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:
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!