BABY CHANGING PAD

- TOMY INTERNATIONAL, INC.

In another embodiment the invention provides a changing pad including a first panel including a first surface. The first panel defines a perimeter and includes a first edge and a second edge opposite the first edge. The changing pad further includes a first side panel coupled to the first panel at the first edge and a second side panel coupled to the first panel at the second edge. The changing pad includes a first configuration in which the first side panel and the second side panel are folded over the first panel and a second configuration in which the first side panel is folded to form a first barrier positioned adjacent to the first panel and the second side panel is folded to form a second barrier positioned adjacent to the first panel opposite the first barrier.

Skip to: Description  ·  Claims  · Patent History  ·  Patent History

Description

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Many public establishments have installed baby changing areas in restrooms that parents can utilize for changing their baby's diaper and/or clothes. The baby changing areas are typically pull-out platforms from a housing secured to a wall in the restroom or a dedicated horizontal surface in the restroom. Some of the pull-out platforms are flat and some are contoured. Sometimes a strap is coupled to the platform and can be applied across the baby's torso so the baby will not roll off the platform. Many times the straps are not present or are extremely dirty and likely germ-laden. As a result, many times the straps are not used and the baby is at risk of rolling off the platform.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to portable baby changing surfaces or pads. Baby changing pads are useful for protecting a baby from germs on an underlying surface of the baby changing area when the baby needs a diaper change or clothing change. The baby changing pad of the present invention includes a bumper on each side of the pad that is elevated to provide a barrier if the baby tries to roll over. The bumpers are incorporated with a generally planar surface and together have a unique folding arrangement that provides for portability.

In one embodiment, the invention provides a portable baby changing pad. The changing pad includes a central panel coupled to opposite first and second side panels. The changing pad also includes a third panel (head support panel) and a pocket connected to the central panel. The changing pad includes an upper section and a lower section with a partition extending therebetween. Each of the first and second side panels includes three sub-panels also divided into upper and lower sections. The portable changing pad includes a first, closed state and a second, open state. When in the closed state the changing pad is transportable by a handle. When in the open state, the first and second side panels can create a three-dimensional side panel by folding the sub-panels in a particular manner such that the bottom surface of the outermost sub-panel couples to the bottom surface of the central panel.

In another embodiment the invention provides a changing pad including a first panel including a first surface. The first panel defines a perimeter and includes a first edge and a second edge opposite the first edge. The changing pad further includes a first side panel coupled to the first panel at the first edge and a second side panel coupled to the first panel at the second edge. The changing pad includes a first configuration in which the first side panel and the second side panel are folded over the first panel and a second configuration in which the first side panel is folded to form a first barrier positioned adjacent to the first panel and the second side panel is folded to form a second barrier positioned adjacent to the first panel opposite the first barrier.

In another embodiment the invention provides a changing pad including a first panel, a first side panel, and a second side panel. The first side panel is coupled to a first side of the first panel and is foldable such that at least a portion of the first side panel is elevated relative to the first panel. The second side panel coupled to a second side of the first panel and is foldable such that at least a portion of the second side panel is elevated relative to the first panel. The changing pad also includes a third side panel coupled to a third side of the first panel. Additionally, a fastening strap coupled to the first panel. The first side panel, the second side panel, and the third side panel are foldable relative to one another and the first panel such that the fastening strap secures the first side panel, the second side panel, and the third side panel to the first panel during transport of the changing pad.

In another embodiment the invention provides a method for using a changing pad that includes a first panel with a first surface and that defines a perimeter. The first panel includes a first edge and a second edge opposite the first edge. A first side panel coupled to the first panel at the first edge, and a second side panel coupled to the first panel at the second edge. The method includes unfolding the first side panel and the second side panel from a first configuration in which the first side panel and the second side panel overlie and are secured relative to the first panel to a second configuration in which the first side panel and the second side panel extend from the perimeter of the first panel. The method also includes elevating at least a portion of the first side panel relative to the first panel, and elevating at least a portion of the second side panel relative to the first panel.

Other aspects of the invention will become apparent by consideration of the detailed description and accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a baby changing pad according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the baby changing pad of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is another plan view of the baby changing pad of FIG. 1 identifying sections and corresponding materials therein.

FIGS. 3a-3h are schematic views of the sections and corresponding materials used in the baby changing pad illustrated in FIG. 3.

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the baby changing pad of FIG. 1 illustrating the location of fasteners.

FIG. 5 illustrates an exemplary method of unfolding or reconfiguring the baby changing pad of FIG. 1 for use.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Before any embodiments of the invention are explained in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangement of components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the following drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or of being carried out in various ways.

