Title:
Baby comforter
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus and associated method for comforting a baby by providing a simulation of being held by a caregiver, such as a parent, family member, or guardian. The simulation includes a pair of simulated arms that may be wrapped around the baby or used to provide a surrounding support having the feel of being held in a person's arms. One embodiment includes a sheepskin or faux sheep skin base for warmth and comfort. The arms may include weighted hands for additional feeling of being held. The arms may be affixed to one another in the front (hand, wrist, forearm area) using hook and loop, stretchable band or straps or other fasteners. The arms may also be joined in the back to provide a raised support opposite the hands portion of the apparatus. One embodiment includes a simulated beating heart.



Inventors:
Williams, Belva (Huntsville, AL, US)
Lavin, Gayle (Huntsville, AL, US)
Application Number:
12/218015
Publication Date:
01/15/2009
Filing Date:
07/10/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C16/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CONLEY, FREDRICK C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Belva Williams (Huntsville, AL, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A baby-comforting device for use to cradle, encircle, embrace, and cuddle a reclining infant, said device comprising: two arm structures and a back structure, each arm structure including a hand structure on one end of each said arm structure, said two arm structures and said back structure capable of being joined end to end to form a comforter simulating the arms, hands, and portion of the torso of a human which would be in contact with said reclining infant while holding said reclining infant in said human's arms; said comforter comprising soft cover material and soft stuffing material; said comforter further comprising detachable attachments at the hand or forearm of each arm to allow the comforter to form a continuous connected ring to encircle and secure said reclining infant.

2. The baby-comforting device of claim 1, further including a base of soft material attached to said back portion for placing underneath said reclining infant.

3. The baby-comforting device of claim 2, wherein said base is made of faux or real sheepskin.

4. The baby-comforting device of claim 1, wherein said hand structure is shaped as a mitten.

5. The baby-comforting device of claim 1, wherein said hand structure is shaped as a glove.

6. The baby-comforting device of claim 1, wherein said hand includes a hand pocket.

7. The baby comforting device of claim 6, further including a removable weighted structure in said hand pocket for providing the weighted feel of a human hand.

8. The baby comforting device of claim 7, wherein the weighted structure is a bean bag.

9. The baby comforting device of claim 7, wherein the weighted structure is 0.25 to 3 kilograms.

10. The baby comforting-device of claim 1, wherein said arm includes an arm pocket.

11. The baby comforting device of claim 10, further including a mechanical device within said arm pocket for simulating a human heart beat.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit under USC 119(e) of provisional application 60/959,141, filed Jul. 11, 2007 by Williams et al, which is incorporated by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention pertains generally to the field of baby care and more particularly to the field of baby comforting.

BACKGROUND

In the busy world of today, there is a definite need to give parents the tools to provide their babies with a greater sense of security and contentment. With busy schedules and family demands taking a toll on the parent or caregiver's time, the baby often lies in a crib or bed, separated from the caregiver. The separation may create a level of anxiety and restlessness in the baby, resulting in discomfort and crying on the part of the baby and anxiety and fatigue on the part of the parent or caregiver. Studies establish the need of babies to be cuddled and nurtured. A baby's sense of contentment is enhanced when securely being held within a familiar environment.

Therefore, there is a need for a device or method to satisfy the baby's need to be held while the caregiver attends to other tasks.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Briefly, the present invention is an apparatus and associated method for comforting a baby by providing a simulation of being held by a caregiver, such as a parent, family member, or guardian. The simulation includes a pair of simulated arms that may be wrapped around the baby or used to provide a surrounding support having the feel of being held in a person's arms. One embodiment includes a sheepskin or faux sheep skin base for warmth and comfort. The arms may include weighted hands for additional feeling of being held. The arms may be affixed to one another in the front (hand, wrist, forearm area) using hook and loop or straps, flexible bands or other fasteners. The arms may also be joined in the back to provide a raised support opposite the hands portion of the apparatus. One embodiment includes a simulated beating heart.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a drawing of the simulated arms, including hands, with the arms joined in the back.

