Title:
Waterproof infant changing pad and method of manufacture
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A changing pad for infants is disclosed. The pad is treated to be waterproof, and also has a matching carry bag that has a waterproof interior.



Inventors:
Smith, Sharon (Russellville, KY, US)
Application Number:
11/256569
Publication Date:
04/27/2006
Filing Date:
10/21/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/420
International Classes:
A47G9/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KELLEHER, WILLIAM J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SHARON SMITH (RUSSELLVILLE, KY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A changing pad, comprising: a base having a surface cloth, interior batting, and waterproof backing; a pair of wings adjoining said base on either side; and a tote bag also having a waterproof backing and being composed of the same surface cloth as said base.

2. The changing pad of claim 1, wherein said wings are thinner than said base.

3. The changing pad of claim 1, wherein said wings can be folded inwardly.

4. The changing pad of claim 1, further comprising: said surface cloth within said base further comprising pad applique or specialized embroidering, which can be used for customizing and matching of the various accessories

5. The changing pad of claim 1, further comprising: said surface cloth comprising any one of terrycloth, sherpa, soft fabrics, cotton/polyester blends, or printed flannel.

6. The changing pad of claim 1, further comprising: wherein said pad has a finished edge.

7. The changing pad of claim 6, wherein said finished edge comprises a 2-needle 4-spool wooly nylon thread.

8. The changing pad of claim 6, wherein said finished edge comprises a matched binding or bias tape.

9. The changing pad of claim 1, wherein said tote bag has a drawstring specifically implemented so that said drawstring can be either loosened or tightened with a minimum of manual effort.

10. The changing pad of claim 1, wherein said tote bag has seams which are made of reinforced thread such as serger.

11. The changing pad of claim 1, wherein water poured onto the interior surface of said pad beads up before finally being absorbed, while the surface underneath said pad remains entirely dry during this application of water.

12. The changing pad of claim 9, wherein a seam of said totebag which borders said drawstring is made of a reinforced thread such as serger, so that it can withstand the tension of being jerked or pulled on without splitting away from the main body of the tote bag.

13. The changing pad of claim 1, further comprising: said surface cloth incorporates free-motion quilting.

14. The changing pad of claim 1, further comprising: the thread used for said free-motion quilting is a soft thread suitable for contact with human skin.

15. The changing pad of claim 1, further comprising: matching quilts, burp cloths, and receiving blankets all made from the same surface cloth.

16. A method of manufacturing a changing pad, comprising: constructing a base by matching a rough cut of a surface cloth with a waterproof backing cloth; inserting a batting layer between said surface cloth and said waterproof backing cloth; securing said waterproof backing cloth to said base by applying a washable spray-adhesive; completing a hemmed surface on all four edges of said base; sectioning out two wings to adjoin said base; sewing wings to the base; applying a hemmed surface to the wings; and applying a sealing mechanism to all hemmed surfaces so as to prevent fraying.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/620,768, which was filed on Oct. 21, 2004.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to infant changing pads, and more specifically to a waterproof changing pad which can be easily folded and inserted into a matching waterproof carry bag.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Existing changing pads are sometimes too large, cumbersome to handle when holding a baby, and cannot easily be stored when wet. Consequently, an improved changing pad is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a more convenient changing pad for infants. It is another object of the present invention to achieve the above in multiple arrangements and accessories. These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become readily apparent as the following description is read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a more detailed view of the tote bag shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 shows a water-beading feature of the present invention;

FIG. 4 shows an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 shows the present invention being operated one-handed;

FIG. 6 shows the interior of the tote bag;

FIG. 7 shows an example of the free-motion quilting of the present invention;

FIG. 8 shows an example of artistic embellishment within the free motion quilting of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 shows an alternative embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 10 shows a horizontal view of the layers of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Before explaining the disclosed embodiment of the present invention in detail it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of the particular arrangement shown, since the invention is capable of other embodiments. Also, the terminology used herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation.

The present invention was designed to be convenient to carry and easy to use in restaurants, shopping malls, airports, etc. In addition the pad can be used at home during bath time. As shown in FIG. 1, the quilted pad 100 has two soft, plushy wings 108, one on each side of the base 102 of the pad 100. These wings 108 offer extra changing space as well as helping to prevent picking up unwanted germs from public changing tables or other surfaces. The waterproof backing (not visible in FIG. 1) on the pad 100 and matching waterproof tote bag 104 protects against leakage from soiled areas during diaper changing. Both the pad 100, the tote bag 104, and other components of the present invention such as matching quilts, burp cloths (not shown), and receiving blankets (not shown), are all machine washable.

One function of the wings 108 is that babies sometimes roll during changing, so that the wings 108 provide more changing space yet have less thickness and thus take up less interior space while inserted in the matching tote bag 104. It will be instinctively clear to the changer, and potentially to the baby, that it is advantageous to keep the baby in the center of the pad 100 and not on the wings 108. The wings 108 also keep out germs while the pad 100 is not in use. Also, restaurants, beaches, parks, airports, or Disney World™ sometimes have changing areas that are small and limited in space. Consequently, the wings 108 can be folded inwardly where space is limited. The waterproof and sanitary effect of the pad 100 will not be decreased by such a maneuver.

After use, the changing pad 100 simply folds inside itself to be replaced in the tote bag 104, thereby offering a simple and sanitary method of being on the go with an infant. The center layer 106 of the pad 100 has 100% cotton balting or polyester blend located therein, and is backed by a waterproof material such as but not limited to poly urethane laminate (PUL).

