Title:
Apparatus for mounting a mobile to a crib
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Apparatus and assembly for aligning a mobile mounted to a crib. A mounting base includes upper and lower sections. When the base is mounted to the crib, the upper section extends above the top of the crib, and an externally threaded segment of the lower section extends through an aperture defined by slats of the crib. An intermediate element having both internal and external threaded sections is moveable along the segment to adjust alignment of the mounting base and alignment of the mobile attached to the mounting base. An internally threaded fastener is threadedly secured to the external threaded section of the intermediate element to secure the mounting base to the crib. Embodiments significantly improve crib safety by providing a securing mounting mechanism and also improve mobile appearance by providing a properly aligned mobile.



Inventors:
Wang (Tai cheng Wang), Eric (Zhong-shan city, CN)
Application Number:
11/899147
Publication Date:
06/12/2008
Filing Date:
09/04/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/93.1, 5/658, 248/220.21
International Classes:
A63H33/00; A47B96/06; A47D7/00; A47D15/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
YOUNG, SCOTT E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
POLSINELLI PC (HOUSTON, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. An apparatus for hanging an aligned mobile above a crib, the crib having a top, a bottom and a plurality of slats, the slats defining a plurality of apertures and a crib interior and exterior, the apparatus comprising: a base having an upper section and a lower section, the lower section having a segment extending through an aperture defined by slats and below the top of the crib; an intermediate element, wherein the position of the intermediate element along the base can be adjusted to change the alignment of the base and the alignment of the mobile; and a fastener that is attachable to the end of the segment for securing the mounting base and the intermediate element to the crib.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the segment is threaded.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein an external surface of the segment is threaded.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein a flange extending from the upper section of the base extends partially over the top of the crib.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein a flange extending from the upper section of the base extends beyond an outer edge of the top of the crib.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the intermediate element is threaded.

7. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein an internal surface of the intermediate element is threaded.

8. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein an external surface of the intermediate element is threaded.

9. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein internal and external surfaces of the intermediate element are threaded.

10. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the intermediate element is rotatable to move the intermediate element along the segment and adjust alignment of the base and alignment of the mobile.

11. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein an internal surface of the fastener is threaded.

12. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein an external surface of segment is threaded.

13. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein internal and external surfaces of the intermediate element are threaded, wherein an internally threaded surface of the intermediate element threadedly engages the threaded external surface of the segment, and the threaded external surface of the intermediate element threadedly engages the threaded internal surface of the fastener.

14. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the lower section of the base and the fastener are arranged so that slats of the crib are located between the fastener and the lower section of the base from which the segment extends.

15. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the lower section of the base and the fastener are located on opposite sides of slats of the crib.

16. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the lower section of the base is inside of the crib.

17. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the fastener is outside of the crib.

18. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the lower section of the base and the intermediate element are located on the same side relative to slats of the crib.

19. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein the lower section of the base and the intermediate element are both inside of the crib.

20. The apparatus of claim 19, wherein the fastener is outside of the crib.

21. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the intermediate element is located between the lower section of the base from which the segment extends and slats of the crib.

22. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the intermediate element is adjacent to slats of the crib.

23. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the intermediate element contacts at least two slats of the crib.

24. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the lower section of the base is separated from slats of the crib.

25. The apparatus of claim 24, wherein the degree of separation depends on the position of the intermediate element along the segment.

26. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein an external surface of the segment is threaded, internal and external surfaces of the intermediate element are threaded, and an internal surface of the fastener is threaded, the intermediate element is threaded and adjustably secured to the segment, the fastener is threaded secured to the segment, and the intermediate element is rotatable so that the intermediate element moves along the segment to adjust alignment of the base.

27. An apparatus for hanging an aligned mobile above a crib, the crib having a top, a bottom and a plurality of slats, the slats defining a plurality of apertures and an interior and a crib interior and exterior, the apparatus comprising: a base having an upper section and a lower section, the upper section having a flange that extends over the top of the crib, the lower section having an externally threaded segment extending through an aperture defined by slats and below the top of the crib; an intermediate element having an internally threaded section and an externally threaded section, wherein the intermediate element is rotatable so that the intermediate element moves along the externally threaded segment and adjusts the alignment of the base and alignment of the mobile; and an internally threaded fastener, wherein the internally threaded fastener is threadedly secured to the externally threaded section of the intermediate element to secure the base and the intermediate element to the crib.

