Once your baby is old enough to be mobile, it’s time to get some baby gates for your home to stop your baby from going places that he shouldn’t. When your baby is no longer content laying on a playmat or in a bouncer, having the best baby gates blocking off the bathroom and other dangerous rooms is a good idea.
It’s so exciting that your baby is now mobile; it means that your baby is meeting milestones and growing. Then, before you know it, your baby will be pulling up on furniture and then toddling around on little legs. Things start to get more interesting now.
You might not realize how many hazards are around your home. At first glance, your home might seem safe for your baby, but upon closer inspection, you can find dozens of dangers. To stop your baby ninja from getting into everything, baby gates a must-have item for all parents.
The Best Baby Gates
If you’re looking for one of the best-rated baby gates on the market, the North States 3-in-1 is beloved by parents. Nowadays, it’s common that homes are more open-plan style than a traditional style. Many homes have islands in the kitchen or fireplaces.
This gate is versatile, and it’s one of the reasons why parents select it so often. Each panel can be removed, or you can add additional ones to fit the space that you need. The panels measure 25.5 inches wide and 30 inches high, and each kit comes with six panels. That means you have 12 feet of coverage. If you need more length, extra panels are available for purchase.
Here are some details about the North States 3-in-1 Superyard.
- The gate is made from heavy-duty metal that can last for weeks to come.
- You can secure the end of the gates to the wall with hardware so your baby can’t knock it over.
- The base has rubber pads that protect your floors, so you don’t need to worry about any damage if you rent your home.
- There is a walk-through swinging door panel that has a kid-safe double locking system. The door can be placed wherever you want within the gate.
|Great for Irregular Rooms|
|Super Wide and Adjustable|
|Ideal for BIg Rooms|
|Doubles as a Freestanding Playpen|
|Might Need More Hardware|
|Toddlers Might Be Able to Move Individual Panels|
Do you have a large open-plan style living room that requires a larger-than-life baby gate? If that’s your situation, the Regalo Super-Wide Baby Gate is an excellent pick for studio lofts or free-forming spaces. This style of gate keeps even the most adventurous of babies safe.
This Super-Wide gate helps you close off a particular area that you don’t want your baby to enter. That means you can keep your baby away from the fireplace or out of the kitchen entirely. You can configure it as a 19 square feet playpen.
The gate is comprised of eight 24-inch by 28-inch panels. You can arrange the gate to fit widths up to 16 feet. So, you can remove panels to change the length or shape as you want, and each panel can be locked in place.
Here are some features of the Regalo Super-Wide Baby Gate.
- The opening has a safety lock that can easily be opened by grown-ups with one hand.
- You can mount the gate to the wall when in use and remove it whenever you need it.
- It folds away neatly when not in use.
- The gate meets APSM and JPMA safety standards.
|Easy to Reconfigure|
|Made from Steel|
|The Opening is a Bit Small|
|Must Remove Panels in Twos|
If you rent your home or don’t want to cause any wall damage, having a freestanding baby gate is the best solution. While the Richell Freestanding Pet Gate is listed as a pet gate, the freestanding option makes it great if you want to block your child from getting out of a specific area.
It can fit in most doorways or other openings from 61.8 inches to 90.2 inches wide and stands 28.5 inches high. There are panels at either end to stop it from tipping over and rubber feet to stop it from damaging the floors. The walk-through gate opens in either direction, and it does self-close.
|Can Move Around the House Easily|
|Automatically Locking Gate|
|Bulky to Store|
The Munchkin Aluminum Baby Gate has a modern look, and it comes in either white, beige, or brown to match your decor. With its contemporary design and affordable price, Munchkin created a unique gate that is made from aluminum rather than wood and has a brushed silver finish.
This gate stands 30.5 inches high, so it fits stairs and most standard doorways. It can extend to between 26.5 inches and 40 inches wide. Even though this is a hardware-mounted gate, it has a quick-release feature that means you can easily take it down if you have guests visiting.
Here are some additional features of the Munchkin Aluminum Baby Gate.
- The double-locking door sings either ay and opens with an integrated handle.
- The door opens its full width rather than just a section. That makes it easy to carry bulky items through the opening.
