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Your Guide to Timing When to Install and Remove Baby Gates

Have you been wondering when you should install and remove baby gates in your home?

Then this blog post is for you.

Here I will break it down simply so that you don’t have to second-guess yourself.

As exciting as it is to watch your little one hit all their milestones as they grow up into toddlers, it is also a challenge to keep them safe as they learn to explore their surroundings. So let’s take a moment and look at the following:

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When should I put up safety gates to protect my baby?​

As you begin to babyproof your home, one of the first considerations you are going to have is when to get those baby gates in place.

Don’t wait until the last minute to research and buy...because you want to have them ready at a moment’s notice.

Keep them handy and then watch carefully for the following stages:

Most babies begin rolling over and needing floor space between the ages of 4 and 6 months...some a little earlier and some a little later. However, they won’t necessarily need a baby gate at that stage, but rather when they begin to get more mobile.

When they start to experiment with crawling, you will likely need to start thinking about installing your baby gates. This usually happens somewhere between the ages of 6 and 11 months.

If your baby skips the crawling stage and goes directly to walking (as some do), you will probably need to think about baby gates between the ages of 8 and 12 months.

Keep in mind that every child is different, so watch carefully for the milestones of crawling and toddling which will trigger the need for your safety gates to be in place.

It is better to be safe, rather than sorry, so if you are wondering if you should have your gates up, then go ahead and do it.

It certainly can’t hurt anything and it will provide you with peace of mind.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have pets that you want to keep away from baby, the safety gates will need to be installed earlier than usual...probably when your baby is 3-4 months old, as this is when many parents begin to lay a blanket down for baby to use on the floor.

Even though your little one won’t be going anywhere, the safety gate will keep Fido from being a danger to baby or licking all over her little toesies or giving him a big ole kiss on the face!

At what age and stage is it safe to remove the baby gates?

As important as knowing when to install your baby gates , is knowing when to remove them.

Baby gates are generally regarded as safe and necessary for children between the ages of 6 months and 2 years.

Of course, every situation is unique and you must determine what your children are ready for at any given stage, but this is the rule of thumb.

Regardless of age, if your child is capable of climbing over a safety gate or has figured out how to open it, then it is safer to merely remove it and teach your child how to navigate that area of your home.

Sometimes a child who is taller or stronger will outgrow the effectiveness of a baby gate earlier based simply on their size.

Remember that a gate is only useful if it can adequately do its job, otherwise it can be a hazard.

If your child is able to push their baby gate down, then do not continue to use it.

A gate that can be outsmarted by your child can give you a false sense of security, so pay attention to your toddler’s ability to figure out a way past a gate...and try to beat them to the punch.

Take the time to teach your kiddo how to safely climb up and down stairs when you are there to guide them, that way when they are big enough to navigate them on their own, they can do safely, even once the baby gates are gone.

Practice giving your child increased amounts of independence around the home as they get older so that it’s not a free-for-all when the gates come down.

Start with one section at a time and when they can show that they understand how to utilize that space safely, move on to the next area.

As your child gets used to their new-found freedom, keep a watchful eye on them.

When you can no longer rely on baby gates to keep them contained, it is time for a new and wonderful stage of growth, maturity and exploration!

I am a coffee-lover and homeschooling mom of 20 years. With the experience of raising five babies, one of whom is still a toddler, I have had my fair share of baby gate wrangling. I enjoy sharing with other parents and passing on what I have learned about child safety. I don’t enjoy that, due to the hustle and bustle, I have to keep reheating my forgotten cup of coffee, though.

4 thoughts on “Your Guide to Timing When to Install and Remove Baby Gates”

  1. My husband claims we don’t need baby gates on the kitchen right now. We have a 4 month old who is only capable of rolling. And a toddler who will be 2 in May. However, the toddler doesn’t know how to outsmart the gates and without them I’m consistently telling him “no” when it comes to grabbing snacks out of the snack cupboard (because he will just grab junk all day long and than not eat what I prepare or cook for him) we also keep cleaning chemicals and medicine in our kitchen. The medicine is always the counter height or higher but if it’s on the counter he can reach it. The cleaning chemicals are kept under the sink and we have tried to install cupboard locks but he knows how to get around them. So my mornings are filled with telling my toddler no as he pulls out every box of cereal, everything from the snack cupboard and pulls out batteries, screw drivers, etc. I’m afraid that he is going to put a battery in his mouth one day or that he is going to hurt his siblings or himself with a screw driver or even a knife one day as cupboard / drawer locks do not fit anywhere on our kitchen. My husband doesn’t understand because when he is home there is 2 of us and we can divide our attention a little bit easier when it comes to the younger children so my toddler doesn’t get into as much.

    Reply
    • You definitely sound like you have a predicament on your hands. Kitchens are one of the most dangerous places in the home, due to so many different types of potential hazards. Do you think your husband would be willing to read some of my blog posts on why baby gates are so necessary for keeping babies safe in our modern homes?
      I highly recommend this one: 10 Reasons Why You Need a Baby Gate to start with. And if he is willing to read a more comprehensive article, send him a link to the following post: 101 Baby Proofing Tips – (The Ultimate Guide for a Safe Home) Perhaps he will see that there are so many more hazards around then we realize. I wish you all the best and good luck!

      Reply
  2. My child is 3 and wont let me remove the safety gate off her bedroom door i’ve tried leaving it opeb for her during the night but she still wont sleep unless it is shut and im not sure what to do as i need it off so she can go to the toilet at night any advice

    Reply
    • The gate seems to be giving her some amount of comfort for whatever reason. Is she able to say what she thinks the gate is protecting her from? Maybe that protection can be replaced by a stuffed animal or night light.

      Reply

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