US20070275631A1 - Method for improving the bedtime routine of a child and articles in support thereof - Google Patents

Method for improving the bedtime routine of a child and articles in support thereof Download PDF

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US20070275631A1
US20070275631A1 US11/413,769 US41376906A US2007275631A1 US 20070275631 A1 US20070275631 A1 US 20070275631A1 US 41376906 A US41376906 A US 41376906A US 2007275631 A1 US2007275631 A1 US 2007275631A1
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bedtime
activity support
method
prompt
caregiver
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US11/413,769
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Daniela Tosta
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Procter and Gamble Co
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Procter and Gamble Co
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G09EDUCATION; CRYPTOGRAPHY; DISPLAY; ADVERTISING; SEALS
    • G09BEDUCATIONAL OR DEMONSTRATION APPLIANCES; APPLIANCES FOR TEACHING, OR COMMUNICATING WITH, THE BLIND, DEAF OR MUTE; MODELS; PLANETARIA; GLOBES; MAPS; DIAGRAMS
    • G09B19/00Teaching not covered by other main groups of this subclass

Abstract

A method for improving the bedtime routine of a child may include the steps of providing a childcare product to the caregiver, providing a first bedtime activity support to the caregiver, and communicating a first prompt to the caregiver. Articles supporting the method are also disclosed.

Description

    FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE
  • Methods for establishing or improving the bedtime routine of a child by providing a childcare product and a bedtime activity support to the caregiver and by communicating a prompt to the caregiver. Articles in support of the methods are also described.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • One of the more challenging aspects in caring for a baby or infant is establishing good sleep patterns. Most parents are familiar with young babies (approximately 3-4 months old) who have difficulty establishing a day-night routine with the majority of sleep hours at night. Many parents are well aware of the fatigue that accompanies a baby who is active at night. More importantly, a baby that is overly active at night may not be getting the approximately 15 hours of sleep that most 3-4 month olds need. The cognitive, social, and psychological development may be impaired in sleep deprived babies. Four to tweleve month old babies begin exhibiting more adult-like sleep patterns and may be sleeping through the night. During this stage, establishing healthy sleep habits is a primary goal. Developing a sleep routine can aid in establishing healthy sleep habits. By the time the child is one year old, a regular bedtime may exist. Ideally, the bedtime is reinforced by a routine. Throughout early childhood (and even into adolscence and adulthood), early development and consistent maintainance of healthy sleep habits may prevent many problems and may make dealing with the problems that do occur much easier.
  • While establishing a consistent bedtime routine is important for child development and well-being, parents often lack the education and tools necessary to start such a routine. Parents may simply not know the importance of a consistent bedtime routine. Parents may be unaware of what should be done in a typical bedtime routine. Furthermore, parents may become distracted with the immediate care of the child or with other concerns such that attempts at establishing a bedtime routine are sporadic and anything but routine.
  • Accordingly, it would be desirable to provide a method for assisting parents and caregivers in establishing a bedtime routine. It would be desirable to provide a method that prompts parents and caregivers to initiate the bedtime routine. It would also be desirable to provide childcare products, instructions, and other supporting materials that may help to establish, maintain, or enhance a bedtime routine.
  • It would also be desirable to provide a childcare product and a bedtime activity support that are associated in a common package or kit. Typically, a childcare product and a bedtime activity support will be used in or near the bedroom. Therefore, associating the childcare product and the bedtime activity support may make the use of the product and support more convenient. Associating the childcare product and the bedtime activity support may facilitate their continued and repeated use, which further strengthens the bedtime routine.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • In one aspect, the present invention relates to a method for improving or establishing a bedtime routine of a child comprising providing a childcare product to the caregiver, providing a first bedtime activity support to the caregiver, and communicating a first prompt to the caregiver.
  • The method may further comprise the step of communicating a second prompt to the caregiver after an interval of approximately 24 hours, wherein said first prompt and said second prompt are interrelated by a common character or a common theme.
  • The method may further comprise the step of providing a second bedtime activity support to the caregiver about 24 hours after providing the first bedtime activity support, wherein the second activity support is interrelated to the first bedtime activity support by a common character or a common theme.
  • In another aspect, the present invention is directed to an array of packages. The array includes a first package comprising a first plurality of childcare products and a first bedtime activity support, wherein said first bedtime activity support facilitates a first structured interaction between a caregiver and a child. The array also includes a second package comprising a second plurality of childcare product and a second bedtime activity support, wherein said second bedtime activity support facilitates a second structured interaction between the caregiver and the child.
  • In a further aspect, the present invention is directed to an array comprising at least three packages. Each package comprises a plurality of childcare products and a bedtime activity support. The bedtime activity support may be an installment of a story such that when the installments are combined, said installments complete the story.
