US20140284362A1 - Infant Carrier Garment - Google Patents

Infant Carrier Garment Download PDF

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Publication number
US20140284362A1
US20140284362A1 US14221115 US201414221115A US2014284362A1 US 20140284362 A1 US20140284362 A1 US 20140284362A1 US 14221115 US14221115 US 14221115 US 201414221115 A US201414221115 A US 201414221115A US 2014284362 A1 US2014284362 A1 US 2014284362A1
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
flexible
body
inches
tubular
element
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US14221115
Inventor
Matthew C. Halverstadt
Katie A. Halverstadt
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HUDLO LLC
Original Assignee
Edamama LLC
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47DFURNITURE SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR CHILDREN
    • A47D13/00Other nursery furniture
    • A47D13/02Baby-carriers; Carry-cots
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47DFURNITURE SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR CHILDREN
    • A47D13/00Other nursery furniture
    • A47D13/02Baby-carriers; Carry-cots
    • A47D13/025Baby-carriers; Carry-cots for carrying children in seated position

Abstract

Generally, a garment. Specifically, a garment having a flexible tubular body and a receptacle configured to supportingly engage an infant.

Description

  • [0001]
    This United States Non-Provisional patent application is a continuation of U.S. Design patent application Ser. No. 29/485,631, filed Mar. 20, 2014 and claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/852,722, filed Mar. 20, 2013, hereby incorporated by reference herein.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    Generally, an infant carrier garment. Specifically, a garment having a flexible tubular body and a receptacle configured to supportingly engage an infant.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating that skin-to-skin contact, also known as “kangaroo care,” practiced immediately after birth and beyond, offers multiple medical benefits for both the care provider and the baby. Skin-to-skin contact is a holding technique where the care provider positions a baby, wearing only a diaper, against their bare chest. Full chest to chest contact between the care provider and the baby may stimulate a hormonal cascade resulting in the production of oxytocin within the brain of the baby. Oxytocin is a neuromodulator which may provide a sense of calm, happiness, and contentment by inhibiting the release of one or more stress response hormones, thereby prohibiting an increase in heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and growth or recovery delays in the baby. Simply stated, skin-to-skin contact can minimize stress responses in a baby.
  • [0004]
    Additional advantages of skin-to-skin contact for the baby may include: accelerated brain development, synchronization of heart rate and breathing, regulation of body temperature, increased oxygenation, enhanced quality of sleep, increased immunity, improved digestion, amplified weight gain, greater calmness, diminished crying, or the like, or combinations thereof.
  • [0005]
    There may be advantages for the mother from skin-to-skin contact as well, often reducing the occurrence of postpartum depression and increasing the mother's breast milk supply, subsequently resulting in a higher rate of success with breastfeeding. In addition to the positive physiological effects, skin-to-skin contact may aid in creating an important bond between the care provider and the baby.
  • [0006]
    Recent studies report long term effects of skin-to-skin contact including a greater head circumference and significant improvement in motor and cognitive development at one year of age. Heightened parent sensitivity and infant interaction through six months of age was also observed.
  • [0007]
    Accordingly, neonatal intensive care units (NICU) may employ skin-to-skin contact as an intervention for preterm infants. A recent survey of U.S. nurseries has reported that the number of units that practice skin-to-skin contact is increasing. However, there may be perceived barriers to the implementation of skin-to-skin contact, including a lack of protocols or guidelines for safe implementation that allows for a comfortable and private experience for the provider and the infant.
  • [0008]
    Thus, there exists a need for a garment which safely and conveniently facilitates skin-to-skin contact, especially for preterm infants requiring specialized treatment and care in a NICU.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0009]
    A broad object of the invention can be to provide a garment which safely and conveniently facilitates skin-to-skin contact.
  • [0010]
    Another broad object of the invention can be to provide a garment which safely and conveniently facilitates skin-to-skin contact, especially for preterm infants requiring specialized treatment and care in a NICU.
  • [0011]
    Another broad object of the invention can be to provide a garment comprising a flexible tubular body and a receptacle configured to supportingly engage an infant.
  • [0012]
    Another broad object of the invention can be to provide a garment comprising a flexible tubular body, a receptacle configured to supportingly engage an infant, and one or more support elements configured to encircle the flexible tubular body and support an infant received within the receptacle.
  • [0013]
    Another broad object of the invention can be to provide a method of making a garment comprising a flexible tubular body and a receptacle configured to supportingly engage an infant.
  • [0014]
    Another broad object of the invention can be to provide a method of making a garment comprising a flexible tubular body, a receptacle configured to supportingly engage an infant, and one or more support elements configured to encircle the flexible tubular body and support an infant received within the receptacle.
  • [0015]
    Another broad object of the invention can be to provide a method of using a garment comprising a flexible tubular body and a receptacle configured to supportingly engage an infant.
  • [0016]
    Another broad object of the invention can be to provide a method of using a garment comprising a flexible tubular body, a receptacle configured to supportingly engage an infant, and one or more support elements configured to encircle the flexible tubular body and support an infant received within the receptacle.
  • [0017]
    Naturally, further objects of the invention are disclosed throughout other areas of the specification, drawings, and claims.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0018]
    FIG. 1 is an illustration of a method of using a particular embodiment of the inventive garment.
  • [0019]
    FIG. 2 is a front view of a particular embodiment of the inventive garment having the first flexible elongate support element, the second flexible elongate support element, the first flexible member, and the second flexible member in an unsecured condition.
  • [0020]
    FIG. 3 is a front view of a particular embodiment of the inventive garment having the first flexible elongate support element, the second flexible elongate support element, the first flexible member, and the second flexible member in a secured condition.
  • [0021]
    FIG. 4 is a back view of a particular embodiment of the inventive garment having the first flexible elongate support element, the second flexible elongate support element, the first flexible member, and the second flexible member in an unsecured condition.
  • [0022]
    FIG. 5 is a back view of a particular embodiment of the inventive garment having the first flexible elongate support element, the second flexible elongate support element, the first flexible member, and the second flexible member in a secured condition.
  • [0023]
    FIG. 6 is a first side view of a particular embodiment of the inventive garment.
  • [0024]
    FIG. 7 is a second side view of a particular embodiment of the inventive garment.
  • [0025]
    FIG. 8A is a top view of a particular embodiment of the inventive garment having the first flexible elongate support element, the second flexible elongate support element, the first flexible member, and the second flexible member in an unsecured condition.
  • [0026]
    FIG. 8B is a top view of a particular embodiment of the inventive garment having the first flexible elongate support element, the second flexible elongate support element, the first flexible member, and the second flexible member in a secured condition.
  • [0027]
    FIG. 9A is a bottom view of a particular embodiment of the inventive garment having the first flexible elongate support element, the second flexible elongate support element, the first flexible member, and the second flexible member in an unsecured condition.
  • [0028]
    FIG. 9B is a bottom view of a particular embodiment of the inventive garment having the first flexible elongate support element, the second flexible elongate support element, the first flexible member, and the second flexible member in a secured condition.
  • [0029]
    FIG. 9C is a perspective view of a particular embodiment of the inventive garment.
  • [0030]
    FIG. 10 is a cross sectional view 10-10 of the particular embodiment of the inventive garment shown in FIG. 8B.
  • [0031]
    FIG. 11 is a cross sectional view 11-11 of the particular embodiment of the inventive garment shown in FIG. 8B.
  • [0032]
    FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a particular embodiment of the receptacle of the inventive garment.
  • [0033]
    FIG. 13 is a front view of a particular embodiment of the inventive garment reversed.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0034]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 1, which illustrates a method of using a particular embodiment of the inventive garment (1). A wearer (2) can wear the inventive garment (1) about an upper torso (3), the inventive garment (1) including a flexible tubular body (4) having a front upper portion (5) and a flexible panel (6) connected to the front upper portion (5) to form a receptacle (7). The receptacle (7) can be configured to supportingly engage a lower torso of an infant (8). Accordingly, the wearer (2) of the inventive garment (1) can insert the lower torso of the infant (8) into the receptacle (7), which can supportingly engage the infant (8) and removably couple the infant (8) with the upper torso (3) of the wearer (2), wherein the coupling can promote skin-to-skin contact between the wearer (2) and the infant (8).
