Patent application title: INFANT CARRIER
Tania Grant (Stamford, CT, US)
IPC8 Class: AA45F308FI
Class name: Carrier for person in upright or sitting position two attaching means (e.g., straps, etc.) crossing different shoulders
Publication date: 2009-08-20
Patent application number: 20090206116
An infant carrier is formed with a panel, shoulder straps, a belt and an
infant support. The infant support holds the infant position such that
the infant's legs wrap around and hug the person's waist. The structure
allows a person to take on and take off the carrier with the infant
without help from another person.
1. An infant carrier comprising:a panel having two lateral sides and a
bottom side;shoulder straps attached to said lateral sides for wearing
the carrier on the shoulders of a person;a belt disposed along said
bottom side and arranged for strapping around a person's waist; andan
infant support attached to said panel, said panel and said support being
sized and constructed to hold the infant's hips and torso above the belt
whereby when the infant is carried with carrier mounted on a person's
shoulder, his legs extend outwardly and laterally to the person's waist.
2. The infant carrier of claim 1 wherein said infant support is a made of cloth panel.
3. The infant carrier of claim 1 wherein each said shoulder strap has two ends, one end being attached at an intermediate point along said lateral sides.
4. The infant carrier of claim 1 wherein said infant support is removable and separable or permanent from said panel.
5. The infant carrier of claim 1 wherein said panel and said infant support are constructed to hold the infant in one of a rear position wherein said carrier is on the back of the person and a forward position wherein said carrier is in the front.
6. A method of carrying an infant comprising:providing a carrier formed of a panel having a top, two sides and a bottom, shoulder straps disposed at the top of the panel, a belt disposed at the bottom of the panel and an infant support attached to the panel to position the infant with its hips and torso above the belt; andsecuring the carrier with the shoulder straps disposed about the shoulders of a person and the belt about the person's waist, with the infant being in the infant support and the infant's legs extending out of the carrier above the belt at the waist of the person.
7. The method of claim 6 wherein the infant is positioned between the panel and the person's body.
9. An infant carrier comprising:a panel with a rectangular shape, including a top, two lateral sides and a bottom;a belt disposed along the bottom;an infant support attached to said panel, said panel and said support cooperating to secure the infant to the panel with the torso and hips of the infant disposed above the belt; andshoulder straps;wherein said infant support and said panel cooperate to position the infant with its legs above the belt and surrounding the waist of the person.
10. The infant carrier of claim 9 wherein the shoulder straps cooperate to maintain the infant between the body of the person carrying the infant and the person's body as the person is carrying the infant.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
A. Field of Invention
This invention pertains to a novel infant carrier that is more comfortable for the child, safer and easier to use. More specifically, the present invention pertains to a carrier arranged and constructed so that the as the infant is carried in either the frontal or rear position, its legs are disposed laterally.
B. Description of the Prior Art
It is common practice for adults to employ an infant carrier for carrying an infant. Various types of infant carriers are currently available from different manufacturers of infant products. However all of these are characterized by certain deficiencies which detract from their overall utility.
Of primary concern are support, safety and comfort of the infant. Another area of concern is the comfort and ease of use (e.g., putting on, adjusting and removing both the carrier and the infant) for the wearer. Typical infant carriers include many straps and buckles which are often difficult for a wearer to put on and/or take off. These devices are not always easy to adjust. Furthermore, it is often difficult for wearers to adjust such infant carriers and position infants in the carrier so that they are both comfortable for the wearer and safe for the infant. Some of the newer carriers are more basic, and do not include many straps and buckles, but the structures leave the baby vulnerable and unsafe when putting infant and carrier onto adult's back. Because of these difficulties, an adult does not feel safe putting on existing carriers, especially on the back, without the help of another adult. Thus, a need exists for a carrier which provides for secure carrying of the infant, yet is easy for the wearer to put on, take off and adjust.
The present invention addresses the above described deficiencies in the prior art by providing an infant carrier which is safe when carrying and when loading and unloading the infant onto adult's body, and which provides proper support for the infant, yet is more comfortable for the child. Additionally, the infant carrier is comfortable for the wearer and easy to adjust.
