Title:
Nursing Blanket
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An exemplary nursing blanket includes a fabric panel configured to provide cover for at least a portion of a mid-torso area of a user nursing a child, and at least two of the following: a first gathered corner of the panel forming a first pouch for receiving an elbow of the user when the nursing blanket is in a first position, a second gathered corner of the panel forming a second pouch for receiving the other elbow of the user when the nursing blanket is in a second position, a first anchor mechanism attached to the panel and configured to anchor the panel to a shoulder of the user when the nursing blanket is in the first position, and a second anchor mechanism attached to the panel and configured to anchor the panel to the other shoulder of the user when the nursing blanket is in the second position.



Inventors:
Jensen, Diane E. (Centerville, UT, US)
Application Number:
11/834503
Publication Date:
02/14/2008
Filing Date:
08/06/2007
Assignee:
Pookado Products, LLC (Centerville, UT, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/482, 5/494
International Classes:
A41D1/20; A47G9/00; A47G9/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VANATTA, AMY B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ALG INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, LLC (SOUTH JORDAN, UT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A nursing blanket comprising: a flexible fabric panel configured to provide cover for at least a portion of a mid-torso area of a user nursing a child; and a combination of at least two of the following: a first gathered corner of said panel forming a first pouch configured to receive an elbow of the user when the nursing blanket is in a first nursing position, and a second gathered corner of said panel forming a second pouch configured to receive the other elbow of the user when the nursing blanket is in a second nursing position, a first anchor mechanism attached to said panel and configured to anchor said panel to a shoulder of the user when the nursing blanket is in the first nursing position, and a second anchor mechanism attached to said panel and configured to anchor said panel to the other shoulder of the user when the nursing blanket is in the second nursing position.

2. The nursing blanket of claim 1, wherein the nursing blanket is configured for transitioning between the first and second nursing positions.

3. The nursing blanket of claim 1, wherein said first anchor mechanism is configured to anchor said panel proximate to a hip of the user when the nursing blanket is in the second nursing position, and wherein said second anchor mechanism is configured to anchor said panel proximate to the other hip of the user when the nursing blanket is in the first nursing position.

4. The nursing blanket of claim 1, wherein said first anchor mechanism comprises a first weight mechanism and said second anchor mechanism comprises a second weight mechanism.

5. The nursing blanket of claim 1, further comprising a curved edge of said panel positioned between said anchor mechanism and said another anchor mechanism, said curved edge including at least one of the following: a first concave portion configured to accommodate a neckline of the user when the nursing blanket is in the first nursing position; and a second concave portion configured to accommodate the neckline of the user when the nursing blanket is in the second nursing position.

6. The nursing blanket of claim 5, wherein said curved edge further includes a convex portion configured to extend coverage over a chest area of the user when the nursing blanket is in the first or second nursing position.

7. The nursing blanket of claim 1, wherein said first anchor mechanism is configured to anchor said panel to the shoulder of the user and said second anchor mechanism is configured to anchor said panel to the other shoulder of the user when the nursing blanket is in a transition position, the nursing blanket being configured for transitioning between the transition position and either the first or second nursing position.

8. The nursing blanket of claim 1, wherein said panel includes a plurality of corner areas, said first anchor mechanism being positioned at a first of said corner areas, said second anchor mechanism being positioned at a second of said corner areas, said first pouch being positioned at a third of said corner areas, and said second pouch being positioned at a fourth of said corner areas.

9. The nursing blanket of claim 8, wherein said first and second anchor mechanisms are positioned along a common edge of said panel and said first and second pouches are positioned along an opposite edge of said panel.

10. A blanket comprising: a flexible fabric panel having a plurality of corner areas; a first weight-based anchor mechanism positioned at a first of said corner areas; a second weight-based anchor mechanism positioned at a second of said corner areas; a first gathered corner forming a first pouch at a third of said corner areas; and a second gathered corner forming a second pouch at a fourth of said corner areas.

11. The blanket of claim 10, wherein said first and second weight-based anchor mechanisms are positioned along a common edge of said panel and said first and second pouches are positioned along an opposite edge of said panel.

12. The blanket of claim 10, wherein said panel is configured to provide cover for at least a portion of a mid-torso area of a user nursing a child when the blanket is in either a first or second nursing position, said first pouch being configured to receive an elbow of the user when the blanket is in the first nursing position, said second pouch being configured to receive the other elbow of the user when the blanket is in the second nursing position.

