27 Things You Should Know About Baby Gates

What is a baby gate?

The baby gate, also called a child safety gate, is a barrier that keeps babies and toddlers from entering areas of the home that could be dangerous, such as stairways and kitchens. Gates for babies are typically made of metal, plastic, or wood and can be customized to fit various doorways. It is possible to install them using either hardware or pressure. They can be used indoors or out.

Hardware-mounted gates are tightly fixed in place by screwing them into the wall studs, so they swing open like a door. Pressure-mounted gates are generally locked into place by friction with the walls on either side of them.

Similar to baby gates, pet gates are commonly used to contain small pets, especially those that haven’t been housebroken. There is a possibility that some pet gates will not meet baby gate standards.

How to use a Baby Gate?

Ensure that staircases are protected with a baby gate. Safety gates help prevent toddlers from falling downstairs, even while they are crawling or walking.

It is important to consider stairs when choosing a baby gate:

  • I recommend installing a baby gate at the top and bottom of the staircase.
  • If the baby gate is installed at the top of the stairs, it must be firmly screwed into the wall. When possible, baby safety gates should be placed at the bottom of staircases rather than at the top.
  • Objects that your toddler can use to climb over the gate (chairs, stepstools, stepladders, large toys) should be kept away from it. 
  • If you have a wide landing on your stairs, you should get a baby gate with extensions that you can adjust.
  • If your child is even a few months old, and even before crawling and walking, you should consider installing gates.
  • Until approximate age 3 (at which point your child will likely have learned to bypass the gate regardless), you’ll need to keep the gates up until you’re confident your child can safely navigate the stairs.

What are the types of baby gates?

There are many baby gates on the market, each meeting a different requirement, so you’re sure to find one that fits your needs. An extra-wide cat gate, for example, might be desirable with a pressure mount. If you want a baby gate without a step-over bar at the top of the stairs, you can purchase a hardware-mounted gate. Baby safety gates typically come in the following types:

Baby gates can be wall-mounted or installed in doorways. Baby gates that screw into the wall are ideal for tops or bottoms of stairwells because they’re typically more secure than pressure-mounted gates. It may take a little more work to install these gates since they mark the wall.

To lock, these gates must be tensioned between two walls and pushed outwardly. If you don’t want any marks on the wall around doorways, these can be the best option. It’s not recommended to use pressure-mounted baby gates for stairs because they can be less secure.

  • Baby gates for stairs

Baby gates that are specifically designed for stairs are usually the best for the top of stairs. These models are typically designed without step-over rails that could cause tripping hazards, and they are designed to accommodate banisters.

  • Step-over gates

They’re great for babies who are still quite small and don’t yet have the mobility to climb over iron gates. While you do not have to lock these hands-free gates, you may find it irritating to have to step over them as you enter and exit.

  • Freestanding baby gates

You can move these around when the gate needs to be moved, and they are quite dependable on their own. Your child may be able to move this type of gate if they are strong and clever enough.

It is possible to install mesh baby gates that roll out for easy access.

  • Extra-wide baby gates

Designed for wide doorways or hallways, extra-wide baby gates can fit any doorway or hallway in your home. Additionally, some standard designs come with add-ons you can buy for that extra width.

  • Baby gates with a cat door

A pet door on a baby safety gate is a good option for those with pets, allowing your pet to get around while your child is safe.

Are Baby Gates Safe For Puppies?

A lot of similarities exist between pet gates and baby gates. In most cases, a gate keeps a child or pet within a specific area, either outside or inside.

Many safety gates are appropriate for both babies and pets, but there are pet gates and baby gates that could not hold large breed dogs, and there are pet gates that may not be secure enough for children.

There are several materials to choose from when making baby or pet gates, primarily metal and wood, and both may be equally appropriate for either application. Even though the material may affect the durability, it is more important to consider the design.

In general, freestanding pet gates are great for puppies and small dogs, but babies should be supervised at all times unless they are left out alone. Children and dogs can easily push pressure-mounted gates out of place, so you should never use them on stairs.

Are Baby Gates a Fire Hazard?

Children can’t resist fire because it is so bright and shiny and because it is very potentially dangerous in terms of burns or house fires. It is your responsibility as a parent to promote your child’s growth while also preventing accidents.

You do not need to worry about keeping your little one safe in the house if you follow these simple guidelines. Keeping your house child-safe is easy with a handy fire checklist, which includes some obvious items and others we tend to forget:

Child-proof cabinets are ideal for keeping matches and candles out of reach.

Using the range’s front hobs, point them inward instead to prevent eager little hands from grasping the handles.

Ensure your fire alarms are working and that the batteries are not low.

You can install hearth gates around portable heaters or fireplaces.

Playing with matches and lighters is dangerous for children.