FIGS. 1-5 illustrate a portable baby changing pad 10 according to one embodiment of the invention. The changing pad 10 includes a top side 12 and a bottom side 14, and the changing pad 10 is generally divided into a plurality of upper sections 16 and a plurality of lower sections 18. A partition 20 extends between the upper and lower sections 16, 18. The changing pad 10 further includes a central panel 22, a first side panel 28, and a second side panel 30. The central panel 22 is generally defined by a perimeter having a first edge 24, a second edge 26, a third edge 25, and a fourth edge 27. The first side panel 28 is stitched or otherwise suitably connected to the first edge 24 of the central panel 22, and the second side panel 30 is stitched or otherwise suitably connected to the second edge 26 such that the first and second side panels 28, 30 are disposed on opposite sides of the central panel 22. A third panel 32 is stitched or otherwise suitably connected to the third edge 25 of the central panel 22, and a pocket 34 is stitched or otherwise suitably connected to the fourth edge 27 of the central panel 22.

Further with respect to FIGS. 2-4, the first and second side panels 28, 30 are divided into additional sub-panels. In the embodiment illustrated, the first and second side panels 28, 30 are each divided into three sub-panels. Each of the first and second side panels 28, 30 include a first sub-panel 36, a second sub-panel 40, and a third sub-panel 38. The first sub-panel 36 is stitched or otherwise suitably connected to the central panel 22 at respective first edge 24 or second edge 26. The second sub-panel 40 is stitched or otherwise suitably connected to the first sub-panel 36 at an edge of the second sub-panel opposite the first edge 24 or second edge 26. The third sub-panel 38 is stitched or otherwise suitably connected to the second sub-panel 40. In the embodiment of FIGS. 1-5, the first and second side panels 28, 30 and the central panel 22 are depicted as having the above-described sub-panels. Further embodiments may include sub-panels having any suitable construction and configuration (i.e., number of sub-panels, size and shape of the sub-panels, relationship among sub-panels, etc.).

With further reference to FIGS. 2-4, the central panel 22 and the side panels 28, 30 are further divided into sections. Each of the central panel 22, the first side panel 28, and the second side panel 30 includes an upper section 16 and a lower section 18. As described above, each of the upper sections 16 is separated from its respective lower section 18 by the partition 20.

Each of the upper and lower sections 16, 18 of the baby changing pad 10 can have a different construction, e.g., fabric or material configuration. FIGS. 3 and 3a-3h illustrate the variety of possible constructions that each section may include. Additionally, in the illustrated embodiment, the sub-panels 36, 38, 40 on the first and second side panels 28, 30 are constructed to be mirror images of one another. For example, in the illustrated embodiment, the upper and lower sections 16, 18 of the first sub-panel 36 of each of the first and second side panels 28, 30 (i.e., illustrated in FIG. 3a) as well as the upper section 16 of the central panel 22 have been designated with a reference “A.” In the illustrated embodiment, these sections therefore include a soft padding and a rigid insert disposed between a plastic or vinyl material on the first side 12 and plain polymer material on the second side 14. In a similar fashion the sections of the exemplary changing pad 10 are designated with the references “B-H” (i.e., FIG. 3b-3h), which indicate possible constructions of various sections of the changing pad 10. Therefore, in the illustrated embodiment, the pocket 34 includes a mesh material and a polymer material surrounding a polymer material and a rigid insert (i.e., FIG. 3b). Further, the lower section 18 of the central panel 22 includes a soft padding between a vinyl material on the first side 12 and a polymer material on the second side 14 (i.e., FIG. 3c).

The partition 20 is comprised of materials illustrated in FIGS. 3d and 3g, which indicate, respectively, a material construction of vinyl on one side and a polymer on another side without any material therebetween. FIG. 3e illustrates the first and second sides 12, 14 of the sections designated with the reference “E” of the changing pad 10 are constructed from a polymer material with a foam layered on top of a rigid insert therebetween. The rigid insert can be a polypropylene sheet that has some flexibility. Similarly, FIG. 3f illustrates the first and second sides 12, 14 of the sections designated with the reference “F” of the changing pad 10 are constructed from a polymer material with soft padding therebetween. The third panel 32, illustrated in FIG. 3h, may be constructed from vinyl and polymer surrounding a soft padding.