28. The apparatus of claim 27, wherein the flange extends over at least a portion of the top of the crib.

29. The apparatus of claim 27, wherein the lower section of the base and the internally threaded fastener are arranged so that slats of the crib are located between the internally threaded fastener and the lower section from which the externally threaded segment extends.

30. The apparatus of claim 27, wherein the lower section of the base and the internally threaded fastener are located on opposite sides of slats of the crib.

31. The apparatus of claim 27, wherein the lower section of the base is inside of the crib.

32. The apparatus of claim 27, wherein the internally threaded fastener is outside of the crib.

33. The apparatus of claim 27, wherein the lower section of the base and the internally threaded intermediate element are located on the same side relative to the slats of the crib.

34. The apparatus of claim 27, wherein the lower section of the base and the internally threaded intermediate element are both inside of the crib.

35. The apparatus of claim 34, wherein the internally threaded fastener is outside of the crib.

36. The apparatus of claim 27, wherein the internally threaded intermediate element is between the slats of the crib and the lower section of the base from which the externally threaded segment extends.

37. The apparatus of claim 27, wherein the lower section of the base is separated from slats of the crib.

38. The apparatus of claim 37, wherein the degree of separation depends on the position of the internally threaded intermediate element along the externally threaded segment extending from the lower section.

39. The apparatus of claim 27, wherein a diameter of the externally threaded segment of the base is less than a diameter of the externally threaded segment of the intermediate element.

40. The apparatus of claim 27, wherein an inner aperture defined by the internally threaded section of the intermediate element is less than a diameter of the aperture defined by the internally threaded segment of the fastener.

41. An apparatus for hanging a mobile above a crib, the crib having a top, a bottom and a plurality of slats, the slats defining a plurality of apertures and crib interior and exterior, the apparatus comprising: a base having a single threaded segment that extends through an aperture defined by slats of the crib; a rotatable intermediate element having two threaded segments, wherein the intermediate element is moveable along the single threaded segment of the base when rotated to adjust alignment of the single threaded base and alignment of the mobile; and a fastener having a single threaded segment, wherein the fastener is threadedly attachable to one of the threaded segments of the rotatable intermediate element for securing the base and the intermediate element to the crib.

42. The apparatus of claim 41, wherein the segment of the mounting base is externally threaded, the intermediate element is both internally threaded and externally threaded, and the fastener is internally threaded.

43. The apparatus of claim 42, wherein a diameter of the externally threaded segment of the base is less than a diameter of the externally threaded segment of the intermediate element.

44. The apparatus of claim 42, wherein an inner aperture defined by the internally threaded section of the intermediate element is less than a diameter of the aperture defined by the internally threaded fastener.

45. An assembly for attachment to a crib, the crib having a top, a bottom and a plurality of slats, the slats defining a plurality of apertures and crib interior and exterior, the assembly comprising: a mobile; a base having an upper section and a lower section, the upper section having a flange that extends over the top of the crib, the lower section having an externally threaded segment extending through an aperture defined by slats and below the top of the crib; a rotatable intermediate element having an internally threaded section and an externally threaded section, wherein the intermediate element is rotatable so that the intermediate element moves along the externally threaded segment to adjust alignment of the base and alignment of the mobile attached directly or indirectly to the base; and an internally threaded fastener that is threadedly attachable to the externally threaded section of the intermediate element to secure the base and the intermediate element to the crib.

46. An assembly for a crib, the crib having a top, a bottom and a plurality of slats, the slats defining a plurality of apertures and crib interior and exterior, the assembly comprising: a mobile; a base having a single threaded segment that extends through an aperture defined by slats of the crib; a rotatable intermediate element having two threaded segments, wherein the intermediate element is moveable along the single threaded segment when rotated to adjust alignment of the base and alignment of the mobile attached directly or indirectly to the base; and a fastener having a single threaded segment, wherein the fastener is threadedly attachable to one of the threaded segments of the rotatable intermediate element to secure the base and the intermediate element to the crib.

47. The assembly of claim 46, wherein the segment of the base is externally threaded, the intermediate element is both internally threaded and externally threaded, and the fastener is internally threaded.

48. The assembly of claim 47, wherein a diameter of the externally threaded segment is less than a diameter of the externally threaded segment of the intermediate element.