SUMMARY OF INVENTION
An infant carrier is provided that has a panel with four sides, shoulder straps and a belt at the bottom for wrapping around the waist of the person carrying the infant. An infant support is secured to the panel and holds the infant in position. The infant support holds the infant with its hips and torso above the belt so that when the infant is in the carrier, its legs wrap around the waist of person carrying it. With the help of the infant support, the adult can be sure that the baby is correctly in place when wearer puts infant and the carrier onto adult's body. Additionally with the legs wrapped around the adult, the weight of the infant is not on the infant's crotch as it is in prior art; instead the weight is on the infant's bottom with legs splayed which promotes healthy hip development.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of an adult with the subject carrier on the back;
FIG. 2 shows a vertical sectional view of the carrier of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of an adult with the subject carrier on the front;
FIG. 4 shows a plan view of the carrier with the infant;
FIG. 5 shows a partial sectional view of the carrier with the infant taken along axis 5-5 in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 shows the carrier used as a secure seat which supports the infant in a chair; and
FIG. 7 shows a back view of the chair showing the straps supporting the carrier of FIG. 6.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
A preferred embodiment of the invention is shown in FIG. 5. As seen in this Figure, the invention pertains to an infant carrier 10 made of several elements or components. These elements can be made of woven or non-woven fabrics (unless otherwise noted) that are joined by sewing or other well-known means.
The carrier 10 consists of a main panel 12 that has a generally rectangular shape. The top side 14 of panel 12 is somewhat arched to provide more protection to the infant's head and two lateral sides 16, 18 need not be parallel but can curve slightly toward each other to fit the carrier better on the back of the person carrying the infant and to be more ergonomic. A secure infant support 20 is attached to the panel for holding the infant 22 as shown. The infant support can be attached to the panel 12 by a hook-and-loop arrangement, a zipper, buttons, or other similar means. The secure infant support 20 can be removed for washing, or replaced if necessary. Alternatively, the infant support may be permanently affixed to the panel 12.
Two lateral extensions 24, 26 are attached to the lower portions of sides 16, 18, respectively, bordering the bottom of the panel 12. The extensions 24, 26 are terminated with mating buckles 28, 30. The extensions 24, 26 and buckles 28, 30 cooperate to form a belt 32 for the wearer and as support for the child's bottom as illustrated in the other figures. The ends of the extensions 24, 26 are adjustable so that the resulting belt can be used by people with different waists.
Importantly, the panel 12 is sized so that when the infant is placed on the carrier and into the secure infant support 20, his hips and torso are above the belt 32.
In addition, the two straps 34, 36 are attached to the right and left sides 16, 18, respectively. The two straps are adjustable, as shown at 38 so that the carrier can be worn by different people. Each of the straps is attached at one end to the corner between the top 14 and the respective side 16, 18, and at an intermediate point 40 selected so that the straps 34, 36 can be worn about the shoulder by a person.
The carrier 10 is used as follows. First a person adjusts the lengths of straps 34, 36 and belt 32 so that they are sized appropriately. Next, the infant 22 is placed into the infant support 20 and any straps or other securing means (not shown) are tightened to insure that the infant is secure. During this time, the carrier 10 and the infant 22 are on a table, dresser, bed, floor or other relatively flat surface.
The person then pulls his arms into straps 34, 36, picks up the carrier, 10 with the infant safe in secure infant support, and places the carrier to either the rear position, shown in FIGS. 1, 2 or the front position shown in FIG. 3. As a last step, the person engages the buckle members 28, 30 to thereby close the buckle. The weight is evenly distributed for the wearer between the shoulders and waist belt, 32.
As can be seen from this description, during the initial phase of this process, the infant is firmly secured to the carrier and therefore the person picking up the carrier with the infant is sure that the infant will not fall out. Thus, a second person is unnecessary during this process.
Furthermore, as discussed above, because of the structure and dimensions or sizes of the carrier 10, the hips and torso of the infant 22 are above the belt 32. Once the carrier is mounted on the back of the person, in the position shown in FIG. 1, the legs L of the infant extend forward above the belt, hugging the person's waist. With the help of the secure infant support 20, the adult can be sure that the baby is correctly in place when wearer puts carrier and infant onto adult's body. Additionally with the legs wrapped around the carrier, the weight of the infant is not on the infant's crotch; instead the weight is on the infant's bottom with legs splayed, which promotes healthy hip development. The position is also more comforting to the infant because it provides more intimate contact between the infant's and the person's bodies. In other words, the infant in this position is clearly hugging the carrying person, rather then just being carried like a sack of potatoes. This feature is further enhanced by the fact that the arms of the infant are also free to move forward/up/down.
As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the panel 12 may be provided with a pocket 50 on its back. The pocket can be provided with a closure 52 and can be used to store various items 54.
In order to make sure that the carrier is secure, the carrier is provided with a further strap 46 attached between the two straps 16, 18.
Another advantage of the carrier 10 is that it can be used to secure an infant to a chair, as illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7, so that the infant can be next to the adults, without the need for a high chair.
Obviously numerous modifications may be made to this invention without departing from its scope, as defined in the appended claims.
Patent applications in class Two attaching means (e.g., straps, etc.) crossing different shoulders
Patent applications in all subclasses Two attaching means (e.g., straps, etc.) crossing different shoulders