My mum is 77 years old and a proud grandmother of thirteen grandchildren. She has seen the evolution of nursery equipment through the decades from the 1960's through to the present day. Things have changed a great deal.
This is my mum in 1962 with my eldest sister Carol. The pushchair she was using was a very basic one with fixed wheels and a simple low solid seat.
When my sister Paula was born in 1964, my mum got a big Silvercross pram, that was very grand. It was also cumbersome and my mum recalls having to store it in the shed because it wouldn't go through the door of the house! It was commonplace to see a row of such prams outside the local shop while the mums went in to do their shopping. They were not very manoeuvrable at all and couldn't cope with stairs or tight spaces. The carriage didn't fold at all, so it took up a lot of space. As most amenities were local, these prams were designed for walking. Cars were still quite rare so being able to fit the pram in a boot was not a necessity.
These days things are so very different. When her first grandchild was born, a simple carrycot on wheels transported the babies around. The simple canvas seated buggy with a reclining seat fulfilled the needs of babies in the 90's. Three wheelers were introduced in the early 2000's and provided the opportunity for off roading with your baby! Gradually, the introduction of the Travel System saw interchangeable seating options to suit the needs of the baby at various stages of his life. Though some of the designs seemed as technical as the Krypton Factor Intelligence Tests, with putting the bits together and attempting to adjust and recline the seat!
So when my mum heard that I was going to review the Graco Symbio, she didn't know quite what to expect. She is always up for a challenge though and loves to get involved, so she has enjoyed finding out about the pushchair and getting hands on with her grandson's new wheels!
The first thing that struck her was how simple it was to push. The steering is so light and the suspension makes for a smooth ride. She didn't struggle with handling it at all, even up and down kerbs. She was very impressed with the flip-handle and found it easy to do. She liked the idea of being able to face Freddy if she wanted to! My mum thought the Symbio looked ultra-modern but liked the idea that this didn't mean it was ultra-complicated. It is in fact very simple, straight-forward and user friendly. The safety features such as the brake, the padded bar and the harness impressed her. The pushchairs of her day didn't have any integral safety features and she recalled an accident where she mis-steered me in my pram and it tipped up throwing me out!! She loved the foot muff and its fleecy lining, and how easy it was to zip up around Fred's legs. "That's much better than blankets that fall off!" she remarked.
Overall, Mum enjoyed having a go with such a modern, expertly designed and innovative pushchair. To add her own touch, she knitted Freddy a jumper in the same colours as his Graco Symbio! How about that for a marketing idea? Buy the Symbio, get the jumper free!!!