Baby gates are indispensable when it comes to child-proofing your home. They can prevent many injuries, like burns from fireplaces or falls down the stairs. Plus you may never have to worry about your little playing with the toilet seat, or sticking their hands in the bowl the moment your back is turned… I don’t know which one is worse.
Most importantly it gives you the freedom to switch off a little more knowing that you child has a barrier between themselves and a number of hazards in the home. Peace of mind, and one less thing to be one top of.
However, not all baby gates are created equal. Depending on your lifestyle and the area of your house that you are looking to use them, you may end up purchasing 4 or 5 different types to use around the house. How do you choose the right gate for your home? While this list is by no means definitive, it can be used to help you in the right direction when choosing the right baby gate for you.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Stationary Baby Gates
- 2 Best Baby Gates with Doors
- 3 Wide Area Baby Gates
- 4 Room Baby Gates
- 5 Stylish Baby Gates
- 6 Additional Safety Accessories
- 7 Final Note
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Best Stationary Baby Gates
Ergo Pressure Mounted Gate
The most popular gates (and easiest to install) are pressure mounted gates. These typically stay in one place, and use rubber “feet” and tension to hold them in place. They are ideally used to block doorways to rooms you do not want your child to enter.
This could include germ-infested bathrooms or a hazardous, cluttered hallway, where you run the risk of your child being crushed by falling objects (because, let’s face it, we all have at least one catch-all area in our house, where all of the “random” stuff gets stored).
These rooms may already have doors that can easily be shut to block them off, but this is probably not ideal for you for a couple of reasons.
- First, you don’t want to forget to shut the door behind you when you leave.
- Second, you don’t want to feel closed in by keeping all of the doors in your house shut.
By using a stationary gate, you can leave the doors open while successfully keeping your child out. They also allow you to use these rooms while keeping an eye on your child, as there is no door blocking your view of each other (and your baby will be much happier not having a door shut in her face.
Our top rated stationary gate is the Ergo Pressure Mounted Gate. It is super easy to install. You just pull on the sides to adjust the width (it can be extended up to 42”) and push down on the raised latch to lock it into place. It is even easy to be taken down, when needed. You can simply use one hand to raise up on the latch and pull it out of the doorway.
It is made of thick, sturdy plastic, and works for most doorways.The pattern of the gate is also difficult for a baby to get a good hold on. Making it more difficult for them to swing on the bars and wear down the strength of the gate over time.
Best Baby Gates with Doors
Munchkin Safety Gate
While stationary gates are great, they don’t always work for every are of your house, like around your staircase. They need to be stepped over every time you need to pass them, and this could simply be a nuisance to you or a danger (if there are stairs or unseen objects on the other side).
There will inevitable be some areas of your house where you will need a gate with a door you can walk through.
The Munchkin Safety Gate is a safe and reliable option here. It can be pressure or hardware mounted, making it safe for any area of your house, including the top of your stairs.
The door is easy to open with one hand. You just need to slide the lock, lift up on the door, and swing it open. The door swings in both directions, allowing it to be used anywhere you need it, and it automatically swings shut with enough force to lock it back up again. This eliminates the concern of forgetting to close the door behind you.
Wide Area Baby Gates
North States Superyard Baby Fence
There are times when you need to keep your child way from a larger section of a room where you may not have the option of a doorway to mount a gate. This could include areas where there may be a fireplace or furnace, or around the base of a stairwell where they may be a dangerous ledge. In these cases you can use an area gate, like the North States Superyard.
In addition to keeping your child out, you can use area gates to keep your child in. They can be a safer, more enjoyable alternative to traditional playpens. It gives your child a safe area to play (and keeps their toys confined to one space and not under your feet) without feeling confined.
You also do not need to worry about the playpen tipping over with your child inside.
Room Baby Gates
Regalo Super Wide Gate
Similar to area gates, room gates block off larger sections or entire rooms. They can be used to keep your child in or out, and have doors that are easy to access by yourself. So, what makes room gates different, and when would you choose one over an area gate?
Room gates are ideal for open concept floor plans. They can cover a wide expanse (reaching from wall to wall) which makes them great for blocking off your living room (where you may have a roaring fire going in the fireplace keeping your house warm) or your kitchen (where you have the oven going, baking those cookies for your family get-together).
They are also great for rooms that may be on an uneven level, like a sunken living room that has a ledge or step that your child can fall over.
At a massive 192 inches from one end to the other, the Regalo Super Wide Gate will have you covered in all but the most extravagant homes.
Stylish Baby Gates
Some of the commonly used baby gates can be eye sores in comparison to your home’s general feel and décor. Chances are, you do still want your house to look presentable. While it is the last thing you should consider (especially when it comes to functionality and your child’s safety), there are baby gate options that are aesthetically pleasing, and, chances are, you can find one that fits your style.
Summer Infant Bronze Baby Gate
There are some great gates that are taller than average, which is a necessity at the top of your stairs. This extra tall gate by Summer Infant is a great choice. It is 3 feet tall and fits most stairwell openings. The door is easily opened with one hand, and it also comes with hardware to install it securely at the top of your stairs.
The arched gateway and metallic bronze color of these gates then it will add a stylish and classy addition to your home. This is not something you can often say about any type of baby accessory.
Stork Craft Wooden Baby Gate
If a wood-finish is what you’re looking for, check out the Stork Craft Easy Walk-Thru gate. It is hardware mounted, making it sturdier and safer to use at the top of your stairs, and swings open easily like a regular door.
The gap in the bars is a bit wider than other gates on the market, so this would be most suitable in doorways and and the base of a staircase. Personally I wouldn’t use this at the top of the stairs.
Additional Safety Accessories
When you are setting up your gates near the railing or bannister for your stairs the surface are is more prone to moving when placed under pressure. You can help protect against any slippage by using these fasteners to lock them in place.
As you can see in the picture an old wooden bannister may not stay exactly upright when the weight of a toddler throws their weight around. By fixing the frame of the gate to the bannister with this bracket, any movement of that bannister will take the frame of the gate with it.
You should never solely rely on baby gates to keep your child safe. As she grows, she will become stronger and more resourceful. All it takes is for her to pull up and climb a little ways before she tumbles over the other side and fall head over heels.
They will also begin to use objects, like chairs or boxes, to give her a boost, and then you have the same result. It is also important to keep in mind that baby gates can wear out over time, as the doors get opened and closed several times a day and your little one pushes on them regularly, trying to find a way through.
It is a known fact that your life will not be as carefree as it once was before children came into your life. Thankfully, there are many great resources out there at your disposal, making it easy and possible for you to adapt to this new change.
Baby gates are a great way to keep your child safe while still leaving your house accessible to yourself. And while the decision may seem daunting, there is a gate out there specifically for you and your lifestyle. Good luck!
If you want more information – Check out our complete guide to child proofing here.