3 Tips for Choosing the Best Safety and Stair Gate
As your child grows, they begin to develop a healthy curiosity about the world around them. As a parent, your child's newfound curiosity can be fun, as you explore help them explore new things.
It can also be stressful. They were curious about what dirt tasted like, and they learned quickly they did not like it. Now, they are on the move exploring your house and you want to make sure they can do it safely.
Exploring is a good thing. It helps your child learn how to problem solve, you just want to make sure they are doing it safely. So it's time to baby-proof your home.
Installing safety and stair gates is one of the best ways to keep your child safe as they begin to roam around your home. We've put together this guide to help you select the perfect stair gate for your home. Read on to learn more!
Which Type of Stair Gate Is Right For You?
Since everyone's home is different, there is no single perfect baby gate that works for everyone. There are two major types that you can buy. The difference between them is how you mount them to your wall.
Pressure-Mounted Baby Gates
Pressure-mounted baby gates work by expanding to fit the opening they are in and putting pressure on the surface to either side of the opening. There are no screws required and you do not have to make any holes in your walls or bannisters. These are quick and easy to install and suitable for many areas of the home.
Hardware-Mounted Baby Gates
Hardware-mounted baby gates screw or bolt into the surface that it is mounted to. These are the most secure type of gate because they will not move without being unscrewed.
Use these in areas where you think you will always need a gate. They are not portable or good for use in a temporary space.
1. Think About Where You Need a Gate
Depending on your home, there are multiple places that you will need a safety gate to keep baby from getting into trouble. You should have your gates installed and ready by the time your baby is 5 months old. The begin to crawl and walk before you know it and you want to prepare your home.
Babies are naturally curious and that means they have a knack for finding the most dangerous places in your home that you may not have thought of. That is why we recommend taking a good look at each room in your home and determining where you should install a baby gate.
Stairs are one of the most important areas to secure in your home. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, 58,000 children have accidents on stairs every year.
For the top of the stairs, a hardware-mounted stair gate is your only safe option. Pressure-mounted gates can fail if baby falls against it too hard, and if that happens at the tops of the stairs, it could mean disaster for your little one. Pressure-mounted gates are fine for use at the bottom of the stairs, to prevent baby from climbing the stairs.
When installing a hardware-mounted baby gate at the top of the stairs, make sure that it swings out over the landing and not over the stairs. The latter can be dangerous for you when trying to pass through the gate.
There are other less obvious areas in your home that may benefit from a safety gate. Do you have a deck? They make hardware-mounted stair gates that are safe for permanent installation outdoors. Using one of these can help you relax outside with your little one.
If you have any rooms with fireplaces, whether they are in use or not, you should protect them with safety gates. Low windows with screens that baby could fall out of are another area that safety gates would be useful. You can also use pressure-mounted gates as room dividers, to keep baby out of rooms that are too hard to baby-proof, like a kitchen or workshop.
2. Check the Slats
Not all baby gates are created equal, and safety recommendations change over time as we continue to learn what designs are safe. The spacing between the slats of your safety gates should be less than 3 inches. That way, your baby cannot get their head stuck in the gate.
You may even prefer gates with even smaller spacing to avoid baby getting their arms and legs stuck. Some models of gates, especially the pressure-mounted kind, have mesh instead of slats.
When buying a mesh gate, make sure that it is a tight mesh. If the mesh is too loose, the baby may be able to get their fingers into it and use it to climb over the gate.
3. Make Sure It's Sturdy
A new baby gate is always best. Often when you announce you are expecting, all your friends come out of the woodwork to offer you their old baby things they don't need anymore.
The problem with getting a used baby gate is you have no way of knowing if they broke it. It could not be obvious that the gate is worn down by the look of it, but the more use anything gets the more likely it is to fail.
Any wood gates should be smooth to the touch; you don't want baby getting splinters! All gates should have rounded corners to keep baby safe.
When shopping for gates, look for a JPMA certification. The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association tests products to assure that they meet high safety standards.
Keep Baby Safe With a Stair Gate Today!
Now that you know what to look for in a baby gate, it's time to outfit your home before your baby starts exploring! Check out our selection to choose your perfect stair gate to keep baby safe!