Further with respect to FIG. 3, the sub-panels 36, 38, 40 are created by heat sealing the top and bottom sides 12, 14, although alternative constructions may include sections that are created by any suitable process. The constructions of the sub-panels illustrated and described herein are merely exemplary. Further embodiments may include sub-panels having any suitable material construction. The top and the bottom sides 12, 14 of the changing pad 10 are coupled to one another by a polymer binding stitched over heat sealed seams. Additionally, with reference to FIG. 4, the bottom side 14 of the changing pad 10 includes hook and loop material 50 (i.e., Velcro) for assembling the changing pad 10 for use or for securing the changing pad 10 in a compact or closed state. Further embodiments may include any suitable type of fastener. The bottom side 14 of the changing pad 10 is also equipped with a fastening strip 52 that also includes a hook and loop fastener 50. The third panel 32 includes a handle 54 and a hook and loop fastener 50 on the second side 14 of the changing pad 10. The fastening strip 52 and the handle 54 are constructed from webbing or threaded material. It is important to note that the plastic and vinyl materials that make up the first and second sides 12, 14 are both substantially water proof and can be freely washed or sanitized.

FIG. 5 illustrates that the changing pad 10 is convertible between a first, closed state 60 and a second, open state 62. In the closed state 60, the changing pad 10 is easily transportable by the handle 54, and in the open state 62 the changing pad 10 is used as a barrier between an infant or small child and a changing environment such that the child is protected against germs and bacteria that inevitably plague public surfaces. In the closed state 60, the first and second side panels 28, 30 are manipulated by the user and folded such that the top side 12 of the first side panel 28 (or the second side panel 30) contacts the top side 12 of the central panel 22. The second side panel 30 (or the first side panel 28) is folded onto the first side panel 28. The pocket 34 is then laid against one of the first or second side panels 28, 30 (i.e., whichever side panel is on top). At this point the central panel 22, the first and second side panels 28, 30, the pocket 34, and the cushion 32 are aligned. The lower section 18 of the changing pad 10 is folded against the upper section 16 of the changing pad 10 such that the pocket 34 is tucked therebetween. The partition 20 having a defined length between the upper and lower sections 16, 18 allows the folding of the lower section 18 onto the upper section 16 for a compact configuration. The third panel 32 folds over the lower section 18 such that the fastening strap 52 and the fastener 50 on the second side 14 of the third panel 32 secure the changing pad 10 in a closed state 60 indicated as “carry mode” in FIG. 5. The pocket 34 is designed to receive contents, such as a container (e.g., wipes, diaper rash cream, washcloths, etc.), that may also be secured between the upper and lower sections 16, 18 when the changing pad 10 is in the closed state 60. Therefore, the partition 20 allows extra room for auxiliary contents to be contained therein.

The process described above to achieve the closed state 60 of the changing pad 10 is essentially reversed to achieve the open state 62 of the changing pad 10. That is, the fastening strap 52 is released from the third panel 32 such that the upper and lower sections 16, 18 may be unfolded from one another. Subsequently, the pocket 34 may be unfolded from its placement atop one of the first or second side panels 28, 30. The first and second side panels 28, 30 are then unfolded from the central panel 22 such that all three panels 22, 28, 30 may lay flat against the changing surface. At this point, a changing pad with three-dimensional side panels may be created by manipulating and folding the first and second side panels 28, 30 in a particular way. Each of the first and second side panels 28, 30 is folded such that fasteners 50 on the bottom side 14 of the third sub-panel 38 are matingly coupled to fasteners 50 on the second side 14 of the central panel 22. This folding action allows the first sub-panel 36 and the second sub-panel 40 to become elevated relative to the changing surface. Further, the third sub-panel 38 of each of the first and second side panels 28, 30 reinforce the first sub-panel 36 and second sub-panel 40 such that they remain fixed relative to the central panel 22. An angle α, which is created between the central panel 22 and the first sub-panel 36 of each of the first and second side panels 28, 30, and an angle β, is created between the first sub-panel 36 and the second sub-panel 40 of the first and second side panels 28, 30. The angles α and β may have any suitable measurement to provide the three-dimensional contour of the side panels 28, 30. For example, with renewed reference to FIGS. 1-3, the third sub-panel 38 has a greater width than either of the second sub-panel 40 or first sub-panel 36; the widths of the sub-panels determine angles α and β as well as a height of the three-dimensional side panels.

Thus, the invention provides, among other things, a foldable changing pad that includes a closed state for transporting the changing pad and an open state that creates a changing surface for an infant or small child. The open state further includes an enclosure having elevated peripheral panels.