  • In another aspect, the present invention is an array of materials in support of a bedtime routine. The array of materials comprise a point-of-sale display for use in a store; and a package comprising a plurality of childcare products and a bedtime activity support, wherein said bedtime activity support facilitates a first structured interaction between a caregiver and a child; wherein said package is associated with the point-of-sale display.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • While the specification concludes with claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter that is regarded as the present invention, it is believed that the invention will be more fully understood from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. None of the drawings are necessarily to scale.
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic representation of a simplified bedtime routine.
  • FIG. 2 is a schematic representation of the method of the present invention.
  • FIG. 3 is a schematic representation of several further steps that may be included in the method.
  • FIGS. 4A-B depict a suitable childcare product as a package of disposable absorbent articles.
  • FIGS. 5A-B depict a suitable childcare product as a container of wipes.
  • FIGS. 6A-B depict point-of-sale displays.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • As used herein, the following terms shall have the meaning specified thereafter:
  • “Absorbent article” refers to a device which absorbs and contains body exudates and, more specifically, refers to a device which is placed against or in proximity to the body of the wearer to absorb and contain the various exudates discharged from the body. Exemplary absorbent articles include diapers, training pants, pull-on pant-type diapers (i.e., a diaper having a pre-formed waist opening and leg openings such as illustrated in U.S. Pat. No. 6,120,487), refastenable diapers or pant-type diapers, incontinence briefs and undergarments, diaper holders and liners, absorbent inserts, and the like.
  • “Disposable” refers to items that are intended to be discarded after a limited number of uses, frequently a single use (i.e., the original absorbent article as a whole is not intended to be laundered or reused as an absorbent article, although certain materials or portions of the absorbent article may be recycled, reused, or composted). For example, certain disposable absorbent articles may be temporarily restored to substantially full functionality through the use of removable/replaceable components but the article is nevertheless considered to be disposable because the entire article is intended to be discarded after a limited number of uses.
  • “Pant” refers to disposable absorbent articles having a pre-formed waist and leg openings. A pant may be donned by inserting a wearer's legs into the leg openings and sliding the pant into position about the wearer's lower torso. Pants are also commonly referred to as “closed diapers”, “prefastened diapers”, “pull-on diapers”, “training pants” and “diaper-pants.” Pants may have refastenable fastening elements.
  • “Child” refers to a minor with whom a childcare product is used and who is the target of the bedtime routine. For purposes of this invention, a “child” may be a minor of any age including a newborn, a baby, a toddler, an infant, or a child.
  • “Childcare task” refers to providing care (e.g., bathing, hygiene, safety, cleaning, diapering, feeding, etc.) to or assisting in the care of a child by using a childcare product.
  • “Childcare product” refers to an item used in the care (e.g., bathing, hygiene, safety, cleaning, diapering, feeding, etc.) of a child. As will be appreciated below, suitable childcare products include disposable absorbent articles and wipes.
  • “Bedtime activity support” refers to a component, device, or item for use in a bedtime activity. The bedtime activity support may facilitate, direct, or guide the structured interaction between the caregiver and child.
  • “Bedtime activity” refers to an interaction between the caregiver that establishes, reinforces, or improves the bedtime routine.
  • “Bedtime routine” refers to a sequence of events performed to prepare a child for sleep. The sequence of events is ideally repeated. The sequence of events is ideally repeated approximately every 24 hours to prepare a child for nighttime sleep.
  • “Installment” refers to a portion of a whole. When the installments are combined, the whole may be appreciated. Installments may be provided over a course of time or at intervals.
  • “Time-Appropriate” refers to an event such as a prompt occurring at an logically or reasonably prescribed time.
  • “Common character” refers to a visible representation of a person, an animal, or an anthropomorphous image or vocalizations related to the person, animal, or anthropomorphous image that are associated with at least two or more of the following: a childcare product, a prompt, a bedtime activity support, a notice, or a point-of-sale display.
  • “Common theme” refers to subject matter of a first item being related to subject matter of a second item. Suitable items include childcare products, prompts, bedtime activity supports, notices, or point-of-sale displays. Suitable subject matter may include the setting (e.g., outer space, under-the-sea, mythical worlds, medieval, jungle, etc.), the story line (e.g., journey home, playing with friends, going to bed, etc.), or elements (e.g., pets, sports equipment, toys, etc.) conveyed by the items.
  • “Point-of-sale display” refers to any setting or presentation of a child care product, a bedtime activity support, or ancillary information in open view in a store.
  • “Store” refers to any establishment that offers a childcare product for sale. A store may be a retail, wholesale, or commercial sales endeavor. Suitable stores include grocery stores, department stores, wholesale club stores, discount stores, drug stores, specialty boutiques, and the like.