FIG. 2A is a drawing of the simulated arms of FIG. 1, including a sheepskin base draped over the joined part of the arms in the back and under the forearm and hand portion of the arms in the front.

FIG. 2B is a drawing of the arms and sheepskin of FIG. 2A with the fore arms banded together.

FIG. 2C shows the sheepskin and backing with a pouch for the simulated heartbeat device.

FIG. 3 is a drawing of an accessory bag to hold the arms and sheep skin.

FIG. 4 is a cross section drawing of the simulated arms of FIG. 2 with the sheepskin placed on a surface for illustrational purposes.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention is an apparatus and associated method for comforting a baby by providing a simulation of being held by a caregiver.

FIG. 1 is a drawing of the simulated arms 100, including hands 107, with the arms joined in the back 109. Referring to FIG. 1, an arm assembly 100 comprises a right hand portion 107a, left hand portion 107b, right forearm portion 108a, left forearm portion 108b, and back portion 109. The arm assembly 100 may be supplied as a separate right 101a and left 101b arm or as a joined assembly 100. The hand portions 107a, 107b include weights 102a, 102b, which may be a beanbag or other weighted object. The weights may be any desired weight, for example 0.25 to 3 kilograms. The hand portions include a pouch 110a, 110b for receiving the weight. The pouch may be closed with a fastener such as hook and loop, zipper, buttons or other closure. As shown the hand 107 is formed in mitten shape. Other shapes including glove with fingers or pad without fingers are possible. The weight 102 is removable to simplify laundering the arms and allow weights that may be damaged by soaking in water (such as a beanbag). Bands or straps 111a and 111b may be provided to secure the forearms together to form a cradle for the baby.

FIG. 2A is a drawing of the simulated arms of FIG. 1, including a sheepskin base 103 draped over the joined part of the arms in the back and under the forearm and hand portion of the arms in the front. The sheepskin 103 or faux sheepskin is both soft and warm providing a natural base that is itself comforting to a baby. The sheepskin is draped over the back portion 109 to provide support on one side of the baby while the arms 101 provide support on the other side of the baby. The left arm 101b (to the right of the page) is shown draped over the top of the baby to provide further sense of being held by the caregiver. The arms in FIG. 2A are draped across the baby using the weights to secure the position of the arms. The sheepskin 103 may be fastened to the arms 101 or may be simply draped across the arms 101. A heartbeat device 104c is shown in a pocket 110c attached to the sheepskin backing 404. The heartbeat device 104a, 104b is also (and alternatively) shown within the pouches 110a 110b in the hands 107a 107b.

FIG. 2B is a drawing of the arms and sheepskin of FIG. 2A with the fore arms secured together. The arms may be joined in the front by hook and loop, straps, buttons or other fasteners. Straps or bands 111a and 111b may be used to strap the forearms together to form a cradle for the baby.

FIG. 2C shows the sheepskin and backing with a pouch for the simulated heartbeat device.

FIG. 3 is a drawing of an accessory bag 105 to hold the arms 101 and sheep skin 103.

FIG. 4 is a cross section drawing of the simulated arms of FIG. 2 with the sheepskin placed on a flat surface. The arm assembly is designed to lay flat as on a sofa, crib, bed, the floor or other level surface. The arm assembly surrounds the baby with gentle confinement to keep the baby held safely in position. The baby may preferably be held laterally as shown (head to toe from side to side in the arms). As the baby grows, the baby may find other positions comfortable. The baby, as a toddler, may continue to find comfort with the arms and/or sheepskin and may regard the sheepskin as a security blanket or teddy bear.

Referring to FIG. 4, the back portion of the arms 109, comprising the arm cover material 405 and arm fill material 406, lies directly on the surface 401. The sheepskin, comprising the backing or hide portion 404 and the fur portion 403, lies on top of the back portion. The arms, right forearm 108a and left forearm 108b, are shown above the sheepskin fur 403. The region 402 for the baby is shown between the forearms and the sheepskin as the sheepskin drapes across the back portion 405. In one embodiment, an optional simulated heartbeat 104c may be provided. A battery powered heartbeat device 104c is located in a pocket 110c attached to the sheepskin backing 404, but may be located with the arms 101 in pockets 110a and 110b (see FIG. 1).