  • [0035]
    The term “torso” for the purposes of this invention means the trunk of a human body, the trunk excluding the head, neck, and limbs. The torso can be divided into an upper torso and a lower torso, the upper torso extending from about the waistline upward and the lower torso extending from about the waistline downward. Additionally, the torso can be divided into a front torso and a back torso, the front torso encompassing the anterior portion of the trunk of the human body, including the chest and the abdomen, the back torso encompassing the posterior portion of the trunk of the human body, including the back.
  • [0036]
    The term “front” for the purposes of this invention means an anterior portion. The front portion of the flexible tubular body means the portion of the flexible tubular body configured to be worn about the anterior portion of the human body. The front upper portion of the flexible tubular body means the portion of the flexible tubular body configured to be worn about the front upper torso.
  • [0037]
    The term “back” for the purposes of this invention means a posterior portion. The back portion of the flexible tubular body means the portion of the flexible tubular body configured to be worn about the posterior portion of the human body. The back upper portion of the flexible tubular body means the portion of the flexible tubular body configured to be worn about the back upper torso.
  • [0038]
    The term “tubular body” for the purposes of this invention means a substantially hollow body having a flexible tubular body first end opposite a flexible tubular body second end and a pass-through communicating between the flexible tubular body first end and the flexible tubular body second end.
  • [0039]
    The term “receptacle” for the purposes of this invention means a portion of the inventive garment configured to receive or contain an infant.
  • [0040]
    The term “infant” for the purposes of this invention means a preterm neonate, a term neonate, or any animal having dimensions similar to a neonate.
  • [0041]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 6 and FIG. 7, the inventive garment (1) can have a flexible tubular body (4) having a flexible tubular body length (9) disposed between a flexible tubular body first end (10) and a flexible tubular body second end (11). Typically, the flexible tubular body length (9) can be in a range of between about 6 inches to about 60 inches; however, embodiments can be of a greater or lesser flexible tubular body length (9) to cover a desired portion of the wearer (2). As to particular embodiments, the flexible tubular body length (9) can be selected from the group including or consisting about: between about 6 inches to about 12 inches, between about 9 inches to about 15 inches, between about 12 inches to about 18 inches, between about 15 inches to about 21 inches, between about 18 inches to about 24 inches, between about 21 inches to about 27 inches, between about 24 inches to about 30 inches, between about 27 inches to about 33 inches, between about 30 inches to about 36 inches, between about 33 inches to about 39 inches, between about 36 inches to about 42 inches, between about 39 inches to about 45 inches, between about 42 inches to about 48 inches, between about 45 inches to about 51 inches, between about 48 inches to about 54 inches, between about 51 inches to about 57 inches, and between about 54 inches to about 60 inches. As an illustrative example, the flexible tubular body length (9) can be about 24 inches.
  • [0042]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 6 and FIG. 7, the flexible tubular body (4) can have a front portion flexible tubular body length (12) (as shown in the example of FIG. 6) substantially similar to a back portion flexible tubular body length (13) (as shown in the example of FIG. 7). As an illustrative example, both the front portion flexible tubular body length (12) and the back portion flexible tubular body length (13) can be about 24 inches. As to other particular embodiments, the flexible tubular body (4) can have a front portion flexible tubular body length (12) substantially dissimilar to a back portion flexible tubular body length (13) (as shown in the example of FIG. 6 and FIG. 7). As an illustrative example, the front portion flexible tubular body length (12) can be about 22 inches and the back portion flexible tubular body length (13) can be about 20 inches.
  • [0043]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 5, the inventive garment (1) can have a flexible tubular body (4) having a flexible tubular body width (14) disposed between a flexible tubular body first side (15) and a flexible tubular body second side (16). Typically, the flexible tubular body width (14) can be in a range of between about 12 inches to about 36 inches; however, embodiments can be of a greater or lesser flexible tubular body width (14), wherein the flexible tubular body width (14) can be sufficient to cover a desired portion of the body of a wearer (2). As to particular embodiments, the flexible tubular body width (14) can be selected from the group including or consisting about: between about 6 inches to about 12 inches, between about 9 inches to about 15 inches, between about 12 inches to about 18 inches, between about 15 inches to about 21 inches, between about 18 inches to about 24 inches, between about 21 inches to about 27 inches, between about 24 inches to about 30 inches, between about 27 inches to about 33 inches, and between about 30 inches to about 36 inches. As an illustrative example, the flexible tubular body width (14) can be about 18 inches.
  • [0044]
    As to particular embodiments, the flexible tubular body length (9) can be substantially similar along the flexible tubular body width (14). As to other particular embodiments, the flexible tubular body length (9) can be substantially dissimilar along the flexible tubular body width (14).
  • [0045]
    As to particular embodiments, the flexible tubular body width (14) can be substantially similar along the flexible tubular body length (9). As to other particular embodiments, the flexible tubular body width (14) can be substantially dissimilar along the flexible tubular body length (9).
  • [0046]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 6 and FIG. 7, the flexible tubular body (4) can have an upper portion flexible tubular body width (17) substantially similar to a lower portion flexible tubular body width (18). As an illustrative example, both the upper portion flexible tubular body width (17) and the lower portion flexible tubular body width (18) can be about 18 inches. As to other particular embodiments, the flexible tubular body (4) can have an upper portion flexible tubular body width (17) substantially dissimilar to a lower portion flexible tubular body width (18). As an illustrative example, the upper portion flexible tubular body width (17) can be about 18 inches and the lower portion flexible tubular body width (18) can be about 24 inches.
  • [0047]
    As to particular embodiments, the flexible tubular body (4) can have a flexible tubular body length (9) and a flexible tubular body width (14) configured to be worn about the body of an extra-small, small, medium, large, or extra-large post-partum female wearer (2). Additionally, the flexible tubular body (4) can have a flexible tubular body length (9) and a flexible tubular body width (14) configured to be worn about the body of an extra-small, small, medium, large, or extra-large male wearer (2).
  • [0048]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 3, the flexible tubular body (4) can have a flexible tubular body first end edge (19) or a flexible tubular body second end edge (20) which can be substantially parallel to a flexible tubular body latitudinal axis (21) and, correspondingly, substantially perpendicular to a flexible tubular body longitudinal axis (22). As to other particular embodiments, a flexible tubular body first end edge (19) or a flexible tubular body second end edge (20) can be undulating.
  • [0049]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 2, the flexible tubular body (4) can have an external surface (23). As to particular embodiments, one or more auxiliary elements (24) can be connected to the external surface (23). As an illustrative example, an auxiliary element (24) can include material connected to the external surface (23) of the flexible tubular body (4) to form a pouch, a pocket, or the like. Additionally, auxiliary elements (24) can include buttons, bows, beads, appliques, images, or the like, or combinations thereof.
  • [0050]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 8A and FIG. 8B, the flexible tubular body (4) can have an internal surface (25) defining a pass-through (26) communicating between the flexible tubular body first end (10) and the flexible tubular body second end (11). The internal surface (25) can define a pass-through (26) having numerous configurations of varying dimensions. While the illustrative example of the internal surface (25) defining a pass-through (26) shown in the Figures defines a configuration which generally depicts a substantially elliptical cylindrical configuration, embodiments can have an internal surface (25) defining a pass-through (26) which defines any suitable configuration for wearing the flexible tubular body (4) about the upper torso (3) of a wearer (2).
  • [0051]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 9A through FIG. 11, the inventive garment (1) can include a flexible panel (6) connected to the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4) to form a receptacle (7) configured to supportingly engage a lower torso of an infant (8).
  • [0052]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 12, the flexible panel (6) can have a flexible panel length (27) disposed between a flexible panel first end (28) and a flexible panel second end (29). Typically, the flexible panel length (27) can be in a range of between about 3 inches to about 12 inches; however, embodiments can be of a greater or lesser flexible panel length (27), wherein the flexible panel length (27) can be sufficient to cover a desired portion of an infant (8) with the flexible panel (6) connected to the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4) to form a receptacle (7) configured to supportingly engage an infant (8). As to particular embodiments, the flexible panel length (27) can be selected from the group including or consisting about: between about 3 inches to about 5 inches, between about 4 inches to about 6 inches, between about 5 inches to about 7 inches, between about 6 inches to about 8 inches, between about 7 inches to about 9 inches, between about 8 inches to about 10 inches, between about 9 inches to about 11 inches, and between about 10 inches to about 12 inches. As an illustrative example, the flexible panel length (27) can be about 6 inches, which can be sufficient to cover a portion of the infant (8) supportingly engaged within the receptacle (7) from about the waistline downward.