- There is no base bar, so you have no chance of tripping.
|Preset Positions Help to Adjust the Width|
|Sleek and Stylish|
|Tricky to Install|
Here is a unique baby gate for your home! The QDOS Crystal Baby Gate is made of clear perspex gate, so it keeps your baby safe without changing the decor and looks of your home too much. It’s hard not to love an innovative gate made from commercial-grade perspex.
The QDOS Baby Gate can be mounted and used anywhere in your home. It measures 29.2 to 39 inches wide and 30 inches high. That’s a great width to fit in most stairways or doorways.
You can pick between hardware and pressure-mounted options. Extensions can be added to the pressure-mounted version, making it a maximum of 48 inches wide. The wider version has a glow strip over the base bar so that you don’t trip over it.
|Easy to Mount|
|Kit Available for Banisters|
|Can Be Mounted at an Angle|
|Kids Might Run into This Gate|
|Needs to Be Cleaned More|
Summer Infant made a baby gate that is a close contender for the best baby gates, coming in close with the North States gates. Their Deco Baby Gate stands at 34 inches tall (36 inches at the peak), making it one of the tallest gates on the market. It’s great if you have tall kids or need to contain a larger pet to a specific area.
Summer Infant gives several extension options, so this gate can be a maximum of 48 inches wide. However, it does have a narrow walkway, only about 17 inches wide.
Here are some other features you might want to know.
- The gate automatically locks behind you after you let it swing shut. That’s a great feature when your hands are full of baby.
- It’s a pressure-mounted gate, but it does come with a hardware kit if you some extra security.
- There is a threshold that you need to walk over, so it’s not exactly great for over stairs.
|Pressure-Mounted with Hardware Kit|
|Automatically Locks When Shuts|
|A Maximum of 48 Inches Wide|
|Not Ideal for Stairs|
Whether you need a gate to put at the bottom of the stairs or in your hallway, the North States Gate is both a pressure and hardware-mounted gate. So, you can use the hardware if you know where you want it to be or if you own your home. If you rent your home, pressure-mounted gates work great as well!
North States constructed this gate from white painted steel. It measures 29 inches high and 28 inches to 38.5 inches wide. So, with those measurements, it should fit at the bottom of most stairs or in most hallways.
A few other features that you might like include:
- A triple-locking safety system that makes sure it stays closed when you want.
- It has a gentle push to close and auto-lock, making it easy for everyone to use.
- This gate opens both ways, so it’s great to use it hallways or between rooms.
- You can purchase two different extension panels to make it either 45.5 inches or 53.5 inches wide.
|Easy to Install|
|Pressure and Hard-ware Mounted|
|Hard to Get Used to Opening|
It’s hard to find a gate that fits well at the top of the stairs, but the Evenflo Easy Walk-Thru is considered an excellent gate for staircases. This gate can be strategically positioned to make sure that your baby is always safe and won’t fall down the steps.
Placing the right gate at the top of the stairs is essential, and they must be a hardware-mounted gate. Evenflo offers that for parents, and the gate measures 30 inches tall. It’s expandable, covering widths from 29 inches to 42 inches.
The easy-glide handle can be opened with one hand, and it has a red/reen indicator lock that lets you know it’s secured. Also, this gate can be set to open in either direction. Don’t think that you can only use this gate on steps. It’s great for doorways, halls, kitchens, and more.
|Four-Point Hardware Fitting|
|Easy to Open|
|No Base Bar to Trip Over|
Are you looking for a gate that you can use outside on your porch? The Cardinal Gates Outdoor Gate is excellent if you want to keep your child on the decks or patio. These areas can be hazardous for little kids.
This a hardware-mounted gate that is designed explicitly for outdoor use. The materials deter rust; it’s made from durable aluminum and stainless steel hardware. Plus, Cardinal Gates uses a brown powder-coated finish that helps with the rust-free metal.
