Title:
Convertible Diaper-Changing Tote Bag
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Described herein are one or more implementations of a convertible diaper-changing tote bag. When unfurled into diaper-changing mode, the bag's fold-out diaper-changing pad is configured to fit onto a rigid horizontal changing platform (e.g., a changing station or changing table). As described herein, one or more implementations of the bag include at least one onmi-accessible storage receptacle that is accessible when the bag is both in diaper-changing mode (e.g., the pad is unfolded and in-place on the platform) and in tote mode (e.g., the pad is folded up).



Inventors:
Killilea, Cherie (Spokane, WA, US)
Application Number:
11/422835
Publication Date:
12/28/2006
Filing Date:
06/07/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
224/581, 224/575
International Classes:
A45C15/00; A45F4/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WILSON, BRITTANY M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LEE & HAYES, P.C. (SPOKANE, WA, US)
Claims:
1. A convertible tote bag comprising: an organizer tote-bag section configured to hold baby-care items, the tote-bag section having at least one omni-accessible storage receptacle formed therein; an diaper-changing section connected to the organizer tote bag section, the diaper-changing section comprising a fold-out diaper-changing pad and one or more hanging panels attached to the pad; the diaper-changing section being configured to fold-up into a collapsed carrying mode; the diaper-changing section being further configured to unfurl into a diaper-changing mode within which the diaper-changing pad is configured to cover a horizontal platform and fit the platform so that one or more hanging panels hang off of one edge of the platform and the organizer tote-bag section hangs off an opposite edge of the horizontal platform; the tote-bag section being further configured so that the omni-accessible storage receptacle is accessible when the diaper-changing section is in the diaper-changing mode and when the diaper-changing section is in the collapsed carrying mode.

2. A bag as recited in claim 1, wherein the diaper-changing section further comprises a moist-wipe dispenser pouch connected to the diaper-changing pad, the dispenser pouch being configured so that the dispenser pouch is propped against a vertical wall at a rear of the horizontal platform so that the dispenser pouch is readily available to a diaper-changing user when the diaper-changing section is in the diaper-changing mode.

3. A bag as recited in claim 1, wherein the diaper-changing section further comprises a front panel having one or more storage packets, the front panel being connected to the diaper-changing pad and being configured to hang off a front of the horizontal platform so that the storage pockets of the front panel is readily available to a diaper-changing user when the diaper-changing section is in the diaper-changing mode.

4. A bag as recited in claim 1, wherein the diaper-changing section forms one or more slits configured to receive a baby-restraining strap when the diaper-changing section is in the diaper-changing mode, the baby-restraining strap being affixed to or around the horizontal platform.

5. A bag as recited in claim 1, wherein the tote-bag section comprises one or more bottle-holding pockets configured to hold baby bottles, the tote-bag section be configured so that bottles in the bottle-holding pockets remain upright when the diaper-changing section is in the diaper-changing mode and when the diaper-changing section is in the collapsed carrying mode.

6. A bag as recited in claim 1 further comprising a non-splaying device configured to detachably link both the tote-bag section and the diaper-changing section together while the diaper-changing section is in the collapsed carrying mode.

7. A bag as recited in claim 1 wherein the diaper-changing pad is formed from textile material that resists stains, water, and bacteria.

8. A bag as recited in claim 1, wherein the diaper-changing pad is formed from textile material that is free of plasticizers.

9. A bag as recited in claim 1, wherein the diaper-changing section is integrally connected with the organizer tote bag section.

10. A bag as recited in claim 1, wherein the diaper-changing section is detachably connected with the organizer tote bag section so that the two sections may be separated from each other.

11. A bag as recited in claim 1, wherein the diaper-changing pad is composed of flexible, foldable, and machine-washable material.

12. A bag as recited in claim 1 further comprising a hook configured to hang a refuse sack for convenient and sanitary disposal of trash while the diaper-changing section is in the diaper-changing mode.