  • [0053]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 12, the flexible panel (6) can have a flexible panel width (30) disposed between a flexible panel first side (31) and a flexible panel second side (32). Typically, the flexible panel width (30) can be in a range of between about 3 inches to about 18 inches; however, embodiments can be of a greater or lesser flexible panel width (30), wherein the flexible panel width (30) can be sufficient to cover a desired portion of an infant (8) with the flexible panel (6) connected to the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4) to form a receptacle (7) configured to supportingly engage an infant (8). As to particular embodiments, the flexible panel width (30) can be selected from the group including or consisting about: between about 3 inches to about 5 inches, between about 4 inches to about 6 inches, between about 5 inches to about 7 inches, between about 6 inches to about 8 inches, between about 7 inches to about 9 inches, between about 8 inches to about 10 inches, between about 9 inches to about 11 inches, between about 10 inches to about 12 inches, between about 11 inches to about 13 inches, between about 12 inches to about 14 inches, between about 13 inches to about 15 inches, between about 14 inches to about 16 inches, between about 15 inches to about 17 inches, and between about 16 inches to about 18 inches. As an illustrative example, the flexible panel width (30) can be about 12 inches.
  • [0054]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 12, the flexible panel (6) can have a flexible panel periphery (33) which can define numerous configurations of varying dimensions. While the illustrative example of the flexible panel periphery (33) shown in the Figures generally defines a semi-circular configuration, embodiments can have a flexible panel periphery (33) which defines any suitable configuration sufficient to cover a desired portion of an infant (8) with the flexible panel (6) connected to the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4) to form a receptacle (7) configured to supportingly engage the infant (8). Configurations of the flexible panel periphery (33) can include or consist of: a circle, a truncated circle, an oval, a truncated oval, a triangle, a truncated triangle, a square, a rectangle, a trapezoid, a polygon, or the like, or combinations thereof. In addition, embodiments can have a flexible panel periphery (33) which defines an image, for example a human image, an animal image, a fanciful creature image, or the like, or combinations thereof.
  • [0055]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 11, the flexible panel (6) can be connected proximate the flexible panel periphery (33) to the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4) to form a receptacle (7). As to particular embodiments, the flexible panel (6) can be connected proximate the flexible panel periphery (33) to the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4) along a portion of the flexible panel first side (31), along a portion of the flexible panel second side (32), and along a portion of the flexible panel second end (29), thereby providing a receptacle opening (34) at the flexible panel first end (28) into which an infant (8) can be received between the flexible tubular body (4) and the flexible panel (6). While the illustrative example shown in the Figures includes a flexible panel periphery (33) connected to the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4) along a portion of the flexible panel first side (31), along a portion of the flexible panel second side (32), and along a portion of the flexible panel second end (29), embodiments can have a flexible panel (6) connected to the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4) in any suitable configuration to form a receptacle (7) configured to supportingly engage an infant (8).
  • [0056]
    As to particular embodiments, the flexible panel first end (28) can include an adjustable cinching element (44), configured to adjustably cinch the flexible panel first end (28) about an infant (8) received within the receptacle (7). Illustrative examples of cinching elements (44) can comprise cinchable materials including or consisting of: elastic, shock cord, draw string, or the like, or combinations thereof.
  • [0057]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 11, the receptacle (7) can have a resiliently conformable volume, which can be resiliently conformable to the lower torso of an infant (8). As to particular embodiments, the receptacle (7) can be resiliently conformable to supportingly engage the lower torso of an infant (8), disposing a longitudinal axis of the infant (8) along a flexible tubular body longitudinal axis (22) (as shown in the example of FIG. 3) and, correspondingly, along a longitudinal axis of the wearer (2), thereby allowing skin-to-skin contact between the wearer (2) and the infant (8).
  • [0058]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 12, the receptacle (7) can have a receptacle longitudinal axis (35) disposed between a receptacle first end (36) and a receptacle second end (37). The receptacle longitudinal axis (35) can be disposed along a flexible tubular body longitudinal axis (22) (as shown in the example of FIG. 3). As to particular embodiments, a central receptacle longitudinal axis (35) can be coincident with a central flexible tubular body longitudinal axis (22), thereby positioning an infant (8) received within the receptacle (7) in a substantially central location on the front torso of a wearer (2). As to other particular embodiments, a central receptacle longitudinal axis (35) can be coincident with a peripheral flexible tubular body longitudinal axis (22), thereby positioning an infant (8) received within the receptacle (7) in a substantially peripheral location on the front torso of a wearer (2).
  • [0059]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 12, the receptacle (7) can have a receptacle latitudinal axis (38) disposed between a receptacle first side (39) and a receptacle second side (40). The receptacle latitudinal axis (38) can be disposed along a flexible tubular body latitudinal axis (21) (as shown in the example of FIG. 3). As to particular embodiments, a central receptacle latitudinal axis (38) can be coincident with a central latitudinal axis of the upper portion of the flexible tubular body (4), thereby positioning an infant (8) received within the receptacle (7) in a substantially central location on the front upper torso (3) of a wearer (2). As to other particular embodiments, a central receptacle latitudinal axis (38) can be coincident with a peripheral latitudinal axis of the upper portion of the flexible tubular body (4), thereby positioning an infant (8) received within the receptacle (7) in a substantially peripheral location on the front upper torso (3) of a wearer (2).
  • [0060]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 12, the receptacle (7) can further have a pair of receptacle pass-throughs (41), each communicating between a receptacle internal surface (42) and a receptacle external surface (43). The pair of receptacle pass-throughs (41) can be configured to correspondingly insertingly receive each of a pair of legs of an infant (8). The receptacle pass-throughs (41) can be defined by numerous configurations of varying dimensions. While the illustrative example of the receptacle pass-throughs (41) shown in the Figures can be defined by a configuration which generally depicts a substantially semi-circular configuration, embodiments can have a receptacle pass-through (41) which can be defined by any suitable configuration for insertingly receiving a leg of an infant (8). As illustrative examples, a receptacle pass-through (41) can be defined by a configuration including or consisting of: a circle, a truncated circle, an oval, a truncated oval, a triangle, a truncated triangle, a square, a rectangle, a trapezoid, a polygon, or the like, or combinations thereof.
  • [0061]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 12, the receptacle (7) can be comprised of a flexible panel first end (28) configured to engage about the waist of an infant (8) having a pair of legs insertingly received by the corresponding pair of receptacle pass-throughs (41). The receptacle (7) can have a receptacle opening (34) along a portion of the flexible panel first end (28) into which an infant (8) can be insertingly received, disposing the pair of legs of the infant (8) through the receptacle pass-throughs (41). The flexible panel first end (28) can have an adjustable cinching element (44) as described above, the adjustable cinching element (44) configured to adjustably cinch the flexible panel first end (28) about the waist of the infant (8).
  • [0062]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 11, the inventive garment (1) can have a flexible panel (6) connected to an internal surface (25) of the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4) to form a receptacle (7). As shown in the illustrative example of the Figures, a receptacle (7) formed by connecting a flexible panel (6) to the internal surface (25) of the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4) can locate an infant (8) received within the receptacle (7) proximate the skin of the wearer (2); as such, this receptacle (7) configuration can promote skin-to-skin contact between the wearer (2) and the infant (8).
  • [0063]
    Although the Figures illustrate a flexible panel (6) connected to the internal surface (25) of the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4), embodiments can have a flexible panel (6) connected to the external surface (23) of the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4), disposing an infant (8) received within the receptacle (7) distal the skin of the wearer (2), thereby positioning the flexible tubular body (4) between the infant (8) and the skin of the wearer (2).
  • [0064]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 13, the inventive garment (1) can have a reversible flexible tubular body (4), including a flexible panel (6) connected to a reversible flexible tubular body surface (45). The reversible flexible tubular body (4) can be turned inside out and, as such, can be worn with the flexible panel (6) connected to the reversible flexible tubular body surface (45) proximate the skin of the wearer (2) or with the flexible panel (6) connected to the reversible flexible tubular body surface (45) distal the skin of the wearer (2).
