Baby gates are an excellent idea for anyone with children, but several things to consider before you fully commit to the purchase. Below, we’ve outlined the dos and don’ts of baby gates. Consider these tips as you decide on whether or not this is right for your home.
1. Install Hardware Mounted Baby Gate
Baby gates should be installed with the screws provided. It is the safest one. It prevents the gate from shifting and possibly injuring your child.
2. Do Consider Bedroom and Bathroom Doors
If you have a room such as a bedroom, where every door is used as an exit, install a hardware-mounted baby gate at the top and bottom of the stairs to prevent the child from accessing that area. Before you purchase a product, measure your doorways to ensure that it will fit properly. While not all safety gates will accommodate doors narrower than 32 inches, some products can adjust up to 36 inches with extensions.
3. Place at Doorways and Stairways
A baby gate is most effective when it is placed at the top of a stairway or doorway. Placing the gate at the top of the stairs helps keep children from climbing over, while putting it at a doorway can prevent them from running through an open door. Be sure to measure your stairways to make sure that you are purchasing the appropriate product.
4. Remove All Heavy or Sharp Objects From the Area
Baby gates are not meant to protect small children from household dangers such as pool chemicals, nails, glass, plants, and other heavy or sharp objects that could severely damage small hands. If your children have access to any of these items, remove them before installing baby gates in your home.
5. Choose an Attractive Design
Always choose an attractive design. Consider choosing either a hinged or pressure-mounted baby gate, as this will make it easier to move the gate to different locations. For example, if you change your mind and decide to keep the gate at a doorway instead of having it as a baby gate, remove the gate from its installed location and place it back in its place. This will make moving the baby gate easier and more convenient for you.
6. Review the Safety Information
While not all baby gates are created equal, most products contain safety information that can be found on the packaging or the manufacturer’s website. Review these instructions before you start to install your baby gate.
1. Don’t Place at the Bottom of Stairs
Although some baby gates do not require a mounting spike, they tend to be less sturdy and typically do not fit at the bottom of stairs. Because these gates are more likely to shift and cause injury to your child, they are not recommended for use at the bottom of stairways.
2. Don’t Select Pressure-Mounted Gates
Pressure-mounted baby gates are typically cheaper than hinged or hardware-mounted baby gates but often have insufficient safety features. It is primarily unsafe. These baby gates are very convenient for quick access because they will easily open and close due to their small size.
3. Don’t Use Baby Gates as a Toy or Play Items
Although baby gates can be a fun and creative addition to any home, keep in mind that they are meant to protect children from being injured. They can also be a source of frustration when children grow tired of being trapped in the gate. For best protection, choose a hardware-mounted or hinge-mounted baby gate that allows you to move the gate quickly from location to location.
4. Don’t Allow Children to Play Unattended
Although most baby gates have safety sensors that help prevent unwanted openings, do not leave gates installed in rooms where your children have access without supervision. In most cases, these machines will only open when the adult triggers it with a hand or foot signal. A small switch in some products allows you to open the gate without provoking it temporarily.
5. Don’t Leave Gates Installed Longer Than Necessary
All baby gates have a limited amount of time from when they are installed until they reach their full strength and cannot be opened by a child. Usually, these products will become more difficult to open after approximately 20 minutes of use, but you must install these gates in an area where children can not access them. Most of these baby gates have a maximum installation duration of three hours.
6. Don’t Allow Children to Climb or Hang on Gates
Since baby gates are primarily designed to serve as an obstacle preventing children from accessing hazardous areas, you must have enough space to install the gate at the top of stairs or large doorways. When installing these products, be sure to have enough room for installation.
Benefits of a Baby Gate
1. Prevent Children From Accessing Hazardous Areas
These are great additions to homes located near stairwells or exterior entryways. These products will prevent children from climbing over, running through, or getting trapped behind the gate for extended periods.
2. Make It Easy to Install
Most baby gates are pretty easy to install. This product is often lightweight, making it easier for adults to move around, especially in small rooms that may not have enough space for a sizeable hardware-mounted gate.
3. Easy to Open and Close
Hardware-mounted gates require tools for installation, but once they are in place, they can be easily opened and closed with a simple kick of the foot. This is ideal for situations where you do not have time to unfasten all of the screws.
Hardware-mounted baby gates are often less expensive than more enormous ones, requiring custom craftsmanship and installation costs. The smaller size makes them easy to carry from one place to the next, allowing you to easily move them from room to room or from house to house.
5. Works Well for Pets
If you have small pets or other animals in your home, hardware-mounted baby gates are a great addition to your home. The smaller size of these gates makes them easier to set up in doorways and rooms accessible by your pet.
It is concluded that by knowing the do’s and don’ts of a baby gate, you will determine if the product is right for your home and family. Knowing how to install and use your baby gate will make it easier to decide if it is worth purchasing. Also, reviewing the safety information and knowing how long the baby gates should remain in each location allows you to make a well-thought-out decision.
Q1. Do I Need a Baby Gate for Stairs?
A1. It is recommended that every home with children under five have safe baby gates on stairwells. If you choose to install a child baby gate at the bottom of the stairs, it should be made of pressure-mounted or hardware-mounted materials. These types of gates will not quickly shift and cause injury to your child.
Q2. Can I Choose a Baby Gate for Dogs?
A2. Although most baby gates are designed to keep children out of certain areas, they are not explicitly designed to keep pets out. Dogs can easily jump over these products, making them more of a nuisance than a safety product. If you have small pets in your home, you may want to consider using a pet gate or playpen, which is specifically meant for smaller animals.
Q3. Does My Baby Have to Use the Gate?
A3. If your toddler is old enough to climb up and downstairs, it is acceptable for them to go through the gate with supervision. Keep in mind, though, that if you install a baby safety gate at the bottom of the stairs and your child does not respect the boundaries, you may need to remove it or tighten it so that your child will stop pushing through.