So, you’ve decided that yes, baby gates are a good solution for keeping your kids safe in your home.
There are so many to choose from, and different brands will offer different benefits and options.
But what do you really need to know about buying and using baby gates? And how can you be sure you’re getting the best product for your needs?
The answer is simple: you need to do your research. And we’ve got you covered!
In this article, we’ll look at 10 of the key facts to keep in mind:
Gates come in so many shapes and sizes! Before you begin your project, make sure that you’ve written down the exact measurements of every opening you need to block off. With all this information at hand, it will be easy to find the right gate.
We found several advertised gates to be suitable for certain sizes, but actually smaller than advertised—such as Retract-A-Gate (2-4″ smaller than advertised).
Baby gates are only appropriate for smaller kids who aren’t particularly strong, weigh less than 30 lbs., and are shorter than 3 ft.
As a general rule, the bottom of the gate should be at least three-quarters of its height. Thus, you will not want to install a gate that is any lower than their chest or shoulders.
Please keep in mind that pressure-mounted gates are not sufficient at the top of a staircase, where you will need to use a permanently mounted gate.
Baby gates on the market today tend to be cheap, break easily, or are too short. This is a recurring problem for most manufacturers—and it’s one that they seem unwilling to fix. Even with the best, most expensive gates, it is possible to encounter this sort of problem. So be prepared: get in touch with your local hardware store and order some better replacements.
The gate should be no higher than 2 inches off the floor so that your child will not try to crawl underneath it.
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.