49. The assembly of claim 47, wherein a diameter of an inner aperture defined by the internally threaded section of the intermediate element is less than a diameter of the aperture defined by the internally threaded fastener.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to a mounting apparatus, and more particularly, to a mounting apparatus that includes an adjustable intermediate element that permits a mobile to be attached to cribs of various shapes and sizes while maintaining proper mobile alignment.

BACKGROUND

Hanging or suspending toys or mobiles above an infant's crib and the like is well known. Referring to FIG. 1, for example, one known crib 10 includes a top, top rail or top frame 11, a bottom, bottom rail or bottom frame 12, a plurality of slats 13 that extend between the top frame 11 and bottom frame 12, and a base 14 upon which an infant rests. In the illustrated exemplary crib 10, the slats 13 extend vertically between the top and bottom frames 11 and 12 and define apertures 16 there between. The frames 11 and 12 and slats 13 define an interior space 17 and an exterior space 18. Referring to FIG. 2, a mobile 20 is suspended above a crib and includes a variety of toys or decorative elements 21. The elements 21 can be different shapes, colors and/or sizes, and can be animals, cars and other entertaining elements that capture an infant's attention. The elements 21 can, for example, be stationary, rotate, and spin. Exemplary mobiles are illustrated and described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,994,156 and 5,352,145.

While crib and mobile designs have evolved and custom crib and mobile designs are becoming more popular, it is increasingly difficult to properly attach or mount mobiles to cribs having various shapes, sizes and designs for safety reasons as well as improving visual appearance. FIG. 3 illustrates a known plastic mounting apparatus 30 that is attached to a crib for suspending a mobile above the crib. The mounting apparatus includes a base 31 having an upper base section 32 and a lower base section 33. A short lip or flange 34 extends laterally from a portion of the base 31, e.g., from the top of the lower section in the illustrated example. A threaded plastic member 35 extends laterally from the lower section 33. The mounting mechanism 30 also includes a fastener 36 that is used to secure the mechanism 30 to the crib.

Referring to FIG. 4, the mounting mechanism 30 is attached to the crib 10 by inserting the plastic member 35 through an aperture 16 formed between slats 13. A top lip or flange 34 is placed over the top rail 11 of the crib 10. The only adjustable component, the fastener 36, is screwed onto the member 35 that extends through the aperture 16 in order to attach the mount 30 to the crib 10. A mobile 20 (not shown in FIGS. 3 and 4) is attached to the top of the mounting mechanism 30 (or attached to a connector coupled to the mechanism 30) so that the mobile 20 is suspended above the infant in the crib 10. Ideally, the mount 30 is attached to the crib 10 in such a manner that the mobile 20 is suspended above the infant at the desired height and with the proper alignment so that the infant can easily see the mobile 20 and all of its elements 21 and design features.

The mechanism 30 shown in FIG. 3 is a “single adjustment” mechanism since the only component of the mount 30 that is manipulated by the user is the bolt-like fastener 36. Known “single adjustment” mounting mechanisms 30 have been used effectively in the past to mount mobiles to infant cribs. However, some known mounting mechanisms 30 do not fit and are not adaptable to cribs of different shapes, sizes and designs. This may result in mobiles being improperly aligned, thereby causing mobile elements to be arranged improperly and decreasing or eliminating the desired entertainment effect to the infant. Further, this may also present safety issues.

For example, referring to FIG. 4, a known mount 30 is attached to the crib 10 in such a manner that the base 31 and a mobile attached thereto are misaligned and oriented at an angle. Such misalignments can be caused by a number of factors, including the width of the top rail 11, slats being positioned inwardly compared to the outer edge of the top rail 11, fixed dimensions of the crib 10 and mount 30, and the limited adjustments of the mounting mechanism 30. One or more of these factors can result in the mount 30 being secured to the crib 10 but with improper alignment.

For example, as the width of the top rail 11 increases, the gap between an outer edge 17 of the top rail 11 and the crib slats 13 (positioned inwardly compared to the edge 17) also increases. Consequently, when the mount 30 is attached to the crib 10, the top flange 34 must be positioned over the top rail 11, and the lower section 33 of the mount 30 is angled inwardly to allow the member 35 to be inserted through an aperture 16 and to allow the fastener 36 to be secured to the member 35. This causes the top 32 of the base 30 to be angled outwardly which, in turn, causes a mobile 20 that is suspended from the top 32 of the mount 30 to also be arranged at an angle.