  • “Ancillary information” refers to any information, instruction, tips, advice, directions, coaching, guidance, or counsel directed to establishing, reinforcing, or improving bedtime routine. Ancillary information may be printed steps instructing the caregiver on how to establish the bedtime routine. For example, the steps may direct the caregiver to use the childcare product (e.g., change the child's diaper), to perform one or more bedtime activities, and to place the child in a bed or crib. The ancillary information may include bedtime tips, child development information, child care information, practical caregiver advice, or the childcare product(s) information. Bedtime tips may include information on the right sleeping temperature, appropriate lighting and sound level, appropriate sleeping positions for the child, bed or crib paraphernalia, coping with nighttime crying, and other sleep related information. Child development information may include information on how sleep impacts emotional development, cognitive growth, and/or the physical development including locomotion, mobility, motor skills, and coordination. Child development information may also include information on how much sleep a child needs at a given age. Child care information may include information related to feeding, health, diapering, skin care, and like child care topics. An exemplary care tip may advise caregivers that applying a fresh diaper should be one event in a bedtime routine. Practical caregiver advice may include other assorted advice relevant to the directed more to the responsibilities and activities of the caregiver. For example, practical advice may include such topics as recipe/meal ideas, stress-reduction advice, and dealing multiple children. Childcare product information may include descriptions of the construction, design, materials, benefits, or other characteristics of the childcare product. Ancillary information may be conveyed by a prompt, a bedtime activity support, a notice, or a point-of-sale display.
  • The present invention relates to methods for improving the bedtime routine of a child along with the articles that support the method. Several methods and articles will be discussed below. It should be recognized that methods need not include every step or article provided for below. Furthermore, it should be recognized that the steps described need not occur in the order presented. Additionally, the steps may be performed sequentially or may be performed concurrently.
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic representation of a simplified bedtime routine. The routine (10) begins with a caregiver initiating the bedtime routine (12). The caregiver may either perform a childcare task (14) or a bedtime activity (16). The caregiver may then perform another childcare task (12) and/or bedtime activity (14) or may place the child to sleep (18). The routine (10) may be repeated.
  • The present method is designed to improve the bedtime routine (10) and may include providing the caregiver with a prompt, a childcare product, a bedtime activity support, a notice, and combinations thereof. The present method may further comprise using a point-of-sale display. FIG. 2 is a schematic representation of a several steps that may be included in the method (20) of the present invention. The present method (20) is shown with unbroken lines. In contrast, the bedtime routine (10) is shown with dotted lines so that focus may be drawn to the steps of the method (20). FIG. 2 depicts the step of communicating a prompt (30) to the caregiver, which may serve to initiate the bedtime routine (12) by the caregiver. The method (20) may further comprise providing a childcare product (40) to the caregiver, which may be used by the caregiver to perform a childcare task (14). The method (20) may further comprise the step of providing a bedtime activity support (50) to the caregiver, which may be used by the caregiver to perform the bedtime activity (14).
  • FIG. 3 is a schematic representation of several further steps that may be included in the method (20) of the present invention. Again, the bedtime routine (10) is shown with dotted lines so that focus may be drawn to the steps of the method (20). The method (20) may comprise a step of communicating a notice (60) to the caregiver, which may be used to inform the caregiver of the method (20) or any one or more of the steps of the method (20). The method (20) may comprise the step of using a point-of-sale display (70), which may be used to inform the caregiver of the method (20) of any one or more of the steps of the method (20). Having briefly described the method (20), each step of the method (20) and supporting articles related to the steps will now be further defined.
  • The method (20) may comprise providing (40) a childcare product to the caregiver. The childcare product provided may be any item that is predominately used for child care including items related to hygiene, feeding, safety, health, and the like. Suitable child care products may include disposable absorbent articles (e.g., diapers, pants, and the like), wipes, powders, ointments, medications, hair brushes, bottles, pacifiers, wash cloths, towels, sanitizers, soap, child wash, child shampoo, baby lotion, sponges, bibs, eye drops, nasal aspirators, thermometers, changing pads, diaper disposal bags, and the like. In a one embodiment, the childcare product includes disposable absorbent articles, wipes, packages containing disposable absorbent articles, containers container wipes, or combinations thereof.
  • Disposable absorbent articles such as diapers or pants are well-known in the art. Exemplary diaper construction is detailed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,860,003; 4,636,207; 4,695,278; 4,704,115; 4,795,454; 4,900,317; 4,909,803 (Reissued as USRE34920); U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,085,654; 5,492,751; 6,476,288; and SIR H1630. Exemplary pants construction is disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,246,433; 5,569,234; 6,120,487; 6,120,489; 4,940,464; 5,092,861; 5,897,545; 5,957,908; and U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/171,249.
