Title:
Sleepy shopper hammock sling
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A shopping carriage hammock sling is provided to assist a care-giver when shopping with an infant. The shopping carriage hammock sling is removeably attached to a shopping carriage while the care-giver shops and the infant typically sleeps. The device includes a hammock, a belting strap and an interlocking strap to securely strap an infant to the hammock, and extension straps with fasteners to removeably engage the shopping cart.



Inventors:
Roman, Irma Luz (Bristol, CT, US)
Application Number:
11/723791
Publication Date:
03/19/2009
Filing Date:
09/17/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45F3/22
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KELLEHER, WILLIAM J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Clayman, Tapper & Baram, LLC (Bloomfield, CT, US)
Claims:
1. A shopping carriage hammock sling comprising: a) a hammock for supporting a baby; b) a belting strap for securing the baby within the hammock; c) a plurality of extension straps; d) a means for securing the extension straps to a shopping carriage.

2. The shopping carriage hammock sling of claim 1 further comprising an interlocking strap.

3. The shopping carriage hammock sling of claim 2 wherein the belting strap engages the interlocking strap to secure an infant to the hammock.

4. The shopping carriage hammock sling of claim 3 wherein the belting strap further comprises a first segment and a second segment and a means for removeably engaging the first segment to the second segment.

5. The shopping carriage hammock sling of claim 4 wherein the means for removeably engaging the first segment to the second segment comprises a male/female buckle.

6. The shopping carriage hammock sling of claim 1 wherein the means for securing the extension straps to a shopping carriage comprise snap hooks.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/786,036 filed Mar. 27, 2006.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention is directed to a method and system for protectively managing a sleeping infant while using a shopping carriage to shop for groceries and the like. More particularly, the present invention advantageously utilizes the compartment of the shopping carriage designed to hold groceries to instead carry the sleeping infant.

2. Brief Description of the Related Art

Baby seats, baby carriages and baby strollers are well known in the art. Many shoppers simply remove the infant from a car seat and then place the infant in a stroller. Unfortunately, if the shopper is alone as is often the case, then the shopper must either use the limited space in the stroller as a shopping carriage or try to manage a shopping carriage and a stroller.

A better method for managing a shopping cart and an infant is needed. Some infant carriers known in the prior art may be removeably secured to a base that is in turn secured to the seatbelt system of an automobile, and also dropped into place over the front portion of a shopping carriage. The infant carrier has slots that align with the front bar and the rear portion of the front compartment of a shopping carriage. Although this device may provide a method for securing the infant within the infant carrier, it does not secure the infant carrier to the shopping carriage and therefore the infant remains at risk of slipping off of the shopping carriage.

Another type of prior art, described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,343,727 to Leach, provides a garment to be worn by an adult for carrying the infant. The garment resembles a backpack, to be worn on the front of the adult, adapted to hold an infant. While such a device may be helpful in carrying an infant, it is not advantageous if the infant is to remain sleeping nor is it advantageous if the adult wishes to partake in an activity such as shopping without constantly moving the infant.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,133,063 to Jones-Steele discloses a portable infant layette that serves as a portable changing table. The device includes a pair of articulated mattress sections and relatively rigid safety-side board members. The device could be used in certain applications, such as in a shopping carriage; however, the device would be bulky to carry and use in such an application.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to transform a shopping carriage into a safe, secure, germ free environment for an infant while at rest. Another object of the present invention is to alleviate the need to constantly hold an infant while shopping thereby reducing the risk of accidentally dropping the infant. It is yet another object of the present invention to eliminate muscle strain from carrying heavy car seats and carriers while shopping. It is another object of the present invention to provide a device whereby infants can remain asleep for a longer period of time while an adult care-giver shops. It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a solution to the aforementioned problems in the prior art, and satisfy the aforementioned objectives, while providing a device that will fit into conventional diaper bags and pocketbooks for optimal convenience.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is intended for infants, preferably newborn to four months old, that cannot sit upright unassisted. The present invention will attach to the inside of typical grocery or retail store shopping carriage. The device clips onto all four sides of the carriage with metal clips, has safety belts that are attached to the device, and hangs at an angle away from the top shopping basket inside of the shopping carriage.

One embodiment of the present invention has four secure clips that are attached to double-sided extra strength straps that attach to the shopping carriage. The hammock portion is fabricated from industrial strength threads and a heavy duty double-sided material. Each clip can withstand up to 70 lbs. and can attach to either metal or plastic shopping carriages. The safety belt is adjustable to accommodate different size babies. This device should always be installed within the carriage before the infant is placed inside of it, and the baby should always be removed from the hammock before removing the hammock from the shopping carriage.