Irregular mounting angles result in a number of problems. Significantly, the mobile 20 may be tilted or angled away from the crib 10 so that the mobile 20 is not accessible by or visible to the infant, thereby rendering the mobile unsatisfactory for its intended purpose. Further, the mobile 20 is not displayed with its intended spacing and displays. For example, free-floating mobile elements 21 may be clumped together, thereby reducing the visual appeal of the mobile and the entertainment effect for the infant. These problems are amplified with various crib designs, including those designs, such as certain custom designs, that use wider top crib rails 11 and/or slats 13 that are positioned inwardly relative to the outer edge of a top rail 11, resulting in larger angles when the mount 30 is installed. Conventional mounting elements also result in less secure mounting to such cribs. Known mounting mechanisms, therefore, have a number of shortcomings, and a need, exists for an apparatus and assembly that can be adjusted by a user to adapt mounting mechanisms to cribs of various shapes, sizes and designs to maintain mobile alignment and improve safety.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Referring now to the drawings, in which like reference numbers represent corresponding parts throughout, and in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a known infant crib;

FIG. 2 illustrates a known mobile that can be hung or suspended above a crib;

FIG. 3 is a side view of a known mounting apparatus that is attached to a crib to suspend a mobile above a crib;

FIG. 4 illustrates how a mobile attached to a crib using a known mounting apparatus is misaligned;

FIG. 5 is a side view of a mounting apparatus according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 6 illustrates how a mobile attached to a crib using the apparatus shown in FIG. 5 is maintained in proper mobile alignment;

FIG. 7 further illustrates how a mobile attached to a crib using the apparatus shown in FIG. 5 and additional connection components maintained in proper mobile alignment;

FIG. 8 illustrates a properly aligned mobile attached to a crib including a relatively narrow top rail width with proper alignment using a mounting apparatus according to one embodiment;

FIG. 9 is a different view of the mounting mechanism shown in FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 illustrates a properly aligned mobile attached to a crib including a top rail having a width greater than the top rail width shown in FIG. 8 using a mounting apparatus according to one embodiment;

FIG. 11 is a different view of the mounting mechanism shown in FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a further view of the mounting mechanism shown in FIGS. 10 and 11;

FIG. 13 illustrates a base of a mounting mechanism according to one embodiment;

FIG. 14 illustrates an intermediate element of a mounting mechanism according to one embodiment;

FIG. 15 further illustrates the intermediate element shown in FIG. 14;

FIG. 16 illustrates a fastener of a mounting mechanism according to one embodiment;

FIG. 17 illustrates a connector of a mounting mechanism according to one embodiment; and

FIG. 18 illustrates a connection arm of a mounting mechanism from which a mobile is suspended according to one embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENTS

The described preferred embodiments of the invention address the shortcomings of known mounting mechanisms by providing a mounting mechanism and mobile assembly that can be attached to a crib in such a manner that the mount and mobile attached thereto are maintained in proper alignment. Embodiments are adaptable to cribs of various designs, shapes and sizes. The described embodiments include a mount that includes base, a portion of which extends above the top of the crib, and another portion of which extends through an aperture defined by slats. An intermediate adjustment element, such as a plate, disc or other structure, can be moved along the segment by a user, and a fastener is applied to the end of the segment to secure the mount to the crib. With this configuration, the intermediate element can be used to adjust the angle of the mount, thereby allowing proper alignment of the mount and mobile attached thereto.

Referring to FIG. 5, according to one embodiment, a mounting mechanism 500 for attachment to a crib includes a base 510, an intermediate adjustment element 520 and a fastener 530. In the illustrated embodiment, the base 510 includes an upper section 512 and a lower section 514. A lip or flange 516 extends from the base 510 and over a portion or all of a top rail of the crib. In the illustrated embodiment, the lip or flange 516 is part of the upper section 512, but the lip or flange 516 can also extend from the lower section 514 with different base 510 designs. A segment 518 extends from the lower section 514 of the base 510, and the intermediate element 520 is moveable along the segment 518 by a user to adjust alignment of the base 510 when the mount 500 is attached to the crib. The fastener 530 is used to clamp the mount 500 to the crib, with the intermediate element 520 positioned between the bottom 514 of the base 510 and the fastener 530.