  • In certain embodiments, more than one disposable absorbent article is provided. FIG. 4A depicts disposable absorbent articles provided as a package. The package 410 comprises a plurality of disposable absorbent articles such as diapers 420 fully or partially covered by an overwrap 430. The overwrap 430 may improve delivery and handling of multiple disposable absorbent articles. In one embodiment, the package 410 is defined by numerous diapers 420 bound together as an entity and covered by an overwrap 430 made from a thermoplastic film as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,934,470. Other package configurations and overwraps are clearly envisioned. For example, the overwrap 430 may comprise a variety of materials including, but not limited to, thermoplastic films, nonwovens, wovens, foils, fabrics, papers, cardboard, elastics, cords, straps, and combinations thereof. The package 410 may comprise a handle 432. FIG. 4A illustrates the handle 432 as being an aperture through the overwrap 430. The package 410 may also have an opening member 440. The opening member 440 allows a caregiver to more easily open the overwrap 430 and access the diapers 420. A suitable opening member 440 is a line of weakness 442 such as perforations within the thermoplastic film overwrap 430. FIG. 4B illustrates the package 410 is an open configuration after the opening member 440 has been used. Other suitable packages and methods for packaging are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,050,742 and 5,054,619. Furthermore, the package may contain multiple overwraps. For example, a plurality of disposable absorbent articles may be packaged with a thermoplastic film overwrap and then a plurality of film wrapped diapers may be contained or bound by a second overwrap such as a cardboard box or a second thermoplastic film overwrap. The package 410 is also shown to include a story card 450 which will be described below in reference to bedtime activity supports.
  • Wipes are well-known in the art and may also be referred to as wet wipes, dry wipe, pre-moistened wipes, towelettes, and the like. Wipes are commonly used to clean the anus, the perineum, the perianal and perineal area, and external genitalia after defecation or urination. Wipes are particularly useful and frequently used for cleansing during diaper changes. Wipes may be made of a material impregnated with a liquid or semi-liquid composition. The material of the wipes is generally soft and flexible. The material may have relatively high values of texture, caliper, and bulk for increased absorbency and cleansing. The liquid or semi-liquid composition impregnated into the wipe may enhance cleansing, skin softness, and/or skin condition. Exemplary wipe construction is detailed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,732,797; 4,741,944; 4,772,501; 4,865,221; 4,904,524; 5,629,081; 5,648,083; 5,863,663; 5,871,763; 6,060,149; 6,083,854; 6,623,834; and 6,733,773 and in U.S. Publication No. 2005/0008681A1.
  • In certain embodiments, more than one wipe is provided. The wipes may be provided in a container. The container provides a means of enclosing the wipes in order to improve handling and delivery. Enclosing the wipes in the container also inhibits evaporation or dissociation of the liquid or semi-liquid composition that is impregnated into the wipe. FIG. 5A depicts a container 530 housing a plurality of wipes 520. The container 530 may be made of a polymeric film or metallic foil. The container 530 may be disposed of upon depletion of the wipes 520. The container 530 has an opening 532 through which the wipes 520 may be removed. The container 530 may have a closure flap 534 that may removably cover the opening 532. The container 530 may have a fastening system 536 that can secure the closure flap 534 in a closed position over the opening 532. FIG. 5B depicts another suitable container 530. In this embodiment, the container 530 is made of a more durable material such as molded plastic. The container 530 is shown with an opening 532 through which the wipes 520 may be removed. This container 530 has a closure flap 534 that is pivotally attached to the container. The container 530 has a fastening system 536 in the form of a latch for that can secure the closure flap 534 in a closed position.
  • The childcare product may be provided by any suitable route. The typical route for providing a childcare product to a caregiver is by offering the childcare product for sale. The sale of the childcare product can occur via a store. The childcare product may be given to the caregiver gratuitously.
  • In certain embodiments, the childcare product comprises a graphic of a common character 100 (as shown in FIGS. 4A, 4B, and 5B). The common character 100 may also be associated with a prompt, a bedtime activity card, an ancillary print media, or a point of purchase material. The graphic of a common character 100 can be provided by methods well known in the art such as printing, molding, or embossing. For example, a diaper or a overwrap may be printed to provide a graphic of a common character 100. A wipe may be printed or embossed to provide a graphic of a common character 100. A wipes container may be printed or molded to provide a graphic of a common character 100.
  • The method (20) may comprise communicating (30) a prompt to the caregiver to initiate the bedtime routine. The prompt serves as the reminder to the caregiver that the bedtime routine should be initiated proximate to the prompt. The caregiver should begin the bedtime routine immediately after prompt. However, in other embodiments, it should be recognized that the caregiver may not be able to immediately begin the nighttime routine after the prompt. The caregiver may be occupied in providing care to the child or in performing other tasks such that immediate initiation of the bedtime routine is not feasible. As such, some flexibility is envisioned on when the caregiver will begin the nighttime routine, and the caregiver may initiate the bedtime routine some period of time after the prompt. The caregiver may being the routine within about 15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes after the prompt. However, times exceeding 60 minutes are possible. In certain embodiments, the period of time between the prompt and the initiation of the bedtime routine is consistently maintained if the bedtime routine is repeated.
