Title:
Portable diaper changing pad
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable, foldable, and machine-washable diaper changing pad which provides a sanitary area to change a baby or toddler in public restrooms is a single rectangular pad composed of several layers. The pad is sized so that, when folded, it is approximately the size of a small to medium-sized handbag. When unfolded, the top layer upon which the child rests is made of an impermeable material (e.g. vinyl) that is easy to clean. One end of the pad has an internal pocket which is sized to hold clean diapers, baby wipes, or other related accessories. A loop handle is attached to one side of the pad which allows the folded pad to be hung from a stroller, handbag, or other suitable location. The portable diaper changing pad is designed for one-handed use; that is, by a person who is assumed to be holding a child with the other hand.



Inventors:
Sager, Stacy Jo (Canton, GA, US)
Application Number:
12/319871
Publication Date:
07/16/2009
Filing Date:
01/13/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G9/06; A47C31/00; A47D5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
TRETTEL, MICHAEL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Gregory T. Ourada (Atlanta, GA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A portable rectangular diaper changing pad, comprising: An inside layer and an outside layer, each of said inside layer and said outside layer having two long sides and two short sides of congruent dimensions, said inside layer being comprised of water-impermeable material, A middle layer, A loop handle, A fastening strap, and An internal pocket; Wherein said internal pocket is positioned to allow a parent to hold a child in position with one hand and access the contents of said internal pocket with their other hand.

2. The portable rectangular diaper changing pad of claim 1, wherein said inside layer and said outside layer have said long sides 31 inches in length, and said short sides are 12 inches in length.

3. The portable rectangular diaper changing pad of claim 1, wherein said loop handle is attached to one of said long sides 8 inches from said short side opposite said side containing said internal pocket.

4. The portable rectangular diaper changing pad of claim 1, wherein said loop handle is comprised of two nylon straps fastened with a side release buckle.

5. The portable rectangular diaper changing pad of claim 1, wherein said fastening strap is attached to said short side opposite said side containing said inside pocket.

6. The portable rectangular diaper changing pad of claim 1, wherein said water-impermeable material is vinyl.

7. The portable rectangular diaper changing pad of claim 1, wherein said batting material is comprised of polyester.

8. The portable rectangular diaper changing pad of claim 1, wherein said fabric comprising said outside layer is 100% polyester chenille.

9. The portable rectangular diaper changing pad of claim 1, wherein said fastening strap is positioned and configured so that said fastening strap can be unfastened and said pad unrolled with, one hand.

10. A portable rectangular diaper changing pad, comprising: An inside layer made of machine-washable water-impermeable material, An outside layer made of machine-washable fabric material, said inside layer and said outside layer having two long sides 31 inches in length and two short sides, A middle layer made of machine-washable batting material, An internal pocket having an opening in one of said short sides; A loop handle formed from two straps joined by a side release buckle, said loop handle fastened to one of said long sides 8 inches from said short side opposite the short side containing said internal pocket; and A fastening strap.

11. The portable rectangular diaper changing pad of claim 10, wherein said inside layer is comprised of vinyl.

12. The portable rectangular diaper changing pad of claim 10, wherein said outside layer is comprised of chenille fabric.

13. The portable rectangular diaper changing pad of claim 10, wherein said outside layer is comprised of fleece fabric.

14. The portable rectangular diaper changing pad of claim 10, wherein said two short sides are 12 inches in length.

15. A portable rectangular diaper changing pad, consisting of: A vinyl inside layer; A chenille outside layer, said inside layer and said outside layer having two long sides 31 inches in length and two short sides; A middle layer consisting of polyester batting; An internal pocket formed by said inside layer, said middle layer, and said outside layer; A loop handle formed from two straps joined by a side release buckle, said loop handle fastened to one of said long sides 8 inches from said short side opposite the short side containing said internal pocket; and A fastening strap.

16. The portable rectangular diaper changing pad of claim 15, wherein said two short sides are 12 inches in length.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/020,824 filed on Jan. 14, 2008, the entirety of which is incorporated herein by reference.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY-SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Parents of newborn infants and toddlers routinely face a daunting logistical challenge; namely, how to easily carry the child, along with spare diapers and associated accessories such as baby wipes, through often-crowded public places such as shopping malls, airports, and grocery stores. In spite of the proliferation of baby changing stations in public restrooms, parents are still faced with the problem of locating a clean, soft, sanitary surface on which to change the diapers of a child. Therefore, there is a need for a portable diaper changing pad that is machine-washable and can be used on any surface; e.g. car, grass at a park, airplane, or other inconvenient places. Another problem is that one parent often changes the child's diapers alone because many baby changing stations are located in gender-segregated bathrooms. This presents a challenge for the parent, who usually has to secure the child on the changing surface with one hand, leaving only one hand free to reach for spare diapers, baby wipes and other items.

There are a number of patents and patent applications for diaper changing pads. Fitzsimmons (U.S. Pat. No. 4,886,150) discloses a tri-fold “Baby Accessory Carrier” that features a detachable, rectangular changing pad with adjacent panels containing pockets for carrying baby diaper changing items. Fitzsimmons folds up into a compact, purse-like article for easy carry. Vickers (U.S. Pat. No. 6,298,509) describes a tri-fold diaper changing pad that folds into a carrying bag. Stackman, et.al. (U.S. Pat. No. 6,918,147) discloses a portable diaper changing pad incorporating a plurality of support panels hinged together that provide rigidity allowing the pad to be used above a sink, countertop, or between two chairs. Telegadis, et. al (U.S. Pat. No. 7,350,252) also describes a tri-fold diaper changing pad incorporating a memory foam pad designed to enhance the child's comfort. The Telegadis pad rolls up to allow convenient carry.