The present invention provides a device that allows an infant to lay comfortably while shopping with a care-giver. The device according to the present invention provides a clean, safe alternative to infant carriers. It provides relief to care-givers who will no longer have to carry heavy carriers or remove carriers from vehicles. In addition, the present invention prevents infants from falling from the top of shopping carriages because their carrier doesn't fit properly. Care-givers can roll the device up, or fold it, and place it into their diaper bags for optimal convenience.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts a plan view of an embodiment of the shopping carriage hammock sling according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 depicts a plan view of an embodiment of the shopping carriage hammock sling according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 provides a diagrammatic representation of a buckle or fastener for use in removeably attaching a shopping carriage hammock sling to a shopping carriage.

FIG. 4 provides a diagrammatic representation of a buckle or fastener for use in removeably securing straps around the infant.

FIG. 5 provides a diagrammatic representation of a means for adjusting the length of the strap extending from a shopping carriage hammock sling to a shopping carriage.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

As depicted schematically in FIG. 1, a typical the shopping carriage hammock sling (10) comprises a hammock (12), a belting strap (14), an interlocking strap (16), and four extension straps (18). The belting strap (14) may connect and disconnect using any one of a number of means known in the art. The means shown in this embodiment comprises a male buckle (20) and a female receptacle buckle (22). The extension straps (18) may connect and disconnect to the shopping carriage using any one of a number of means known in the art. The means shown in this embodiment comprises a metal snap hook (24) that would be fixedly engaged with extension straps (18). Lastly, extension straps (18) further comprise strap length adjustors (26) to permit the proper alignment of the shopping carriage hammock sling (10) within a shopping carriage.

As further illustrated in FIG. 2, the shopping carriage hammock sling (10) is designed to comfortably and securely hold an infant (40). Belting strap (14) is passed through interlocking strap (16) and fixedly secured by pushing male buckle (20) into female receptacle buckle (22). As further shown in FIG. 4, male buckle (20) comprises side protrusions (26) and a main protrusion (28) and a means (30) for attaching to the belting strap (14). Female receptacle buckle (22) comprises snap-locking apertures (32) that removeably engage side protrusions (26) of male buckle (20). Accordingly, in order to disengage belting strap (14), the care-giver would depress side protrusions (26) of male buckle (20) and slide male buckle (20) out of and away from female receptacle buckle (22). This embodiment describes only one of any number of means that provide a method for removeably securing belting strap (14) such as fasteners, snaps, buttons, Velcro®, and similar devices and means.

Belting strap (14), interlocking strap (16), and each respective extension strap (18) are joined, preferably fixedly, with hammock (12) by one of any number of means that provide a method for fixedly securing a strap to a cloth or nylon base such as by sewing and other fastener means. Similarly, each respective extension strap (18) is joined, preferably fixedly, with a metal snap hook (24) and a strap length adjustors (26) by one of any number of means that provide a method for fixedly securing the strap to itself to fixedly hold the metal snap hook (24) and strap length adjustors (26).

As shown in FIG. 3, metal snap hook (24) provides a means (34) for engaging extension strap (18) and means (36) for removeably engaging a shopping carriage. As shown in FIG. 5, strap length adjustor (26) provides a means (38) for fixedly engaging extension strap (18) and permitting extension and retraction thereof by sliding greater or lesser portions of extension strap (18) through strap length adjustor (26).

The hammock (12) may further comprise elastic sections (42) to provide a means for absorbing some of the movement of the shopping carriage such that the movements are not directly transferred to the infant. Accordingly, the infant will experience a much smoother ride and likely will sleep for a much longer period of time. In addition, the hammock may comprise more than one layer, preferably two or more, such that the respective components of the invention that should be fixedly secured to the hammock can be secured between hammock layers. The hammock may be cloth, nylon, or any other suitable material for positioning an infant thereon.

Belting strap (14), interlocking strap (16), and extension strap (18) may be fabricated from any number of known materials such as nylon, leather, heavy cloth and the like. Preferably, the straps measure approximately one inch in width; however, thinner or thicker widths may be employed provided that the strength of the straps is maintained in order to securely hold the infant as described herein.

Although the invention has been described in considerable detail with respect to a shopping carriage hammock sling comprising a hammock, interlocking and extension straps, fasteners comprising snap hooks and male/female buckles, it will be apparent that the invention is capable of numerous modifications and variations, apparent to those skilled in the art, without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.