  • The prompt can be conveyed in a variety of modes. In certain embodiments, the prompt may be conveyed by one or more forms of mass media. Suitable forms of mass media include television broadcast, radio broadcast, internet transmission, and like forms of mass media where a prompt can be delivered at a prescribed time. In certain embodiments, the prompt may be conveyed by a timing device such as an alarm clock, timer, or other like device that can deliver a prompt at a prescribed time. In other embodiments, the prompt may be conveyed by a personal communication device such as a telephone, cellular phone, personal digital assistant (PDA), digital music player, or other personal electronic device that can deliver a prompt at a prescribed time. The prompt may be conveyed by one or more of the modes identified above.
  • The content of the prompt may be tailored for a given mode of conveyance. The prompt is generally delivered audibly, visually, or tactilely. In one embodiment relevant to many modes of conveyance, the prompt may be in the form of a simple audible tone or tactile alert (e.g., a vibrating cellular phone) that signals that the bedtime routine should begin. In other embodiments, the prompt may be spoken text alerting the caregiver. In other embodiments, the prompt may be a visual signal such as a textual and/or pictorial message appearing via a televised broadcast or via the internet.
  • In other embodiments, the prompt may be a story prompt. A story prompt is a prompt that comprises a story, narrative, allegory, news, report, parable, fable, or the like so long as the content spurs the caregiver to initiate the bedtime routine. Generally, a story prompt is a prompt communicated in an entertaining, educational, or informative manner. For example, the story prompt may be a video of a mother placing a child to bed. In another example, the story prompt may be an animated fable. In another example, the story prompt may be a report on the cognitive benefits for children who received appropriate sleep. These story prompts may, but are not necessarily, followed with a text or vocal message that communicates that it is time to begin the bedtime routine.
  • In certain embodiments, the prompt may contain a common character. The common character may appear visually and/or the vocalizations related to the common character may be used. For example, the prompt may be in the form of a short narrative comprising the common character. The narrative can be audile and/or visible. For example, the content of the prompt may be an animation of a mother bear placing a child bear to bed. The mother bear and/child bear may be a common character that is also present on other items such as the childcare product, a bedtime activity support, a notice, or a point-of-sale display.
  • In certain embodiments, the prompt may be an installment (“installment prompt”). An installment prompt is one of a plurality of interrelated prompts, wherein the prompts when taken together communicate or express a whole concept. In certain embodiments, the installment prompts communicates a portion of a story such that, when all prompts are taken together, the story may be appreciated by the caregiver or child. For example, the story may involve a lost character trying to find its way home. Each installment prompt may relate to the common theme of the character trying to find its way home. In other examples, each installment prompt may build upon the previous prompt in order to communicate the entire story. In certain embodiments, the installment prompt may include a common character or a common theme.
  • In certain embodiments, the prompt may include ancillary information or may reference a bedtime activity support.
  • The prompt may be communicated in a time-appropriate manner. For example, a nightly bedtime routine may be initiated by a time-appropriate prompt communicated in the early evening such as between 8:00 P.M. and 10:00 P.M. A prompt communicated in the morning (e.g., 9:00 A.M) is not time-appropriate for initiating a nightly bedtime routine. In certain embodiments, the same or different prompts may be communicated repeatedly at an interval of approximately 24 hours ±30 minutes. For example, it may be desirable to communicate the prompt on a first night at about 9:00 P.M. and then communicate the same or a different prompt on a second night at about 9:00 P.M. The repetition and time consistency of the prompt is believed to be beneficial in establishing a consistent bedtime routine. In certain embodiments, a prompt may be communicated at intervals of approximately 24 hours over the course of 2 to 14 days. In other embodiments, a prompt may be communicated at intervals of approximately 24 hours over the course of a month (i.e., 28 consecutive days) or more.
  • In certain embodiments, a prompt is communicated via multiple outlets of a common form of mass media. Multiple outlets include different television or radio channels, different television or radio networks, or different television or radio broadcast frequencies. In a particular embodiment, a prompt is proximately communicated on at least two outlets of a common form of mass media. Proximately communicated includes embodiments where a portion of a first prompt is communicated on a first outlet at the same time that a portion of a second prompt is communicated on a second outlet. In other embodiments, the second prompt is communicated within 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 minutes of a first prompt being communicated on a first outlet. The first prompt and the second prompt may be the same or different prompts. In other embodiments, a prompt is proximately communicated on at least three, four, or more outlets of a common form of mass media. In certain embodiments, a prompt is proximately communicated on different forms of mass media.
  • The bedtime routine is believed to be particularly reinforced if the child is an active participant in the routine. In certain embodiments, the prompt may be directed to the child so that the child becomes involved with the bedtime routine. In such embodiments, the child may become aware that the prompt means that it is now time for bed. After the prompt, the child may be able to be self-sufficient in a part or all of the childcare tasks or the bedtime activity. For example, the child may be able to begin a childcare task such as washing his or her own face or brushing his or her own teeth. For example, the child may be able to direct or perform the bedtime activity such as reading the story or completing a puzzle.
