Title:
Portable diaper changing cot
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable diaper changing cot consisting of a light weight nested triple folding frame and integrally attached canvass or cloth cover which can easily be carried and utilized to provide a comfortable and sanitary surface on which a baby or child can be laid for diaper changing. The portable diaper changing cot comprises a nested triple folding frame consisting of two longitudinal and parallel main folding beams and two X shaped folding beams hinged on either side of the two main support beams. Advantageously, the inventive portable diaper changing cot is foldable into a very compact configuration and is relatively inexpensive to manufacture.



Inventors:
Moulton, Teresa Anne (Fredericksburg, VA, US)
Application Number:
11/348992
Publication Date:
08/10/2006
Filing Date:
02/07/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/112, 5/111
International Classes:
A47C17/64; A47D7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GROSZ, ALEXANDER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FRANCIS J SMITH (FARMINGTON, UT, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A portable diaper changing cot comprising: a nested triple folding frame an integrally attached canvass or cloth cover

2. A portable diaper changing cot according to claim 1, further whose nested triple folding frame consists of multiple hinged members that fold within each other over three distinct nesting folds

3. A portable diaper changing cot according to claim 2, wherein said three distinct nesting folding members consist of two longitudinally positioned and parallel main support beams hinged at their centers by a hinge bracket.

4. A portable diaper changing cot according to claim 3 wherein said hinge bracket is designed to maintain the main support beams rigid and aligned in one direction of hinge flexing but free to fold in the opposite direction.

5. A portable diaper changing cot according to claim 2 wherein said three distinct nesting folding members also consist of two X shaped members attached to opposite ends of the two main support beams via a folding hinge.

6. A portable diaper changing cot according to claim 5 wherein said X shaped members are each constructed of two Z shaped legs each hinged at their respective centers in an opposing fashion such that the two Z shapes nest within each other when folded.

7. A portable diaper changing cot according to claim 2, 3, 4 5 and 6 wherein said three nested folding members form a single collapsible frame consisting of three distinct nesting folds in the following order: 1) the X shaped members each collapse together about their hinged Z shaped members causing the two main support beams to come together, 2) the X shaped members collapse toward the main support beams and nest along side the main support beams and 3) the main support beams collapse toward the nested X members.

Description:

1. FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to child care products, and more particularly to a portable diaper changing cot which may be easily carried in a diaper bag stroller or in a shoulder worn bag and unfolded when needed to provide a clean and sanitary surface to change a baby's diaper.

2. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Changing a baby's diaper at home is a relatively benign task as the home is typically outfitted with baby changing furniture. Unfortunately, when traveling the need to change a diaper usually happens when one least expects it and finding a clean and convenient place to change a diaper is not always easy. While many public restrooms now are equipped with built in baby changing tables, these places are often unsanitary and leave the parent uneasy about using such a facility. To use these locations, parents often resort to bringing along a rolled up cloth or pad to change their baby's diaper on either the ground or on the public restroom changing tables. While the use of a pad may be more sanitary than placing the baby directly on the restroom table or on the ground; the subsequent roll up of the pad or cloth now contaminates the entire pad or cloth such that subsequent use may be just as unsanitary as placing the baby directly on the ground or public changing table in the first place. Furthermore, the changing pad or cloth is not a very comfortable surface for a baby. What is needed is a portable changing table that can be easily transported without much additional effort yet provide a sanitary and comfortable surface to change a baby's diaper.

3. DESCRIPTION OF RELATED ART

U.S. Pat. No. 5,615,433 issued to Martin teaches a proposed solution to the problems discussed above. In this patent, a combination diaper bag and portable changing table is disclosed. The changing table comprises an enclosure having a pivotal lid, which can be opened to form the changing table. The lid is supportable on a pivotal leg, to maintain an even height with the enclosure portion, which includes a solid upper surface, so that the enclosure portion and lid together form the table surface on which the baby can be laid. A fan mechanism is provided within the enclosure, for the ostensible purpose of drawing odors away from the baby.

