As your child grows up and starts to walk, everything in your home becomes an interest to them. While this is good from a developmental standpoint, it’s not always a good thing when it comes to safety.
Keeping your child safe is one of the most important things that you can do. Accidents involving children can be far too common and can be easily avoided. In a typical home environment, there are many things that can hurt your baby. Using a baby gate not only keeps them from certain areas they also keep children situated in a specific area.
When you first set out to buy a baby gate, it can be a little overwhelming. What are the best baby gates out there? Are hardware-mounted gates better than pressure-mounted ones? Is it easily transported so you can take it with you? What about the stairs?
That’s a lot of questions and we have answers to all of them thanks to the 10 Best Baby Gates in 2020 list.
How To Choose A Baby Gate – Buying Guide
Choosing a baby gate is no easy task. Considering the fact that you will be using it every day until your child is 2 years old, it should be a wise investment. With this in mind, when we set out to create our list of the 10 best baby gates in 2020, we wanted to make sure that the ones we recommended met a specific set of criteria. Let’s have a look at them.
Having a baby gate high enough will help keep your little one from getting a little too adventurous. The recommendation is to buy a gate that is at least three-quarters of their height. Please keep in mind that gates must already be at least 22 inches high. If your child is a little taller, there are options out there to accommodate him or her.
As with any piece of baby furniture, having sturdy construction is a must. While gates can come in either wood or metal, make sure that the wood is smooth and splinter-free, while a metal gate has rounded edges instead of squared ones. Other gates will have a support bar that runs along the floor, which can cause a tripping hazard if not looked out for.
Your little one loves to touch everything with their hands and a baby gate is going to be no different when they’re standing against it. A vertical slat opening of more than 3 inches could cause injury when they try to stick their head through the slats. If there is a bottom rail, they could try to use it to climb over the gate or even damage the gate. Therefore, make sure the slat spacing is done according to universal safety standards.
Baby gates can have very different latching releases from one-hand pushdown latches to squeezing mechanism or latches that operate with a foot pedal. The product of your choosing should include a latching indicator so that you know for certain it is closed. While many will make a clicking sound to indicate this, there are others that come with a color-coded indicator or an alarm when the gate is left open.
Let’s face it; you’re not going to be in the perfect place to put a baby gate every single time. Houses are built as complete boxes. With houses that may have stair balusters or an angled banister or an odd hallway, gate manufactures have provided their consumers with different types of installation options.
Different Types of Baby Gates
When you start looking around for a baby gate, it’s important that you get the right one for each different area. Choosing one that doesn’t work or fit right in your home could result in damage to your home or worse, an injury to your little one.
Primarily made from wood, aluminum tubing or enamel-coated steel, hardware-mounted gates are installed by screwing brackets either to a wall or a doorframe, using hardware that comes included with the baby gate. It is not recommended that this hardware be screwed into a plaster or drywall without a stud behind it as it could cause the gate to come detached and not function properly. These are considered the most secure type, although no gate is guaranteed to be childproof.
As its name suggests, a pressure mounted baby gate is put in place by putting pressure against the walls or doorframe it is being used in. A pressure-mounted gate eliminates the need for screws or putting holes in your walls or doorframes. It can be made from plastic, wire or nylon mesh. These types of gates are a good fit in areas where the risk of falling is low such as between two rooms or at the bottom of stairs to keep your little one from climbing up.
Making Your Home a Safe Space
Making your home a safe space overall for your baby is one of the most important things you can do. Of the close to 3 million moderate injuries, more than half of those relate to children under 1-year-old as a result of falling or being hit/struck by an object according to the Center for Disease Control.
Taking the time to childproof your home to reduce the risk of these types of injuries can easily be accomplished with a little planning. While these are just a few tips, they can help keep your child safe throughout your home.
See What Your Child Sees – As an adult, the way we may see a room will definitely be different than the way your child would see it. The best way to do this is to get on your knees to see from your child’s perspective and make appropriate changes based on this view.
Keep Electrical Outlets Protected – Electrical outlet covers may be cheap to buy at any hardware store, but their innate value cannot be measured. Outlets can look like playgrounds to little children and they might want to try to fit anything into one of the slots, from fingers to forks or coins that they might find on the floor. Taking the time to go room-to-room and cover your outlets help reduce the risk of injury.
