The issue of childproofing your home cannot be over flogged. When you get started, it might get almost overwhelming. So many recommendations, so many fittings to be done, yet it only gets more confusing. You’ve probably heard people talk about baby gates a lot and wonder “do I really need baby gates?” As usual, we’re here to guide you. Read along!
What Are Baby Gates?
Baby gates are protective fittings designed to restrict a child’s access around the home. You may zone out areas like the kitchen, garden, home office, bathroom etc., using baby gates.
Reasons You Really Need Baby Gates
We’ve highlighted major reasons why a baby gate is important in your home.
1. To Keep Babies Out of Dangerous Places in the Home
Some parts of your house can pose immense dangers to your bundle of joy. These areas include the kitchen (sharps and electrical appliances), bathroom (drowning), living room (heavy objects) etc. A baby gate ward off the child from these areas, thereby, reducing the possibility of child domestic accidents.
2. To Keep Children Away From Stairs
This is extremely important for people who live in homes with stairs. It prevents kids from falling or rolling down stairs. Children may, otherwise sustain injuries to the head, limbs and possibly die.
3. To Keep Children Away From Valuable Items
It is not uncommon to have a piece or more valuable items in your home. It may be difficult and stressful to do away with them as children come into the picture. In addition, keeping your kids from destroying them can also be difficult. Baby gates can used to keep such items safe from your kids.
4. To Keep Children Away From Home Workplaces
If you have a den or home office, then we can agree that you get more productive hours when the kids are away. You could also have important documents in the office that mustn’t be tampered with. You can install baby gates to keep kids out from your office. This also extends to garages and basements that you’ve converted to work stations.
5. To Keep Kids Away From Open Spaces
Are there rooms in your home that don’t have doors or closed entrances, and may not already be babyproofed? Baby gates are here to your rescue!
6. To Zone Out a Safe Space for Kids Playtime
You can use a baby gate indoors and outdoors to map out a play area for your children. This should give you some peace of mind while they play.
7. For Use During Travels and When You Go Visiting
Baby gates make good companions for a day outside the home or when you go visiting. Additionally, you may take them along on your travels or to holiday destinations. It gives you one less thing to worry about when you decide to take your kids travelling.
8. To Keep Children in Their Rooms
Your children’s rooms may be adequately childproofed and you’ll want them to stay there. With baby gates, you can achieve this. Additionally, they can prevent them from wandering around the home unsupervised, at nighttime. If you also want some alone time with your partner, try baby gates.
9. To Keep Children Inside the House
Kids are never to go outdoors alone. You can hardly control their activities in the yard area. Also, you may have an outdoor swimming pool, pond, gutters or a treasured garden space. Safety gates will keep your kids indoors and away from impending outdoor dangers.
10. To Keep Pets Out
If you have pets, especially ones that you haven’t home trained or you don’t consider safe to your kids, then use a baby gate. You may also use pet gates to keep them out of the house.
Types of Baby Gates
There are different types of safety gates which are based on several factors. These factors include material of construction, style of installation, size and fit, location for use, and installed door systems. You can also consider these types as factors to consider when you choose safety gates.
1. Based on Material of Construction
A baby gate could be made of wood, plastic or metal. Metals like steel or aluminum may be used. Some materials like plastic may be more safe than the others but less sturdy.
2. Based on Style of Installation
i. Pressure-Mounted Baby Gates
These type of baby gates require no screw for installation. They fit by outward pressure, so you don’t need to mess up your walls. Additionally, they are very easy to fit and require no special help. However, they may not give a secure fit so are to be used for doors rather than stairs.
ii. Hardware-Mounted Baby Gates
These types require to be screwed into the walls. They give a secure fit and are great for the stairs. Sadly, they leave behind a dent in the wall and you may require help when fitting them. Well, there are some designs that use other fitting accessories asides screws. These do not spoil your walls or woodwork, yet are relatively sturdy.
iii. Retractable Baby Gates
These baby gates are easily fixed and retracted as needed. They can be wound up for storage when not in use. These are especially useful in homes where kids aren’t always present.
iv. Freestanding Baby Gates
As the name implies, you can’t mount them on walls or doors. They simply standalone and can be moved around the home. Interestingly, they may also be used to build a safe play area for toddlers.
3. Based on Location for Use
Some areas of the home require baby gates that are specifically made for them.
i. Baby Gates for the Stairs
Stairways can be dangerous to children so it’s wise to block them off from little ones. Basically, safety gates designed for stairs are hardware mounted. They may come in pairs, one for the top and the other for the bottom. The top gate is usually tall to prevent them from climbing and falling over.
ii. Baby Gates for Outdoor Activities
Weather conditions are taken into consideration for this type of safety gates.
4. Based on Size
The regular doors in a house are within 32 to 36 inches wide. Basic baby gates are made to fit this specification and their default heights are usually about 22 inches. Nonetheless, they are variations in sizes.
i. Tall Baby Gates
As your children grow, they get taller so your baby gate must grow too. These types are good for taller kids and for the top of stairs. They reduce the chances of your child climbing and falling over them.
ii. Wide and Extra Wide Baby Gates
These safety gates are used for doors and openings that are wider than normal. There are varieties of widths to choose from. Some brands include additional parts to their standard fits.
5. Based on Installed Door Systems
The trick to using baby gates is to keep the children out and not the adults. Therefore, safety gates have ways adults can walk through or over.
i. Baby Gates That Have a Door
Some designs have doors which can be locked, away from little prying hands. With this, adults just need to open the door and walk through. Different designs have different locking mechanisms. There are locks that just need a lift or button to open. Some other designs sport childproof locks that are more practical as kids grow.
ii. Baby Gates With a Pet Door
These are designs for people who have pets that are considered safe to their children. They have little doors that let your little pets pass through but keep your baby locked in.
iii. Baby Gates With No Door
These type are also called step over gates. They have no door and are useful when your child is still very little, because the child can’t climb over so they stay in. However, you would have to do all the work of climbing in and out of gated areas.
Tips to Choosing Baby Gates
Always buy correct fitting gates, by taking a measure of the area you want restricted.
Very minute or no gaps at all should be left below baby gates, because a child can easily crawl under to freedom.
The space between rails must be less than 3 inches. You don’t want a child’s head getting stuck.
Toddlers can smartly climb over gates with horizontal slats. Therefore, get designs that have vertical bars instead.
The safety gate you decide on must be appropriate for your need. Don’t use pressure mounted baby gates for stairs.
Ensure your safety gates lock securely and are almost as tall as your children.
Only buy safety gates that meet safety standards. JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers’ Association, Inc.) ensures that baby products meet ASTM standard guidelines.
When your child can comfortably maneuver your baby gates, then it may just be time to get done with them. This will prevent your safety gates from becoming a cause of domestic injuries.
As you already know, installing baby gates aren’t the only childproofing your home needs. Read our post on how to childproof your home.
NOTE: No measure of childproofing can take the place of parental supervision.
Baby gates are important especially for crawling kids and toddlers. They protect your children and help to keep valuables out of their reach. Amazon has lots of options for you to make your pick. Happy and safe parenting!
We want to hear your thoughts on the importance of baby gates, let’s meet in the comments section below.
Child safety is more than having a childproof home. We know how worrisome it can be to have your kids out of sight, when you go to work or they go out. KeepMeSafe App helps you worry less! It has a GPS tracker, SOS signal, audio, and video recording, chat and voice notes, parental control, etc. Click here to get you started.