When cooking or distracted, use a baby gate to keep your baby from wandering into the kitchen.

Are Baby Gates Standard Size?

A majority of baby gates can fit a range of sizes from 39″ to 52″. The gate is extended by adding extensions. Depending on the gate, extensions are included or available separately.

Depending on your space, you may choose to have this style of baby gate pressure mounted, or hardware mounted. To avoid drilling holes in their walls, most people opt for pressure mounts.

There are two pass-through options offered by the standard baby gate – a step-over or a walk-through door.

A step-over gate is usually about 23-25 inches tall and requires you to step over it each time you need to pass through. The advantage of this option is that it is usually a bit cheaper and good for areas with low traffic.

Another option is walk-through gates, which have a latch on the door that allows you to pass through. The door opening varies from 16″ to 20″. Their method of latching differs as well. High-traffic areas may find this to be the best option.

Can Baby Gates Be Used Outside?

Are you concerned about keeping your baby safe on the deck, porch, or patio?

An ideal solution should go beyond the typical gate, which will last in the rain without rusting right away.

 A sturdy outdoor gate is important to avoid weather damage and will not deteriorate easily. A well-built house needs to be able to withstand Mother Nature’s actions.

If you choose an outdoor gate, you have to consider the material and the type of hardware you choose to ensure it is weatherproof.

Your gate should also have a safety latch that will prevent your child from getting away while permitting easy entry and exit.

Can Baby Gates Be Used For Dogs?

It is a good idea to purchase a baby gate if you have a puppy or dog in the house. Baby gates are the ideal way to keep your puppy contained indoors in a dog-proof environment in your absence. Since puppies are generally mischievous and into everything, they are suitable for containment.  

Keeping your puppy away from poisonous plants or electrical wiring is easier in one room than in a whole house, for instance. You can prevent your puppy from accessing areas where he can cause trouble, such as sneaking into the bedroom and chewing up your favorite shoes! Additionally, you can leave your dog alone, knowing that he will be safe while you are out with a baby gate, which will prevent him from wandering throughout the whole house.

Can Baby Gates Be Used For Cats?

The majority of cats can leap over conventional baby gates. Baby gates are not tall enough to keep cats from jumping over them, so cats simply jump.

Also read: How To Keep Cat From Jumping Over Gate

Although cat gates may not always stop the most athletic cats from exploring the house, they do assist in defining strict boundaries within it. The cat will consider how the door or staircase came to be when it comes into contact with the new obstacle. Kitty minds are capable of doing a lot of work, and they sometimes wander off. You don’t want to jump unless the other side offers you something exciting. Of course, if you live with cats and dogs, you have to take that pet gate very seriously. Your cat may benefit from the gate instead of being hindered by it.

Both the baby and cat must be taken into account when finding a solution. For cats, the best pet gate is one made by a reputable company because it works effectively.

Can Cats Jump Over Baby Gates?

The majority of cats can leap over conventional baby gates. There is no way to keep the cat on one side of a baby gate, and it simply becomes a hurdle for the cat to jump over.

While most babies can be contained with a baby gate, a growing cat may not be able to gain access to it. Despite their small size, they will be able to jump right over the top and reach the desired destination.

If you have a baby and one, you want to find a solution that works for both you and your cat. The best option for a pet gate for cats in this situation is a well-constructed pet gate because it will solve the problem.

Can Ferrets Climb Baby Gates?

Baby gates are ideal when it comes to creating a ferret-proof “loose” area. It is important to choose the right ones. Ferrets easily climb almost all plastic mesh baby gates. It is not uncommon for them to go straight through the mesh! This baby gate needs to be sturdier, with solid Plexiglas’s sides. Ferrets can’t climb over or get through that terrain with their paws, so they can’t get a hold of it. Gates such as these perform the same function as regular gates.

How Many Baby Gates Do I Need?

You install baby gates in your home based on your home situation. As you know, there are several areas that you need to block off to prevent your little ones from crawling into forbidden spots or your toddler from getting into a dangerous situation.

  • Top of Stairs

You should install your baby gate here because it’s probably the most critical spot in your home.

A hardware-mounted gate will screw into the backplate of your door or wall frame, but not just any gate. Pressure-mounted gates can collapse over time if too much pressure is applied or they’re shaken too much.

  • Bottom of Stairs

It is a good idea to gate the steps if your baby is capable of climbing up them. Babies love to crawl up to precarious spots, so this is a great idea!

  • Laundry Area

It isn’t possible to close the door to the laundry room since there is no separate room. This can be a dangerous area in your house, so it is imperative to figure out how to baby gate it.