These prior art devices do not allow a parent to easily use them with one hand. Typically, the parent holds a child with one arm, leaving only one hand free. The parent when changing the child's diaper typically must reach into a diaper bag for the diapers, wipes, lotions, or other products required for changing the child's diaper. This usually requires the parent to use both hands and leave the child momentarily unattended. Moreover, searching in a diaper bag for the necessary products to change a diaper is inconvenient. Therefore, there is a need for a diaper changing pad that is conveniently used with one hand.

Another problem not addressed by the prior art is the size of the diaper changing pad. For example, the diaper changing pad claimed by Telegadis is not large enough for toddlers (as opposed to infants) to be changed on the pad. In other words, an infant quickly outgrows diaper changing pads found in the prior art and necessitates their replacement. There is a need for a diaper changing pad that is large enough to be used until the child is fully potty trained.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is distinguishable from the prior art because it contains features specifically configured to allow one-handed operation. It is also larger than prior art diaper changing pads, allowing use with both small newborns and larger toddlers. This makes it more cost-effective than prior art pads because parents can use it from infancy until the child is potty trained. The pad is composed of three rectangular layers-inside, middle, and outside-sewn together using Extra Wide Double Folded Bias Tape. The inside layer, upon which the child rests during changing, is made of a water-impermeable material such as vinyl or plastic. A middle layer is made of batting (usually 100% machine-washable polyester), and the outside layer, which is on the outside when the pad is folded, is made of a machine-washable soft material, such as chenille or fleece fabric. A loop handle with a side-release buckle is attached near one corner of the rectangular pad which allows the parent to easily carry the pad. The loop handle with side-release buckle makes it easy for a parent to carry the pad around her wrist or clip it onto her stroller or diaper bag. Finally, a fastening strap allows the pad to be quickly unrolled using only one hand. An internal pocket is located between the layers at one end of the pad. This pocket is sized so that diapers, baby wipes, and other associated accessories can be easily carried and reached with one hand while the child is being changed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the pad in the folded configuration.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing the pad in a partially unrolled configuration.

FIG. 3 is a close-up perspective view of the loop handle attached to the pad.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing the top layer of the unrolled pad and the inside pocket.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The portable diaper changing pad is rectangular in shape when unfolded flat and is comprised of three foldable layers. Inside layer 20 is comprised of a water-impermeable material that is easy to clean, such as vinyl. Outside layer 30 is comprised of a soft, machine-washable fabric, which can be chenille or fleece, or other soft, napped fabric. Typically, this fabric is polyester, although other suitable machine-washable fabrics can also be used. There is also a middle batting layer to cushion the child that is typically comprised of polyester or another suitable type of machine-washable fabric. All three layers are sewn together using Extra Wide Double Folded Bias Tape around the perimeter of the pad. Having the inside layer made of water-impermeable material allows a child to be changed on this layer, which is then easily wiped clean.

The preferred embodiment of the portable diaper changing pad is 12 inches wide by 31 inches long. The particular length was chosen because shorter diaper changing pads cannot be used for as long because of an infant's rapid growth. This pad is 31 inches in length so that the pad can be used with infants as well as toddlers until the child is potty trained. These dimensions were also selected so that the folded pad is compact (roughly the size of a small purse-like article) and easy to carry.

The pad contains an internal pocket 60 formed in the interstice between two of the layers (i.e. either between the inner and middle layer, or between the middle and outside layer). The pocket is lined with chenille fabric which facilitates the insertion of diapers and other articles such as baby wipes. This pocket extends across the entire 12 inch width of the pad and for 8 inches along the long side. There is a 7 inch wide opening in the edge of one of the short sides of the pad allowing access to the pocket. The opening may be sealed using Velcro, zippers, buttons, or other suitable closures known in the art. Closures on the pocket's opening however are undesirable since they require two hands to open and close. Closures are therefore omitted and unnecessary in the preferred embodiment because the opening to the pocket is in the interior of the pad when the pad is folded so the items contained in the pocket will not fall out. The size of the internal pocket was designed to allow storage of 2-4 diapers, depending on diaper size, a container of baby wipes, or other baby changing accessories. Its location, with the opening in the edge of one of the short sides, was designed to facilitate easy access to its contents with one hand, leaving the other hand free to hold the child.

As shown in FIG. 2, the loop handle 40 is attached on one long side of the pad, and is attached 8 inches from the pad edge opposite the pocket. The loop handle in the preferred embodiment consists of two 1 inch wide nylon straps, one 3 inches in length and the other 10 inches in length. The two straps are attached to the pad with stitches under the Extra Wide Double Folded Bias Tape, as shown in FIG. 3. The distal ends of the straps are joined to form the loop of the handle using a plastic side release buckle. Using a side release buckle gives parents added flexibility and portability as to where they can hang the folded pad, such as on a stroller.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, fastening strap 50 is a 1 inch wide nylon strap 7 inches in length that is attached to the outside layer of the pad. In the preferred embodiment, Velcro is attached to the distal end of the strap, which attaches to a complementary Velcro patch that is attached to the outside layer so that the pad is held securely in the folded configuration. As shown in FIG. 1, when completely folded, the pad is the size of a small purse-like article that is easy to carry using loop handle 40. Fastening strap 50 is designed so that it can be quickly and easily unfastened and the pad unfolded with one hand flat onto a horizontal surface such as a floor, changing table, car seat, or ground.

Because many possible embodiments may be made of the invention without departing from the scope thereof, it should be understood that all matter herein set forth or shown in the accompanying drawings is to be interpreted in an illustrative, but not in a limiting sense.