13. The blanket of claim 10, wherein said panel is configured to provide cover for at least a portion of a mid-torso area of a user nursing a child when the blanket is in either a first or second nursing position, said first weight-based anchor mechanism being configured to anchor said panel to a shoulder of the user when the blanket is in the first nursing position, said second weight-based anchor mechanism being configured to anchor said panel to the other shoulder of the user when the blanket is in the second nursing position.

14. The blanket of claim 13, wherein said first weight-based anchor mechanism is configured to anchor said panel proximate to a hip of the user when the blanket is in the second nursing position, said second weight-based anchor mechanism being configured to anchor said panel proximate to the other hip of the user when the blanket is in the first nursing position.

15. A nursing blanket comprising: a flexible fabric panel configured to provide cover for at least a portion of a mid-torso area of a user nursing a child when the nursing blanket is in a nursing position; a gathered corner of said panel forming a pouch configured to receive an elbow of the user when the nursing blanket is in the nursing position; and an anchor mechanism attached to said panel and configured to anchor said panel to a shoulder of the user when the nursing blanket is in the nursing position.

16. The nursing blanket of claim 15, further comprising another anchor mechanism attached to said panel and configured to anchor said panel at least proximate to a hip of the user when the nursing blanket is in the nursing position.

17. The nursing blanket of claim 16, further comprising another gathered corner of said panel forming another pouch.

18. The nursing blanket of claim 17, wherein the nursing blanket is configured for transitioning from the nursing position to another nursing position, said panel being configured to provide cover for at least a portion of the mid-torso area of the user nursing the child when the nursing blanket is in the other nursing position.

19. The nursing blanket of claim 18, wherein said another pouch is configured to receive the other elbow of the user, said anchor mechanism is configured to anchor said panel proximate to the other hip of the user, and said another anchor mechanism is configured to anchor said panel to the other shoulder of the user when the nursing blanket is in the other nursing position.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/837,041 by Diane E. Jensen, filed on Aug. 10, 2006, and entitled NURSING BLANKET, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Nursing blankets are commonly used for privacy when nursing a child at a non-private location. Conventional nursing blankets, however, suffer from one or more shortcomings, including, lack of convenience, comfort, and control. For example, certain nursing blankets are not easy to keep in place while nursing, especially when a child has a tendency to move about underneath the blanket or when a user is exposed to wind. Other conventional nursing blankets require a user to inconveniently fasten or engage the blanket for use such as by slipping the blanket over her head, inserting an arm through a sleeve or hole, or tying or otherwise fastening the blanket around her neck. Such product limitations can be quite frustrating to a user. For example, it is not an easy process for a user of such a nursing blanket to discretely switch a nursing child from one breast to another. For these and other reasons, conventional nursing blankets cause many of their users to feel a lack of control, comfort, convenience, and/or privacy when using the blankets.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings illustrate various embodiments and are a part of the specification. The illustrated embodiments are merely examples and do not limit the scope of the disclosure. Throughout the drawings, identical reference numbers designate identical or similar elements.

FIG. 1 is a front view of an exemplary blanket.

FIG. 2 is a rear view of the exemplary blanket of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a front view of the exemplary blanket of FIG. 1 being worn by a user.

FIG. 4 is a rear view of the exemplary blanket of FIG. 1 being worn by a user.

FIG. 5A illustrates the exemplary blanket of FIG. 1 as worn in a first nursing position.

FIG. 5B illustrates the exemplary blanket of FIG. 1 as worn in a transition position.

FIG. 5C illustrates the exemplary blanket of FIG. 1 as worn in a second nursing position.

FIG. 6 illustrates the exemplary blanket of FIG. 1 being used as a cover for a stroller.

FIG. 7 illustrates the exemplary blanket of FIG. 1 being used as a child pouch in a stroller.

FIG. 8 illustrates the exemplary blanket of FIG. 1 being used to cover a child lying on a generally flat surface.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Various embodiments of an exemplary blanket are disclosed. The blanket may be used in a variety of ways. For example, an exemplary blanket may be used for privacy when a user is nursing a child. When used in this context, the blanket generally provides a user with improved control, convenience, and privacy as compared to conventional nursing blankets. Other exemplary uses may include, but are not limited to, a cover for a stroller and a pouch for the legs of a child sitting in a stroller.