Referring to FIG. 6, the intermediate element 520 is adjustable so that the base 510 is properly aligned, e.g., at a perpendicular or 90 degrees. Thus, a mobile that is attached directly or indirectly to the base 510 is also property aligned. For example, referring to FIG. 7, a mobile that is attached indirectly to the base 510, e.g., via an intermediate connector 710 and an arm 720, remains property aligned. More particularly, the bottom 712 of an intermediate connector 710 is connected to the top of the base 510, e.g., via a slot, a snap-and-lock device, or other suitable design or mechanism, and the bottom 722 of the arm 720 is connected to the top 714 of the intermediate connector 710, e.g., via a slot, a snap-and-lock device or other suitable design or mechanism. A mobile can be suspended above the crib from a hook 726 at the end of the arm 720.

FIGS. 8-12 illustrate how a mounting mechanism according to one embodiment can be attached to cribs 70 of different shapes, sizes and designs. FIGS. 8 and 10, for example, illustrate that a mounting mechanism 500 can be applied to a crib 800 having a relatively narrow top rail 811 (FIG. 8) that is completely covered by the flange 516, and that a mounting mechanism 500 can also be applied to a crib 1000 having a wider top rail 1011 (FIG. 10) so that the flange 516 only extends partially across the top of the rail 1011.

Referring to FIGS. 8 and 9, a mounting mechanism 500 can be attached to a crib 800 having a relatively narrow top rail 811. In the illustrated embodiment, the base 510 is positioned inside the crib 800, and the flange 516 is placed over the top rail 811. The edge 517 of the flange 516 extends beyond the outer edge of the top rail 811 since the rail 811 is relatively narrow. The intermediate element 520 is adjustably connected to the segment 518 of the base 510 and positioned within the crib 800. The intermediate element 520 can be moved along the segment 518 in order to adjust the alignment of the base 510. The fastener 530 is attached to the section of the segment 518 extending through an aperture 816 outside the crib 800.

Referring to FIGS. 10-12, a mounting mechanism 500 can also be attached to a crib 1000 having a relatively wide top rail 1011. In the illustrated embodiment, the base 510 is positioned inside the crib 1000, and the flange 516 is placed over the top rail 1011. Given the width of the rail 1011, the end 517 of the flange 516 extends only partially across the top of the rail. As shown in FIGS. 10 and 12, the intermediate element 520 is also adjustably connected to the segment 518 of the base 510 and positioned within the crib 1000. The intermediate element 520 can be moved along the segment 518 in order to adjust the alignment of the base 510. The fastener 530 is attached to the section of the segment 518 extending through an aperture 1016 outside the crib 1000.

The base 510, the adjustment element 520 and the fastener 530 can be configured in various ways so that the adjustment element 520 can be moved along the base segment 518 in order to change the alignment of the base 510 while allowing the fastener 530 to secure the mechanism 500 to a crib. According to one embodiment, this is achieved using threaded segment 518, intermediate element 520 and fastener 530 components. Alternative embodiments involve the use of other adjustment and/or attachment mechanisms besides threaded devices, such as snap-and-lock devices and detents. Solely for purposes of explanation and illustration, not as a limitation, this specification describes and illustrates the use of threaded components. The threaded components and their interoperability are described with reference to FIGS. 13-18.

Referring to FIG. 13, as discussed above, a base 510 includes an upper section 512 and a lower section 514. And the lip or flange 516 of the upper section 512 extends over the top rail of a crib, and the lower section 514 extends into the crib interior. An outer surface of the segment 518 extending from the lower section 512 is threaded 1300 and extends through an aperture in the crib between two slats. Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that other base 510 configurations be utilized, and that the base 510 illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 13 is provided for purposes of explanation and illustration, not limitation.

Referring to FIGS. 14 and 15, an intermediate element 520, such as an adjustment bolt, is threadedly and adjustably attached to the threaded segment 518 of the base 510. In the illustrated embodiment, the intermediate element 520 includes an internally threaded section 1400 and an externally threaded section 1410. As shown in FIGS. 5 and 14, the internally threaded section 1400 is configured for mating relationship with the externally threaded section 1300 of the base segment 518. The externally threaded section 1410 is configured for mating relationship with the clamp or fastener 530. The intermediate element 520 includes surfaces 1420 that can be grasped by a user to turn or rotate the element 520, which causes the element 520 to move laterally along the externally threaded segment 518. Thus, a user can rotate the element 520 to adjust the element 520 back and forth along the segment 518, thereby changing the alignment of the base 510 when the mount 500 is attached to a crib.

