Supports 8 high and wide panels that users can maneuver into their home or apartment. Built-in door allows parents to easily travel back and forth. Steel frame provides long-lasting durability. Set it up against a wall or by itself.
Plastic connectors can be fragile, so some users recommend placing additional protection.
Constructed with wood and metal. No drill needed to install. Auto-close feature for safety. Built-in door stopper. Extension kit for wider spaces.
The swing gate is a bit narrow at 19 inches.
For doorways, hallways, or stairs. Mesh panel is stable and retracts or pulls out easily. Double-locking system. Comes in several colors.
Some customers reported that it is not secure against older kids.
Lever handle for one-hand operation. Includes safety lock. Extension kit to raise gate. Can be pressured-mounted or installed on wall.
The walk-through gate was reported to be narrow.
Pressure-fit installation for doorways and hardware for stairways paired with easy operation makes this a great gate for openings up to 48 inches. Available in multiple sizes.
The opening latch is plastic and feels a bit flimsy. Shouldn't be used at the top of the stairs.
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If your little one recently began crawling or walking, chances are you already understand the importance of having a baby gate.
A baby gate can prevent your toddler from tumbling down the stairs. It can act as a barrier between a curious child and an off-limits room, such as a kitchen with a hot oven. It can separate an overly friendly baby from an overzealous pet.
Pressure-mounted baby gates are easy to install, as no hardware is required. Tension created between a spring rod and two walls holds the gate in place. This type of gate typically costs less than a hardware-mounted gate, and you can find them in a variety of styles. As such, they are a popular choice among parents.
The biggest complaint about these gates is that they can fall over. That’s a nuisance at best, and a safety hazard for everyone — children, adults, even pets — at worst. A pressure-mounted gate won’t stay in place if you try to install it between walls at odd angles from one another. Walls that aren’t completely flat are also incompatible with this type of system.
Hardware-mounted gates provide more security than pressure-mounted models. As the name suggests, you install the gate by screwing hardware directly into the woodwork of your home. This could be a door frame, wall, or banister. The hardware holds the gate securely in place.
The biggest drawback of hardware-mounted baby gates is the fact that, when all is said and done, you end up with several small holes in your wall. Of course, you could always patch these holes with joint compound when the child grows a bit older.
Some people also dislike the fact that you cannot take down a hardware-mounted baby gate quickly. For example, if you’re having a party and want the gate gone for a night, you’ll have to disassemble the entire thing. And later, when the party is over, you’ll have to put it up all over again.
But a hardware-mounted gate is a strong gate. It can uphold a baby’s weight without slipping, and unlike its pressure-mounted counterparts, you can mount it securely between angled walls. For these reasons, hardware-mounted gates are great for the most hazard-prone areas of your home, such as the top of the stairs and around your fireplace.
As the name suggests, a freestanding gate remains upright on its own. You don’t have to deal with screws or holes in your wall, and you don’t have to finagle the tension rod just right between two walls. You just push the gate into position, and voilà! Your barrier is set up.
Many caretakers use these gates to keep little ones away from household items that pose a safety threat or could break easily. For example, you may see a freestanding gate guarding a crackling fireplace or a pricey entertainment system. Of course, you can only get away with this keep-out tactic for so long.
When choosing a baby gate, you’ll need to know how tall and wide it must be to fit your home.
A “standard” gate stands approximately 30 inches tall and spans anywhere from 29 to 45 inches. A standard interior doorway ranges in width from 24 to 36 inches, with the most common dimensions hovering in the 28- to 32-inch zone.
Some extra-wide baby gates can stretch six feet from left to right. But that’s not all. Some can even stretch 192 inches across to use as an enclosed pen.
By the time your child reaches 36 inches in height, a gate isn’t likely to deter their exploratory activities. But if you wish to keep using a baby gate past this developmental stage anyway, you’re not alone. A market exists for extra-tall baby gates. Just look for the words “extra tall” in the product name and/or description.
Some baby gates have vertical slats. If these slats are too far apart, they pose a safety threat to children and animals. For example, a child could inadvertently lodge their head between two slats and suffer bruising or even strangulation. For this reason, potential buyers should pay attention to the number of inches between each slat. This distance should not exceed three inches.
Many gates sport a dual-action latch that you must push down to release the gate. Other latch types include a pressure-release handle and a squeezing mechanism. If possible, test a few different latch types at a store or a friend/relative’s home to determine which type works best for you.
Some baby gates are engineered to close automatically when you release them. There’s no need to physically shut the gate; technology takes care of that task for you. This hands-free feature serves harried parents (who usually have their arms full) very well.
When choosing your material, keep the following tips in mind:
Of course, you’ll want to put some thought into your purchase before you lay your money down. Ask yourself the following questions before making your final selection:
Most people place baby gates in doorways, entryways, at the top and bottom of stairs, and in spaces without walls like the outdoors.
When measuring your doorways, take a minute to measure your child’s height, too. This will help determine the gate height you should choose.
Do you want a baby gate with a door that swings out and in? Or would you prefer a traditional barrier gate that opens horizontally?
A baby gate should never take the place of adult supervision. It can only enhance what you’re already doing, which is protecting your innocent little one from the hazards — seen and unseen — that lurk inside your home.
Of course, it’s important to set up your baby gate precisely as the manufacturer instructs. That’s the best way to minimize the risk of a faulty gate.
Below are more safety tips:
A: Some manufacturers have created products that stop pressure gates from leaving rubber marks on the wall. These products are similar to furniture sliders with grip. For example, Safety Innovations makes a “Wall Saver” product for use with pressure-mounted baby gates.
A: As you know, a hardware-mounted baby gate requires you to drill holes in your walls. In the interest of safety, it’s the best type of gate for the top of a staircase. But you could certainly buy a pressure-mounted gate for use in other areas of your home. Pressure-mounted gates require no screws or other tools for installation.
A: No. As mentioned above, it’s highly recommended that you purchase a hardware-mounted gate for the top of the stairs. These gates are screwed into place, minimizing the child’s chance of crashing through and tumbling down the steps.
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