An exemplary blanket may include a combination of one or more anchor mechanisms and/or one or more pouches configured to provide the user with privacy, convenience, and control when nursing the child. For example, when the blanket is placed in a nursing position, the anchor mechanisms may be configured for anchoring the blanket to, or proximate to, various body parts (e.g., a shoulder and a hip) of the user, thereby helping to hold the blanket in the nursing position. A pouch may be configured to receive an elbow of the user when the blanket is in the nursing position. The insertion of the elbow into the pouch may provide the user with significant control over the movement and positioning of the blanket. An exemplary blanket having an exemplary configuration of anchor mechanisms and pouches is described further below.

In certain embodiments, the blanket may be configured for convenient user transitioning between different functional positions. For example, in a nursing context, the blanket may enable a convenient transition from a first nursing position to a second nursing position. Such a transition may be useful when a user switches a nursing child from one breast to another. These and other features and embodiments of the exemplary nursing blanket will now be described in reference to the Figures.

FIG. 1 illustrates a front view of an exemplary blanket 100. As shown in FIG. 1, the blanket 100 may include a panel 110 comprising a flexible fabric (i.e., the “flexible fabric panel 110”). The panel 110 may be made of one or more of any suitable fabrics or other flexible materials, including fashionable, lightweight, breathable, and machine washable and/or dryable fabrics. The panel 110 is typically a single unitary piece of fabric, which can allow the blanket to be made using simple and cost effective manufacturing processes. In other embodiments the panel 110 may include multiple pieces of fabric connected together.

In certain embodiments, the blanket 100 may be configured for use by a user nursing a child. Accordingly, the panel 110 may be sized appropriately to provide cover for at least a portion of a mid-torso area of the user. An exemplary nursing application of the blanket 100 will be described in more detail further below.

As shown in FIG. 1, the blanket 100 may also include first and second anchor mechanisms 120-1 and 120-2 (collectively the “anchor mechanisms 120”) attached to the panel 110. The anchor mechanisms 120 can be used to help hold the blanket 100 in place, including during nursing of a child. The anchor mechanisms 120 may include any mechanism for anchoring the panel 110 of the blanket 100 to another object such as a shoulder, hip, other body part, or clothing of a user, for example.

In FIG. 1, the anchor mechanisms 120 comprise weight mechanisms (i.e., “weight-based anchor mechanisms”), which may include any mechanisms configured to provide weight that can be used to anchor the panel 110 to another object. Typically, one or more materials having a higher weight density than the fabric of the panel 110 are used to provide sufficient weight for anchoring the panel 110 to another object. In certain embodiments, washable pellets are used. The pellets may be securely enclosed in a pouch which is sewn into a pocket of, or otherwise secured to, the panel 110 of the blanket 100. Of course, other suitable materials may be used in other embodiments to provide anchor weight.

In other embodiments, the anchor mechanisms 120 may include other mechanisms for anchoring the panel 110 to another object, including, but not limited to, clip fasteners, spring-loaded fasteners, etc.

As shown in FIG. 1, the anchor mechanisms 120 may be positioned along a common edge of the panel 110 of the blanket 100. In FIG. 1 the common edge between the anchor mechanisms 120 comprises a curved edge 130, which can provide comfort and convenience to a user. The curved edge 130 may also help the blanket 100 to drape over a user in a natural way that enhances the comfort, convenience, and privacy experienced by the user.

In a nursing context, the curved edge 130 may include one or more concave portions 132-1 and 132-2 (i.e., collectively “concave portions 132” or “neckline curves 132”) configured to provide curvature for accommodating a neckline of a user nursing a child. The curved edge 130 may include a convex portion positioned between the concave portions 132 and configured to extend the coverage provided by the panel 110. In a nursing context, the concave portion 135 of the curved edge 130 may extend coverage over at least a portion of the chest area of the user. Positioning of the blanket 100, including the curved edge 130, for use when nursing a child will be described further below.

FIG. 2 illustrates a rear view of the blanket 100. The blanket 100 may include one or more pouches, such as first and second pouches 240-1 and 240-2 (collectively the “pouches 240”) shown in FIG. 2. The first and second pouches 240-1 and 240-2 may be formed by gathered corners 250-1 and 250-2 of the panel 110, respectively. The corners may be gathered in any suitable manner, including placing elastic elements at the corners. The gathered corners 250 provide a cost effective and functional way to form the pouches. Of course, the pouches 240 may be formed in other ways in other embodiments.