  • Kitchen

It is a good idea to use a baby gate to block the entrance to the kitchen if you are busy cooking and no playpen is available, or you are currently not using it. Children can suffer burns from hazards including (but not limited to) hot food, ovens, stoves, knives, electrical cords, slippery floors, glass dishes, and cleaning agents when left unattended.

  • Fireplace or Woodstove

The most knowledgeable choice when you have a gate or play yard in your home is easy to maneuver around shapes and objects. Use a wall-mounted gate instead of a freestanding gate in these situations.  

  • Porch

The suggestion here is to install an outdoor gate at the porch steps if your home extends outdoors, and you want to allow the baby to explore the deck or porch.

Rain, wind, sun, and snow do not deter this type of gate, and your toddler remains safely enclosed inside the railing.

How Tall Are Baby Gates?

Baby gates are commonly produced in heights ranging from 29 or 2912 inches to 36 inches, considered “extra tall.” Generally, pet gates have a similar size, though some can be as low as 20 inches. Depending on the design, a pet gate can be extended at its top for an additional 16 inches or 32 inches. There are many adjustable designs, and some come with special extension panels to make the design even wider.

What Are The Best Baby Gates For Stairs?

According to your need, you might choose the best baby gate for your little ones. It is common to see baby gates in many places. These are 7 best baby gates for stairs according to a situation you need!

  1. Best Top of the Stairs Baby Gate: Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate
  2. Best Tall Baby Gate: Regalo Easy Step Extra Tall Walk Thru-Baby Gate
  3. Best Extra-Wide Baby Gate: Regalo 192-Inch Super Wide Adjustable Baby Gate
  4. Best Affordable Baby Gate: Regalo Easy Step 38.5-Inch Extra Wide Walk Thru Baby Gate
  5. Best Tech-Supported Baby Gate: Safety 1st Easy Install Tall & Wide Walk Thru Baby Gate
  6. Best Hybrid Baby Gate: Munchkin Easy Close XL Metal Baby Gate
  7. Best Baby Gate with Door: Summer Infant Decorative Wood and Metal 5-Foot Pressure Mounted Baby Gate

What Are The Safest Baby Gates?

There are no other options at the top of stairs other than hardware-mounted gates. Installation of the gate must swing towards the landing rather than out over the stairs for safety reasons.

It is possible to use pressure mount gates between two rooms or at the bottom of stairs where a baby won’t climb up if falling is not a hazard. Gates need to be constructed solidly, with reliable hardware, and without risks that could entrap people. Here are some specifics to consider.

  • Height
  • Sturdy Construction
  • Latches and Hardware
  • Installation Flexibility

Some brands provide safety and sturdiness as well.

  • Cardinal Gate
  • Dream Baby
  • Evenflo
  • Kidco
  • Munchkin

When To Install Baby Gates?

When your baby first crawls, installing safety gates is a good idea. The ability to use gates usually develops between seven and ten months, so installing them when your child is about six months old will be appropriate. A gate is especially useful in homes with stairs.

Falling from stairs is the most common reason for children under 2 to visit the emergency room. Ideally, safety gates should be installed at the top and bottom of the stairs, but the top is the most critical.

Where should baby gates be placed?

You install baby gates in your home based on your home situation. As you know, there are several areas that you need to block off to prevent your little ones from crawling into forbidden spots or your toddler from getting into a dangerous situation.

  • Top of Stairs

You should install your baby gate here because it’s probably the most critical spot in your home. A hardware-mounted gate will screw into the backplate of your door or wall frame, but not just any gate. Pressure-mounted gates can collapse over time if too much pressure is applied or they’re shaken too much.

  • Bottom of Stairs

It is a good idea to gate the steps if your baby is capable of climbing up them. Babies love to crawl up to precarious spots, so this is a great idea!

  • Laundry Area

It isn’t possible to close the door to the laundry room since there is no separate room. This can be a dangerous area in your house, so it is imperative to figure out how to baby gate it.

  • Kitchen

It is a good idea to use a baby gate to block the entrance to the kitchen if you are busy cooking and no playpen is available, or you are currently not using it.

Children can suffer burns from hazards including (but not limited to) hot food, ovens, stoves, knives, electrical cords, slippery floors, glass dishes, and cleaning agents when left unattended.

  • Fireplace or Woodstove

The most knowledgeable choice when you have a gate or play yard in your home is easy to maneuver around shapes and objects. Use a wall-mounted gate instead of a freestanding gate in these situations.  

  • Porch

The suggestion here is to install an outdoor gate at the porch steps if your home extends outdoors, and you want to allow the baby to explore the deck or porch.

Rain, wind, sun, and snow do not deter this type of gate, and your toddler remains safely enclosed inside the railing.

How Long Will Baby Gates Last?

The generally accepted rule of thumb is that kids under the age of two need extra protection. A good rule of thumb is to remove the gate once the child’s chin has reached the top of the gate.

