First-time parents tend to fall into a false sense of security when caring for a newborn. They get used to putting their little one down and knowing that he’s not going anywhere. But once a baby starts crawling around all bets are off! He’ll get into all sorts of things that you never imagined he would, and he’ll be a lot faster than you expect too!
This is when you’ll learn to appreciate having a few baby gates set up around the house. Toddler safety gates can be used to keep the baby away from potential dangers such as stairs or a crowded kitchen. You can also use a gate to keep pets and children separated. Keep in mind that baby gates are only designed for children between 6 months and years of age. Older children will quickly learn how to climb over or otherwise get around most gates.
Types of Toddler Safety Gate:
Hardware-mounted gates require screws for installation into a door frame or wall. You drill holes into the door frame or into the studs behind the drywall or wall plaster so the gate is secured firmly. If installed properly, hardware-mounted gates are the most secure option (though nothing is 100% guaranteed).
Hardware-mounted gates are the only safe choice for stairways. They usually include some kind of partition that swings open. Always install the gate so it swings away from the stairs instead of over them for maximum safety.
A pressure mounted gate is held in place by pressure against a door frame or walls. Some have adjustable panels that slide back and forth to fit the opening. The gate wedges into place when you lock the pressure bar into place. Other pressure-mounted gates swing open similarly to hardware-mounted gates, but instead of screwing into the wall it uses pressure to hold the gate in place.
Baby Gate Feature to Consider:
Height. Most baby safety gates are only about 22 to 24 inches tall, but some extra-tall models go as high as 39 inches to keep those extra-adventurous kids safe.
Installation Flexibility. Let’s face it…no two houses are alike. And older homes, in particular, tend to have unique setups that make baby gates difficult to set up. Take a close look at oddly-shaped areas and places where banisters, railings, or modeling get in the way. We had to find an extra-wide gate that would be pressure-mounted to a wall on one side and our entertainment center on the other side…we had to go online to find what we needed.
Latch Styles. Ideally, you can test out different styles of gates before purchasing one but most stores simply aren’t set up that way. Some have a pressure bar that needs to be lifted, others have a four pedal that requires a good deal of pressure to release, and others have a squeezable handle. Keep in mind that you’ll often have your hands full with a baby, laundry basket, or groceries when you’re trying to open the gate.
Shopping For Baby Gates:
Most baby stores have a decent selection of safety gates to choose from, but there are times when you’ll need to look elsewhere. The big retailers usually only carry the standard sizes in their stores so if you need a few more inches baby gate shopping might be more successful online. Many stores offer free store pickup if you purchase from their website. Even better, Amazon has a great selection of baby gates for sale that can be delivered right to your front door if you choose their super saver shipping option.
Image Credit: your best digs