This gate is 29.75 inches tall and measures between 27 inches to 42.5 inches wide. So, it has the right width to be able to fit most openings. You also can purchase additional extensions of 10.5 inches and 21.75 inches. With all of the extensions, you can take this gate up to a maximum of 64.25 inches wide. Plus, you can mount it up to a 30-degree angle!
|Waterproof and Rust-Proof|
|Optional One-Way Opening|
|Easy to Install|
|Can Install at an Angle|
|Latch Can Be Hard to Open|
|Hot to Touch When It’s Sunny|
Is a Baby Gate a Necessity?
When you go through the list of things that you need to purchase when you have a baby, you might wonder whether or not a baby gate is indeed a necessity.
Unless you live in a one-story home and you babyproofed everything correctly, you probably need to have a baby gate or two. Once your child is old enough to become mobile, it’s time to put up the gates. You never know when your baby will decide to go from a slow crawler to a speed demon.
No parent can babyproof perfectly. Tiny fingers find things that you don’t suspect to be dangerous. They can end up in your cupboards, touch outlets, and more. Plus, stairs are a serious concern.
The Importance of Baby Gates
Baby gates are a necessity because they help to block off sections of your home that might not be safe for your baby. You might want to keep a gate blocking your child’s access to the kitchen or the laundry room. Both of those rooms have dangers. Stairs are necessary at the top and bottom of kids.
Having baby gates mean that you can leave your baby in one area of the house and do chores somewhere else. You can run over and do a load of laundry without worrying that your baby will eat something in the kitchen.
Baby gates make your life as a parent easier. It means you don’t have to worry about your child as much while you get things done. Kids are curious little creatures!
Pets and kids don’t always mix. Sometimes, you need to keep the little humans separate from the family pets for a variety of reasons. So, a baby safety gate will do the trick, and you can find extra-tall gates for larger animals. For small animals, you can find gates with a pet door.
The Types of Baby Gates
Before you pick the baby gate for your home, take your time shopping, and make the best-informed decision that suits your needs. Not all baby gates are created equal, and not all are going to work for your home. So, let’s take a look at the different types of baby gates you might want to buy.
Hardware Mounted Gates
Hardware mounted baby gates are the sturdiest option that you can buy for your home. You have to screw these baby gates into the walls, door frames, or railing to secure in place.
If you need a gate at the top of the stairs, hardware mounted is the best choice; you know your baby won’t be able to knock it down. If you do decide to fit a gate at the top of the stairs, make sure that you open toward the landing, not over the stairs. That’s a serious danger.
One of the problems with hardware mounted gates is that you have to be sure these gates are going to fit. Measure them precisely because you want the right fit. These gates typically don’t have a base bar, so you don’t have to worry about tripping or stubbing your toes. Tripping over gates in the middle of the night is no fun for anyone.
|Great for Stairs|
|Reduce Tripping Hazard|
|Holes in the Wall|
Pressured Mounted Gates
If you’ve ever used one of those cheaper, wooden gates that you can open and close with a lever, then you’ve had a pressured mounted gate before. These types of gates use tension on each end to keep them firmly in place. You can find pressure mounted gates in different materials and width, plus you can purchase extension kits for wider spaces.
If you want to move the gate around your home or need a gate for traveling, pressure-mounted gates are the best choice. However, they do have a base bar, which makes it easier for tripping. These gates are better suited for level surfaces or at the bottom of the stairs. Don’t put them anywhere you might have a falling accident.
|Easy to Install|
|No Holes in the Walls|
|Base Bar Causes Tripping Accidents|
|Not as Sturdy|
|Could Be Pushed Over|
If you need a freestanding gate in your home to perhaps trapping your child in one area, these styles of gates require zero fittings. You can move them around quickly, and they’re perfect for wider openings or weird-shaped areas.
These styles of gates typically have rubber feet and wider side panels to keep them in place. That means you don’t need any hardware to put your gate in place. However, they are heavy enough to stop toddlers from moving the gates over.
|Easy to Move|
|Great for Unconventional Spaces|
|Not as Sturdy for Fixed Gates|
|Hard to Store|
This is the last style of baby gates on the market. Retractable gates look sort-of like rolling blinds. You attach one side of the gates to a side of the wall or doorway. Then, you extend and attach the gate to the other side of the wall or door.