  • [0065]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 4, the inventive garment (1) can include a first flexible elongate support element (46) having a first flexible elongate support element length (47) disposed between a first flexible elongate support element first end (48) and a first flexible elongate support element second end (49). As to particular embodiments, the inventive garment (1) can further include a second flexible elongate support element (50) having a second flexible elongate support element length (51) disposed between a second flexible elongate support element first end (52) and a second flexible elongate support element second end (53).
  • [0066]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 4, typically, the first flexible elongate support element length (47) or the second flexible elongate support element length (51) can be in a range of between about 20 inches to about 100 inches; however, embodiments can be of a greater or lesser first flexible elongate support element length (47) or second flexible elongate support element length (51). The first flexible elongate support element length (47) or the second flexible elongate support element length (51) can be sufficient to encircle the external surface (23) of the flexible tubular body (4) at about a height of the receptacle (7). As to particular embodiments, the first flexible elongate support element length (47) or the second flexible elongate support element length (51) can be selected from the group including or consisting about: between about 20 inches to about 30 inches, between about 25 inches to about 35 inches, between about 30 inches to about 40 inches, between about 35 inches to about 45 inches, between about 40 inches to about 50 inches, between about 45 inches to about 55 inches, between about 50 inches to about 60 inches, between about 55 inches to about 65 inches, between about 60 inches to about 70 inches, between about 65 inches to about 75 inches, between about 70 inches to about 80 inches, between about 75 inches to about 85 inches, between about 80 inches to about 90 inches, between about 85 inches to about 95 inches, and between about 90 inches to about 100 inches. As an illustrative example, the first flexible elongate support element length (47) or the second flexible elongate support element length (51) can be about 46 inches.
  • [0067]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 4, the inventive garment (1) can include a first flexible elongate support element (46) having a first flexible elongate support element width (54) disposed between a first flexible elongate support element first side (55) and a first flexible elongate support element second side (56). As to particular embodiments, the inventive garment (1) can further include a second flexible elongate support element (50) having a second flexible elongate support element width (57) disposed between a second flexible elongate support element first side (58) and a second flexible elongate support element second side (59).
  • [0068]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 4, typically, the first flexible elongate support element width (54) or the second flexible elongate support element width (57) can be in a range of between about 1 inch to about 20 inches; however, embodiments can be of a greater or lesser first flexible elongate support element width (54) or second flexible elongate support element width (57), wherein the first flexible elongate support element width (54) or second flexible elongate support element width (57) can be sufficient to provide support to an infant (8) insertingly received within the receptacle (7). As to particular embodiments, the first flexible elongate support element width (54) or the second flexible elongate support element width (57) can be selected from the group including or consisting about: between about 1 inches to about 3 inches, between about 2 inches to about 4 inches, between about 3 inches to about 5 inches, between about 4 inches to about 6 inches, between about 5 inches to about 7 inches, between about 6 inches to about 8 inches, between about 7 inches to about 9 inches, between about 8 inches to about 10 inches, between about 9 inches to about 11 inches, between about 10 inches to about 12 inches, between about 11 inches to about 13 inches, between about 12 inches to about 14 inches, between about 13 inches to about 15 inches, between about 14 inches to about 16 inches, between about 15 inches to about 17 inches, between about 16 inches to about 18 inches, between about 17 inches to about 19 inches, and between about 18 inches to about 20 inches. As an illustrative example, the first flexible elongate support element width (54) or the second flexible elongate support element width (57) can be about 10 inches.
  • [0069]
    As to particular embodiments, the first flexible elongate support element length (47) or the second flexible elongate support element length (51) can be substantially similar along the corresponding first flexible elongate support element width (54) or second flexible elongate support element width (57). As an illustrative example, a first flexible elongate support element periphery (60) or a second flexible elongate support element periphery (61) can be substantially rectangular. As to other particular embodiments, the first flexible elongate support element length (47) or the second flexible elongate support element length (51) can be substantially dissimilar along the corresponding first flexible elongate support element width (54) or second flexible elongate support element width (57). As an illustrative example, a first flexible elongate support element (46) or a second flexible elongate support element (50) can include a longitudinal axis (as shown in the example of FIG. 4), wherein the first flexible elongate support element length (47) or the second flexible elongate support element length (51) can be greater about a central longitudinal axis and lesser about peripheral longitudinal axes.
  • [0070]
    As to particular embodiments, the first flexible elongate support element width (54) or the second flexible elongate support element width (57) can be substantially similar along the corresponding first flexible elongate support element length (47) or second flexible elongate support element length (51). As an illustrative example, a first flexible elongate support element periphery (60) or a second flexible elongate support element periphery (61) can be substantially rectangular. As to other particular embodiments, the first flexible elongate support element width (54) or the second flexible elongate support element width (57) can be substantially dissimilar along the corresponding first flexible elongate support element length (47) or second flexible elongate support element length (51). As an illustrative example, a first flexible elongate support element first end (48) can have a greater width and a first flexible elongate support element second end (49) can have a lesser width.
  • [0071]
    As to particular embodiments, the first flexible elongate support element length (47) can be substantially similar to the second flexible elongate support element length (51). As to other particular embodiments, the first flexible elongate support element length (47) can be substantially dissimilar to the second flexible elongate support element length (51).
  • [0072]
    As to particular embodiments, the first flexible elongate support element width (54) can be substantially similar to the second flexible elongate support element width (57). As to other particular embodiments, the first flexible elongate support element width (54) can be substantially dissimilar to the second flexible elongate support element width (57).
  • [0073]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 4 and FIG. 8A, the first flexible elongate support element (46) or the second flexible elongate support element (50) can be connected or coupled to the external surface (23) of the flexible tubular body (4). As to particular embodiments, the first flexible elongate support element first end (48) or the second flexible elongate support element first end (52) can be connected or coupled to the external surface (23) of the flexible tubular body (4) on a back portion of the flexible tubular body (4). While the illustrative example shown in the Figures includes the first flexible elongate support element first end (48) or the second flexible elongate support element first end (52) coupled or connected to the back portion of the flexible tubular body (4) at about a height of the receptacle (7), embodiments can be connected or coupled at any location which permits the first flexible elongate support element (46) or the second flexible elongate support element (50) to support an infant (8) received within the receptacle (7).
  • [0074]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 3, FIG. 5, FIG. 6, and FIG. 7, the first flexible elongate support element (46) or the second flexible elongate support element (50) can encircle the flexible tubular body (4). The flexible tubular body (4) can be encircled in a configuration of the first flexible elongate support element (46) or the second flexible elongate support element (50) which supports an infant (8) received within the receptacle (7). As to particular embodiments, the first flexible elongate support element (46) can encircle the external surface (23) of the flexible tubular body (4) in a first direction and the second flexible elongate support element (50) can encircle the external surface (23) of the flexible tubular body (4) in a second direction to overlappingly engage about the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4). The overlapping engagement of the first flexible elongate support element (46) with the second flexible elongate support element (50) can support an infant (8) received within the receptacle (7). As to particular embodiments, the first flexible elongate support element (46) or the second flexible elongate support element (50) can encircle the flexible tubular body (4) a plurality of times, overlappingly engaging about the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4) a plurality of times.
  • [0075]
    As to particular embodiments, the first flexible elongate support element (46) can encircle the external surface (23) of the flexible tubular body (4) in a first direction and the second flexible elongate support element (50) can encircle the external surface (23) of the flexible tubular body (4) in a second direction to overlappingly engage about the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4) and the corresponding end portions of the first and second flexible elongate support elements (46) (50) can be matingly engaged to secure the first and second flexible elongate support elements (46) (50) about the flexible tubular body (4).
  • [0076]
    As to particular embodiments, the first flexible elongate support element (46) can be matingly engaged with the second flexible elongate support element (50) along a front portion of the flexible tubular body (4). As to other particular embodiments, the first flexible elongate support element (46) can be securely engaged with the second flexible elongate support element (50) along a back portion of the flexible tubular body (4) (as shown in the example of FIG. 5).
