How To Find The Best Baby Gates: All You Need To Know
We all love to watch our babies grow, right? But do you know that one of the crucial stages of a baby’s life is the period where they start to crawl? This is because, at this stage, they can go anywhere hence if they are not watched carefully they are likely to go to places you wouldn’t wish them to go to. Usually, babies start to crawl when they hit 7 months. Some may start crawling as late as 10 months.
From that moment they start crawling, every inch of your house will become dangerous to them. From stairways, if you are living in a storied house to fireplaces in the living room leave alone your favourite fragile decorations and your priceless glass furniture. Sooner or later your toddler is going to find herself in such places; you just don’t know when.
Therefore, to prevent such from happening, every parent especially mothers should have their lines of defences to protect their babies since nobody needs to be told what would happen when a toddler find herself in the wrong places. She can fall off the stairways or get burned in the fireplace or even get electrocuted by loose wires from your electronics.
Baby gates will be the best and only solutions that will ensure that your toddlers are kept safe from accidents. With baby gates, you will not have to monitor you toddler’s movements all the time making babysitting less hectic.
You can install gates at different places around the house. Installation of baby gates can be made in places like the top of your staircase or even at the bottom. They can also be used in playrooms to secure play areas for the baby. Baby gates also help to keep pets away from babies.
Types Of Baby Gates Available
There are two types of baby gates available which include:
- Hardware mounted gates.
- Pressure mounted gates.
Hardware Mounted Gates
These are the most common type of baby gates available. They are also the most secure since their installations are done by screwing them into your wall or door frame. They are suitable for use in high-risk areas like at the top of your staircase as they don’t have any risk of falling over even when your baby will lean on them no matter how determined the baby will be.
• Advantages of hardware mounted gates:
- They are firm hence able to support your baby’s weight without the risk of slipping.
- Safe for high-risk areas like the top of stairs.
- Can even be mounted on angled walls
- Even larger pets like dogs cannot topple it.
- Installing them is a bit time consuming as compared to the pressure mounted ones.
- They leave holes on the walls when they are removed.
- Cannot be taken down with ease since you have to remove all the screws.
Pressure Mounted Baby Gates
Just as the name suggests, these types of baby gates are held in their place by pressure. What makes them stand out from the hardware mounted ones is the ease with which their installations can be made.
Advantages of pressure mounted gates
- They cost less than the hardware mounted ones.
- Are easy to set up and move around easily.
- Installation does not require drilling of holes on walls and bannisters.
- It is not possible to be mounted on walls that sit at an angle
- There is a possibility of slip under a baby’s weight if not properly installed.
- Not suitable for stairs.
- Pressure gates will leave rubber marks on your wall.
Best Hardware Mounted Gates For Top Of Stairs
1. Cardinal Gates Stairway Flat Surface To Flat Surface With Auto-lock
Manufactured by the Cardinal Gates Company based in Georgia, USA, Cardinal Gates Stairway flat surface to flat surface is one of the most reliable gates available for the top of stairs and is usually fixed between the frames or flat surfaces on either side of your stairways.
Top Three Features
- Simple installation
- Adjustable gate width
- A latch system that makes it open in both direction
- They have Auto-Lock hardware to ensure that your staircase is baby proof.
- They also come with the ability to be mounted at angles of up to 30 degrees making it suitable for installations on a number of surfaces be it your wall or baluster.
- They also come with extension pieces that can be extended up to 64 inches making it to be able to cover most if not all types of stairways.
- Installation involves drilling of holes in the walls which might leave the walls ugly when removed.
2. North States Super Gate Easy Close Metal Gate
These are one of the best hardware mounted gates that are manufactured by North States Industries, a US-based juvenile product manufacturer. This gate is very convenient for the top of the stairs since it is built with your child’s safety in mind.
Top Three Features
- Triple locking systems.
- A hold-open feature that keeps the gate open for multiple walk-through.
- Heavy duty metal construction.
- Easily adjustable to fit any opening.
- Installation is simple.
- Can be used for both children and pets.
- This baby gate is made of steel making it very strong and sturdy.
- It opens in both ways hence very convenient, especially for busy parents.
- The extension pieces are sold separately from the main gate.
3. Regalo Top Of Stairs
Manufactured by Regalo, a juvenile product manufacturer based in Minnesota, USA, this type of gate is perfect for any type of staircase since some staircases might be tricky for most baby gates. The rail-less staircases and the spiral staircases are one of such staircases that will cause nightmares to even the best baby gates.
Top Three Features
- Sturdy steel construction.
- Banister mount system.
- Adjustable gate width.
- Has a unique design that makes it suitable for use at the top and bottom of the stairs.
- It is easy to install.
- The gate is made of steel hence light and portable while at the same time very strong.
- Its walk through design is convenient since it easily glides inwards and outwards as you pass through.
- It can also be used as a pet gate.
- The only disadvantage of this type of gate is that it occupies a lot of space, but the bottom line is that it is still worth it since it’s your baby’s safety that we are talking about here.
Though more emphasis should be at the top of the stairs, it’s also a good thing to install baby gates at the bottom of your stairs to seal all loopholes since who knows when your toddler might decide that he is man enough and that it’s time to crawl up the stairs?
Let’s not even try to talk about what might happen next.
Best Baby Gates For Tall Babies
If you have a baby that can climb like a monkey, then you are going to have to upgrade to an extra tall gate just to ensure that the baby is kept safe. Luckily, the gate makers had your baby in mind, and that’s why you would want to try out one of the following gates:
1. Dreambaby Extra-tall Safety Gate
This gate is extra tall and comes with extension pieces that will make it to be able to extend up to 115 inches wide that even if your baby was an NBA player in the making, this one would still be a hard one to climb over. This gate can be hardware mounted or even pressure mounted for those parents who don’t want to drill holes on their walls.
