Life with a baby or a toddler living in the house is pretty different from other people’s life. You always have to think first about the safety of the baby in every possible situation. Especially when you’re living in a multi-storey house, the repercussions of having a baby in a house consisting of staircase opens up a whole new avenue of how to keep your baby away and safe from that place where they seem to be attracted the most. Hence the parents of today should feel grateful for the invention of baby gates.
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- one hand operation for adults ( the latch system baffles toddlers )
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Babies and stairs are a very deadly combination and the “law of attraction” between them is hard to comprehend. As soon as they start crawling, (normally around six to seven months of age) the staircase will become one of their favorite spots to explore and hang out. The danger of tumbling down or going way up then they are supposed to is equal for toddlers as for babies. Getting a baby safety gate has become one of the foremost steps when you start baby proofing the house with stairs. There are so many options available now at the stores and online that you might get baffled at first and find it quite hard to decide which stairs gate with spindles is best for you. Fret not because this buyer’s guide will help you in deciding,
- What kind of baby gate is best suited for your scenario
- What types are available
- Features to look for
- How to compare and choose for the best fit
Types of Baby Gates
There are various types of baby gates available and one has to choose the best according to the type of staircase in your house and according to the needs of the family. The types of baby gates available are:
Hardware mounted baby gate
Hardware mounted baby gates are the ones that come with mounting kit and require drilling holes into the walls (or door frames or banisters) and screwing the whole structure into place. This type of installation makes the gate more sturdy and safe but on the other hand more technical to install, takes longer time and the holes in the wall may look bad after you remove the gate.
Pressure mounted baby gate
Pressure mounted baby gates are the ones that do not require any drilling and are easier and easy to install with suction or pressure cups that hold the structure with the wall. Its installation takes lesser time and is easily removable and hence these types of gates are more portable. But on the other hand, pressure mounted gates are less safe because they have a tendency of falling when pushed or pulled with greater force and are not advised for places where both sides of landings are not at the same level i.e. top of the stairs. These types of gates are cheaper than hardware mounted baby gates.
Walk-through baby gates
Walk-through baby gates are easier to use because they have a small part of the structure which swings open like a door instead of pushing open the whole gate. This type is preferred for wider spaces where wider baby gates are required.
Step-over baby gates
Step-over baby gates are usually less high than the other types so that the adults can step over them when the babies can’t. These types of baby gates are easier to install and a lot cheaper but it can be a bit hassle having to always step over the gate while carrying a baby.
A single staircase provides two different arenas where the gate is required to be installed
Top of the stairs
The top of the stairs pose more danger than the bottom of the stairs and special consideration is required while deciding and installing baby gate at the top of the stairs with spindles. Since both sides of the landing is not at the same level hence only hardware mounted baby gates are recommended to be installed at the top of the stairs. This will add security to the structure and will enhance protection for the baby or toddler. Also at the top of the stairs, never get a walk through baby gate because it has a threshold trip bar which can add to the danger of falling. Instead always get a baby gate that swings in one direction only and remember to install it in a way that the gate swings open on the landing side and not over the stairs.
Bottom of the stairs
Almost all types of baby gates that can be installed at the top of the stairs can also be installed at the bottom but the reverse is not true for all baby gates. For the bottom of the stairs, you can get a pressure mounted stairs, which are mostly cheaper as well. You can also install a walk through baby gate as the threshold trip bar won’t pose much danger at the bottom of the stairs.
Features to Consider
Other features to consider while buying baby gates are
While most of the baby gates available in the market have an easy one handed operating lock system to facilitate busy parents of infants and toddlers, you may need to consider just how easy is the locking system when your baby turns into a toddler and starts figuring out how to open locks and latches. Also some baby gates provide automatic lock system when the gate swings back to closing position while some has a ‘stay open’ setting available as well. Some even has an indicating light system which shows you from a distance if the gate is locked or unlocked.
Wooden or Metal Frame
You can either get a wooden or metal gate frame according to the aesthetics of your house that matches your staircase so that the baby gate doesn’t look odd in your house. Families with pets that love to chew should prefer metal baby gates instead of wooden gates.