Seeing your baby reach each milestone as he or she grows up into a toddler is exciting, but it can also be challenging to keep them safe as they explore the world around them. Your home must be baby-proofed as soon as your baby becomes mobile, whether they crawl or walk.
This means you should make sure your child is not in trouble, generally between the ages of 6 months and 2 years. You should consider baby gates as a solution!
These gates are designed to keep children safe, be they babies, toddlers, or even young adults. They are lifesaving because they prevent them from gaining access to stairways or openings that lead to decks, swimming pools, or ponds – even just the backyard!
Even though responsible parents do everything they can to prevent their children from escaping, something can still go wrong in a split second. A baby gate can keep the baby from falling (like on steps or decks) or reaching things that might be harmful (like medicine cabinets).
Why baby gates should be removed
Children, less than two years of age should be provided with extra protection, according to a very vague rule of thumb. When the child’s chin is at the same height as the top of the gate, it’s also a good rule of thumb to remove the gate.
However, not every child is the same. The rate of development differs according to a person’s mental, emotional, psychological, and physical qualities. It is undoubtedly better to remove your baby gate if your child can climb over it or has found a way to open it. In the absence of this, your baby gates will be a false reassurance that it is safe for your child.
A child safety gate isn’t as good as invincible if it isn’t invincible to the individual it is intended to protect. Baby gates can become a hazard if a child can push them over or climb over them.
After removing baby gates you must be 100% proactive rather than waiting for an adult to supervise. Be sure your children have the ability to climb stairs safely, and teach them what heights mean.
Reuse of baby gates
Baby gates don’t need to be thrown away. A good-quality product can be used with the next child if you have already invested in one. You might also consider selling it or using it to block access to certain areas during family social gatherings. Gates and baby gates often serve the purpose of keeping pets contained so that they do not harm themselves or cause damage in your home.
To help parents decide when to take down baby gates, here are some brief tips:
- Between 6 months and 2 years is the recommended age range for installing baby gates. It is a good guideline to follow for most kids, but remember that each situation is different, and you need to assess your child’s readiness for each step.
- It’s safer to remove the gate if your child knows how to climb over it and open it, regardless of how old they are, and teach them to navigate that area of your home safely.
- Because of their size, a taller or stronger child may outgrow the effectiveness of a baby gate earlier.
- As long as a gate functions properly, it is important; otherwise, it can become problematic.
- It is not safe for your child to use a baby gate if he or she can push it down.
- When your child can figure out how to get past a gate, you may feel like you’re secure, so keep an eye on your toddler’s ability to find a way over it and do your best to out-think them.
- Until your child is old enough to navigate stairs independently, teach them how to climb and descend stairs safely once you are there to guide them. By doing so, they can still remove the gates safely.
- As your child grows, you should gradually allow them more independence so that when the gates come down, it isn’t a free-for-all.
- It would help if you began by teaching one section at a time, then move on only once they demonstrate that they can safely utilize the space.
- Watch your child closely as they adjust to their newfound freedom.
- The time for growth, maturity, and exploration has come if you are no longer able to keep them contained with baby gates!
Children have unique experiences. When the child is two, baby gates can usually be removed, but the decision should not be based on their age but on their mobility and development. Watch for signs of readiness. Once your baby appears to be ready to climb on its own, remove the gate. Otherwise, their safety could be at risk.
Michael lima is graduate architect from the university of California. He assists homeowners to improve their homes through his blogs.