Retractable gates are perfect if you don’t want a permanent fixture or have strange angles that you need to cover.
|Great for Odd Angles|
|Not as Strong as Other Options|
How to Decide What is the Best Baby Gate
Picking a baby gate is more than just picking one that looks good or goes with your decor. Aesthetics do come into play because you want a baby gate that looks great in your home, but there is more to the decision. Here are some things that you should consider before making a purchase.
Where Do You Want to Use It?
The first thing you need to do is decide where you want to use the gate. For example, if you want to stop your child from falling down the stairs, you need to pick a sturdy gate. Stairs typically require a hardware-mounted gate or one that is specifically designed to be placed at the top of stairs.
If you want to keep your baby out of one area in your home, such as out of the kitchen, a pressure-mounted gate works great. You can use freestanding or expandable gates to create barriers whenever and wherever you need. Some can be used as playpens to make a baby-safe playing space.
Measure the Space
All gates come in different widths from narrow to extra-wide. You might need an extension panel to add extra space. Be sure to carefully measure the gap wherever you intend to place your gate, and see if there is a baseboard that changes the measurement.
Do you have fur babies that you need to consider when buying a baby gate? If your pet can’t jump over the gate or squeeze through the bars, you can find pet doors that work. Just be careful that the hole is small enough for your pet but not big enough for a toddler to squeeze his way out of the room.
Height of Your Child
Standard baby gates are around 30 inches tall, which is tall enough to stop most kids up to 2 years old from climbing over the top. Not all kids grow at the same rate, and if you have a child who is topping the scales or in the middle of a growth spurt, look for taller gates.
Do you prefer the idea of moving the gate around your home as you need? Sometimes, gates at every doorway seem to be an overkill, so having gates that are portable and easy to install lets you move it from place to place. You can put it wherever you need it at any given time.
If you want a portable gate, pressure-mounted or expandable gates are the way to go. They can easily be moved from room to room.
Easy to Open and Close the Gate
The goal is to trap your child in a room, not trap yourself as well, and some baby gates are complex to open. Look at reviews to make sure the gate is easy to operate, but it shouldn’t be so easy that your child can learn how to operate it as well. You don’t want a baby on the loose.
Ideally, the gate will have a one-handed system that makes it easy for you to open if you have your baby in your arms. Some have a hands-free approach with a foot pedal, but those are a bit easier for your child to learn how to operate.
Safety Certifications for Baby Gates
Before you purchase a baby gate, I recommend that you ensure it has some safety certification. These gates are designed to keep your baby safe, so they should meet all of the safety standards. These standards look at the height, durability, and reliability of the locks.
One safety certification that you might want to look for on the gates is by Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association (JPMA). This third-party entity ensures all standards are met. When you see this seal of approval, you know that it adheres to a few criteria, such as:
- The gaps cannot trap little fingers.
- The locking mechanisms are effective.
- It has an acceptable height.
- The distance between the floor and base measure less than three inches, so that your baby cannot get stuck under it.
Baby gates manufactured outside of the United States might have certifications from other parties, such as the CE markings in Europe. These standards indicate similar safety standards are met, but you might want to research their particular requirements.
Safety Do’s and Don’ts of Baby Gates
There are some recommendations that the International Association of Child Safety has for baby gates. Here are some to remember.
- Always use a hardware-mounted baby gate at the top of the stairs.
- Make sure the gate opens over the landing, not over the steps.
- Always make sure the gates are well-secured, even if you have to replace screws.
- Put a gate at the bottom of the stairs to stop your toddler from climbing up the steps, which is dangerous.
- Make sure the gates are closed and locked to stop little explorers.
- Read the instructions when you install the baby gates to make sure it’s done correctly.
- Never place a pressure-mounted baby gate at the top of the secure. These gates can become loose over time, and your child could topple right down them.
- Use a hinge or latch hardware installation on a banister post.
- Don’t install your gate with a gap of more than three inches at the bottom. Your baby could try to crawl underneath the gate.
Buying the Best Baby Gates
Baby gates are a necessity for most parents, so you want to make sure you have the best baby gate for your child. You can find the right gate for almost any situation or position, so make sure you consider where you want to put your gate before you purchase. That helps ensure you make the best decision possible.