US 3650271 A
Nipple for baby bottle has at least one slot in the portion sucked by the baby. At least one end of at least one slot terminates in a hole having a diameter greater than the width of the slot.
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Description (Le texte OCR peut contenir des erreurs.)
United States Patent Pelli 51 Mar. 21, 1972  NIPPLE FOR BABY BOTTLE  Inventor: Pierre Pelli, Paris, France  Assignee: LOreal  Filed: June 5, 1970 211 Appi.No.: 43,697
 Foreign Application Priority Date July 29, 1969 France ..6925828  U.S.Cl. ..l28/252,2l5/ll R 51 lnt.C1.  FieldofSearch ..128/252;215/11  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,165,275 12/1915 Montgomery ..l28/252 FOREIGN PATENTS QR APPLICATIONS 112,044 3/1917 Great Britain 128/252 566,078 7/1958 Belgium ..128/252 Primary Examiner-Richard A. Gaudet Assistant ExaminerJ. Yasko Attorney-Holcombe, Wetherill & Brisebois  ABSTRACT Nipple for baby bottle has at least one slot in the portion sucked by the baby. At least one end of at least one slot terminates in a hole having a diameter greater than the width of the slot.
4 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures NIPPLE FOR BABY BOTTLE SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION There is a conventional type of nipple which has a variable and adjustable rate of flow and is adapted to be mounted on a baby bottle to feed infants. This nipple is essentially characterized by the fact that its orifice for passing the milk or formula is in the form of a slot. The nipple, or an intermediate part, or even the bottle itself, is provided with markings having a predetermined angular position with respect to the slot so as to make it possible to adjust the position of the "slot with respect to the median plane of the head of the child by rotating the bottle about its axis. This adjustment modifies the rate of flow through the nipple because it results in opening the slot more or less widely each time the lips of the infant exert suction thereon. lt has also been proposed to provide a single nipple with one or more slots such as that described above, which may or may not be straight and may or may not be parallel.
An important difficulty exits in manufacturing such nipples. In effect the flow of fluid and in particular, milk, which may be obtained with a slotted nipple is a function of the length of the slot. However, because of the soft and elastic nature of the rubber or synthetic elastomers from which the nipple is made, it is impossible. during the course of manufacture, when the knife descends on the top of the nipple, to assure a constant rigorously accurate length for the slot.
The error which results may be as much as 0.5 mm. and the flow delivered by the nipple is substantially affected thereby.
Moreover, the slotted nipples have two important disadvantages when being used. In the first place the flow delivered through the nipple for a given position of the slot with respect to the median plane of the head of the child is not constant over a period of time. When the nipple has been used several times the movements of the lips of the slot when sucked on by the child progressively tear the two ends of the slot so that the length of the slot increases during use and the flow delivered to the child for a given position of the nipple is not the same when one uses a new nipple as when one uses an old nipple. In the second place the slotted nipples have the disadvantage of preventing air from entering into the bottle during sucking movements of the child after a certain quantity of liquid has been evacuated from the bottle. The action ofthe child on the nipple relaxes and the lips of the slot close against each other so that for practical purposes air cannot enter the bottle through the slot. This creates a sub-atmospheric pressure inside the bottle, renders subsequent sucking motion difficult, and finally deforms the nipple to the point at which it is necessary to admit air into the bottle around the base by which this nipple is attached to the bottle.
it is the object of the present invention to palliate these disadvantages by means of a simple arrangement which simultaneously overcomes both these disadvantages.
The present invention is accordingly directed to a new article of manufacture which consists ofa nipple having a variable and adjustable flow adapted to be attached to a baby bottle. This nipple has at the end adapted to be suckled by the infant at least one slot which may or may not be straight. The nipple is provided with markings oriented with respect to the slot and is essentially characterized by the fact that at least one of the ends of a slot in the nipple opens into a hole pierced through the wall ofthe nipple.