  • [0077]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 5, the first flexible elongate support element (46) can be matingly engaged with the second flexible elongate support element (50) by tying the first flexible elongate support element second end (49) with the second flexible elongate support element second end (53). As to other particular embodiments, the first flexible elongate support element (46) can be matingly engaged with the second flexible elongate support element (50) by one or more adhesive elements coupled to the first flexible elongate support element (46) or the second flexible elongate support element (50). As to still other particular embodiments, the first flexible elongate support element (46) can be matingly engaged with the second flexible elongate support element (50) by one or more adhesive elements coupled to the first flexible elongate support element second end (49) or the second flexible elongate support element second end (53).
  • [0078]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 2, FIG. 3, and FIG. 8A, the inventive garment (1) can include a flexible restraint panel (62) coupled to the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4). The flexible restraint panel (62) can have a flexible restraint panel length (63) disposed between a flexible restraint panel first end (64) and a flexible restraint panel second end (65). Typically, the flexible restraint panel length (63) can be in a range of between about 6 inches to about 20 inches; however, embodiments can be of a greater or lesser flexible restraint panel length (63), wherein the flexible restraint panel length (63) can be sufficient to cover a desired portion of an infant (8). Additionally, the flexible restraint panel (62) can have a flexible restraint panel width (66) disposed between a flexible restraint panel first side (67) and a flexible restraint panel second side (68). Typically, the flexible restraint panel width (66) can be in a range of between about 6 inches to about 20 inches; however, embodiments can be of a greater or lesser flexible restraint panel width (66), wherein the flexible restraint panel width (66) can be sufficient to cover a desired portion of an infant (8).
  • [0079]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 2 and FIG. 3, the flexible restraint panel (62) can be coupled to the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4) along the flexible restraint panel second end (65). As to particular embodiments, the flexible restraint panel (62) can be removably adjustably coupled to the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4) along the flexible restraint panel first end (64). While the illustrative example of the removable adjustable coupling of the flexible restraint panel first end (64) with the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4) shown in the Figures includes a plurality of pairs of releasably matable fastener elements (62A) with a first one of the pairs connected on the flexible restraint panel first end (64) and a second one of the pairs correspondingly connected to the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4), embodiments can include any suitable configuration for removably adjustably coupling the flexible restraint panel first end (64) with the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4), including at least one, one or more, or a combination of a wide variety of releasably matable adhesive elements, releasably matable hook and loop elements, releasably matable mechanical fastener elements, or the like, or combinations thereof. As to particular embodiments, the releasably matable fastener elements (62A) can be provided as a plurality of releasably matable fastener elements (62A) on each of the flexible restraint panel first end (64) and the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4) such that releasable mated engagement allows adjustment of the coupling location of the flexible restraint panel first end (64) with the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4). Alternatively, one or more of the releasably matable fastener elements (62A) on each of the flexible restraint panel first end (64) and the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4) can be disengaged, thus disposing the flexible restraint panel first end (64) downward along the flexible tubular body (4).
  • [0080]
    As to particular embodiments, the flexible restraint panel (62) can be configured to have a resiliently conformable volume, which can be resiliently conformable to the head of an infant (8). As to particular embodiments, the flexible restraint panel (62) can be resiliently conformable to supportingly engage the head of an infant (8) received within the receptacle (7).
  • [0081]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 11, the flexible restraint panel second end (65) can be coupled to the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4) a distance (69) above the receptacle (7) sufficient to supportingly engage the head of an infant (8) received within the receptacle (7). As an illustrative example, the flexible restraint panel second end (65) can be coupled to the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4) a distance (69) of about 6 inches to about 12 inches from the flexible panel second end (29), at the flexible tubular body first end edge (19).
  • [0082]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 4, the inventive garment (1) can include a first flexible member (70A) having a first flexible member length (71) disposed between a first flexible member first end (72) and a first flexible member second end (73). As to particular embodiments, the inventive garment (1) can further include a second flexible member (74A) having a second flexible member length (75) disposed between a second flexible member first end (76) and a second flexible member second end (77). The first flexible member length (71) or the second flexible member length (75) can be in a range of between about 5 inches to about 40 inches; however, embodiments can be of a greater or lesser first flexible member length (71) or second flexible member length (75), wherein the first flexible member length (71) or the second flexible member length (75) can be sufficient to secure the upper portion of the flexible tubular body (4) about the upper torso (3) of a wearer (2). As to particular embodiments, the first flexible member length (71) or the second flexible member length (75) can be selected from the group including or consisting about: between about 5 inches to about 15 inches, between about 10 inches to about 20 inches, between about 15 inches to about 25 inches, between about 20 inches to about 30 inches, between about 25 inches to about 35 inches, and between about 30 inches to about 40 inches. As an illustrative example, the first flexible member length (71) or the second flexible member length (75) can be about 25 inches.
  • [0083]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 4, the inventive garment (1) can include a first flexible member (70A) having a first flexible member width (78) disposed between a first flexible member first side (79) and a first flexible member second side (80). As to particular embodiments, the inventive garment (1) can further include a second flexible member (74A) having a second flexible member width (81) disposed between a second flexible member first side (82) and a second flexible member second side (83). Typically, the first flexible member width (78) or the second flexible member width (81) can be in a range of between about ¼ inch to about 10 inches; however, embodiments can be of a greater or lesser first flexible member width (78) or second flexible member width (81), wherein the first flexible member width (78) or second flexible member width (81) can be sufficient to secure the upper portion of the flexible tubular body (4) about the upper torso (3) of a wearer (2). As to particular embodiments, the first flexible member width (78) or the second flexible member width (81) can be selected from the group including or consisting about: between about ¼ inch to about 2 inches, between about 1 inches to about 3 inches, between about 2 inches to about 4 inches, between about 3 inches to about 5 inches, between about 4 inches to about 6 inches, between about 5 inches to about 7 inches, between about 6 inches to about 8 inches, between about 7 inches to about 9 inches, and between about 8 inches to about 10 inches. As an illustrative example, the first flexible member width (78) or the second flexible member width (81) can be about 2.5 inches.
  • [0084]
    As to particular embodiments, the first flexible member length (71) or the second flexible member length (75) can be substantially similar along the corresponding first flexible member width (78) or second flexible member width (81). As an illustrative example, a first flexible member (70A) periphery or a second flexible member (74A) periphery can be substantially rectangular. As to other particular embodiments, the first flexible member length (71) or the second flexible member length (75) can be substantially dissimilar along the corresponding first flexible member width (78) or second flexible member width (81). As an illustrative example, a first flexible member (70A) or a second flexible member (74A) can include a longitudinal axis (as shown in the example of FIG. 4), wherein the first flexible member length (71) or the second flexible member length (75) can be greater about a central longitudinal axis and lesser about peripheral longitudinal axes.
  • [0085]
    As to particular embodiments, the first flexible member width (78) or the second flexible member width (81) can be substantially similar along the corresponding first flexible member length (71) or second flexible member length (75). As an illustrative example, a first flexible member (70A) periphery or a second flexible member (74A) periphery can be substantially rectangular. As to other particular embodiments, the first flexible member width (78) or the second flexible member width (81) can be substantially dissimilar along the corresponding first flexible member length (71) or second flexible member length (75). As an illustrative example, a first flexible member first end (72) can have a greater width and a first flexible member second end (73) can have a lesser width.
  • [0086]
    As to particular embodiments, the first flexible member length (71) can be substantially similar to the second flexible member length (75). As to other particular embodiments, the first flexible member length (71) can be substantially dissimilar to the second flexible member length (75).
  • [0087]
    As to particular embodiments, the first flexible member width (78) can be substantially similar to the second flexible member width (81). As to other particular embodiments, the first flexible member width (78) can be substantially dissimilar to the second flexible member width (81).
  • [0088]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 4, the first flexible member (70A) or the second flexible member (74A) can be coupled to the upper portion of the flexible tubular body (4). As to particular embodiments, the first flexible member first end (72) or the second flexible member first end (76) can be coupled to the upper portion of the flexible tubular body (4) at a location on a back upper portion of the flexible tubular body (4). While the illustrative example shown in the Figures depicts the first flexible member first end (72) or the second flexible member first end (76) coupling at a location on the back upper portion of the flexible tubular body (4), embodiments can include any coupling location which permits the first flexible member (70A) or the second flexible member (74A) to secure the upper portion of the flexible tubular body (4) about the upper torso (3) of a wearer (2). For example, embodiments can include the first flexible member first end (72) or the second flexible member first end (76) coupled to the upper portion of the flexible tubular body (4) at a location on a front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4).