Secure Furniture to Walls – It seems like almost every other week, there is a story on the news of a young child who tries to climb their dresser or a bookshelf and ends up pulling the piece of furniture on top of them, trapping them and causing serious injury.
For just a few dollars, many stores offer furniture anchors that, if your little one happens to climb their dresser and it starts to tip, the anchor will “catch” the furniture so that it doesn’t topple over.
Q: Do we really need a baby gate?
A: When your child learns to move, they have no real sense of danger that is why you need a baby gate in your home.
They may be ugly and sometimes a little hard to use however, safety and the wealth of your child should always be the number one priority. Not only they are good for stair safety but also, they can be used to ensure that your child has a safe place to play.
They also come handy if you want to open the door to the garden but don’t want your child to go outside or when you want to prevent them from entering the kitchen when you are cooking.
You should also consider a portable gate if you are traveling or visiting friends and relatives. Pressure mounted gates serve perfectly for this cause as they are so easy to install and they keep your child away from rooms that they shouldn’t go in.
Q: Do I need a baby gate at the bottom of the stairs?
A: In short, yes.
Babies can go up as well as down. If a baby decides to climb the stairs, they will also want to climb down. Gates at the bottom of the stairs ensure that babies don’t have the chance to climb anywhere. Even falling from the third step can be dangerous for a child.
Q: How long do you need a baby gate?
A: This depends on your child.
You can continue using it until your child is around 2 years old or until he or she is tall enough to see over the top of the gate. Also, once your child has worked out how to open the gate it becomes useless.
Q: Are baby gates safe?
A: Baby gates are meant to protect babies, but that doesn’t mean all gates are safe!
You have to ensure that you choose the right gate for your house and also at the same time make sure it is fitted correctly. The kind of gate you use for the different areas of your house is important. Pressure mounted gates are not suitable for the top of the stairs. Never use accordion styled gates as they cause different kinds of hazards.
Also, choose a gate that has been given a safety certificate and meets the up to date standards. Make sure that the gates are not too high from the floor. If the gap looks big, babies can try and crawl through them and get stuck.
Q: How do you install a baby gate?
A: It depends on the kind.
There are two different kinds of gates. Hardware mounted gate needs screws for installation into the doorframe. You will have to drill holes into the doorframe and then attach the gate with the brackets and screws. These are the safest kinds of gates if the installation is right and the best solution for tops and bottom of stairs.
Pressure mounted gates on the other hand usually have sliding panels to fit the opening. A locking mechanism or pressure bar fits the gate into place so you don’t need any screws or brackets.
Q: What age do you get rid of baby gates?
A: You will need these gates up until the age of two or as soon as your child is tall enough to rest their chin on the gate.
After this time the gate can become dangerous as your children will try to climb over it. This is of course very dangerous when the gate is at the top or bottom of the stairs. Also at this age children start to have a sense of danger so they can understand that the oven is hot or that the stairs can be dangerous.
Q: What are the benefits of baby gates?
A baby gate has many benefits for both your baby and your family.
Safety is the most obvious benefit of having baby gates in your home. When your baby begins to walk, things that were no longer dangerous around your home become huge concerns.
Being able to move a baby gate from room to room to cordon off an area that you don’t want your little one to have access to is a definitive benefit that comes with owning a baby gate.
When your child reaches an age, many baby gates will fold or collapse for easy storage. Not every parent wants to keep baby gates up all of the time, being able to easily store gates is a welcome benefit.
With the help of a larger gate, you can create a personal play space for your little one. Encircling and giving your children some of their favorite toys will keep them active.
MY BABIES PLANET OVERVIEW
Choosing the correct baby gate for your home is one of the most important decisions that you can make as a parent. As your child grows up, they will start to explore, and as they do, we have to keep them as secure as possible. The best baby gate for your home is never a single item purchase. It is likely you will eventually have to purchase more than one gate for different situations, so knowing what you are looking for before starting can be very helpful.
We hope that our list of the 10 Best Baby Gates in 2020 was able to provide you with some options to consider when first starting out. While there are a lot of options out there, we are confident that our list can help you make a perfect choice.
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