  • The method (20) may comprise the step of providing a bedtime activity support (50) to the caregiver for use in a bedtime activity. The bedtime activity support is any component, device, or item that facilities a structured interaction between the caregiver and child. The interaction may establish, reinforce, or improve the bedtime routine. In certain embodiments, the bedtime activity support is used in performing one of the events that, when taken together, comprise the bedtime routine. Suitable bedtime activity supports may include one or more of the following: picture books, story books, story pamphlets, story cards, poems, songs, lullabies, video recordings in any suitable format, audio recordings in any suitable format, computer programs, interactive media, games, puzzles, toys, puppets, and the like. The bedtime activity supports are designed to provide the caregiver with the materials and instructions to initiate a bedtime activity. In light of the aforementioned bedtime activity supports, the bedtime activities may include singing songs, reading stories, watching a video recording, listening to an audio recording, playing with a toy or puppet, doing a puzzle, interacting with a computer program or other interactive media, and the like. The bedtime activity may be one of the events that form the bedtime routine. The bedtime activity (and use of the bedtime activity support) is ideally repeated prior to each sleep event or approximately after a prompt.
  • When not readily apparent, the bedtime activity support may be accompanied with written guidance on how to use the bedtime activity support as part of the bedtime routine. For example, the bedtime activity support may include a puppet, text for a lullaby, and written guidance. The written guidance is provided to instruct the caregiver on how the puppet should be used while the caregiver sings the lullaby.
  • In certain embodiments, the bedtime activity support may contain a common character. For example, the picture books, story books, story pamphlets, story cards, or poems may include or reference the common character that is present in or on the childcare product, the prompt, the notice, or the point-of-sale display.
  • In certain embodiments, the bedtime activity support may be an installment bedtime activity support. An installment bedtime activity support is one of a plurality of interrelated bedtime activity supports that, when taken together, communicate or express a whole concept. In certain embodiments, the installment bedtime activity supports are a plurality of story cards. Each story card communicates a portion of a story such that, when taken together, a complete story may be appreciated with all installments. For example, story cards may tell the story of a character experiencing several adventures before going to bed. The installment bedtime activity supports may be provided to the caregiver over a period of time so as to maintain the caregiver's and/or child's interest in the bedtime activity. The bedtime activity support may be interrelated, for example, by having a common theme or a common character.
  • The bedtime activity support may be provided to the caregiver by any suitable route. A typical route is to offer the bedtime activity support for sale. The sale of the childcare product can occur via a store. Additionally, the bedtime activity support may be given to the caregiver gratuitously. The bedtime activity support may be delivered to the caregiver through a common carrier (e.g., postal service, overnight mail, etc.) or through electronic transmission (e.g., e-mail, internet download, etc.).
  • In certain embodiments, the bedtime activity support is provided to the caregiver by associating the bedtime activity support with the childcare product. The bedtime activity support may be joined to (e.g., attached to or housed within) the childcare product to form a bedtime kit. The bedtime activity support may be joined to a package that comprises the childcare product. For example, FIGS. 4A-B illustrate a suitable childcare product as a package 410 comprising a plurality of disposable absorbent articles 420 fully or partially enclosed by an overwrap 430. The bedtime activity support may be connected to the package 410 (e.g., affixed to the overwrap, printed to the overwrap, etc.) or may be contained in the package 410. In a suitable embodiment, the bedtime activity support may be a story card 450 provided to a caregiver within the package 410. In FIG. 4B, the story card 450 has been removed from the package and is ready for use. In another suitable embodiment, the bedtime activity support may be a story card 450 that is printed on the overwrap of a package containing diapers or wipes. The story card 450 may be removed from the package for use. Associating the childcare product and the bedtime activity support are believed to further strengthen the success of a bedtime routine. Associating the childcare product and the bedtime activity support makes use of the product and support more convenient. The convenience and accessibility of the childcare product and the bedtime activity support may facilitate their continued and repeated use, which further strengthens the bedtime routine.
  • In certain embodiments, the bedtime activity support may further comprise ancillary information.
  • The method (20) may comprise a step of communicating a notice (60) to the caregiver. The notice is designed to alert, to inform, to educate, or to excite the caregiver about the prompt or bedtime routines. The notice may inform the caregiver about the purpose of the prompt, the childcare product, and the bedtime activity and bedtime activity support. The notice may inform the caregiver about the importance of sleep for a child and how a bedtime routine facilitates improved sleep. The notice ideally provides advance notification to the caregiver about the method (20) or steps of the method (20) so that the caregiver may make necessary preparations for a bedtime routine. Preparations can include making the child's bed or crib more sleep-friendly, becoming familiar with one or more bedtime activities and bedtime activity supports, planning to be available for a prompt, purchasing necessary childcare products, etc.