  • [0089]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 4, the inventive garment (1) can include a first flexible member securement element (70B) configured to adjustably matingly engage with the first flexible member (70A) to secure the upper portion of the flexible tubular body (4) about the upper torso (3) of a wearer (2). Additionally, the inventive garment (1) can include a second flexible member securement element (74B) configured to adjustably matingly engage with the second flexible member (74A) to secure the upper portion of the flexible tubular body (4) about the upper torso (3) of a wearer (2). Alternatively, the upper portion of the flexible tubular body (4) can be secured about the upper torso (3) of a wearer (2) by engaging the first flexible member (70A) with the second flexible member. As to particular embodiments, the upper portion of the flexible tubular body (4) can be secured about the upper torso (3) of a wearer (2) by engaging the first flexible member second end (73) with the second flexible member second end (77).
  • [0090]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 3 and FIG. 5, the first flexible member (70A), the first flexible member securement element (70B), the second flexible member (74A), or the second flexible member securement element (74B) can include at least one, one or more, or a combination of a wide variety of matingly engagable adhesives or matingly engagable mechanical fasteners. As to particular embodiments, the matingly engagable adhesives or matingly engagable mechanical fasteners can be provided as a plurality of matingly engagable adhesives or matingly engagable mechanical fasteners on each of the first flexible member (70A) and the first flexible member securement element (70B) or the second flexible member (74A) and the second flexible member securement element (74B) such that mating engagement of corresponding matingly engagable adhesives or corresponding matingly engagable mechanical fasteners can be sufficient to adjust the coupling of the first flexible member (70A) with the first flexible member securement element (70B) or the second flexible member (74A) with the second flexible member securement element (74B). For example, a lesser length of a matingly engaged first flexible member (70A) can be provided by matingly engaging the first flexible member securement element (70B) with a mechanical fastener disposed a lesser distance (69) from the first flexible member first end (72). Accordingly, a greater length of a matingly engaged first flexible member (70A) can be provided by matingly engaging the first flexible member securement element (70B) with a mechanical fastener disposed a greater distance (69) from the first flexible member first end (72).
  • [0091]
    As to particular embodiments, the first flexible member (70A) or the second flexible member (74A) can further include a cushioning element which compressingly engages the wearer (2). As an illustrative example, a cushioning element can include a compressible element, such as batting, foam, rubber, film, fabric, or the like, or combinations thereof.
  • [0092]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 3 and FIG. 5, as to particular embodiments, the first flexible member (70A) and the second flexible member (74A) can be configured as a first strap (84) and a second strap (85) and the first flexible member securement element (70B) and the second flexible member securement element (74B) can be configured as a first pair of annular elements (86) and a second pair of annular elements (87), each configured to correspondingly insertingly receive the first strap (84) and the second strap (85). Engagement of the first strap (84) with the first pair of annular elements (86) or the second strap (85) with the second pair of annular elements (87) can be sufficient to adjust the coupling of the first strap (84) with the first pair of annular elements (86) or the second strap (85) with the second pair of annular elements (87). For example, a lesser length of an engaged first strap (84) can be provided by engaging the first pair of annular elements (86) with a portion of the first strap (84) having a lesser distance (69) from the first flexible member first end (72). Accordingly, a greater length of an engaged first strap (84) can be provided by engaging the first pair of annular elements (86) with a portion of the first strap (84) having a greater distance (69) from the first flexible member first end (72).
  • [0093]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 3, the first strap (84) or the second strap (85) can include a strap securing element (88) such that a strap (84) (85) insertingly received by a pair of annular elements (86) (87) can be secured back upon itself.
  • [0094]
    Now referring primarily to FIG. 2, the inventive garment (1) can further include a lower portion (89) of the flexible tubular body (4) coupled to the upper portion of the flexible tubular body (4). The lower portion (89) of the flexible tubular body (4) can be configured to be worn about a lower torso of a wearer (2). As to particular embodiments, the lower portion (89) of the flexible tubular body (4) can have a lower portion length (90) disposed between a lower portion first end (91) and a lower portion second end (92). Typically, the lower portion length (90) can be in a range of between about 5 inches to about 40 inches; however, embodiments can be of a greater or lesser lower portion length (90), wherein the lower portion length (90) can be sufficient to cover a desired portion of the body of a wearer (2). For example, the lower portion length (90) can be configured as a length similar to that of a shirt, a tunic, a dress, or the like.
  • [0095]
    As to particular embodiments, a method of producing the inventive garment (1) can include providing a flexible tubular body (4) including an upper portion configured to be worn about an upper torso (3) of a wearer (2), the upper portion including a front upper portion (5), and connecting a flexible panel (6) to the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4) to form a receptacle (7), the receptacle (7) configured to supportingly engage a lower torso of an infant (8). As to particular embodiments, the flexible panel (6) can be connected to an internal surface (25) of the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4) to form the receptacle (7).
  • [0096]
    As to particular embodiments, a method of producing the inventive garment (1) can include providing a flexible tubular body (4) including an upper portion configured to be worn about an upper torso (3) of a wearer (2), the upper portion including a front upper portion (5), connecting a flexible panel (6) to the internal surface (25) of the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4) to form a receptacle (7), the receptacle (7) configured to supportingly engage a lower torso of an infant (8), connecting a first flexible elongate support element (46) to an external surface (23) of the flexible tubular body (4), the first flexible elongate support element (46) having a first flexible elongate support element length (47) sufficient to encircle the external surface (23) of the flexible tubular body (4) at about a height of the receptacle (7), and connecting a second flexible elongate support element (50) to the external surface (23) of the flexible tubular body (4), the second flexible elongate support element (50) having a second flexible elongate support element length (51) sufficient to encircle the external surface (23) of the flexible tubular body (4) at about a height of the receptacle (7), the first flexible elongate support element (46) connected to the external surface (23) of the flexible tubular body (4) to encircle the external surface (23) of the flexible tubular body (4) in a first direction and the second flexible elongate support element (50) connected to the external surface (23) of the flexible tubular body (4) to encircle the external surface (23) of the flexible tubular body (4) in a second direction to overlappingly engage about the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4), the first flexible elongate support element (46) and the second flexible elongate support element (50) in overlapping engagement having a configuration which supports the infant (8) received within the receptacle (7).
  • [0097]
    As to particular embodiments, a method of producing the inventive garment (1) can further include coupling a flexible restraint panel (62) to the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4). As to particular embodiments, the flexible restraint panel (62) can be coupled at a location sufficient to receive a head of the infant (8) received within the receptacle (7).
  • [0098]
    As to particular embodiments, a method of producing the inventive garment (1) can further include connecting a first flexible member (70A) and a first flexible member securement element (70B) to the upper portion of the flexible tubular body (4), the first flexible member (70A) and the first flexible member securement element (70B) configured to adjustably matingly engage to secure the upper portion of the flexible tubular body (4) about the upper torso (3) of the wearer (2).
  • [0099]
    As to particular embodiments, a method of producing the inventive garment (1) can further include connecting a second flexible member (74A) and a second flexible member securement element (74B) to the upper portion of the flexible tubular body (4), the second flexible member (74A) and the second flexible member securement element (74B) configured to adjustably matingly engage to secure the upper portion of the flexible tubular body (4) about the upper torso (3) of the wearer (2).
  • [0100]
    As to particular embodiments, elements of the inventive garment (1) can be coupled or connected by an adherent layer. For the purposes of the instant invention, the term “adherent layer” broadly encompasses at least one, one or more, or a combination of a wide variety of adhesives or mechanical fasteners. While the illustrative example of an adherent layer shown in the Figures depicts a mechanical fastener comprising stitching, embodiments can have any suitable adherent layer sufficient to couple or connect elements of the inventive garment (1).
  • [0101]
    Exemplary adhesives include, as illustrative examples: non-reactive adhesives including drying adhesives, pressure-sensitive adhesives, contact adhesives, and hot adhesives; reactive adhesives including one-part adhesives and multi-part adhesives; natural adhesives; synthetic adhesives; or the like, or combinations thereof. Exemplary mechanical fasteners include, as illustrative examples: annular elements, buckles, buttons, clamps, clips, grommets, hook-and-eye closures, mated hook and loop fasteners, pins, rivets, snap fasteners, staples, stitches, straps, tape, zippers, or the like, or combinations thereof.