Unfortunately, Martin's proposed solution is unduly complex, and impractical for the average parent. To manufacture this device is relatively expensive, and it is bulky and heavy to carry.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,389,624 to Madole teaches a proposed solution with two foldable portions and four fold down legs. Unfortunately, Madole's proposed solution still does not provide a sufficiently portable device. The two foldable portions are exactly ½ the surface of the final unfolded baby changing surface. As such, the device is still overly large and not at all compact enough to be convenient to carry. While Madole's proposed solution will transport over ones shoulder, it clearly will not fit into a diaper bag or a stroller and as such will be a burden for a parent to carry with them.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,581,228 to Boskovich also teaches a prosposed solution with two folding halves and foldout legs. Again, this proposed solution is not sufficiently compact in its folded form to allow easy transport inside a stroller or diaper bag.

None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant invention as claimed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention is a folding diaper changing cot consisting of a collapsible folding frame and a canvass or cloth cover sufficient to support approximately 40 lbs of weight when fully opened.

The frame is constructed of a light weight and sturdy material (aluminum, plastic, wood or composite) of sufficient strength to support the weight of a baby without buckling and sagging. The frame is built with 8 folding beams, hinged together in a manner that opens into a cot arrangement quickly and easily. When opened, the frame is approximately 28 inches long, 12 inches wide and 9 inches tall subtending a total volume in free space of approximately 3000 cubic inches. The surface area for diaper changing is approximately 330 in-square. When completely folded, the unit measures 14 inches by 3 inches, by 2 inches for a subtended volume in free space of approximately 84 cubic inches. This represents a folded to unfolded compaction ratio of 3000:84 or 35:1.

The frame accomplishes this ultra compaction through its nested (or triple folding) folding design whereby multiple hinged members fold within each other over three distinct nesting folds. The nested (or triple fold) folding design consists of two main support beams running lengthwise at the top of the diaper changing cot each hinged at their respective centers by a hinge bracket such that gravity and the weight of the baby pulls the beams down and inward, keeping the support members rigid and straight (and preventing downward collapsing) when in the fully open configuration, but collapsible if pulled in the upward direction when folding the unit up. On opposite ends of the main support beams is attached a pair of folding X members that fold open to form an “X”. Each pair of the folding X members consist of two equal Z shaped members, oppositely opposed and hinged at their centers (or near centers) such that when closed the two Z members nest together in a compact design but when open form an X member. The two identical X members in turn are hinged to either ends of the two main support beams. The above design presents a nested, triple folding frame. The three nested folds are 1) the X member legs collapse together bringing the two main support beams together; 2) the now collapsed X members hinge in toward the main support beams a nest along side the main support beams, and 3) the main support beams hinge toward the now nested (and collapsed) X members.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the fully opened changing cot.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the fully opened folding frame.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the completely folded frame.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now more particularly to FIGS. 1-3, there is shown a portable diaper changing cot apparatus 10 which is constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention. The apparatus 10 comprises a folding frame 11 and an integral cloth/canvass cover 12 attached to the frame. The folding frame 11 is comprised of two main support beams 13 running lengthwise at the top of the diaper changing cot each hinged at their respective centers by a main beam hinge bracket 14 such that gravity and the weight of the baby pulls the beams down and inward, keeping the main support beams 13 rigid and straight (and preventing downward collapsing) when in the fully open configuration, but collapsible if pulled in the upward direction when folding the unit up. On opposite ends of the main support beams 13 is attached a pair of folding X members 15 that fold open to form an “X”. Each pair of the folding X members consist of two equal Z shaped members 16, oppositely opposed and hinged at their centers by a X member center hinge 17 such that when closed the two Z members nest together in a compact design but when open form an X member 15. The two identical X members 14 in turn are hinged to either ends of the two main support beams 13 by a corner hinge 18.