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~*~ The Company ~*~
Graco as we know it today, actually started out in the early 40's as Graco Metal Products, based in Philadelphia, USA, producing and supplying the parts for machines and cars to local manufacturers. This continued for over ten years until one of the founders left the company, the remaining partner decided to make his own line of products.
David Saint, one of Graco's employees, worked within the company as a stained glass expert and engineer. As a father of nine children he often observed his wife comforting their children on a swing in their yard. Being inspired by this scene, he began designing the first wind-up baby swing. After eighteen months the Graco Swyngomatic was launched.
Therefore, it is really thanks to this engineer's innovative inspirational thinking that the business started from that point to focus on baby products. Co-incidental to this man's insightful view, in 1987, his son, Nate Saint, designed the company's playpen and travel cot in one and portable plays cards known as the Pack and Play. The firm continues to design products that are user friendly, safety conscious & original, placing them as the fore-runners in wheeled products among others.
~*~ The product under review ~*~
This particular Graco Baby Walker is an older model. I first purchased this one when my first grand-child was born. This model can still be bought on sites such as EBay for well under £10.
This sturdy dark blue unisex walker can be used from when the child is approximately nine months. But I like to take an ergonomic approach, applying caution and use children's products according to the suitability of the individual child. My grand-son managed to propel himself around from eleven months. The walker is fairly difficult for tots to get around on thicker pile carpeting but any other such textile and flat surfaces are fine. The walker has two practical height settings. This is excellent as it can be suitable as soon as the tot can reach the floor with their tiny feet. For ease in movement, the walker has 8 multi directional castors attached. This proved to be pretty important as my grand-son lacked the patience getting to where he wanted to go!
The walker comes with a removable tray, measuring 15inches x 7inches, which has fun features of buttons, balls and levers that start up the music & lights, and a cute steering wheel. Without the tray attached, the toddler can use the space left for feeders etc. My grand-son found the noisier features of the fun attachments to be more enjoyable!
The seat has soft fabric padding which can be removed fairly easily for laundering. I found the covering came up beautifully on a 40 degree wash on the delicate cycle, set on fast spin. I cleaned all other surfaces on the walker using warm soapy water and then dried with a soft towel.
The walker went on to last well for my second grand-tot, only suffering superficial scratches. In fact, there was so much wear left on this great walker that it would have continued to be very useful, but my daughter was bought a new walker as a gift.
There are many Graco contempory walkers on the market for £30+ but if you feel that you are happy to buy this durable walker second-hand, there are several outlets such as mentioned above for a fraction of the cost.