So, Brighten is 17 months old. How did this happen you ask? I assure you that I have no idea. But here we are with a super active toddler! When we moved back in November, I knew we'd need to be really strategic with where Brighten is allowed to roam free. The best (maybe the only good) thing about moving with a 14-month-old is that we were able to arrange our new house in a way that gave Brighten plenty of space to play but sectioned off areas where we don't want her roaming free.
The one stipulation that I had is that I didn't want our beautiful new house to become a city of baby gates. In our old house we had two gates that you had to lift the door to walk through. We rigged up some situations to keep the doors open when Brighten was napping, asleep for the night, or not home. When we moved, I assured Jason that we would not be doing any "rigging" because even though we wanted our new house to be super kid-friendly, we wanted it to look really nice.
Enter, Dreambaby Stork Retractable Gate.
This gate comes in black, grey, and white. It opens up to 55 inches, which is a nice, super long stretch. It's easy to install (Jason installed ours and it took about an hour), and it can remain open when you have guests, kids are asleep, or they're not home. It is easy to unlock and retract for adults, but there not a very obvious way to open it if you're a kiddo. It also is under $100, which to me is very affordable considering most retractable baby gates are priced much higher than $100. It's good quality, doesn't feel cheap, but also doesn't break the bank. In fact, I got one of ours on a Black Friday special for $65 and I got another one for our stairs on sale for $60. Typically they run around $80-$90.
We have two, one in our kitchen and one at the top of our stairs. We have a permanent baby gate at the bottom of the stairs, but eventually (once Brighten can do the stairs by herself), we'll replace the stationary gate with another retractable gate.
If you're looking for a high quality, mid-price point baby gate, check out the Dreambaby Stork! You will not be disappointed.