  • [0102]
    As to particular embodiments, elements of the inventive garment (1) can be formed from any flexible material sufficient to be worn about a wearer (2). The inventive garment (1) can be entirely formed of the same material, or alternatively, various portions of the inventive garment (1) can be formed from different materials. By way of non-limiting example, the material can be soft, breathable, moisture-wicking, anti-bacterial, natural, synthetic, odor-resistant, or machine washable and can include or consist of cotton, linen, polyester, leather, suede, vinyl, Lycra, Spandex, wool, rayon, viscose, or the like, or combinations thereof. In an exemplary embodiment, the material can be a stretchable fabric.
  • [0103]
    As to particular embodiments, elements of the inventive garment (1) can be produced from any of a wide variety of processes depending upon the application, such as fabrication, as one piece or assembled from a plurality of pieces into an embodiment of the inventive garment (1) or provided as a plurality of pieces for assembly into an embodiment of the inventive garment (1).
  • [0104]
    As to particular embodiments, a method of using the inventive garment (1) can include wearing an upper portion of a flexible tubular body (4) about an upper torso (3) of a wearer (2), the upper portion including a front upper portion (5) and a flexible panel (6), the flexible panel (6) connected to the front upper portion (5) to form a receptacle (7) configured to supportingly engage a lower torso of an infant (8), and receiving the infant (8) within the receptacle (7). As to particular embodiments, the flexible panel (6) can be connected to an internal surface (25) of the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4) to form the receptacle (7).
  • [0105]
    As to particular embodiments, a method of using the inventive garment (1) can include wearing an upper portion of a flexible tubular body (4) about an upper torso (3) of a wearer (2), the upper portion including a front upper portion (5) and a flexible panel (6), the flexible panel (6) connected to the internal surface (25) of the front upper portion (5) to form a receptacle (7) configured to supportingly engage a lower torso of an infant (8), and receiving the infant (8) within the receptacle (7), encircling the upper portion of the flexible tubular body (4) with a first flexible elongate support element (46) in a first direction, encircling the upper portion of the flexible tubular body (4) with a second flexible elongate support element (50) in a second direction, overlapping the first and second flexible elongate support elements (46) (50) at a location on the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4) in a configuration capable of supporting an infant (8) received within the receptacle (7), and supporting the infant (8) with the overlapping first and second flexible elongate support elements (46) (50).
  • [0106]
    As to particular embodiments, a method of using the inventive garment (1) can further include restraining the head or neck of an infant (8) received within the receptacle (7) with a flexible restraint panel (62) coupled to the front upper portion (5) of the flexible tubular body (4).
  • [0107]
    As to particular embodiments, a method of using the inventive garment (1) can further include securing the upper portion of the flexible tubular body (4) about the upper torso (3) of the wearer (2) by engaging a first flexible member (70A) with a first flexible member securement element (70B) connected to the upper portion of the flexible tubular body (4), the first flexible member (70A) and the first flexible member securement element (70B) configured to adjustably matingly engage.
  • [0108]
    As to particular embodiments, a method of using the inventive garment (1) can further include securing the upper portion of the flexible tubular body (4) about the upper torso (3) of the wearer (2) by engaging a second flexible member (74A) with a second flexible member securement element (74B) connected to the upper portion of the flexible tubular body (4), the second flexible member (74A) and the second flexible member securement element (74B) configured to adjustably matingly engage.
  • [0109]
    As can be easily understood from the foregoing, the basic concepts of the present invention may be embodied in a variety of ways. The invention involves numerous and varied embodiments of a garment and methods for making and using such garments including the best mode.
  • [0110]
    As such, the particular embodiments or elements of the invention disclosed by the description or shown in the figures or tables accompanying this application are not intended to be limiting, but rather exemplary of the numerous and varied embodiments generically encompassed by the invention or equivalents encompassed with respect to any particular element thereof. In addition, the specific description of a single embodiment or element of the invention may not explicitly describe all embodiments or elements possible; many alternatives are implicitly disclosed by the description and figures.
  • [0111]
    It should be understood that each element of an apparatus or each step of a method may be described by an apparatus term or method term. Such terms can be substituted where desired to make explicit the implicitly broad coverage to which this invention is entitled. As but one example, it should be understood that all steps of a method may be disclosed as an action, a means for taking that action, or as an element which causes that action. Similarly, each element of an apparatus may be disclosed as the physical element or the action which that physical element facilitates. As but one example, the disclosure of a “support” should be understood to encompass disclosure of the act of “supporting”—whether explicitly discussed or not—and, conversely, were there effectively disclosure of the act of “supporting”, such a disclosure should be understood to encompass disclosure of a “support” and even a “means for supporting.” Such alternative terms for each element or step are to be understood to be explicitly included in the description.
  • [0112]
    In addition, as to each term used it should be understood that unless its utilization in this application is inconsistent with such interpretation, common dictionary definitions should be understood to be included in the description for each term as contained in the Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, second edition, each definition hereby incorporated by reference.
  • [0113]
    All numeric values herein are assumed to be modified by the term “about”, whether or not explicitly indicated. For the purposes of the present invention, ranges may be expressed as from “about” one particular value to “about” another particular value. When such a range is expressed, another embodiment includes from the one particular value to the other particular value. The recitation of numerical ranges by endpoints includes all the numeric values subsumed within that range. A numerical range of one to five includes for example the numeric values 1, 1.5, 2, 2.75, 3, 3.80, 4, 5, and so forth. It will be further understood that the endpoints of each of the ranges are significant both in relation to the other endpoint, and independently of the other endpoint. When a value is expressed as an approximation by use of the antecedent “about,” it will be understood that the particular value forms another embodiment. The term “about” generally refers to a range of numeric values that one of skill in the art would consider equivalent to the recited numeric value or having the same function or result. Similarly, the antecedent “substantially” means largely, but not wholly, the same form, manner or degree and the particular element will have a range of configurations as a wearer (2) of ordinary skill in the art would consider as having the same function or result. When a particular element is expressed as an approximation by use of the antecedent “substantially,” it will be understood that the particular element forms another embodiment.
  • [0114]
    Moreover, for the purposes of the present invention, the term “a” or “an” entity refers to one or more of that entity unless otherwise limited. As such, the terms “a” or “an”, “one or more” and “at least one” can be used interchangeably herein.
  • [0115]
    Thus, the applicant(s) should be understood to claim at least: i) each of the garments herein disclosed and described, ii) the related methods disclosed and described, iii) similar, equivalent, and even implicit variations of each of these devices and methods, iv) those alternative embodiments which accomplish each of the functions shown, disclosed, or described, v) those alternative designs and methods which accomplish each of the functions shown as are implicit to accomplish that which is disclosed and described, vi) each feature, component, and step shown as separate and independent inventions, vii) the applications enhanced by the various systems or components disclosed, viii) the resulting products produced by such systems or components, ix) methods and apparatuses substantially as described hereinbefore and with reference to any of the accompanying examples, x) the various combinations and permutations of each of the previous elements disclosed.
  • [0116]
    The background section of this patent application provides a statement of the field of endeavor to which the invention pertains. This section may also incorporate or contain paraphrasing of certain United States patents, patent applications, publications, or subject matter of the claimed invention useful in relating information, problems, or concerns about the state of technology to which the invention is drawn toward. It is not intended that any United States patent, patent application, publication, statement or other information cited or incorporated herein be interpreted, construed or deemed to be admitted as prior art with respect to the invention.
  • [0117]
    The claims set forth in this specification, if any, are hereby incorporated by reference as part of this description of the invention, and the applicant expressly reserves the right to use all of or a portion of such incorporated content of such claims as additional description to support any of or all of the claims or any element or component thereof, and the applicant further expressly reserves the right to move any portion of or all of the incorporated content of such claims or any element or component thereof from the description into the claims or vice-versa as necessary to define the matter for which protection is sought by this application or by any subsequent application or continuation, division, or continuation-in-part application thereof, or to obtain any benefit of, reduction in fees pursuant to, or to comply with the patent laws, rules, or regulations of any country or treaty, and such content incorporated by reference shall survive during the entire pendency of this application including any subsequent continuation, division, or continuation-in-part application thereof or any reissue or extension thereon.
