Behind the Scenes at Graco and Baby Jogger (+ Holiday Contest)

This is a sponsored post.

There are some amazing opportunities that come along with my job as a baby gear expert that make me sit back and say “Wow! That was awesome!”.  My visit to the Graco and Baby Jogger headquarters in Atlanta a couple weeks ago was one of them. I’ve been talking about and using Baby Jogger and Graco products with my own children for years. My daughter’s first playard was a Graco. My sons rolled around in a Baby Jogger stroller. We even took the Baby Jogger Vue on an amazing journey with us a couple years ago.

Sure, I’ve chatted with the people behind the brands every year at the ABC Kids Expo but to actually sit down with them for the day and talk about all the amazing things they are doing and planning was awesome. While some of the conversations were confidential because those products haven’t been announced yet, I can share some of my trip with you.

-Keep reading for information on a HUGE Graco Contest!-

graco

The day started out all about Baby Jogger. We chatted about what the brand has done in the past with products such as the uber-popular City Select and City Mini and where it is headed in the future. We spoke of the new name for the Metro Stroller that they announced at the ABC show. Yep, it has been renamed before it even hit the market, but that’s okay, because now we know exactly what to look for in March 2016. The new Baby Jogger stroller that is said to be an updated version of the City Versa and has a few features of the City Select mixed in will be called the Baby Jogger Premiere.

Also, even with my vast knowledge of one of my favorite brands, I was reminded of things that I had forgotten. Did you know that the Baby Jogger City Mini GT has a weight capacity of 65 lbs?! For a non dedicated jogging stroller, that is one of the highest weight capacities you can get on a typical stroller! Plus, it only weighs 21 lbs! So, if you are worried that you will have a big toddler on your hands and you’ll need a high weight capacity stroller, don’t forget to look at the GT.

After we concluded our Baby Jogger conversations (I wish I could tell you more about what we talked about but you’ll see soon enough!), we did a sort of show and tell with Graco. Some of the products I already had a preview at in Vegas at the ABC Kids Expo such as the Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat, the Soothe Surround technology on the Duet Oasis Baby Swing, Modes Jogger, Graco Pack n Play Everest and more. But this meeting gave me a chance to really ask questions about the products and get to know them. I also got a preview of a super secret product (ahem….a stroller) that I think you guys are really going to love. It has a fabulous feature that you don’t see on other strollers. Okay, since that information is under lock and key…we are moving on… 🙂

One of my favorite parts of the day was our visit to the Newell Rubbermaid (Graco and Baby Jogger’s parent company) testing facility.  I was able to see how they tested fabrics to see if they cleaned well and how they held up. There were swings with weighted down seats (to mimic a child being in it) that were plugged in and on continuous swing mode to see how long it would last. For months these swings have just been swinging away 24 hours a day. I was also intrigued by the massive 3D printers that printed all types of handy samples for when they design car seats, boosters and other gear.

While those other things were great, the highlight of the day was the crash test facility where they test the Graco car seats. First, we walked through the car seat sample room with car seats stacked to the ceiling where an engineer was tinkering with a booster seat. There must have been at least over a hundred car seats in that room. After that, we arrived at the testing rooms. A massively long room with a huge car seat testing sled in the center to test the car seats before they ever hit the market.

Gracosled2

The engineers set up each crash test with highly technical dummies to see how the car seat performs in a simulated car crash. Here is one of those dummies. Yes, they dress them up and even give them shoes.

gracodummy
Here are his friends patiently waiting their turns…

graco car seats

While the “crash” was so quick, it was amazing to see the slowed down video of what happens to the child and all the measurements they do to find out how much forward motion the dummy “child” goes.

graco car seat

They even have a special machine called the Environmental Chamber that can both chill (down to -15 degrees F) and heat up (up to 160 degrees F) the car seats to a specific temperature right before they test it so that they can see how the seats how up under extreme temperatures too!

graco car seats
Graco’s Environmental Chamber

They even are advanced in side impact testing to not only comply but to exceed government testing requirements.

To say the least, I was super impressed. Most parents don’t think about the work that goes on behind the scenes to make sure safety gear such as your child’s car seat is tested over and over again before it ever hits the market. I was lucky enough to actually see it in the works that day.

Overall, my trip to visit with Baby Jogger and Graco was amazing. The people behind the brands really care about their jobs and seeing it all in action was great!

Now, it’s time to tell you about a huge Graco contest that you need to know about!

graco reason for season

Do you know a family who deserves to really be hooked with all the baby gear that they need? Maybe you have friends who are new or expecting parents who are always doing for others and it would be nice for them to be the center of attention for once? Or maybe you know a family in need who could really use all the Graco gear AND a cash prize for their new baby? Or maybe it’s a military family? Single parent? New foster family? Adoptive family? The sky is the limit with ideas of whom you could nominate!

Well, Graco wants to hear from you!!

Graco has launched the Reason for the Season Contest and they are looking for nominations for deserving families. In the spirit of the season, Graco will surprise select families with all the Graco gear they need!

Here’s what YOU need to know to nominate that special, deserving person or family:

Graco’s Reason for the Season Contest offers entrants the chance to nominate a person or family in need to win a collection of Graco products and a cash prize.  The Contest begins on November 23, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time (“ET”) and ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on December 3, 2015. Entry in the Contest does not constitute entry into any other promotion, contest or contest.  By participating in the Contest, each Entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of Graco Children’s Products Inc. (the “Sponsor”) whose decisions shall be final and legally binding in all respects.

 

HOW TO ENTER:  During the Promotion Period, either: (i) submit a nomination via email to blog@gracobaby.com; (ii) submit a nomination in the Graco’s Reason for the Season Contest section on Graco’s Facebook page; or (iii) send a letter to “Graco’s Reason for the Season Contest” at 3 Glenlake Parkway, Atlanta, Georgia 30328 and nominate a person or family member who is deserving and explain in an essay of no more than 150 words stating why you believe your nominated person is deserving.  Nominations must also include: (i) the Nominator’s first and last name, email address (if applicable) home address and home telephone number and (ii) the Nominee’s first and last name, email address (if applicable) home address and home telephone number.

Easy Entry Via Facebook HERE (plus the rules)

 

*This is a sponsored post. As always, all thoughts, statements and opinions are my own.

 

 

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Baby Gizmo founder Hollie Schultz is the proud mom of three adorable kids. This certified CPS (Child Passenger Safety) Tech and baby gear expert is the host of the Baby Gizmo video reviews giving moms the inside look at baby products before they purchase them. Hollie is also the co-author of The Baby Gizmo Buying Guide. A former resident of Los Angeles, she and her family now live in North Carolina where she is having a blast designing and decorating her new home.

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