Review: Dreambaby Retractable Safety Gate

Child safety firm Dreambaby recently launched in Britain, and introduced its lightweight Retractable Safety Gate (£69.99).

Designed to help  keep your baby or toddler safe in and around the home, it's a simple and easy way of restricting the child's access to certain areas, whether that's the stairs, kitchen or the outdoors.

We were sent one to review, and I'm not going to beat around the bush - I loved this. The whole 'baby proofing' stage of parenting fills me with dread but this safety gate changed all that.

Here's what Dreambaby have to say about the product:

"The Retractable Safety Gate from Dreambaby® is designed to fit across openings of up to 140cm.  Available in a choice of white or black, it is made with a mesh barrier that rolls back onto itself on the side when not in use, saving valuable space."

"Because it retracts back so neatly to 'almost nothing', it makes it easier for parents and other family members to move around the home, cutting down on trip hazards."

"Each Dreambaby® Retractable Safety Gate comes with two sets of mounting brackets so it can be easily moved to where it is required, which could even be in the garden or at the grandparent's house.  As this is not a bulky fixed gate, the aesthetics of a home can be quickly restored the minute the little ones leave."

"The Dreambaby® Retractable Safety Gate is made with galvanized hardware which allows the gates to be used either indoors or outdoors in many weather conditions and it is ideal for use on decks, patios and porches."

From drilling holes into the walls of a house we don't own to constantly tripping over the frame of the baby gate and having to do battle with it every single time you run up or down the stairs even when the kids are asleep or not in the house, I'm just not a fan of baby gates and all the hassle they entail. Yet they're completely indispensable in a house with stairs and an adventurous baby.

But this Retractable Safety Gate works completely differently, and my favourite feature is that you can retract the gate when the kids are out of the house or asleep, so there's no more grappling with it when you're going upstairs with an armful of laundry, and there's no trip hazard as there's nothing in place at the bottom of the gate once it's retracted.

This is also brilliant for installing at the grandparents' house or anywhere that baby visits regularly but where they won't want to live with the ugly, impractical fixtures of a baby gate indefinitely - the gate part can be completely removed and stored elsewhere when baby's not around, leaving only the barest minimum in terms of mounting brackets, which won't get in the way of baby-free living.

When you retract the gate it makes a fairly loud noise, designed to alert you to the fact that it is being opened, which is another clever feature, so there's less chance of inquisitive hands working out how to make a quick bid for freedom while your back is turned. This is marginally problematic if you want to retract it when little ones are sleeping - it's not quiet - but if you hold the mesh as it retracts it's not as noisy, and overall I think the feature is a great idea.

There are also 'hidden' locking mechanisms so you can 'control' whether the gate is open or closed, without kids being able to fiddle with the lock.

The mesh barrier is so much more appealing than the bars of conventional baby gates too, and made us all feel much less like having a baby is akin to being in prison!

It's no fiddlier than conventional gates to install (and comes with handy mounting templates for easy installation) but you do need to screw the mounting brackets into the wall. The instructions are really straight-forward though, and printed on the side of the box, so there's no need to faff around turning pages or trying to remember where you put them when you finally get round to installing this.

You can even use this outside on decks, patios and porches.

One major benefit of this gate is that you can attach it to the outside of the door frame so that little fingers can't work out how to undo it. And - this part is really clever - you can also lift the entire gate part out and attach it to a second set of mounting brackets elsewhere in the house - it comes with the fixings for two separate locations, so that one gate effectively works in two places. For example you can block off the bottom of the stairs during the day but then, when your little one goes upstairs, use it to block off the top of the stairs.

It's also designed to fit both narrow and wide openings (up to 140cm) and because of the retractable design you don't have to fiddle around with the size to get it to fit. You can also buy spacers to enable you to fit this id your door frames have skirting boards - they've literally thought of everything.

The Dreambaby Retractable Safety Gate is available through Safe TotsBaby Security  or Simple Safety Solutions.

Pros: I could rave about this indefinitely. It's easy to install, unobtrusive to live with and wondrously practical - particularly the fact that you can remove the whole gate part when baby's not around, and attach one gate to two separate locations, thanks to the fact that it comes supplied with 2 sets of mounting brackets.

Cons: Can't think of a single one. I was a tiny bit less confident using this at the top of the stairs than at the bottom - somehow the mesh barrier doesn't feel quite as safe as bars do when there's a flight of stairs down to a hardwood floor on the other side, but it is suitable for use both at the top and bottom of stairs, so that's probably just excessive worry.

Overall verdict: 10/10 I can't think of anything that would improve this - it's a brilliantly-contemplated design and supplying it with two sets of mounting brackets makes it very affordable too - virtually two gates for the price of one!

TOPICS:   Nursery Furniture   Baby Gear   Sleeping

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