13. A convertible tote bag comprising: an organizer tote-bag section configured to store items; an diaper-changing section connected to the organizer tote bag section, the diaper-changing section comprising a fold-out diaper-changing pad and one or more hanging panels attached to the pad; the diaper-changing section being configured to fold-up into a collapsed carrying mode; the diaper-changing section being further configured to unfurl into a diaper-changing mode within which the diaper-changing pad is configured to cover a horizontal platform and fit the platform so that one or more hanging panels hang off of one edge of the platform and the organizer tote-bag section hangs off an opposite edge of the horizontal platform; one or more omni-accessible storage receptacles being formed by either the organizer tote-bag section or the diaper-changing section, the one or more omni-accessible storage receptacles being configured so that the storage receptacles are accessible when the diaper-changing section is in the diaper-changing mode and when the diaper-changing section is in the collapsed carrying mode.

14. A bag as recited in claim 13, wherein the diaper-changing section further comprises a moist-wipe dispenser pouch connected to the diaper-changing pad, the dispenser pouch being configured so that the dispenser pouch is propped against a vertical wall at a rear of the horizontal platform so that the dispenser pouch is readily available to a diaper-changing user when the diaper-changing section is in the diaper-changing mode.

15. A bag as recited in claim 13, wherein the diaper-changing section further comprises a front panel having one or more storage packets, the front panel being connected to the diaper-changing pad and being configured to hang off a front of the horizontal platform so that the storage pockets of the front panel is readily available to a diaper-changing user when the diaper-changing section is in the diaper-changing mode.

16. A bag as recited in claim 13, wherein the diaper-changing section forms one or more slits configured to receive a baby-restraining strap when the diaper-changing section is in the diaper-changing mode, the baby-restraining strap being affixed to or around the horizontal platform.

17. A bag as recited in claim 13 further comprising a non-splaying device configured to detachably link both the tote-bag section and the diaper-changing section together while the diaper-changing section is in the collapsed carrying mode.

18. A bag as recited in claim 13, wherein the diaper-changing pad is formed from textile material that is resistant to stains, water, and bacteria.

19. A device comprising: a fold-out diaper-changing pad configured to fold-up into a collapsed carrying mode and further configured to unfurl into a diaper-changing mode within which the diaper-changing pad is configured to cover a horizontal platform one or more side panels, one side panel connected to one side of the diaper-changing pad and another side panel connected to an opposite side of the diaper-changing pad, the side panels being configured so that when the diaper-changing pad is in the diaper-changing mode, one side panel hangs off of one edge of the platform and the other side panel hangs off an opposite edge of the horizontal platform; one or more omni-accessible storage receptacles being formed by at least one of the one or more hanging side panels, the one or more omni-accessible storage receptacles being configured so that the storage receptacles are accessible when the diaper-changing pad is in the diaper-changing mode and when the diaper-changing pad is in the collapsed carrying mode.

20. A device as recited in claim 19, wherein the one or more side panels comprise storage pockets configured to store baby-care items.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Patent Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/688,602, filed Jun. 8, 2005, the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND

There are many and various kinds of diaper bags currently available. With some of these currently available bags, baby-care items (such as clean diapers, moist wipes, lotion, and such products) are carried in the diaper bag while a separate blanket or changing pad is utilized as a diaper-changing surface when changing the diaper of an infant or child.

Some of the conventional diaper bags include a stowaway diaper-changing pad, but the design and configuration of the diaper-changing pad is not convenient for common instances in which the pad is called into duty. For example, it is common for a diaper-changing need to arise while the baby and her parent (or guardian) are out and about. Typically, the parent would like to perform a diaper-change in an area with a degree of privacy and hopefully in a comfortable setting.

It is common for public restrooms to come equipped with a wall-mounted baby-changing station (such as that shown in FIG. 2). While this provides the desired privacy, the diaper-changing pad of a conventional diaper bag does not easily fit or conform to the baby-changing station. Because of this, either portions of the unsanitary changing surface are exposed to the baby or the changing pad is inclined to slip or fall off the changing station. So, a parent is often relegated to changing the diaper on the floor of the bathroom, in a secluded comer of a shopping mall, or the back of a mini-van.

Furthermore, conventional diaper bags do not come equipped with sufficient amount of and/or conveniently located storage for baby-care items. For example, when a conventional blanket or diaper changing pad is utilized, the parent typically must reach into a separate bag for the diapers, wipes, lotions, or other such products. This requires the parent to leave the child momentarily unattended. Moreover, searching in a diaper bag for the necessary products to change a diaper is inconvenient.

