30 are movable outwardly of front sheet member 14.

As above noted, and illustrated in FIG. 1, cradling device 10 is generally elliptical in configuration, the ellipse major axis being vertical in FIG. 1 and the ellipse minor axis being generally coincident with the top of pouch 20. Such elliptical configuration of course is dictated by the elliptical configuration of resilient support member 18, front sheet member 14 and rear sheet member 16. Pouch 20 is of semi-elliptical configuration. Pouch 20 will be seen to extend from about the center of cradling device 10 to the bottom thereof.

Application chooses such preferred elliptical configuration to facilitate nesting of cradling device 10 in the space defined by the arm and upper torso of a person cradling the infant.

Turning now to FIGS. 3 and 4, FIG. 3 illustrates an enlarged rear sheet member 16, which, as in the case of front sheet member 14, is preferably a cloth sheet, formed in an ellipse slightly larger than the ellipse of cradle device 10.

Resilient support member 18 is an ellipse of the same dimension as the ellipse of cradle device 10 and is comprised of a resilient material, such as a foam or rubber. In assembling cradle device 10, resilient support member 18 is disposed centrally top enlarged rear sheet member 16, as is shown in FIGS. 4 and 5.

In one assembly practice of the invention, enlarged front sheet member 14 is placed atop the subassembly of FIG. 4 to be coincident with enlarged rear sheet member 16. The resulting assembly is now peripherally stitched, forming a seam between the front and rear sheet members and the material external to the seam is cut away or is retained within the device interior. In the one practice under discussion, infant seating member 22 is secured to front sheet member 14 to effect the foregoing described connections therebetween. Enlarged pouch 20 (FIG. 6) is now placed atop infant seating member 22 and is sewn to the periphery of the assembly, with the material external to the resulting seam being cut away.

In another assembly practice of the invention, infant seating member 22 is secured to enlarged front sheet member 14. Then, this assembly is disposed atop the assembly of FIG. 5. Enlarged pouch 20 is now placed atop such assembly. A single seam is now effected among rear sheet member 16, front sheet member 14 and pouch 20 and the material external to the seam is cut away or retained interiorly of the device.

In use of cradling device 10, one typically disposes the device against his or her upper torso and arm, with the arm elbow bent. The infant is now inserted, feet first into the pouch with the infant's legs inserted into and through the infant seating member, whereby the infant is supported upon the infant seating member, above the bottom of the cradling device.

The cradling device may otherwise be placed on a table or other flat surface and the infant likewise inserted therein.

It is to be understood that the foregoing particularly discussed and illustrated embodiments of the invention are intended in an illustrative, and not in a limiting, sense. Thus, various changes may be introduced without departing from the invention. For example, the invention contemplates rendering the peripheral seam between the front and rear sheet members in part discontinuous, whereby the resilient support member may be withdrawn from the cradling device to facilitate laundering the cloth components thereof separately from the resilient support member. The true spirit and scope of the invention are set forth in the ensuing claims.