Claims

1. A changing pad comprising:

a first panel including a first surface, the first panel defining a perimeter and including a first edge and a second edge opposite the first edge;
a first side panel coupled to the first panel at the first edge;
a second side panel coupled to the first panel at the second edge;
a first configuration in which the first side panel and the second side panel are folded over the first panel; and
a second configuration in which the first side panel is folded to form a first barrier positioned adjacent to the first panel and the second side panel is folded to form a second barrier positioned adjacent to the first panel opposite the first barrier.

2. The changing pad of claim 1 wherein, each of the first side panel and the second side panel includes a first sub-panel, a second sub-panel coupled to the first sub-panel, and a third sub-panel coupled to the second sub-panel, the first sub-panel of the first side panel coupled to the first edge and the first sub-panel of the second side panel coupled to the second edge.

3. The changing pad of claim 2 wherein when in the second configuration, the third sub-panel is positioned between the first sub-panel and the second sub-panel.

4. The changing pad of claim 2 wherein when in the second configuration, the third sub-panel is secured to the first panel.

5. The changing pad of claim 1 further comprising a fastening strap configured to secure the pad in the first configuration.

6. The changing page of claim 5 further comprising a third side panel coupled to a third edge of the perimeter and including a fastener, the third side panel configured to overlie one of the first side panel and the second side panel when the pad is in the first configuration and further configured to be an extension of the first surface in the second configuration.

7. The changing pad of claim 6 wherein the fastener mates with the fastening strap to secure the fastening strap when the pad is in the second configuration.

8. The changing pad of claim 1 further comprising a pocket coupled to a fourth edge of the perimeter, the pocket configured to be secured relative to the first panel, first side panel, and second side panel when the pad is in the second configuration.

9. The changing pad of claim 1 further comprising a handle.

10. A changing pad comprising:

a first panel;
a first side panel coupled to a first side of the first panel, the first side panel being foldable such that at least a portion of the first side panel is elevated relative to the first panel;
a second side panel coupled to a second side of the first panel, the second side panel being foldable such that at least a portion of the second side panel is elevated relative to the first panel;
a third side panel coupled to a third side of the first panel; and
a fastening strap coupled to the first panel;
wherein the first side panel, the second side panel, and the third side panel are foldable relative to one another and the first panel such that the fastening strap secures the first side panel, the second side panel, and the third side panel to the first panel during transport of the changing pad.

11. The changing pad of claim 10 wherein each of the first side panel and the second side panel includes a first sub-panel, a second sub-panel coupled to the first sub-panel, and a third sub-panel coupled to the second sub-panel, the first sub-panel of the first side panel coupled to the first side and the first sub-panel of the second side panel coupled to the second side.

12. The changing pad of claim 11 wherein to elevate the first side panel and the second side panel each of the third sub-panels is positioned between the respective first sub-panel and the second sub-panel.

13. The changing pad of claim 12 wherein each of the third sub-panels is secured to the first panel.

14. The changing pad of claim 10 further comprising a fastener configured to mate with the fastening strap.

15. The changing pad of claim 10 further comprising a pocket coupled to a fourth side of the first panel, the pocket configured to be secured relative to the first panel, the first side panel, the second side panel, and the third side panel by the fastening strap.

16. The changing pad of claim 10 further comprising a handle.

17. The changing pad of claim 10 wherein at least the first panel is sanitizeable.

18. A method for using a changing pad, the changing pad including a first panel including a first surface and defining a perimeter, the first panel including a first edge and a second edge opposite the first edge, a first side panel coupled to the first panel at the first edge, and a second side panel coupled to the first panel at the second edge, the method comprising:

unfolding the first side panel and the second side panel from a first configuration in which the first side panel and the second side panel overlie and are secured relative to the first panel to a second configuration in which the first side panel and the second side panel extend from the perimeter of the first panel;
elevating at least a portion of the first side panel relative to the first panel; and
elevating at least a portion of the second side panel relative to the first panel.

19. The method of claim 18 further comprising:

flattening the elevated portion of the first side panel;
flattening the elevated portion of the second side panel; and
folding the first side panel and the second side panel from the second configuration to the first configuration.

20. The method of claim 18 further comprising securing the portions of the first and second side in the elevated position.

Patent History

Publication number: 20140090175
Type: Application
Filed: Sep 30, 2013
Publication Date: Apr 3, 2014
Applicant: TOMY INTERNATIONAL, INC. (Dyersville, IA)
Inventors: Patrick Thrailkill (Newton, MA), Jason Clark (Brighton, MA), Stefano Giuliani (Rocky Point, NY), Lisa Piccirillo (Islip, NY)
Application Number: 14/041,684

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: Specially Adapted For Infant Support (5/655)
International Classification: A47D 5/00 (20060101);