SUMMARY

Described herein are one or more implementations of a convertible diaper-changing tote bag. When unfurled into diaper-changing mode, the bag's fold-out diaper-changing pad is configured to fit onto a rigid horizontal changing platform (e.g., a changing station or changing table). As described herein, one or more implementations of the bag include at least one omni-accessible storage receptacle that is accessible when the bag is both in diaper-changing mode (e.g., the pad is unfolded and in-place on the platform) and in tote mode (e.g., the pad is folded up).

This summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. This Summary is not intended to identify key features or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used as an aid in determining the scope of the claimed subject matter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The same numbers are used throughout the drawings to reference like elements and features.

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of at least one embodiment in accordance with one or more implementations described herein. As depicted, the view shows an example of the tote bag in a “tote” mode.

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of an example of a baby-changing station (such as those used in homes and public facilities). The depicted baby-changing station is an example of a horizontal platform that may be used in accordance with one or more implementations described herein.

FIG. 3 is an isometric view of at least one embodiment in accordance with one or more implementations described herein. The depicted embodiment demonstrates the beginning of the unfurling process of a diaper-changing pad in accordance with one or more implementations described herein.

FIGS. 4, 5, and 6 show the unfurling process of a diaper-changing pad in accordance with one or more implementations described herein. The unfurled diaper-changing pad is shown within the context of an exemplary baby-changing station.

FIG. 7 is an isometric view of at least one embodiment in use within the context of an exemplary baby-changing station (like that shown in FIG. 2) and a dashed-line baby. As depicted, the view shows an example of the tote bag in a “diaper-changing” mode.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The following description sets forth one or more implementations of a convertible diaper-changing tote bag and baby-care items organizer. When unfurled into diaper-changing mode, the tote bag's integral, fold-out, flexible, diaper-changing pad is configured to fit onto a rigid horizontal changing platform (e.g., a changing station or changing table) and configured to be anchored onto the platform by at least two hanging side panels (which are configured to hang from the side of the platform).

As described herein, one or more implementations of the tote bag include at least one omni-accessible storage receptacle (e.g., a zippered pocket) that is accessible when the bag is both in diaper-changing mode (e.g., the pad is unfolded and in-place on the platform) and in tote mode (e.g., the pad is folded up).

Exemplary Convertible Diaper-Changing Tote Bag

FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary convertible diaper-changing tote bag 100. The exemplary bag converts between a “tote” mode (as shown, for example, in FIG. 1) and a diaper-changing mode (as shown, for example, in FIG. 7).

In tote mode, the bag 100 is fully collapsed and may be easily carried or stored. In tote mode, the bag 100 has many usable and accessible storage pockets, compartments, receptacles, and the like. In diaper-changing mode, the bag 100 is unfurled onto a flat horizontal surface, like that of a diaper-changing station. In diaper-changing mode, the bag 100 has a diaper-changing pad and many conveniently located storage pockets, compartments, receptacles, and the like.

Typically, the tote bag 100 is formed from fabric, leather, textiles, cloth, or other suitable flexible material. In one or more implementations, some or all of the tote bag 100 is constructed from a machine-washable fabric that is repellent to liquid, moisture, and bacteria (and molds). An example of such a material is available under the brand-name of CRYPTON®, which is a patented textile treatment process that seals in fibers rendering fabric repellent to liquid, moisture, and many microbes. This material is also free of plasticizers. Of course, other implementations may include material that includes plasticizers, plastics, vinyl, and the like.

The bag includes two sections or portions: a tote-bag section 110 and a diaper-changing section 120. These are two separate sections of the tote bag 100 which are connected to each other via an upper connecting strip 130. As depicted, the upper connecting strip 130 is formed by two tabs of fabric sewn or otherwise permanently affixed. Alternatively, other embodiments may allow for detachable connection (e.g., a zipper or hook-and-loop fastener) in the upper connecting strip 130.

Each of the sections 110 and 120 include one or more storage pockets, compartments, receptacles, and the like. As depicted, the tote-bag section 110 is shown with two front pockets 112 and 114 and two elastic rimmed bottle-holding pockets 116 and 118. As depicted, front pocket 114 includes a clip for holding keys or similar items.