  • [0118]
    Additionally, the claims set forth in this specification, if any, are further intended to describe the metes and bounds of a limited number of the preferred embodiments of the invention and are not to be construed as the broadest embodiment of the invention or a complete listing of embodiments of the invention that may be claimed. The applicant does not waive any right to develop further claims based upon the description set forth above as a part of any continuation, division, or continuation-in-part, or similar application.

Claims (20)

  1. 1. A garment comprising:
    a flexible tubular body including an upper portion configured to be worn about an upper torso of a wearer, said upper portion including a front upper portion; and
    a flexible panel connected to said front upper portion of said flexible tubular body to form a receptacle, said receptacle configured to supportingly engage a lower torso of an infant.
  2. 2. The garment of claim 1, said receptacle resiliently conformable to said lower torso of said infant.
  3. 3. The garment of claim 2, said receptacle further comprising:
    a pair of receptacle pass-throughs configured to correspondingly insertingly receive a pair of legs of said infant; and
    a flexible panel first end configured to engage about a waist of said infant having said pair of legs insertingly received by said pair of receptacle pass-throughs.
  4. 4. The garment of claim 3, said flexible panel connected to an internal surface of said front upper portion of said flexible tubular body to form said receptacle.
  5. 5. The garment of claim 4, further comprising a first flexible elongate support element coupled to an external surface of said flexible tubular body, said first flexible elongate support element having a first flexible elongate support element length sufficient to encircle said external surface of said flexible tubular body at about a height of said receptacle.
  6. 6. The garment of claim 5, further comprising a second flexible elongate support element coupled to said external surface of said flexible tubular body, said second flexible elongate support element having a second flexible elongate support element length sufficient to encircle said external surface of said flexible tubular body at about a height of said receptacle.
  7. 7. The garment of claim 6, said first flexible elongate support element and said second flexible elongate support element encircling said flexible tubular body in a configuration which supports said infant received within said receptacle.
  8. 8. The garment of claim 7, said first flexible elongate support element encircling said external surface of said flexible tubular body in a first direction and said second flexible elongate support element encircling said external surface of said flexible tubular body in a second direction to overlappingly engage about said front upper portion of said flexible tubular body.
  9. 9. The garment of claim 8, further comprising a flexible restraint panel coupled to said front upper portion of said flexible tubular body.
  10. 10. The garment of claim 9, said flexible restraint panel coupled at a location sufficient to receive a head of said infant received within said receptacle, said flexible restraint panel having a flexible restraint panel second end coupled to said front upper portion of said flexible tubular body, said flexible restraint panel having a flexible restraint panel first end removably adjustably coupled to said front upper portion of said flexible tubular body.
  11. 11. The garment of claim 10, further comprising a first flexible member connected to said upper portion; and
    a first flexible member securement element connected to said upper portion, said first flexible member and said first flexible member securement element configured to adjustably matingly engage to secure said upper portion of said flexible tubular body about said upper torso of said wearer.
  12. 12. The garment of claim 11, further comprising a second flexible member connected to said upper portion; and
    a second flexible member securement element connected to said upper portion, said second flexible member and said second flexible member securement element configured to adjustably matingly engage to secure said upper portion of said flexible tubular body about said upper torso of said wearer.
  13. 13. The garment of claim 12, said first flexible member and said second flexible member comprising a first strap and a second strap, said first flexible member securement element and said second flexible member securement element comprising a first pair of annular elements and a second pair of annular elements, each configured to correspondingly insertingly receive said first strap and said second strap.
  14. 14. The garment of claim 13, further comprising a lower portion coupled to said upper portion, said lower portion configured to be worn about a lower torso of said wearer.
  15. 15. A method of producing a garment, comprising:
    providing a flexible tubular body including an upper portion configured to be worn about an upper torso of a wearer, said upper portion including a front upper portion; and
    connecting a flexible panel to said front upper portion of said flexible tubular body to form a receptacle, said receptacle configured to supportingly engage a lower torso of an infant.
  16. 16. The method of claim 15, said flexible panel connected to an internal surface of said front upper portion of said flexible tubular body to form said receptacle.
  17. 17. The method of claim 16, further comprising:
    connecting a first flexible elongate support element to an external surface of said flexible tubular body, said first flexible elongate support element having a first flexible elongate support element length sufficient to encircle said external surface of said flexible tubular body at about a height of said receptacle; and
    connecting a second flexible elongate support element to said external surface of said flexible tubular body, said second flexible elongate support element having a second flexible elongate support element length sufficient to encircle said external surface of said flexible tubular body at about a height of said receptacle, said first flexible elongate support element connected to said external surface of said flexible tubular body to encircle said external surface of said flexible tubular body in a first direction and said second flexible elongate support element connected to said external surface of said flexible tubular body to encircle said external surface of said flexible tubular body in a second direction to overlappingly engage about said front upper portion of said flexible tubular body, said first flexible elongate support element and said second flexible elongate support element in overlapping engagement having a configuration which supports said infant received within said receptacle.
  18. 18. A method of using a garment, comprising:
    wearing an upper portion of a flexible tubular body about an upper torso of a wearer, said upper portion including a front upper portion and a flexible panel, said flexible panel connected to said front upper portion to form a receptacle configured to supportingly engage a lower torso of an infant; and
    receiving said infant within said receptacle.
  19. 19. The method of claim 18, said flexible panel connected to an internal surface of said front upper portion of said flexible tubular body to form a receptacle.
  20. 20. The method of claim 19, further comprising:
    encircling said upper portion of said flexible tubular body with a first flexible elongate support element in a first direction;
    encircling said upper portion of said flexible tubular body with a second flexible elongate support element in a second direction;
    overlapping said first and second flexible elongate support elements at a location on said front upper portion of said flexible tubular body in a configuration capable of supporting an infant received within said receptacle; and
    supporting said infant with said overlapping first and second flexible elongate support elements.
US14221115 2013-03-20 2014-03-20 Infant Carrier Garment Abandoned US20140284362A1 (en)

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US201361852722 true 2013-03-20 2013-03-20
US14221115 US20140284362A1 (en) 2013-03-20 2014-03-20 Infant Carrier Garment
US29485631 USD752855S1 (en) 2014-03-20 2014-03-20 Infant carrier garment

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US14221115 US20140284362A1 (en) 2013-03-20 2014-03-20 Infant Carrier Garment

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US29485631 Continuation USD752855S1 (en) 2014-03-20 2014-03-20 Infant carrier garment

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US14221115 Abandoned US20140284362A1 (en) 2013-03-20 2014-03-20 Infant Carrier Garment

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US20150089710A1 (en) * 2013-10-02 2015-04-02 Hudlo Llc Skin-to-skin care garment
USD752855S1 (en) * 2014-03-20 2016-04-05 Hudlo Llc Infant carrier garment
US20160150893A1 (en) * 2014-12-02 2016-06-02 Blue Box Opco Llc Dba Infantino Infant carrier with adjustable side panels and torso band
US20160360799A1 (en) * 2015-04-11 2016-12-15 Stephany Ann Goldstein Wrapping and Drying Means for Infants and Toddlers
USD775815S1 (en) * 2014-10-01 2017-01-10 Hudlo Llc Skin-to-skin care garment
WO2017008139A1 (en) * 2015-07-10 2017-01-19 Vivianne Brault Undergarment for carrying a baby skin-to-skin
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US20150089710A1 (en) * 2013-10-02 2015-04-02 Hudlo Llc Skin-to-skin care garment
USD752855S1 (en) * 2014-03-20 2016-04-05 Hudlo Llc Infant carrier garment
US20170238722A1 (en) * 2014-09-08 2017-08-24 Phil And Teds Design Limited A baby carrier
USD775815S1 (en) * 2014-10-01 2017-01-10 Hudlo Llc Skin-to-skin care garment
US20160150893A1 (en) * 2014-12-02 2016-06-02 Blue Box Opco Llc Dba Infantino Infant carrier with adjustable side panels and torso band
US20160360799A1 (en) * 2015-04-11 2016-12-15 Stephany Ann Goldstein Wrapping and Drying Means for Infants and Toddlers
WO2017008139A1 (en) * 2015-07-10 2017-01-19 Vivianne Brault Undergarment for carrying a baby skin-to-skin

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