The present invention aids parents/caregivers in providing a comforting, nurturing environment for their babies. The simulated arms provide a gentle embrace for baby thus creating the sensation of being held.

The arms are much like the caregiver's arms. While the ideal place for a baby is in the caregiver's arms, the invention promotes the same soft, warm, and sensory environment. The temperature, texture, and heartbeat all simulate the caregiver's presence. The weighted hands in the apparatus provide the human touch.

Babies easily transition from one location to another by bringing their “environment” with them. The feel of the arms comforts sleeping babies. When traveling, a baby can sleep without any disruption due to the changing of its cradling environs. The arms comfort the baby when visiting away from home. The arms design is easily and compactly stored in its travel bag. Away from home, simply cradle baby in the arms and baby has his/her familiar surroundings anywhere.

The baby is safer in the arms as the caregiver attends to needs of an older child or does household tasks. Rather than being carried along by the caregiver as he/she multitasks, and thus endangering the baby, the infant rests safely in the arms giving the caregiver freedom to tend to other needs as they arise.

The arms promote physical and emotional health and happiness of the child. Babies love the soft feel and comfort of the sheepskin base. British studies have shown babies raised on sheepskin, the soft base of the arms, enjoy quicker weight gain and better health than those without.

The arms give the caregiver peace of mind knowing that their baby is content, secure, and happy resting in their own unique environment. And the baby enjoys the cuddling position of the invention that gives baby that reassuring presence of his/her caregiver.

Description of Product

The arms are a simulation of the caregiver's arms. The arms design is composed of two continuous arms made of a soft, flexible material that cradles the baby on a soft blanket base. Fill Materials are non-allergenic. Weights at the end of the arms produce the feel of a caregiver's touch. Both hands can contain pockets that hold removable objects. The weight of the object can be exchanged to increase the amount with the age and size of the infant. A battery powered heart located in a pocket provides a soothing heartbeat.

The arms have a bag for storing and traveling.

The two arm pieces are connected at the shoulder and are substantially cylindrical with a slightly graduated circumference that resembles human arms.

Exemplary dimensions of arms are as follows:

Length of arms outstretched is approximately 70″

Width of arms varies from 12″ down to 7″

Blanket base is approximately 30″ by 20″

Travel bag is 20″×20″, zippered, durable, and light weight

The arms are constructed of materials contain non-allergenic stuffing. The exterior can be cleaned with a damp cloth. The sheepskin can be machine washed on the gentle cycle.

Embodiment of Product

The following provides a description of a particular preferred embodiment. The dimensions may be varied as desired.

Dimensions:Length of arms outstretched is approximately 70″
Width of arms varies from 12″ down to 7″
Blanket base is approximately 30″ by 20″
Arms:faux sheepskin/real sheepskin (101)
Continuous arm (or may be 2 arms connected)
Has weighted hands, mitts, or arm ends (contains a
removable bean bag-type weight (102) or a battery operated
simulated heartbeat (104) in a hook and loop, zipper,
button, or other fastener secured pocket in the hand) (107)
Located near the wrist on each arm is a moveable band
(111a, 111b) of hook and loop, elastic or other type fastener
to secure the arms together to hold the baby
Can be cleaned with a damp cloth
Stuffed with non-allergenic stuffing
Base:Soft, natural sheepskin (real/faux) (103)
Machine washable on the gentle cycle
Size approximately 30″ × 20″
Heart:3″-5″ battery operated device simulating human heartbeat
(104)

The heart may be placed in a pocket (110c) in the sheepskin, in the arms, or may be placed in the pocket for the weight in the hand (110a and 110b)

Travel bag: 20″×20″, zippered, durable, and lightweight (105)
Optional: Swaddling lightweight blanket (106)

The attached drawing illustrates the components of the preferred embodiment of the invention. The back of the invention is formed where the arms attach and the sheepskin lies over the arms. A cradling effect is created simulating human arms surrounding the baby.





 
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