As shown in FIGS. 1,2, and 4, the pad 100 can incorporate applique (specialized embroidering) 112,136, and 132 respectively, which can be used for customizing and matching of the various accessories. For example, in FIG. 1, the cloth pattern within the body of the bear 112 matches with the cloth pattern of the tote bag 104. During the application of the specialized embroidering, a stabilizer can be used to support the fabric in a hoop to keep it from slipping during the embroidering process. After the embroidering process is complete, the stabilizer can be easily removed. One example of a stabilizer is a plastic backing, and the other is a paper tear-away.

The present invention can use terrycloth, sherpa, or a variety of other soft fabrics including cotton/polyester blends, and can also use printed flannel rather than the embroidered material shown in FIGS. 1-8. Although many colors can be used, white is often a color preferred by consumers. Studies have shown that prospective purchasers have less resistance to a white color.

FIG. 10 shows a plan view of the pad 100 of the present invention. In FIG. 10, the wings 108 and pad 102 are shown as being composed of any one of the list of terrycloth, sherpa, cotton/polyester blends, and flannel. The wings 108 need not be of the same material as the pad 102. Additionally, as shown in FIG. 9, the bottom of one or both of the wings 108 can be the same material as the pad 102, while the top of the wing can be of a different material.

FIG. 10 further shows that the base 102 has a top layer of either terrycloth, sherpa, cotton/polyester blend, or flannel, a bottom layer of PUL, and a batting layer located there between. A seam joins the base 102 to the wings 108, and the edges of the entire pad can be finished using a matching, double folded bias tape.

To put a finished edge onto the pad 100, a 2-needle 4-spool wooly nylon thread through serger sewing machine with two loopers, having three spools of, for example, 100% polyester MAXI-LOCK™, and one spool of, for example, woolly nylon. As stated, double-folded bias tape can be used to facilitate the edging process, although other types of edges and hems can also be used within the spirit and scope of the present invention.

As shown in FIG. 2, the seam 120 of the tote bag 104 is made of a reinforced thread such as serger thread, so named because it can withstand the surge or tension of being jerked or pulled without splitting away from the main body of the tote bag 104. This is especially important during one-handed folding and insertion of the pad 100 into the tote bag 104.

FIG. 3 shows how water poured onto the interior surface of the pad 100 beads up before finally being absorbed. Due to its waterproof backing, the surface underneath the pad 100 remains entirely dry during this application of water.

FIG. 4 shows an additional example of the specialized embroidering 132 that is a feature of the present invention.

It is also a feature of the present invention that the pad 100 can be folded with one hand, as shown in FIG. 5. As stated, the tote bag 104 is equipped with a drawstring 116 to more effectively facilitate this one-handed operation. The drawstring 116 is implemented so that it can be either loosened or tightened with a minimum of manual effort. Also as stated, the seam 120 which borders the drawstring 116 is made of a reinforced thread such as serger, again so that it can withstand the tension of being jerked or pulled on without splitting away from the main body of the tote bag 104.

FIG. 6 shows the interior of the tote bag. 104, and more specifically the waterproof fabric 124 that lines the interior. As stated, the material that provides the waterproofing effect for both the bag 104 and the pad 100 can be but is not limited to PUL.

As shown in FIG. 7, the pad 100 incorporates free-motion quilting, giving the surface a pleasant, jigsaw puzzle effect. The quilting shown in FIG. 7 is exemplary only, so that the present invention should not be considered as limited exclusively thereto. Other types of quilting can also be employed within the spirit and scope of the present invention.

FIG. 8 shows an artistic embellishment of a bear inside the free motion quilting. This is a separate feature not to be confused with the specialized embroidering of FIGS. 1, 2 and 4. FIG. 8 is arranged to emphasize an exemplary portion of the free motion quilting of FIG. 7.

To properly assemble the various portions of the present invention, various types of thread should be used. These threads include bobbin, embroidering, serger, woolly nylon, and all-purpose thread. It is desired to form the seams of the pad 100 to preclude unraveling for as long as possible, as the pad 100 and other portions of the present invention will need to be repeatedly machine washed. Conversely, the thread that is used for free-motion quilting should be a softer thread, as the infant's skin will come in direct contact with these areas.

A spray-on adhesive can also be used during the pre-quilting phase of the manufacture of the pad 100. Such an adhesive is useful for ensuring that the PUL layer adheres to the batting layer (as shown in FIG. 10). The adhesive later dissolves in laundry.

As stated, although the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 shows a changing pad 100 and matching tote bag 104, matching quilts, burp cloths, and receiving blankets are also contemplated within the spirit and scope of the present invention. These products can also stand by themselves, separately and individually, and could be suitable made for animals as well as humans. Additionally, the pad 100 of the present invention can also be used for a temporary mattress pad.

The changing pad 100 is manufactured in the following order. Construct the base 102 by matching a rough cut of the base with a waterproof backing cloth made of PUL although other components can be used. Secure the waterproof backing cloth to the base 102 by applying a washable spray-adhesive. Complete a hemmed surface on all four edges of the base 102. Section out the two wings 108. Apply the waterproof backing cloth to the wings 108 by applying a washable spray-adhesive. Sew the wings to the base. Apply a hemmed surface to the wings, either using a stitched hem or by using a matched binding or bias tape. Apply a sealing mechanism to all hemmed surfaces so as to prevent fraying.

It is anticipated that various changes may be made in the arrangement and operation of the system of the present invention without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, as shown in the following claims.