Tag Archives: Graco Symbio

Graco Symbio b: “I’m just like Samantha Brick..

… except my troubles are no fantasy”

It’s really hard being such a good looking pram. Before you switch off, let me explain with a scenario or two. There was one time when I arrived at the school gates ahead of schedule (since I am so easy to push) and to celebrate I did an extra circuit or two of the playground. Ok, I admit- I did catch a glance of my shiny wheels reflected in the mirror but I was not posing. Honestly. Another pram appeared up the hill and saw me standing there (perhaps I was gleaming in the sun?) and that’s when the bitching started.

‘Oh, look at the Symbio! Arriving for the school run looking like she’s ready for a royal parade!’

Things like this happen all the time; jealousy permeates from other prams like a bitter fog most days. Another occasion, a  sightly older pram arrived at the school gates wheezing and creaking and I couldn’t help but wince. Like a flash, this older, much much shabbier pram clipped my wheels in a blatant attempt to derail me.

Other prams have tried to derail the Symbio b

Of course, I’m made of tougher stuff than that old wagon- the vicious attack did not harm me one bit. I’ve been built to last, built to physically withstand such brutal and un-provoked attacks.

I wish I could say the same about my emotional strength.

I know why other prams hate me. They don’t have the same qualities as I do, but it’s not my fault I’ve been made this way. Other prams dread new mums buying a Symbio b because they know they’re going to be outshined. They know their day has gone- there’s a new pram on the block.

Perhaps it is my shiny, strong chassis? I’m sleek and agile. Perhaps that is why they hate me so? Or maybe it is my bright, bold, chilli red coat? Admirers have pointed out that I do come in other colours though (the super sleek Urban and the gorgeously sublime Boysenberry) and sadly these models are just as envied by other prams.

Fast asleep- she is in there, honest!

The beautiful Symbio b says her fiery red coat makes other prams jealous

Setting my obvious physical attraction aside, it has to be my unique intelligence that makes all the other- dare I say it- *ordinary* prams quiver with rage when I enter a room. I mean, if they could reverse direction as easily as me, or fold as swiftly and smoothly as me, then I suppose they too would be shunned from parks and play groups as I am.

I’ve learned to live with my superiority. I am proud to be such a smooth ride and to provide a safe, comfortable place for my precious baby owner. I know that all the other prams are jealous old carts who can only dream of being as fantastic as me.

It can be lonely at times, when rooms fall silent and lift doors close when there is more than enough space to fit me in (I’m super compact, you see. Unlike many other models). It can be terribly isolating too, when I speed past slower prams with my easy to control wheels and super-light frame. It’s hard being the only pram on the market with such obvious skills and talents.

Symbio's obvious fantastic features, such as the handbrake, make her an easy target, she says

I will learn to live with my excellence. After all, I am truly gifted and it is only right to celebrate what is great in life. One day, all the other prams will accept this and will be beating on my door begging to go on extended pram walks and the like. And do you know what I will do then? I will open my arms in welcome- for I am truly great. I am one of a kind.

 

I am the beautiful Graco Symbio b.

The ever modest Symbio knows that she is a keeper- transforming from newborn to toddler mode. She is proud to be one of the family

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The Graco Symbio b: what do you look for in a new pram?

I’ve been busy testing the Graco Symbio b pram since the baby arrived and I have to say that I am most impressed. I’ve posted about using it following a c-section, how we got on in a shopping centre, and how the toddler rates the stroller once converted from newborn mode. I’ve also filmed a couple of short videos showing how easy the pram is to push with one hand and how easy it is to change the direction of travel. I’m going to be filming some more later this weekend.

But I’m not the only one who is testing the Symbio b and so I thought it would be a good idea to ask the other testers to give their opinion and rating on the things I find important when looking for a new pram. That way, you get to read more than just my take on things. After all, when you’re deciding on which pram to buy, its a big investment and one which you are going to want to think long and hard about. I’ve been caught out before with prams and have found myself taking selling them on after a short while.

So here is my list of essential check points to consider when choosing a new pram. I would love to hear about the things you find are important too- leave me a comment and I will make sure they are included in the link up post.

  • Price. Having a new baby is an expensive time and the pram is often the most pricey item on your shopping list. I don’t have enough of a budget to spend ridiculous amounts on a pram. I also couldn’t justify spending as much as you would on a car…
  • Ease of use. No point having an all-singing, all-dancing pram if you can’t fold it. Even less so if grandparents can’t fold it either. Think of all the missed baby-sitting opportunities, not to mention school run rage when you can’t get your pram back in the car!
  • Looks. Ok, it may be slightly shallow, but I like a pram to look good. There are so many lovely, stylish prams out there on the market that I feel this point is not too much to ask for, don’t you?
  • Practicality. Bit like the ease of use one, but more about how practical it really is. Is the seat big enough? Is it going to last until your baby no longer needs to be pushed around? Can you fit your shopping in the basket and will it cope on all terrains? Will it fit in the car boot?
  • Customer service. What if something goes wrong? Can you get in touch with the manufacturers easily? Do they have a user- friendly website? Is the instruction manual easy to follow? These are all important points. Again, I hark back to my early parenting days: I had a pram which insisted on losing a wheel each time we went for a walk and getting it repaired/ exchanged was a nightmare. 

So those are my five check points when looking for a pram. If you have any more to add, please let me know! Hopefully I can persuade the other testers to write their own post based on the same check points and link them up here so that you can get a wider picture of the Symbio b.

To make sure you don’t miss the round up, subscribe to my blog, join me on Facebook  or follow me on Twitter: @ghostwritermumm

 


Graco Symbio b: the shopping centre challenge

Last week, I took the baby to register her birth. It was about time we made her all official. It was also about time the Symbio b took part in another challenge- the shopping centre challenge.