The pouches 240 may be positioned along a common edge of the panel 110 of the blanket 100. In the example shown in FIG. 2, the pouches 240 are positioned along an edge that is opposite of the edge along which the anchor mechanisms 120 are positioned.

In the example shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, blanket 100 is generally rectangular in shape having four corner areas. Each of the corner areas may include any area within a distinct quadrant section of the blanket 100. Accordingly, blanket 100 may be said to include four quadrant sections as may be defined by a vertical axis and a horizontal axis having an intersection at or near the center-point of the blanket 100. Accordingly, for the example shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, each of the anchor mechanisms 120 and pouches 240 may be positioned in a separate corner area of blanket 100. For example, anchor mechanism 120-1 may be said to be positioned at a first corner area, anchor mechanism 120-2 may be said to be positioned at a second corner area, pouch 120-1 may be said to be positioned at a third corner area, and pouch 120-2 may be said to be positioned at a fourth corner area. The positioning of these elements at different corner areas of the blanket 100 can help create a configuration can provide convenience, control, and privacy to a user of the blanket 100.

Other embodiments of the blanket 100 may include different numbers of “corner areas,” anchor mechanisms 120, pouches 240, and combinations thereof. For certain embodiments, the blanket 100 may generally include a combination of at least two of the following items: a first pouch, a second pouch, a first anchor mechanism, and a second anchor mechanism. “Corner areas” may or may not correspond with anchor mechanisms 120 or pouches 240. Like the positioning of these elements at different corner areas of the blanket 100, the above combination can help to create a configuration can provide convenience, control, and privacy to a user of the blanket 100.

Returning to FIG. 2, when the blanket 100 is used in a nursing context, each of the pouches 240 may be configured to receive an elbow of a nursing user. With an elbow inserted in a pouch 240, a user is provided with a significant amount of control over the blanket 100 and the cover being provided by the blanket 100. In particular, the pouches 240 provide a way for at least a portion of the mid-torso area of the user to be covered from the side in a secure and controllable manner.

Because each of the pouches 240 includes a side opening, it is convenient for a user to slip her elbow in and out of a pouch 240 as desired. The pouches 240 also enable the user to use an elbow to control the movement and positioning of the blanket 100, while keeping her hands free to work with the child or her clothing. As will be described below, the pouches 240 facilitate convenient transitioning of the blanket 100 between different nursing positions.

While pouches 240-1 and 240-2 may be described as being distinct from one another, the pouch areas form by each may be configured to expand into adjacent channels. In a nursing context, the channels may be configured to receive a forearm or upper arm of the user. When the blanket 100 is in a first nursing position, for example, an elbow of the user may be inserted in pouch 240-1, the forearm of the user may be inserted in channel 255, and the upper arm of the user may be inserted in channel 260-1. When the blanket 100 is in a second nursing position, an elbow of the user may be inserted in pouch 240-2, the forearm of the user may be inserted in channel 255, and the upper arm of the user may be inserted in channel 260-2.

FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate the blanket 100 in a first nursing position relative to a user. In the exemplary first nursing position, the flexible fabric panel 110 is configured to provide cover for at least a portion of a mid-torso area of a user. This allows the user to nurse a child under the privacy of the blanket 100. As shown in FIG. 4, anchor mechanism 120-1 is positioned over the left shoulder of the user. In this position, the anchor mechanism 120-1 is configured to anchor the panel 110 to, or at least proximate to, the left shoulder of the user. As shown in FIG. 3, concave portion 132-1 of curved edge 130 is positioned to accommodate the neckline of the user, and concave portion 135 extends coverage of the panel 110 over a portion of the chest area of the user.

FIG. 5A illustrates the blanket 100 in a first nursing position relative to a user who is sitting. As shown in FIG. 5A, anchor mechanism 120-2 may be positioned near a hip of the user. In this position, the anchor mechanism 120-2 is configured to anchor the panel 110 to, or at least proximate to, the right hip of the user. Consequently, the blanket 100 is positioned and anchored relative to the user as shown such that the panel 110 is draped over at least a portion of the mid-torso area of the user, thereby providing privacy for nursing a child.