The bottle-holding pocket 116 is shown with an exemplary dashed-line baby bottle held therein. When in tote-mode, the baby bottles held in the bottle-holding pockets 116 and 118 are held up-right so as to decrease the chance of spillage of the bottles' contents. In alternative embodiments, the bottle-holding pockets may be recessed into the tote-bag section 110 so that a filled pocket does not protrude much outside the confines of the tote-bag section.

The tote-bag section 110 includes a zippered omni-accessible storage receptacle or pocket 140. The omni-accessible storage receptacle 140 is shown with dashed-lined diapers inside the receptacle. As depicted in FIG. 1, the tote bag 100 is shown in “tote” mode. In tote mode, the bag is in its most compact condition and ready to be easily carried by a person or stashed away until needed again. Notice that, when in tote mode, the storage receptacle 140 is positioned at the top of the bag and is readily available to a user of the tote bag 100.

One or more shoulder straps 150 are connected to the top of the tote bag 100. As depicted, the bag includes two detachable shoulder straps, one connected to each of the sections 110 and 120. Alternately, there may be just one shoulder strap connected to the upper connecting strip 130. Other embodiments may include other carrying straps and/or handles.

The tote-bag section 110 and the diaper-changing section 120 hang freely from the upper connecting strip 130. To prevent or reduce the two sections from splaying out away from each other (for example, the tote bag 100 is set down), the inner facing surfaces of the sections include one or more non-splaying mechanisms. This non-splaying mechanism is not shown, but examples of such a mechanism include hook-and-loop fasteners (e.g., VELCRO® brand) and a closable clasp.

Suitable Horizontal Platform for Diaper-Changing

FIG. 2 illustrates an exemplary wall-mounted fold-down baby-changing station 200, like the kind frequently found in public facilities, such as restrooms. When folded down, the baby-changing station 200 provides a horizontal surface or platform 210 on which the diaper is changed and has a back wall 230. Of course, the depicted baby-changing station 200 is just one example of a horizontal platform which is suitable for one or more implementations.

An example of the wall-mounted fold-down baby-changing station 200 includes KOALA BEAR KARE® standard horizontal baby-changing station. The width of the horizontal platform of this example is about thirty-two (32) inches and has a depth of about eighteen to twenty (18-20) inches.

The baby-changing station 200 also include safety restraining straps 220. A prudent parent snuggly attaches the safety restraining straps 220 around their baby when she is lying on the horizontal platform 210. In the manner, the baby is much less likely to fall off the platform during a moment of parental inattentiveness or distraction.

Other examples that provide a suitable horizontal platform include (but are not limited to) a baby-changing table, a cabinet, a countertop, a bench, and other furniture. These examples are particularly suitable when the tote bag 100 is configured or designed to fit onto the designated horizontal surface of the target table, furniture, cabinet, or the like.

The suitable horizontal platform may be located nearly any environment a baby's diaper might be and/or is likely to be changed. For example, a public restroom facility, a home, a daycare center, a church nursery, a hospital, and the like.

Operation

FIGS. 3-6 illustrates the unfurling or unfolding of the diaper-changing section 120 of the convertible diaper-changing tote bag 100 from the tote mode to the diaper-changing mode.

FIG. 3 shows the first step of the process of unfurling the diaper-changing section 120 of the tote bag 100. As depicted in FIG. 3, a user (represented by dashed-line hands) unzips a folded-pad zipper 310 so as to release the fold-out sections of the diaper-changing section 120. At a horizontal platform, a user unzips the folded-pad zipper 310 (in manner like that depicted in FIG. 3). Of course, other detachable fastening mechanisms may be employed in other implementations.

FIG. 3 also shows the zippered omni-accessible storage receptacle or pocket 140 of the tote-bag section 110 slightly opened or unzipped. This is shown to further demonstrate that the contents stored in the omni-accessible storage receptacle 140 are readily available to the user of the tote bag 100 when the bag is in tote mode.

FIGS. 4 and 5 show the next successive steps in the unfurling process the diaper-changing section 120 of the tote bag 100. When collapsed in the tote mode, the diaper-changing section 120 is tri-folded. In these steps, the tri-folded diaper-changing section 120 is unfolded or unfurled.