In reality, not every child can be described in the same way. Therefore, it is best to remove the baby gate if your child can climb over it or if they have worked out how to open it. The problem is, if your child can rise over the baby gate, or if they have figured out a way to open it, then the best thing to do would be to remove it.

How To Prevent The Baby Gate From Falling?

According to the study, stair-related injuries occur most commonly among children under 12 months of age. It is falling on the stairs while carrying children resulted in the most severe injuries and hospitalizations. These are the tips that help you to prevent baby gates from falling.

  • Top of The Stairs:  

Ensure that the gate is securely anchored to the stair and Locked solidly. The top of the staircase has pressure gates that can weaken over time and are not safe.

  • Bottom of The Stairs:  

It’s possible to use frictional retention to keep the gate in place here. There’s not much distance to fall if it’s pushed forward at the bottom of the stairs.

  • The Railing:

If your fences and railing are fat, consider replacing them with railings you can wrap your hand around. As you carry your child up and down the stairs, keep your hand on the handle. Ensure that you are the only one holding your child.

What Size Screws For Regalo Baby Gate?

If your gate is from a different manufacturer, let us know in the comments, and we’ll do our best to determine which bolt is best for your gate.

If you want to determine the correct size yourself, you can measure the holes where the screws go into the wall. This screw fits nicely into a hole about 7-8mm in diameter because it is about 6.6mm in diameter. Similar to M10 screws, M10 screws are about 8.6mm in diameter, so they are perfect for 9-10mm holes. Some gates use more or less these sizes, but simply choose the right spindle rod size, and you can match virtually any gate well enough to work well.

What is a walk-thru baby gate?

The most common gate often used with a fence is the walk-through gate. For a consistent look, consider matching your fence’s gate or getting a more ornate one. The size of single walk-through gates does not vary much since they tend to be used primarily by individuals. Gate leaves should not exceed 5′ wide in any one piece. Double drive gates are ideal for providing a larger space for entering and exiting your yard. Some homeowners need extra width to fit lawnmowers through 5′ wide gates or give their landscaping service access to their yard.

Why Do Dogs Shake When You Put Up A Baby Gate?

There are three main reasons why dogs shake, which can be divided into three categories:

Their behavior (frightened, anxious, enthusiastic)

The humid environment or the cold environment causes them to react (wet or cold)

A medical condition develops, such as epilepsy, generalized tremor syndrome, muscle weakness, ear problems, or poisoning: it’s hurting them, they feel poorly, or they may be suffering from a medical problem.

When dogs experience extreme emotions, they may shake. A positive emotion like excitement may cause this, as may a negative emotion like fear.

Can A Baby Gate Be Installed At An Angle?

You can install a Baby Gate at an angle. There are many baby gates available in the market which can be installed at an angle. They are suitable for doorways and stair-gates. They can also be mounted on the wall.

Safe gates with angle mounts are among the best options on the market, which offer durability and reliability. The setup is also relatively simple. Often, baby gates are not liked by adults because they tend to become a little lax. The design and takedown become a hassle as time goes on. In addition, many adults trip by trying to step over a gate rather than taking the time to disassemble and reassemble them correctly.

Which Way Should A Baby Gate Swing?

A gate will swing open in only one direction most of the time, though it can be chosen whether to open in one direction or another. It is best if the gate at the top of the steps does not swing over the stairs (rather, away from them). To prepare a door frame for reinstallation, drill holes through the drywall or plaster, or, if the door frame is missing, drill into the framing behind the drywall. The gates can be easily removed from the mounting hardware when the doorway or opening does not need to be blocked.

How High Should A Baby Gate Be Off The Floor?

Several safety and performance aspects are addressed in the standards, including the strength of the components, the size of openings (to prevent entrapment of fingers or toes), and the latches themselves.

According to federal regulations, the gate must be at least 22 inches tall, and the threshold must be no more than 3 inches from the ground, so a small torso cannot pass through and a head or neck can’t get stuck. Make your gate sturdy, with slats spaced closely, rigid and vertical, or choose fine mesh. Look for a mesh panel made from a fine weave because larger holes might allow fingers to become caught or provide a foothold for climbing.

How Do I Stop My Baby Gate From Sliding?

To keep the gate from sliding, the rubber grip wall Cups attach to the wall. Do not create holes in the wall by tightening the bolts and making the gates more secure without leaving any marks. These wall Cup guard protectors are an added security measure. There will be no movement of your baby gates. By using these innovative innovations, you no longer need to worry about how your pet will move the gates, or your toddler will shake them. The safety gates stay more stable for longer until you wish to remove them. Additionally, they won’t leave any marks.

Michael Lima

Michael lima is graduate architect from the university of California. He assists homeowners to improve their homes through his blogs.

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