As a parent, ensuring the safety of your child in your home is of utmost importance. One way to do this is by installing baby gates.
With so many options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one that fits your needs. But, with the right information, you can make an informed decision and pick the best baby gate for your home.
In this article, we have compiled a list of 10 essential facts that you need to know when it comes to buying and using baby gates. From the right height to install it, to the type of gate that is suitable for your home and child’s age and development stage.
This guide will help you make a well-informed decision and ensure the safety of your child in your home.
Measure the opening and ensure the gate fits properly. Take note of width, height and any irregular shapes or features such as banisters or railings. With this information, choose the right size and style of gate to safely secure the area.
Be aware that some gates may be smaller than advertised, especially retractable gates like Retract-A-Gate which can be 2-4 inches smaller. Carefully measure the opening, compare to the gate’s specifications, and read reviews for a better understanding of the gate’s dimensions and real-world performance to ensure proper fit and safety for your child.
Baby gates provide barriers for young children who can’t climb over or bypass it. As children grow, they may be able to push or pull down the gate or climb over it, so it’s important to regularly check and adjust the gate. Use gates for children who are not able to climb over it, weigh less than 30 lbs and are shorter than 3ft. Different types of gates have different weight and height limitations, always check the manufacturer’s specifications and recommendations.
When installing a baby gate, ensure it’s the appropriate height to block off the area and keep your child safe. A general rule of thumb is that the bottom of the gate should be at least three-quarters of its height, tall enough that a child can’t climb over it. The bottom of the gate should be at least at the level of the child’s chest or shoulders. Different types of gates have different height recommendations, always check the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific gate.
Baby gates provide peace of mind by keeping young children safe and contained in certain areas of the home, helping parents sleep better at night, particularly for parents of infants and toddlers who may be concerned about their child’s mobility and safety at night.
When securing the top of a staircase, use a hardware-mounted or permanently mounted gate instead of a pressure-mounted gate for adequate safety. Staircases put a lot of pressure on the gate, a pressure-mounted gate may not withstand the pressure and may not provide adequate safety for a child, especially for older and more active children. Always check the manufacturer’s recommendations and instructions for the specific gate you are using.
Some baby gates may have issues of being cheaply made, easily breakable or too short, but not all of them. High-quality and durable options from reputable manufacturers are available. Research and read reviews before purchasing, and be aware that even the best gates may have issues. Contact the manufacturer if you find any issues with the gate, they may have solutions or replacement options. Reach out to local hardware store for advice on more durable and reliable baby gate options.
Ensure that the baby gate is installed at the appropriate height for safety. A general rule is that the gate should be no higher than 2 inches off the floor to prevent children from crawling underneath. Some gates are designed to be flush with the floor to make it harder for children to crawl under them. Always check the manufacturer’s recommendations and instructions for the specific gate’s installation height requirements.
Baby gates can also be used to block off important areas of your home—like the laundry area, kitchen, pantry, and office—to prevent your baby from crawling into forbidden places or your toddler from toddling into “no-no spots.”
Please keep in mind that if you have pets and want to prevent them from coming into contact with your baby, safety gates will need to be installed earlier than normal—probably when the child is 3–4 months old. This is when many parents begin laying a blanket down for their newborn on the floor.