Title:
Garment with opening in back portion
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The preferred embodiment of the present invention comprises a child's sleeper containing an aperture in the back to provide access for an adult's hand, to allow caregivers to slip their hand inside the back of the sleeper to pat, scratch, rub or touch a child's back directly, thus providing comfort to the child in a manner that is ergonomic to the caregiver. The opening provides access for the caregiver's hand but easily and quietly closes back again when the caregiver's hand is removed so that the child is not disturbed. Traditional children's sleepers do not contain a back aperture, and the parent or caregiver must either comfort the child through a layer of fabric, or use the back of the opening at the top of the garment, which is designed for the child's head, to place his or her hand directly on the child's back.



Inventors:
Forney, Tobey Blanton (Houston, TX, US)
Application Number:
12/030502
Publication Date:
08/21/2008
Filing Date:
02/13/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/80, 2/83, 2/243.1
International Classes:
A41D11/00; A41D10/00; A41D27/00
View Patent Images:
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20090104845ARTICLE OF APPAREL FOR CONCEALING OBJECTSApril, 2009Pintor et al.
20050229281Hygienic eyes coverOctober, 2005Glasser
20070240247Antimicrobial protective hand deviceOctober, 2007Beck
20070180599LEATHER BELTAugust, 2007Baek et al.
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20050114990Simple restraint harness for walking or other activityJune, 2005Oreshkin



Primary Examiner:
HALE, GLORIA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Tobey Blanton Forney (Houston, TX, US)
Claims:
1. A garment for a child, comprising: (a) a garment body adapted to surround the child's torso; (b) a pair of leg portions adapted to surround the child's legs; (c) a pair of arm portions adapted to surround the child's arms, wherein said arm portions extend laterally from said garment body; and (d) an aperture located in the back of the torso portion of said garment body; wherein said garment body, said pair of leg portions, and said pair of arm portions are all connected to one another, wherein said aperture is wide enough for an adult's hand.

2. The garment of claim 1, wherein said garment is made of a soft fabric.

3. The garment of claim 2, wherein said soft fabric is selected from the group consisting of cotton, modal, polyester, fleece and poly microfleece.

4. The garment of claim 2, wherein said soft fabric is breathable.

5. The garment of claim 1, wherein said aperture is horizontal.

6. The garment of claim 1, wherein said aperture is vertical.

7. The garment of claim 1, wherein said aperture is centered in the back of said torso portion of said garment body.

8. The garment of claim 1, wherein the edges of said aperture are connected by means of a fastening device selected from the group consisting of Velcro™, hook and loop fasteners, zippers, snaps, buttons and hook and eye fasteners.

9. The garment of claim 1, wherein said aperture is created by using two panels of fabric for the back of said torso portion of said garment, wherein one panel of fabric overlaps the second panel of fabric, and wherein the two panels of fabric are connected at distal ends with sufficient space between said connected distal ends to create said aperture between said connected distal ends.

10. The garment of claim 9, wherein the edges of said panels of fabric overlapping to create said aperture are formed from a fabric selected from a group consisting of elastic, Lycra™, Spandex™, and other stretchy fabrics.

11. The garment of claim 9, wherein the edges of said panels are connected at the point of overlap by a fastening device selected from the group consisting of Velcro™, hook and loop fasteners, zippers, snaps, buttons and hook and eye fasteners.

12. The garment of claim 1, wherein said aperture is created by overlapping one portion over another portion of the fabric panel of the back of said torso portion of said garment, thus creating an upper, middle, and lower layer of the fabric panel at the overlap, attaching distal ends of said upper and middle layers of said overlapped fabric panel to the lower layer of said overlapped fabric panel, and cutting said aperture along the edge between said lower layer and said middle layer.

13. The garment of claim 12, wherein said middle layer and said lower layer may be fastened together using a fastening device, said fastening device being selected from the group consisting of Velcro™, hook and loop fasteners, zippers, snaps, buttons and hook and eye fasteners.

14. The garment of claim 1, wherein said pair of leg portions comprise foot portions.

15. The garment of claim 14, wherein the bottom of said foot portions is a non-skid surface.

16. The garment of claim 14, wherein said foot portions are removable and attached by a fastening device selected from the group consisting of Velcro™, hook and loop fasteners, zippers, snaps, buttons and hook and eye fasteners.

17. The garment of claim 1, wherein said pair of leg portions are ankle length, knee length, mid-calf length or mid-thigh length.

18. The garment of claim 1, wherein said pair of arm portions are short sleeved or long sleeved.

19. The garment of claim 1, wherein a fastening device is located on the front or along the inner part of said pair of leg portions, wherein said fastening device is selected from the group consisting of Velcro™, hook and loop fasteners, zippers, snaps, buttons and hook and eye fasteners.

20. A garment for a child, comprising: (a) a garment body adapted to surround the child's torso; (b) a pair of arm portions adapted to surround the child's arms, wherein said arm portions extend laterally from said garment body; (c) a fastening device at the bottom of said garment body; and (d) an aperture located in the back of the torso portion of said garment body; wherein said garment body and said pair of arm portions are all connected to one another, wherein said aperture is wide enough for an adult's hand.

