As if babies weren’t disruptive enough to a home before they can move around, once they start crawling you’re going to see clunky gates start appearing around the house to keep them out of danger. The BabyDan Guard Me aims to minimize the impact on the look of your house by folding away when not in use, but can a gate really be subtle and is this at the expense of safety?
BabyDan Guard Me Review
Attached by screwing into a doorframe (either inside or outside) or at the top or bottom of a set of stairs, this is a permanent gate and not the kind you can move around as the need arises. This means you may need more than one but it is ideal for a spot that is likely always to need a gate, such as the entrance to a kitchen.
It covers gaps of 64.5 – 89cm when attached to the inside of a door frame or 55 – 79.5cm on the outside, but you can also purchase it with a 24cm extension for larger gaps.
When not in use the gate folds to the side and is much more subtle than pretty much any other stair gate on the market, although to say it is ‘invisible’ is a bit of an exaggeration. The white will help minimize the impact of the gate around standard white door frames, plus the lack of a bottom bar not only won’t disrupt your flooring/carpet but also means you won’t trip on it when the gate is open.
The gate feels strong and the lock secure, with a child-proof slide and press down release. We have seen some reviewers a little unhappy with the plasticky appearance and feel, but this does keep it light enough to operate one-handed. It is also pleasingly quiet to use, always a big selling point when creeping away from a sleeping baby.
A side benefit of the fact it folds rather than swings means it may be particularly useful for small areas and narrow gaps where a traditional gate either won’t fit or have enough space to open.
When thinking about where you might use this gate you do need to consider that as the panes flex they can be pushed inward without opening. This means you need to make sure there is at least 9cm between where the gate is fixed and the drop of the stairs, for example, to make sure your baby can’t push open a gap between the gate and the stairs.
While we can’t vouch for long-term use, despite repeated heavy use it didn’t seem to start to stick or weaken at all.
It is at the expensive end of the scale for a stair gate costing around $90 and if you’ll need one at different points of the house the total cost will quickly add up (especially as they aren’t pressure gates you can move around the house as needed). Saying that there aren’t really any equivalent gates in terms of ability to fold away neatly, and while it is possible to get a decent gate for less, there will be compromises to make.
The Guard Me is an excellent fixed in stair gate in its own right, but when combined with the ability to fold away into something that blends into your home it is a fantastic product. It may cost a little more than some rivals, but if you have a nicely designed home that you’d rather look a little less like a zoo or a prison the Guard Me is an excellent choice.