When I had my first baby many years ago, I bought all the baby stuff I needed and didn't really worry about the aesthetics of what all this gear was doing to my home. I certainly did not give a lot of thought to baby gates at the time.
After years of using baby gates I am here to tell you about my favorite baby gate of all time, the best retractable baby gate I have found, and it doesn't require drilling into a bannister.
When I originally started baby proofing with my first baby I went with a heavy metal gate which I needed to drill into the wall and bannisters to work.
I had four of these gates because I lived in a townhouse with three floors.
The gate was not retractable, it swung open and close, and it was fairly ugly. But it worked and it was easy to open which was important to me. I lived with these gates for a couple of years but eventually they all broke down and stopped working.
Sometime around the time my second child was becoming mobile, I decided I needed something more attractive.
I started researching retractable gates and I tried a couple. I ended up returning them. Because even though they looked much better they were harder for me to open and close.
It seemed with many of them you had to press something down and hold it, while opening or closing the gate at the same time, and that was too much for me while carrying a baby and groceries, or anything requiring more than one hand.
I think I went back to the metal gates for awhile, but I didn't want to give up. I did more research and eventually found my favorite gate of all time.
Here is some information from the manufacturer about the gate:
- JPMA certified baby gate for the top and bottom of stairs
- Ships to all European countries
- Installs on your stair posts or spindles without drilling holes when used with our Stair Banister Adapter Kit
- Retractable gate proven durable for dogs and cats
- Automatically and quietly rewinds to a small roll
- Tough, washable, see-through mesh barrier
- Locks open or closed with childproof lock
- Installs in minutes with included hardware
- 34" tall mesh; fits openings to 72" wide
- Baby gate for children 6 through 24 months
- 100% Made in USA child and pet safety gate
- Great outdoors on decks, porches, boats & Motor Homes
- Easy, one-handed operation retractable safety gate
- Allows you to walk through without completely opening
- Retract-A-Gate can be removed and reinstalled instantly to alternate locations with an Additional Universal Mounting Bracket Kit
I finally found the perfect gate and installed it in one area of our old home. And, we loved it.
This gate can be opened and closed one handed. It has a locking mechanism at the top which you can unlock then grab the gate and open.
To close it grab the gate and pull close onto the latches to hold it, then twist the lock.
Sometimes it might require two hands as it is a two step process, but you get used to this process quickly.
What I love about the Retract-a-gate
This gate is easy to open, close, and lock. Other retractable gates I have tried bunched up, or did not roll in nicely. They also required two hands to operate at all times.
Having a gate be easy to open is probably one of the most important features. You will be going through the gate many times a day. I have returned so many gates just because I couldn't operate them easily.
The mesh is strong. My children or a dog are not going through it. I have had a couple for years now and while they have gotten a lot of use they still work great.
It looks good and much better than a traditional baby gate. It is very unobtrusive when it's open, and when it's closed it's like you don't even have a baby gate.
You can see the edges of course, but trust me this looks much better than a metal gate.
Unlike many baby gates which have a bar across the bottom of the floor this one does not. I hate those metal bars, and they are easy to trip on.
You can use this at the top of the stairs. Even though the mesh is soft, it locks so it is perfectly safe even at the top of stairs.
I do believe it is important to make sure your gate is as close to the floor as possible with only a ¼" clearance. Because it is soft there is a small amount of give at the bottom, but it is not enough for my child to pull it up and scoot under.
This is a removable baby gate so you could have more than one mounting in your home, and move the gate around to different locations. Or you can just remove it anytime you don't want a gate attached.
I currently have most of my gates put away since we are getting out of the stage of needing them. I leave the mountings though so I can attach it when I need to contain my dog.
You do not need to drill into your bannister. Yep, this is a baby gate which can be used at the top of the stairs with no drilling.
I am using the bannister kit in my new home where we now have two of these gates installed.
In my old home we just drilled into the bannister. It wasn't ideal but it worked. I did not want to do that in my new house so we decided to try out the bannister kit.
It works great, it still looks good, and it's easy to install. While it makes the installation a little more bulky, it is worth it to keep the bannister without drill holes.
I have tried many baby gates and this one is my favorite. It comes in a few different colors and sizes. It can also be used for pets.
The company also sells many accessories to make this gate work for your particular space and needs. If you have any questions about this retractable baby gate please let me know!