21. The garment of claim 20, wherein said aperture is created by using two panels of fabric for the back of said torso portion of said garment, wherein one panel of fabric overlaps the second panel of fabric, and wherein the two panels of fabric are connected at distal ends with sufficient space between said connected distal ends to create said aperture between said connected distal ends.

22. The garment of claim 20, wherein the edges of said aperture are connected by means of a fastening device selected from the group consisting of Velcro™, hook and loop fasteners, zippers, snaps, buttons and hook and eye fasteners.

23. The garment of claim 20, wherein the pair of arm portions are short sleeved or long sleeved.

24. A method of allowing a caregiver to place his or her hand directly on a clothed child's back, said method comprising placing a garment on said child wherein said garment comprises: (a) a garment body adapted to surround the child's torso; (b) a pair of leg portions adapted to surround the child's legs; (c) a pair of arm portions adapted to surround the child's arms, wherein said arm portions extend laterally from said garment body; and (d) an aperture located in the back of the torso portion of said garment body; wherein said garment body, said pair of leg portions, and said pair of arm portions are all connected to one another, wherein said aperture is wide enough for an adult's hand.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional application No. 60/901,266, filed Feb. 15, 2007, which is incorporated herein by reference.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING, A TABLE, OR A COMPUTER PROGRAM LISTING COMPACT DISC APPENDIX

Not applicable.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to children's clothing and more particularly, to a garment for babies and children that comprises an opening in the middle back portion of the garment, allowing the parent or caregiver to insert a hand into the garment and pat, scratch or rub the child's back or otherwise give comfort to the child using skin-to-skin contact.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is well known that babies and children thrive on skin-to-skin contact with their parents or caregivers. Such contact is essential for early childhood development, especially in the early days and months of a child's life, and is instrumental to parent-child bonding. Studies have shown that skin-to-skin contact is very important for a baby's immune function, weight gain, and emotional security. Patting, scratching, rubbing or simply touching a child's back gives comfort to both child and caregiver and can induce serenity, relaxation and sleep in the child. After they have learned to roll over on their own, many children prefer to sleep on their tummies, leaving the child's back as the best place for a caregiver to comfort a child with skin-to-skin contact when the child is in his or her crib.

Traditional children's sleepers are well known and typically comprise a garment body to cover the child's torso, a pair of arm portions for covering the child's arms, and a pair of leg portions for covering the child's legs. Often, the distal ends of the leg portions are provided with integral foot portions, which may or may not be removable by means of fastening devices such as zippers, buttons or snaps. Traditional children's sleepers are typically intended to be snug-fitting, and do not comprise any openings in the back or rear of the garment. Rather, the only openings in such garments include (i) an opening provided at the top of the garment designed for the child's head, (ii) an opening in the front or along the inner leg portions of the garment in the form of a fastening device or devices typically comprising a zipper, snaps, buttons, or similar means of opening and closing the garment to allow access for putting on and removing the garment and for changing diapers, (iii) openings at the distal ends of the lateral arm portions designed for the child's hands, and (iv) possibly openings at the distal ends of the leg portions designed for the child's feet.

Therefore, with traditional children's sleepers, no back opening is provided and the parent or caregiver must either pat, rub or scratch the child's back through a layer of fabric, or use the back of the opening at the top of the pajamas, which is designed for the child's head, to place his or her hand directly on the child's back. The former tends to be noisy and is not as comforting to the child as skin-to-skin contact, and the latter creates an awkward and uncomfortable position for the caregiver's hand, wrist and arm and does not provide full access to the child's entire back. Moreover, it is difficult to remove the caregiver's hand, which can disturb or awaken a child who is sleepy or has fallen asleep. This can create angst in the parent or caregiver, which can have a negative impact on the sleeping and bonding process.

Therefore, a need exists for a child's garment or sleeper with an aperture located in the back portion of the garment wide enough to provide access for an adult's hand.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention comprises a child's garment or sleeper that provides an aperture located in the back portion of the garment that is wide enough to provide access for an adult's hand, thus allowing parents and caregivers to slip their hand inside the back of the garment for patting, scratching, rubbing, caressing or simply touching a child's back directly, and thus providing comfort to the child. In a preferred embodiment, the aperture is a horizontal slit just wide enough for an adult's hand and is located in the middle back portion of the garment body of the sleeper. The opening is designed such that it opens easily to provide access for the caregiver's hand but easily, quickly and quietly closes back again when the caregiver's hand is removed, so that the child is not disturbed, and so that the child's back is not exposed to ambient air when the opening is not in use. The closing mechanism can be achieved by various means, the preferred embodiment of which is a fabric overlap, which can be made of a stretchy or elasticized form-fitting fabric, that easily folds back together and covers the opening. In addition, the overlap may contain a fastening device which may be a hook and loop fastener, Velcro™, snaps, buttons, a hook and eye fastener, or a similar mechanism.