Referring to FIGS. 14-16, the mount 500 also includes a fastener 530, such as a clamp or bolt. In the illustrated embodiment, and as shown in FIG. 5, the fastener 530 is internally threaded 1600 for mating relationship with the externally threaded section 1410 of the intermediate element 520 and is rotated to secure the mounting base to the crib. Persons skilled in the art that the length, pitch and width of the threads 1300, 1400, 1410 and 1600 can vary. For example, a portion or all of the segment 518 may be threaded. Similarly, a portion or all of the external portion of the intermediate element 520 may be threaded. Further, a portion or all of the internal portion of the intermediate element 520 may be threaded. Moreover, a portion of all of the internal portion of the fastener 530 can be threaded. Thus, “threaded” is defined to include different thread lengths, pitches, widths, as well as different threaded portions (e.g., complete or partial circumferential thread or thread segments). Further, “threaded” is defined to include structures that can interoperate with threaded arrangements or sections. For example, the interior of the intermediate element 520 may include a notch or protrusion so that when the intermediate element 520 is rotated by a user, the notch or protrusion follows the groove defined by the internally threaded section 530 of the segment 518, thus allowing the intermediate element 520 to be rotated and move along the threaded 1300 segment. Accordingly, the threaded configurations that are described and illustrated are provided for purposes of explanation and illustration, not limitation.

In the illustrated embodiment, the intermediate element 520 has two threaded sections—an internally threaded section 1400 (surrounding or defining an aperture) and an externally threaded section 1410. In the illustrated embodiment, the diameter of the internally threaded section 1400 is less than the diameter of the externally threaded section 1410, but embodiments are not so limited. In use, according to one embodiment, the base 510 and the intermediate element 520 can be placed within the crib, and the fastener 1530 is located outside the crib. The fastener 530 and the intermediate element 520 press against slats of the crib, and the bottom 511 of the base 510 is separated from the slats. Moving the intermediate element 520 changes the alignment of the base 510. The configuration shown in FIGS. 7-12 in which the fastener 530 is positioned outside the crib may be desirable since the infant would not be able to access the fastener 530 and inadvertently release the mount 500. However, the base 510, intermediate element 520 and fastener 530 can be arranged in other ways relative to the crib exterior and interior in alternative embodiments.

According to one embodiment, the top of the base 510 is configured for direct attachment of a mobile. Alternatively, further connection elements can be used to suspend the mobile higher above the top of the crib. For example, referring to FIGS. 7, 17 and 18, a middle connector 710 can be attached to the top of the mounting base 510, and an arm 720, such as an arcuate arm, can be attached to the top 714 of the middle connector 710. A mobile can then be suspended above the baby in the crib from the end of the arm, e.g., from a hook 726 as shown in FIG. 18. Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that other connection components can be attached to the base 510 in order to suspend a mobile at different heights. Further, the mobile or a mobile assembly may include a built-in segment that is attached to the mount or to another connection component that provides the desired height, e.g., one height.

Embodiments can be packaged solely as a mount 500 (e.g., base 510, intermediate element 520 and fastener 530), as a mount assembly (e.g., base 510, intermediate element 520, fastener 530, and one or more connectors, such as intermediate connector 710 and arm 720), and as an assembly that includes the mount 500, one or more connectors (if necessary) and a mobile. Embodiments provide significant improvements over known mounting mechanisms and allow the base and attached middle connector and/or arm components to be properly aligned so that the mobile is displayed with the mobile elements in their desired positioned and spacing to provide the intended visual effects. Further, embodiments significantly improve safety since mobile are attached to a crib in a more secure manner. Embodiments utilize various base—intermediate element—fastener configurations to achieve these improvements.

Although references have been made in the foregoing description to various embodiments, persons of skilled in the art will recognize that insubstantial modifications, alterations, and substitutions can be made to the described embodiments without departing from the scope of embodiments. For example, mobiles of various shapes, sizes and designs and various other elements can be suspended or hung from cribs of various shapes, sizes and designs using embodiments of the invention. Additionally, although certain embodiments are described with reference to threaded surfaces to allow adjustment of the intermediate element, persons skilled in the art will appreciate that other mounting and adjustment mechanisms can be utilized, and that the particular threaded devices are provided for purposes of explanation and illustration. For example, one or more threaded surfaces or arrangements can be replaced with snap-and-lock devices, detents, and friction elements, e.g., in order to achieve the desired position of the intermediate element and align the base. Further, persons skilled in the art will appreciate that certain components can be positioned in different locations, e.g., inside or outside of the crib, and can be made of various materials, including plastic.





 
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