Top Three Features
- Pressure mounted.
- 39.5 inches tall.
- One handed operation.
- Its doors open in both directions.
- Installation is super easy.
- No need to drill holes on your wall during installation.
- Perfect for temporary accommodations.
- It can also be opened with one hand. Hence you can open it while carrying your baby.
- Is not suitable for high-risk areas such as the top of stairs.
2. North States Superyard 3-in 1
With this gate, it’s possible to fence off any part of your house and keep it baby proof. It comes with extension pieces that can be extended up to 12 feet. It covers a large distance and can be installed in either U-shape or L-shape. You can also buy extra extensions to be able to shape it into any shape you want, be it a circle or even square.
Top Three Features
- Child proof double locking system.
- Adjustable rotating joints.
- Can be hardware mounted.
- It is versatile and can be used as a portable play yard, an extra tall and wide gate or as barriers around dangerous places like the fireplace.
- It has hardware mounting brackets that can be used to attach it to walls to make it permanent.
- It can enclose up to 10 square feet and can be extended up to 19 square feet.
- A little bit expensive as compared to other gates.
Best Pressure Mounted Baby Gates Available In The Market.
1. North State Supergate
This is one of the best pressure mounted baby gates available.
Top Three Features
- Child proof safety latch.
- Pressure mounted.
- Wide Walk-through door.
- It is expandable since it comes with additional 15 inches extensions.
- It is removable hence convenient.
- Can be opened easily with one hand by adults hence convenient for busy parents.
- Installations are very easy since it requires no assembly of parts.
- It is sold in one piece with its extension pieces that makes it possible to expand it up to 38 inches wide.
- Not suitable for high-risk areas such as the top of stairs since the pressure might fail if not properly installed.
2. Summer Infant Deco Baby Gate
This multi-purpose baby gate is manufactured by the Summer Infant Company, one of the renowned juvenile product manufacturers. This gate is suitable for babies between the ages of 6 months to 2 years.
Top Three Features
- Can be both pressure mounted and hardware mounted.
- Dual locking mechanism.
- Automatic close walk-through door.
- Can be used anywhere in the house including in doorways and on stairways.
- It is adjustable to accommodate most doorways and stairways.
- It is 36 inches tall making it suitable for toddlers and pets.
- What lets this gate down is its narrow door making it a bit hectic to pass through while carrying something in your hands.
What To Consider When Buying Gates
Most children are very adventurous and will definitely try to climb over the gate. Therefore to constrain that adventurous and curious toddler of yours, buying a taller gate would be the best option. Do not purchase a gate that is less than three-quarters of your baby’s height.
Good news is that there are also gates available for babies that are taller than their ages.
• Ease Of Installation
Gates usually come in pieces after which you are required to piece them together during installations. Since these gates are installed in complex areas like the top of stairs or between angled walls, considering the ease with which you are going to mount the gates successfully would be good for you.
These baby proofers are very important that installations have to be made properly without any room for errors. Some baby gate manufacturing companies usually sell their products together with installation kits just to ensure that nothing goes wrong with the installations.
• Latch Indicators
Having indicators installed on gates is a bonus security feature. These indicators show you when the gate is locked and when it is not. Some gates also have safety alarms that will go off in case you forget and leave the gate open. This ensures that your baby is safe all the time.
A good gate should be sturdily constructed and finished evenly. The edges should be smooth and rounded instead of being squared. This is to avoid cuts as your baby is likely to touch the gate or even play with it.
Before buying that gate, ensure that you check for any label from the JPMA that shows that the product is certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association. A warning statement label should also be there.
• Slat Spacing
The spacing between the slats should not be more than 3 inches apart. This is because a baby might try to fit her head between the spaces if they are bigger enough and she might end up getting her head entrapped between the slats.
Well, some babies might be so mischievous and flexible that they might actually succeed to pass through the slat spacing and go to wherever you didn’t want them to go to.
• Where You Plan To Install The Gate
If you are thinking of installing the gate at the bottom or top of the staircase or even in doorways, then you can go for swing-open gates.
• The Locking Mechanism
Babies are smarter than you might think they are. Don’t be surprised if your toddler figures out how to open the baby gates that you have installed to keep him or her safe. You should, therefore, avoid buying baby gates with simple locking mechanism since the moment your toddler is able to open the gate it becomes useless.
• Distance You Want Your Baby Gate To Cover
Can you try to imagine yourself taking a baby gate home only to realise that it does not fit where you wanted it to be installed or the distance you wanted it to cover? You will thus have to take the measurements of the area you want to be baby proof so that you purchase the right baby gate with the right measurements.
These baby gates come in different sizes and architecture from simple ones to gates with sleek designs. They are also made from various materials. Some gates are made of wood while some are made of metal.
Your personal taste will determine things like what colour to go for. The most important things you should not compromise when choosing what type of gate to buy is functionality and security. Other factors may follow.
Therefore, if you are looking for gates suitable for stairs, I would advise against using pressure mounted baby gates. The best gate that I would recommend is the North States Superyard 3-in 1 baby gate.
Number one reason is because it is versatile and extra tall. Though it costs a lot, I think it is worth every dollar.
I hope that you now know the best baby gates to buy for various corners of your house to prevent your baby from unnecessary accidents.
You can click here to watch a video on the best baby gates.