Using the invention, a caregiver seeking to comfort or induce sleep in a child can easily and quietly use skin-to-skin contact to achieve the desired result, in a manner that is ergonomic for the caregiver. Moreover, if the goal is to induce sleep in the child, once the child is sleeping the invention makes it simple for the caregiver to remove his or her hand without disturbing the sleeping child and without leaving the child's back exposed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

The drawing provided shows an embodiment of the invention that is presently preferred; it being understood, however, that this invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown in the drawing.

The drawing illustrates the rear view of a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Traditional children's sleepers do not provide access in the back by which a parent or caregiver may comfortably and easily place his or her hand on the child's back to provide skin-on-skin contact to comfort the child and induce sleep. Instead, the parent or caregiver must either comfort the child through a layer of fabric, or use the back of the opening at the top of the sleeper, which is designed for the child's head, to place his or her hand directly on the child's back. The former is not as comforting to the child as skin-to-skin contact and tends to be noisy, and the latter creates an awkward and uncomfortable position for the caregiver's hand, wrist and arm and does not provide full access to the child's entire back. Moreover, it is difficult and awkward to remove the caregiver's hand, which can disturb or awaken a child who is sleepy or has fallen asleep.

Therefore, the present invention in its preferred embodiment provides a child sleeper with an aperture located in the back portion of the garment that is wide enough to provide access or an adult's hand, thus allowing parents and caregivers to slip their hand inside the back of the garment for patting, scratching, rubbing, caressing or simply touching a child's back directly, and thus providing comfort to the child. In a preferred embodiment, the aperture is created by overlapping fabric, so that it opens easily to provide access for the caregiver's hand but simply and quietly closes back again automatically when the caregiver's hand is removed, so that the child is not disturbed and the child's back is not exposed to the air when the aperture is not in use.

While the invention will be described in this section as embodied in one or more preferred embodiments, it should be understood that the invention is not limited to these embodiments. It is intended that the invention cover all alternatives, modifications and equivalents as may be included within its spirit and scope, as defined by this application and by the appended claims.

The drawing depicts a rear view of a child's sleeper 10 in a preferred embodiment of the present invention. In a preferred embodiment, the invention is in the form of a child's sleeper comprising a garment body 12, a pair of arm portions 14, and a pair of leg portions 16, all of which are connected together to cover the child's body, legs and arms. The garment body contains an aperture 18 wide enough to accommodate an adult's hand, which in a preferred embodiment is horizontal and is located in the center of the child's back on the garment body 12.

In a preferred embodiment, the aperture 18 is created by the overlap of two panels of fabric 20, 22, which are stitched together at the distal ends 24, 26 from the center of the aperture with sufficient space between the stitched distal ends 24, 26 to allow an aperture 18 of the appropriate width. The aperture 18 is concealed under the top overlapping fabric panel 20 and is therefore indicated on the drawing by a dashed line. In another embodiment, the edge of the top overlapping fabric panel 28 is connected to the bottom panel 22 at the point of overlap by means of a fastening device, such as Velcro™, a hook and loop fastener, a zipper, snaps, buttons, or a hook and eye. In another embodiment, the edge of the top overlapping fabric panel and the edge of the bottom panel that is overlapped by the top fabric panel may be elasticized, or may comprise stretchy fabric such as Lycra™ or Spandex™ to enable better closure of the aperture when not in use.

In a preferred embodiment, the sleeper 10 has a pair of integral foot portions 30 which may be removable. In a preferred embodiment, the bottom of the foot portions is covered by a non-skid surface.

Although the preferred embodiment comprises a fabric overlap of two different fabric panels that are stitched together, in another embodiment the fabric overlap can be created by creating an overlap in a single panel of fabric, wherein the aperture is cut at the edge between the resulting lower and middle layers of the overlapped fabric. In further embodiments, the aperture may be vertical.

The sleeper preferably is made of a soft and porous fabric which offers heat insulation as well as breathability for the comfort of the child. The fastener for the sleeper allowing access for putting on and removing the sleeper and changing the child's diaper may be located in the front of the sleeper or along the inner leg portions of the sleeper, and may consist of buttons, snaps, Velcro™, hook and loop fasteners, or hook and eye fasteners.

The preferred embodiment of the invention is a child's sleeper because the purpose of the invention is to allow the caregiver to comfort the child using skin-to-skin contact to induce relaxation or sleep, typically at night. However, the invention may also be used to aid is putting the child to sleep during the day for a nap, or to provide skin-to-skin contact during leisure activities such as watching television. Thus, in one embodiment, the invention comprises a pair of leg portions that do not contain foot portions and that are ankle length, mid-calf length, knee length, or mid-thigh length. In another embodiment, the invention comprises a pair of arm portions that are short sleeved or long sleeved. In another embodiment, the invention comprises a “onesie” which has no leg portions, and which comprises a pair of arm portions that are short sleeved or long sleeved.