  • The notice may be communicated by many of the same modes by which the prompt is conveyed such as by one or more forms of mass media. Suitable forms of mass media include television broadcast, radio broadcast, internet or e-mail transmission, publication in magazines or newspapers, or direct mail. The notice may be conveyed by a personal communication device such as a telephone, cellular phone, personal digital assistant (PDA), digital music player, or other personal electronic device capable of receiving and transmitting (e.g., visibly or audibly) the notice. The notice may be conveyed by one or more of the modes identified above.
  • The content of the notice may be tailored for a given mode of communication. The notice is generally delivered audibly or visibly. In one embodiment, the notice may be a printed advertisement in a magazine or newspaper. The notice ideally will communicate to the caregiver at least the time the prompt will occur and the mode by which the prompt will be conveyed. The notice may include a common character.
  • A suitable notice may be provided by a newspaper or magazine advertisement. The notice may have a common character that is also present in a prompt. The notice may also contain text alerting the caregiver about when the prompt will occur and what the caregiver should do.
  • In certain embodiments, the notice may ideally include ancillary information. By providing ancillary information in the notice, it is believed that the caregiver can prepare for the bedtime routine. Furthermore, ancillary information present in the notice may be tailored toward educating the caregiver that a bedtime routine should be established, reinstituted, or revised.
  • The method (20) may comprise a step of using a point-of-sale (POS) display (70). The POS display may be used to inform the caregiver of the method (20) or of any one or more steps of the method (20). In embodiments where the childcare product is provided for sale, it may be beneficial to use a POS display in a store (e.g., grocery store, department store, wholesale club store, discount store, etc.). POS displays may be designed to alert, to inform, to educate, or to excite the caregiver about the prompt or bedtime routines. The POS displays may inform the caregiver about the purpose of the prompt, the childcare product, and the bedtime activity and activity support. The POS displays may inform the caregiver about the importance of sleep for a child and how a bedtime routine facilitates improved sleep.
  • Suitable POS displays may include pamphlets, fliers, posters, placards, signs, flags, banners, display, floor overlays, audio transmissions, video displays, interactive computer interfaces, three dimensional displays, kiosks, temporary or permanent structures, and the like. Suitable POS displays are described in copending application Ser. No. 11/315026 entitled “Merchandising Method and System” filed Dec. 22, 2005. Other suitable POS displays may include buttons and other apparel such as T-shirts, smocks, hats, and the like that may be worn by personnel in the store.
  • The POS display may comprise a common character.
  • FIG. 6A illustrates an elaborate array of POS displays in a store 600. The POS displays include signs 601, flags 602, a banner 603, a floor overlay 604, a temporary structure 605, an interactive computer interface 606, placards 607, and personnel apparel 608. The POS displays may also be associated (e.g., placed proximate to or to contain) with childcare products such as packages of diapers 622 or containers of wipes 624. The POS displays may also house or exhibit bedtime activity supports such as, for example, DVDs 632, stuffed animals or toys 634, and books 636.
  • FIG. 6B illustrates another suitable array of POS displays that may be used in a store. The POS displays are arranged on a shelving unit 640. The POS displays include a sign 601, flags 602, and visual image 610 of a common character 100. The POS displays are arranged around childcare products such as packages of diapers 622 or containers of wipes 624 and bedtime activity supports such as DVDs 632 and books 636. The shelving unit 640 may be configured with other POS displays, childcare products, or bedtime activity supports.
  • All documents cited in the Detailed Description are, in relevant part, incorporated herein by reference; the citation of any document is not to be construed as an admission that it is prior art with respect to the present invention.
  • While particular embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described, it would be obvious to those skilled in the art that various other changes and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. It is therefore intended to cover in the appended claims all such changes and modifications that are within the scope of this invention.

Claims (38)

1. A method for improving the bedtime routine of a child comprising:
a. providing a childcare product to the caregiver,
b. providing a bedtime activity support to the caregiver, and
c. communicating a prompt to the caregiver.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein the prompt is communicated by mass media.
3. The method of claim 2 wherein the prompt is proximately communicated by two or more mass media outlets.
4. The method of claim 2 wherein the mass media is television broadcast or radio broadcast.
5. The method of claim 1 wherein the step of communicating the prompt occurs between the hours of about 8 P.M. and about 11 P.M.
6. The method of claim 1 wherein the step of communicating the prompt repeats at least once after an interval of approximately 24 hours.
7. The method of claim 6 wherein the step of communicated the prompt repeats at least seven time after an interval of approximately 24 hours.
8. The method of claim 1 wherein the prompt comprises a common character.
9. The method of claim 1 wherein the prompt is an installment prompt.
10. The method of claim 1 wherein the childcare product comprises one or more disposable absorbent articles or wipes.
11. The method of claim 1 wherein the childcare product comprises a common character.
12. The method of claim 1 wherein the method further comprises the step of:
d. using a point-of-sale display within a store.