In a preferred embodiment of the invention holes are formed at the two ends of the slot, which holes have a substantially circular section. Good results have been obtained with a slot 2.5 mm. long using end holes having a diameter of about 0.15 mm. In general, the slot may have a length between 1.5 and 5 mm. and the end holes a diameter between 0.05 and 0.3
lt is obvious that the orientation marks which are associated with the slot or slots carried by the end of the nipple may be on the nipple itself, for example on its base, or on an intermediate member, or even on the bottle to which the nipple is attached.
It will be appreciated that each slot, provided at its two ends with holes, as indicated in the foregoing definition, retains a constant length in the course of use, because the end of the slot is perfectly terminated in the material of the nipple by the existence of the hole itself. There is therefore no tendency for the length of the slot to increase during use. Moreover, when the infant is not sucking, the lips of the slot close, but if a subatmospheric pressure exists inside the nipple, air can enter into the bottle by passing through the holes at the end of each slot. It follows that the nipple is not deformed in the course of use.
In order that the object of the invention may be better understood a preferred embodiment thereof will now be described, purely by way of illustration and example, with reference to the accompanying drawings on which:
FIG. 1 is an elevational view, partly in section, through a nipple according to the invention with the section taken through the axis of the nipple;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the top of the nipple of FIG. 1.
Referring to the drawings, it will be seen that reference numeral 1 indicates the nipple as a whole. This nipple comprises an end 2 which is sucked by the infant. At the top of the end 2 are two holes 3a, 3b, each having a diameter of 0.15 mm. The centers of these holes are 2.42 mm. apart. The axis of the two holes 30 3b lie in the same axial plane passing through the nipple 1. A slot 4 is then cut between the holes 3a and 3b which connects these two holes and consequently also lies in an axial plane through the nipple 1.
Along the lower edge of the nipple l are three indicia 5a, 5b and 50. 5a lies in an axial plane perpendicular to the slot 4. 5b lies in an axial plane at an angle of 45 to the plane which contains the indicia 5a. The indicia 5c lies in the axial plane which contains the slot 4.
As is well known, when the indicia 5a is positioned under the nose of the child which is using the nipple, the sucking movement will not open the lips of the slot 4 very wide, that is to say a minimum flow through the nipple occurs. When, on the contrary, the indicia 5c is positioned under the nose of the child by rotating the bottle about its axis, a maximum flow results because of the separation of the two lips of the slot 4. If the indicia 5b is used the rate of flow is intermediate between those obtained in the two previously described positions.
It is obvious that the length of the slot 4 will not be increased by use since thetwo ends of this slot are terminated by the two end holes 3a, 3b. Moreover, when the sucking'movement of the child stops, the low pressure which has been created inside the bottle may be overcome by an inflow of air which passes through the holes 3a and 3b, even if the lips of the slot 4 are perfectly sealed.
It will of course be appreciated that the foregoing embodiment has been described purely by way of illustration and example and may be modified as to detail without thereby departing from the basic principles of the invention. In particular, the nipple according to the invention may have several slots, each provided with a hole at each end, which slots may or may not be straight, and may or may not be parallel. Moreover a slot may have a hole at only one end. Finally, when the nipple has several slots, some of the slots may have end holes whereas the others do not.
What is claimed is:
1. Nipple having a variable and adjustable rate of flow and adapted to be attached to a baby bottle, which nipple comprises at least one slot in the end adapted to be inserted in the mouth of a child, with both ends of each slot terminating in a substantially circular hole having a diameter greater than that of said slot extending through the wall of the nipple.
2. Nipple as claimed in claim 1 essentially characterized by the fact that the slot is between 1.5 and 5 mm long and the end holes have a diameter of between 0.05 mm and 0.3 mm.
3. Nipple having a variable and adjustable rate of flow, said nipple being made of flexible sheet material formed into a dome-shaped body having a peripheral rim dimensioned to engage the mouth of a baby bottle and a hollow central protuberance projecting from said body, said protuberance being shaped and dimensioned to be received in the mouth of a baby and having at least one slot extending through said sheet material and the center of said protuberance, at least one end of at least one slot terminating in a hole having a diameter 5 greater than that of said slot.
4. Nipple as claimed in claim 3, which is provided with indicia at different angular orientations with respect to said slot.
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