You all know this one. Can the pram make it through the door ways? Can the pram manoeuvre between cars parked close together when all the parent and baby spaces are taken? Can the pram take the pace? This is what happened…

Getting ready for the shopping challenge

Firstly, no we didn’t get a parent and child parking space. I like to think they were all taken by parents and children but I am a dreamer. Secondly, yes the pram did manage to manoeuvre between the sardine-like cars. Not a problem. Score 1.

Into the shopping centre and into the lift. We fit perfectly in with two other buggies and two other adults. Again, score 1 for the Symbio as it is a fairly compact pram so I didn’t feel we were taking too much of the allocated lift space.

Time for the doorway challenge. I bumped a couple to be honest. They were wide enough, but perhaps I am out of practise? I did  accidentally knock the pram a couple of times trying to get the wheels to swivel in the direction I wanted. This has never happened before so I think it was more human error than anything else. Score half a point here.

The floor: my old pram used to slide on shopping centre floors. What I mean is, the wheels didn’t turn, it was more of a skating motion if you see what I mean. To rectify it, I had to lock the wheels inside shopping centres and supermarkets. The Symbio coped fine. Score 1 more point.

The shopping basket. This is really the only thing I would, so far, change on the Symbio. No pram can be perfect, eh? After registering the baby, I nipped to Boots and stocked up on supplies for her and the toddler. I ended up with a huge bag which just would not fit in the basket underneath, despite the rain cover being on the pram rather than inside the basket. Luckily, I have a buggy clip which works really well and distributes the weight of the bag evenly so that there is no chance of it tipping up. BUT it would be nice to have a larger basket as sometimes you want to put more than the raincover inside.

That brings me to the raincover. I’ve had prams that have been a nightmare during shopping trips. You’re outside in the rain one minute, then inside in the artificial warm the next. How to make sure the raincover doesn’t become a chore? Practise, practise, practise! The Symbio’s raincover has clear indications as to which way round it goes and it fits over quickly and snugly, fastening with velcro at the sides. It can also be folded back onto the hood when you go inside, ready to pop back over when needed. Score 1 point.

Back to the car: Ok, so I have a big car with a big boot. I can only be fair and give a half point here. But I will say that the pram folds very compactly and the carry cot can be placed on its side so there is still room for shopping.

Overall points for the shopping challenge: 5/7

Fast asleep- she is in there, honest!

I’m going to be sneaky and add an extra point for the fact that the baby slept soundly the whole time- she clearly likes her Graco Symbio b!


Graco Symbio b: what to expect after a c-section

Some of you may know that I have recently been asked to be one of five lucky Graco Symbio b testers. I actually received the email two hours after my daughter was born!

Less than twelve hours later, I was visited by the hospital’s physiotherapist. Her job was to talk to me about the after effects of my surgery and to advise that I was not to lift anything heavier than my baby for six weeks. As she was about to leave, she pulled back the curtain that had been drawn around my bed and then paused. She turned back, with a small smile, and added:

‘Oh, and no pram pushing please.’

No what? No pram pushing?! Now, its no secret that I love prams, even when I am not pregnant and have no pram-age children to force into them. I covet prams. I wrote this post recently, about pram spotting. I can honestly spot a pram at fifty paces. I just like prams. But more than that, I adore pram walks. When I had my daughter the best piece of advice I was given by a fellow new mum was to make sure I went out for a walk once a day. I took her advice to heart and found that power walking with the pram was one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to get back into my jeans and spend quality time with the kids at the same time. Its also a great opportunity for naps- leaving me free to just… think. I always feel better after a pram walk and its one of the things I missed the most towards the end of this current pregnancy. My back was just too sore to endure long walks towards the end and so I was impatient to get back to it with the two little ones.

SO, not pushing a pram was not sitting well with me.

When the Graco Symbio arrived, I fell in love. Its a really nice looking pram. And its lightweight. And it has a unique one hand reversable handle than enables you to change your child’s point of direction with ease. And its front wheels swivel nicely to ensure a smooth ride…

Do you see where I am going here? Ghostwriterdaddy refused at first to let me push. I didn’t push it either. I took too long to recover after the toddler’s section and I didn’t want to make the same mistake again. However…

At two weeks and four days post natal, I now feel ready to push the pram. I know, I know- the physiotherapist said blah blah blah. Honestly, I do take medical advice seriously. But I have also learned to listen to my own body and so I felt able to take the Symbio b for a spin.

What a smooth ride! I was able to get the pram up kerbs with one hand and NO pain at all. I was also able to change the direction of the journey easily (also with one hand) and managed a good forty minute walk easily and comfortably. And the baby? She, um… slept like a baby, actually. I was a little unsure about the carry cot as first as there is no head hugger and she looked a little little but with a couple of blankets she fitted in nicely.

Another great design feature for c-section ladies is the brake. I always found that pressing a pram brake with my foot put strain on my scar. The Symbio b has it’s brake on the side of the pram handle, which is  fantastic. No chance of accidentally kicking it off either, and the big one can’t work it so no risk of her unlocking the brake and running away with the pram! Not that she would, but you know…

All in all, the Symbio b is a very ‘c-section friendly’ pram. I can push it with ease and the baby sleeps through it all. It’s sleek, stylish and lightweight. You can see from the picture how nice it looks.

First test- the most important one- done! The next test for the Symbio b is in Ghostwriterdaddy’s hands. He keeps telling me that it is really easy to fold and to get in and out of the boot- all important factors. He also loves the fact that the wheels sit to the top when its folded so don’t get the boot dirty… Anyway, Ghostwriterdaddy is going to perform the ‘how quickly can I fold, put away and then get the pram out of the car again’ challenge. Keep your eyes peeled…


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