13. The method of claim 12 wherein said point-of-sale display provides information to the caregiver about one or more of the steps a., b., or c.
14. The method of claim 12 wherein the point-of-sale display is selected from a group consisting of pamphlets, fliers, posters, placards, signs, flags, banners, display, floor overlays, audio transmissions, video displays, interactive computer interfaces, three dimensional displays, kiosks, temporary structure, permanent structures, buttons, apparel, and combinations thereof.
15. The method of claim 12 wherein the point-of-sale display comprises a common character.
16. The method of claim 1 wherein the bedtime activity support is selected from a group consisting of picture books, story books, story pamphlets, story cards, poems, songs, lullabies, video recordings, audio recordings, computer programs, interactive media, games, puzzles, toys, puppets, and combinations thereof.
17. The method of claim 1 wherein the bedtime activity support comprises a common character.
18. The method of claim 1 wherein the bedtime activity support is an installment bedtime activity support.
19. The method of claim 1 wherein said method further comprises a step of:
e. communicating a notice to the caregiver, wherein said notice provides information to the caregiver about one or more of the steps a., b., or c.
20. A method for improving the bedtime routine of a child comprising:
a. providing a childcare product to the caregiver, wherein said childcare product comprises one or more disposable absorbent articles or wipes,
b. providing a first bedtime activity support to the caregiver,
c. communicating a first prompt to the caregiver, and
d. communicating a second prompt to the caregiver after an interval of approximately 24 hours, wherein said first prompt and said second prompt are interrelated by a common character or a common theme.
21. An array of packages, said array comprising:
a. a first package comprising a first plurality of childcare products and a first bedtime activity support, wherein said first bedtime activity support facilitates a first structured interaction between a caregiver and a child; and
b. a second package comprising a second plurality of childcare product and a second bedtime activity support, wherein said second bedtime activity support facilitates a second structured interaction between the caregiver and the child.
22. The array of claim 21 wherein the first bedtime activity support and second bedtime activity support is selected from a group consisting of picture books, story books, story pamphlets, story cards, poems, songs, lullabies, video recordings, audio recordings, computer programs, interactive media, games, puzzles, toys, puppets, and combinations thereof.
23. The array of claim 21 wherein the first bedtime activity support and the second bedtime activity support each comprise a common character.
24. The array of claim 21 wherein the first bedtime activity support and the second bedtime activity support each comprise a common theme.
25. The array of claim 21 wherein the first bedtime activity support comprises a first portion of a story and the second bedtime activity support comprises a second portion of the story.
26. The array of claim 21 wherein the childcare products are disposable absorbent articles or wipes.
27. The array of claim 21 wherein the first bedtime activity support and the second bedtime activity support further comprise ancillary information.
28. An array comprising at least three packages, wherein each package comprise a
a. a plurality of childcare products, and
b. a bedtime activity support, wherein the bedtime activity support is an installment of a story, such that when said installments are combined, said installments complete the story.
29. The array of claim 28 wherein the bedtime activity support is selected from a group consisting of picture books, story books, story pamphlets, story cards, poems, songs, lullabies, video recordings, audio recordings, computer programs, or interactive media.
30. The array of claim 28 wherein each installment comprise a common character.
31. The array of claim 28 wherein each installment comprise a common theme.
32. The array of claim 28 wherein the childcare products are disposable absorbent articles or wipes.
33. The array of claim 28 wherein each bedtime activity support further comprises ancillary information.
34. An array of materials in support of a bedtime routine, said array of materials comprising:
a. a point-of-sale display for use in a store; and
b. a package comprising a plurality of childcare products and a bedtime activity support, wherein said bedtime activity support facilitates a first structured interaction between a caregiver and a child; wherein said package is associated with the point-of-sale display.
35. The array of claim 34 wherein the bedtime activity support is selected from a group consisting of picture books, story books, story pamphlets, story cards, poems, songs, lullabies, video recordings, audio recordings, computer programs, interactive media, games, puzzles, toys, puppets, and combinations thereof.
36. The array of claim 34 wherein the point-of-sale display is selected from a group consisting of pamphlets, fliers, posters, placards, signs, flags, banners, display, floor overlays, audio transmissions, video displays, interactive computer interfaces, three dimensional displays, kiosks, temporary structure, permanent structures, buttons, apparel, and combinations thereof.
37. The array of claim 34 wherein the bedtime activity support and the point-of-sale display each comprise a common character.
38. The array of claim 34 wherein the childcare products are disposable absorbent articles or wipes.
US11/413,769 2006-04-28 2006-04-28 Method for improving the bedtime routine of a child and articles in support thereof Abandoned US20070275631A1 (en)

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Owner name: PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY, THE, OHIO

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:TOSTA, DANIELA;REEL/FRAME:017964/0249

Effective date: 20060428