Whoever said “time flies when you’re having fun”, clearly wasn’t a parent. Because for us humble child-rearing folk, time doesn’t just fly by. It literally whizzes past at the speed of light, in a blur of pooey nappies, baby-led food fights and sleepless nights, to the point where you can hardly remember what you did last night, let alone six months ago.
And that’s because day by day, week by week and month by month, literally EVERYTHING changes. You have to constantly be on your toes – blink and you’ll miss it – in a state of perpetual evolution.
Looking back at photos of Teddy six months ago, I can’t believe how much he’s changed.
His epic hair that everyone is so obsessed with these days (but which neither set of grandparents takes responsibility for handing down) was thin and wispy at best. He wasn’t feeding himself, crawling or talking. He preferred to just sit there, wherever you plonked him, silently surveying his surroundings like the quiet little hippo that he was (oh, those were the days…).
But skip forward six months and look at him now!
A strapping, humongous hulk of a toddler, chatting away to anyone who will listen. Crawling and climbing and desperately trying to walk. Feeding himself, starting to copy what we say and do, and making friends wherever he goes.
However it’s not just him who has changed. Looking in the mirror today, I hardly recognise myself either. I’ve grown too (outwards unfortunately rather than upwards). I’ve got bags under my eyes (some say, a badge of honour in the parenting community). While Rosie continues to take great pleasure in pointing out the growing number of grey hairs appearing on my noggin.
And over this time, while we’ve all grown out of clothes, grown tired of the toys and baby kit we used to depend on, and, as a family, grown too big for our small London flat (more news to come on that later), there has been one constant element that has continued to grow with us.
As avid followers of the blog will know, for the past six months I have been a brand ambassador for global parenting brand Graco alongside a bunch of incredible parenting bloggers from across the UK, getting the chance to put Graco’s new and most popular hero products through their paces.
And boy, have we been through a lot together…
• We’ve developed a new found appreciation for baby brands that design products with dads in mind (as so few do!).
• And attended Baby Bootcamp, sharing our top insider parenting tips that all new mums and dads need to know.
• We’ve tried out what could be the lightest pushchair in the world!
• We’ve proved once and for all that stay at home parents have one of the toughest jobs around.
• And on a personal note, I’ve even said goodbye to our teeny baby and a big hello to our new toddler (while discovering the existence of the previously unchartered sixth trimester of parenthood!).
But as our brand ambassador partnership comes to an end this month, I’m pleased to report that I’ve been seriously impressed at every turn by the Graco range of prams, pushchairs and car seats that we’ve tried out, which really have slotted into our busy lives throughout every stage of our parenting journey, making our ‘day-to-day’ all the more convenient.
And looking forward, while we will of course continue to grow as a family, Graco won’t be standing still. It’s continuing to evolve too.
And so, as one last final hurrah, I’ve been exclusively allowed to reveal some of the new innovations that are due out from Graco over the coming year…you’ve heard it here first people!
What to expect from Graco in 2018
First up, there’s Graco’s new swivel car seat with lie flat positioning – called the Turn2Reach – which is able to rotate a full 360 degrees, making getting kids in and out of the car infinitely easier. It’s suitable for children from birth to 18kg (approximately 4 years’ old), and has three riding positions to grow with your child: lie-flat bed (birth to 10kg), to rear-facing infant car seat (birth to 13kg), to forward-facing harness seat (9-18kg). Additionally, it comes with sturdy Isofix connectors, allowing for a secure installation (as it lowers the risk of the seat being incorrectly fitted into the car). This one looks very cool, I must admit…
And then there’s the new Stadium Duo Click Connect, an ingenious double pushchair for growing families, that includes Graco’s innovative Click Connect™ technology, allowing you to easily convert the double pushchair into a travel system. What’s more, it features a one hand standing fold (essential), swivel locking front wheels, an extra-large basket providing room for essentials (so useful, let me tell you!), and stadium seating for both children to have a view of the world. Plus, the back seat reclines fully making it suitable from birth to 15kg whereas the front seat is suitable from 6 months to 15kg.
Finally, in 2018 Graco will be announcing a refresh to its Graco Milestone All-in-One car seat with the introduction of the Graco Milestone LX, featuring Safety Surround™ Side Impact Protection. This innovative car seat is described as “the only one you’ll ever need”, as it can grow with your child from birth to age 12, transitioning from rear-facing infant car seat, to forward-facing harness seat, to highback belt-positioning booster. The new Safety Surround Side Impact Protection offers advanced head protection at every stage and added peace of mind for parents (plus the refreshed range comes with new fabrics for an improved look and feel).
So that’s all from me and Graco for the time being folks. It’s been a blast and I hope you’ve all enjoyed getting the inside scoop on what they have to offer. For more from Graco, you can check out their full range of products here.
#GenerationGraco – over and out!
This sponsored post is my final article as part of the #GenerationGraco Global Parent Blogging Panel, which wraps up this month *tears*