How To Choose The Best Baby Gates [Ultimate Guide]
Once your little one gets mobile, they will use their new found freedom to explore every nook and cranny of your home.
As a parent you need to applaud their improving motor skills, but how can you do that while ensuring that they are safe at all times?
That is where a baby safety gate comes in, ensuring that your child does not go where they are not supposed to go.
This physical barrier creates a safe zone within your home, so that your little one does not venture into dangerous areas where they are bound to get hurt e.g. kitchens, stairs, and fireplaces. So if you have an active toddler whoyou would like to keep out of harm’s way, check out the baby gate buying guide below so that you can find the best safety gate for them.
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Baby Gate
As I have just mentioned, you need to carefully consider which baby gate you buy for your home. Below we will look at some factors that you should consider beforehand.
The first thing you need to know is that there are 3 types of baby gates; standard baby gates, extra wide baby gates, and custom baby gates. The standard baby gate will fit in the standard doorway, and will have the ability to adjust between 30 and 40 inches wide. This baby gate model is both common and affordable, and it a good overall choice to have in your home.
Next we have the extra wide baby gates, which have a greater width. These gates are great for wide door frames, and have the ability to extend using extension panels.
We also have the custom gates, which give you the opportunity to section off uniquely shaped areas of your home e.g. fireplace. These are great choices for fencing off areas which have unusual fits.
Mounting is another important aspect of baby gates, and you will be faced with two options; pressure mounted baby gates and hardware mounted baby gates. Firstly, we have pressure mounted baby gates, which can be installed and removed in a jiffy. These gates are mounted by applying pressure against a flat surface like a door frame or wall, making them great for flat sections of your home. However, these baby gates should not be used to fence off areas with a height difference, such as at the top of the stairs.
Next we have hardware mounted baby gates, which present themselves as a more permanent fencing solution. This type of mounting involves screwing studs to door frames, walls, and banister rails, which might give you more peace of mind.
This secure baby gate solution will not slip if your baby exerts pressure on them, making them the safest solution for areas such as the top of the stairs. However, if you are hesitant about leaving holes in your home, then this is not the option for you.
The next choice that you need to make involves the swing of the door of the baby gate. There are 2 main swing styles which you will need to choose between. The first is a center swing baby gate door, where the door lies in the middle of the safety gate. This style is common on pressure mounted baby gates; however, it also manages to make your walking path narrow.
Alternatively you can go with a whole swing baby gate door, which involves the entire safety gate swinging open and shut (like a hinged door).
These highly popular doors are great in high traffic areas, as they provide sufficient room for walking and maneuvering. Whichever baby gate door you choose, you need to remember to first measure the swing of the baby gate, so that you can open the door without obstruction.
There are hundreds of different styles that you can choose from when you go shopping. Regardless of whether you are looking for a modern or traditional baby gate, there is always something for you. You also have the chance to choose between different materials (wood, metal, canvas, rope), different colors, and different shapes.
While style is important, you always have to think about functionality. While a wooden gate is a nice and rustic choice, it might pose a danger (splinters) to your baby when he/she starts teething.
Glass also looks very attractive, but your baby will continually leave smudges on it. Take all of this into account when choosing the baby gate style for your home.
If you have a pet, then you should look for a fence with bars big enough for them to pass through. However, if you do not find one that you like, you can opt for a baby gate with a cat door.
This type of baby gate has an opening just large enough for your cat to pass through, but too small for your baby to squeeze through.
Sometimes you might forget to close the baby door, and this is understandable. That is where a baby gate alarm comes in, alerting you to an open baby door. In this way you will always remember to close a door, so that your little one is safely fenced in.
The release system refers to how you open and shut the baby gate. You have the option of a one handed release system, and a foot pedal release system. A one handed system allows you to easily open the baby gate with a single hand, making it quick and convenient when you are carrying bulky items that you do not want to set down.
We also have the foot pedal release system, which allows you to push open the baby gate with your foot- no hands required!
Last but not least, you need to ensure that the baby gate you choose meets all of the important safety standards for manufacture.
The baby gate that you choose should have a seal that certifies that it has met the requirements for the American Society for Testing and Materials. This certification shows that it is a safe option to use.
If you are in search of a safe and convenient baby gate for your little one, then this guide above will take you in the right direction. By following the detailed guide above you can ensure that your baby is safe at all times. Best of luck to you and your child.