As mentioned, the blanket 100 may be configured for user transitioning between different nursing positions. For example, when a user is nursing a child and the blanket 100 is positioned in a first nursing position as shown in FIG. 5A, the user may wish to switch the child to her other breast. The blanket 100 makes the switch convenient. The user may grab hold of and move anchor mechanism 120-2 from near her right hip and place it over her right shoulder. With both anchor mechanisms 120-1 and 120-2 placed over the shoulders of the user, the blanket 100 may be said to be in a transition position such as illustrated in FIG. 5B. With the blanket 100 in the transition position, the user may remove her left elbow from pouch 140-1, and freely use both of her hands to maneuver clothing and switch the child from one breast to another.

Once the switch has been made, the blanket 100 can be transitioned to a second nursing position such as illustrated in FIG. 5C. To move the blanket 100 from the transition position to the second nursing position, the user can insert her right elbow into pouch 140-2 and move anchor mechanism 120-1 from near her left shoulder to near her left hip area. In this or similar manner, the blanket 100 may be positioned and anchored in a second nursing position as shown in FIG. 5C such that the panel 110 is draped over at least a portion of the mid-torso area of the user, thereby providing privacy for nursing a child in a second nursing position.

From the above-described transition of the blanket 100 from a first nursing position to a second nursing position, it should be understood that the blanket 100 enables a convenient and private transition. Significantly, at least one hand of the user is free to work with her clothing and with the child when making the transition, and the mid-torso of the user remains covered by the panel 110 during the transition. The anchor mechanisms 120 and pouches 140 can free one or both of the hands of the user from having to try to keep the blanket 100 in place while nursing, including while repositioning a child and/or the blanket 100. Moreover, unlike conventional nursing blankets, the user is not required to remove or retie the blanket 100, release and reposition cumbersome fasteners, or insert an arm through a sleeve, to make the switch.

While the above description of the blanket 100 is directed to a nursing application, the blanket 100 is configured for other uses. For example, the blanket 100 may be used as a canopy-type cover for a stroller or car seat. The blanket 100 can be anchored in position while still providing room for air flow and child movement.

FIG. 6 illustrates blanket 100 covering a portion of a stroller 610. As shown in FIG. 6, the pouches 240 of blanket 100 may be configured to receive at least a portion of a bar handle of the stroller 210. For a standard bar handle commonly used for strollers, the pouches 240 and the channels 255 and 260 next to the pouches 240 provide an area that can be slipped over and fittingly anchor the blanket 100 to the handle. This can help secure the blanket 100 in place, including preventing the blanket 100 from slipping or being inadvertently moved out of position.

As further shown in FIG. 6, anchor mechanisms 120 may be configured to help hold blanket 100 in place relative to the stroller 610. In FIG. 6, the anchor mechanisms 120 hang downwardly in a manner that provides weight to the blanket 100. The weight can help the blanket 100 stay in place even when subjected to wind. The configuration shown in FIG. 6 may provide a convenient and secure cover for the stroller 610. Of course, the blanket 100 may be used as a cover for various types and builds of strollers, including strollers that have two separate handles, or any type of handle configuration having elements over which pouches 140 may be positioned.

Another use of the blanket 100 may include tucking the legs of a child in a stroller into the pouches 240 and/or channel 255 and 260 of the blanket 100. FIG. 7 illustrates the blanket 100 being used in this manner. As shown, the anchor mechanisms 120 may be placed on the seat of the stroller to help hold the blanket 100 in place. This positioning may help to protect the child's legs and lower body from external elements, including wind, rain, sun, or other weather.

Another use for the blanket 100 is to cover a child lying on a generally flat surface. The anchor mechanisms 120 can help keep the blanket 100 in place and prevent it from being kicked off or being wind-blown out of position. The child's legs may be tucked into the pouches 240 and/or channels 255 and 260 of the blanket 100. Care providers should of course use caution and actively monitor the child to be sure his head and face are not restricted under the blanket 100.

The preceding description has been presented only to illustrate and describe exemplary embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawings. It will, however, be evident that various modifications and changes may be made thereto, and additional embodiments may be implemented, without departing from the scope of the invention as set forth in the claims that follow. The above description and accompanying drawings are accordingly to be regarded in an illustrative rather than a restrictive sense.