FIG. 6 shows the now unfurled diaper-changing section 120 of the tote bag 100. The unfurled diaper-changing section 120 positioned on, for example, the horizontal platform of the exemplary wall-mounted fold-down baby-changing station 200. As depicted, the unfurled diaper-changing section 120 includes a diaper-changing pad 610, a front panel 620, a back panel 630, and a side panel 640. As depicted in FIG. 6, these panels 620, 630, and 640 are not, themselves, completely unfurled yet.

Diaper-Changing Mode

FIG. 7 shows the tote bag 100 in diaper-changing mode. In this mode and as depicted in FIG. 7, the fully unfurled diaper-changing section 120 includes the diaper-changing pad 610 and the unfurled panels 620, 630, and 640. Each panel includes one or more storage pockets for holding baby-care items. A dashed-line baby is shown to provide context on how the baby might be placed onto the diaper-changing pad 610.

The fully unfurled diaper-changing section 120 is positioned on, for example, the horizontal platform of the exemplary wall-mounted fold-down baby-changing station 200. More than just positioned on, the tote bag 100 is designed so as to fit on the typically sized horizontal platforms of baby-changing stations and tables.

In this position, the front panel 620 hangs off the front of the horizontal platform. In this manner, the front panel 620 exposes its storage pockets 622 and 624.

When the diaper-changing section 120 is unfurled on the horizontal platform 210, the back panel 630 is propped up against the back wall 230 of the baby-changing station 200. In this manner, the back panel 630 exposes its storage pocket 632, which in this instance is configured to hold moist wipes for easy and convenient dispensing therefrom. Consequently, the back panel 630 may also be called the moist-wipe dispenser pouch.

When the diaper-changing section 120 is unfurled on the horizontal platform 210, the side panel 640 hangs off one side of the platform. In this manner, the side panel 640 exposes its storage pockets. Opposite from where the side panel 640 hangs, the tote-bag section 110 hangs off of the platform. The combination of the side panel 640 and the tote-bag section 110 hanging off of the platform effectively anchors the diaper-changing section 120 to the platform. The front panel 620 also helps anchor as well. This anchoring effect is magnified by weighty contents in the pockets of the side panel 640 and in the onmi-accessible receptacle 140 of the tote-bag section 110.

FIG. 7 shows the zippered omni-accessible storage receptacle 140 of the tote-bag section 110 slightly opened or unzipped. This is shown to further demonstrate that the contents stored in the omni-accessible storage receptacle 140 are readily available to the user of the tote bag 100 when it is in the diaper-changing mode.

As depicted in FIG. 7, the baby bottles in the bottle-holding pockets 116 and 118 are still held up-right in the diaper-changing mode. The bottles are upright as the tote-bag section 110 hangs from the side of the platform.

As depicted in FIG. 7, the diaper-changing section 120 includes a strap-receiving slit 710. That slit is configured and positioned so that the safety restraining straps 220 may thread through the slit. In so doing, the safety restraining straps 220 may be used in conjunction with the tote bag 100 and continue to safely secure the baby onto the horizontal platform 210.

Other embodiments may include a differing number of panels and pockets and storage compartments. Indeed, one embodiment may be designed for multiple children (such as in a daycare setting) so that each child's personal items may be stored together, but separate from the items of other children.

One or more embodiments may include a hook or something that functions as a hook (such as buttons on the front pockets 112 and 114). When in diaper-changing mode, a user may hang a disposable refuse sack from the hook. Any trash (such as soiled disposable diapers) may be placed in the refuse sack that conveniently hangs from the tote bag 100. In this way, the diaper-changing user never needs to leave the child unattended while disposing of trash.

Conclusion

Although one or more of the above-described implementations are described and shown (in the drawings) with specifies regarding structural features and/or methodological steps, those of ordinary skill in the art will understand that other implementations may be practiced without the specific exemplary features or steps described herein. Rather, the specific exemplary features and steps are disclosed as preferred forms of one or more implementations.

Those of ordinary skill in the art will understand that all matters herein set forth herein and shown in the accompanying drawings are illustrative and exemplary and are not limiting. Those of ordinary skill in the art also understand that embodiments other than those shown herein (and in the drawings) are possible without departing from the scope of the appended claims.

In some instances, well-known features may have been omitted or simplified to clarify the description of the exemplary implementations. Furthermore, for ease of understanding, certain method steps are delineated as separate steps; however, the steps delineated separately should not be construed necessarily as order dependent in their performance.