Has your Baby Started to Crawl? Congratulations! Time to get a Baby Gate
A baby gate becomes a child safety essential, as soon as your baby is crawling and on the move. These days there is a vast range of baby gates available, suitable for every space and every scenario. That’s the good news! The downside is that this plethora of choice can make selecting the right baby gate for your home and your needs a confusing and time consuming process.
If your baby has just started to crawl, first of all congratulations! Also I’d like to congratulate you on finding this article, this guide provides a simple three step process to help you select the right baby gate… quickly and easily.
Selecting the Best Baby Gate Step 1 – Understanding your Space
It shouldn’t really need to be said, but I’m going to say it anyway… your very first task, before you start shopping, should always be to measure your space. You are going to save a whole load of aggravation later if you spend a few minutes upfront to measure each space before you start browsing baby gates online or pay a visit to your local shop.
Baby gates can essentially be split into three category types, depending on the size of your space and the function of the safety gate:
- Standard adjustable gates – as the name implies, a standard adjustable baby gate is designed to fit average or common interior doorways. The baby gate will typically be adjustable between around 28 to 45 inches in width.
- Wide baby gates – designed for larger spaces, typical extra width baby gates are a base unit which can be extended out with extension panels to fit the space. Extra width gates are available for larger spaces including open plan homes, double doors, patio doors and sliding doors etc.
- Speciality gates – there are a wide range of speciality gates available for a myriad of spaces and uses, including for irregular or wide openings, outdoor baby gates, gates for fireplaces and hearths or for fastening to asymmetrical walls
Step 2 – Understanding the Installation and Your Options
Essentially, you have two primary options when it comes to installing your new baby gate:
Hardware Mounted Gates
Offering the most strength and a more secure mount, hardware mounted gates are permanently fixed into studs in the wall with screws. Although they are more secure and the mounting is stronger, hardware mounted gates are more complicated to install and you will usually need to fill drill holes after installing.
Pressure Mounted Gates
In contrast to hardware mounted gates, pressure mounted gates are quick and easy to install and don’t require DIY (do it yourself) skills and tools. Pressure mounted gates operate in the same way as tension rods and are fixed in place by the pressure exerted against the walls. As always there is a trade-off, they may be quick and easy to install… but they are less strong and secure than a hardware mounted install.
As it’s always better to be safe than sorry, I advise on opting for hardware mounted gates when you are gating off stairs or other high spaces. When segregating a space on the same level, pressure mounted gates are a convenient and adequate choice.
Step 3 – Think about Your Use
Thinking about the daily activities, and how the gate will be used around that, is the final step in choosing the right gate for you. Your daily activities are a key factor when deciding on gate features. Typical considerations include:
- How much traffic is there in the area? For a high-traffic space, swing gates provide a convenient two way walk-through
- What will you regularly carry through the gate? If you will frequently carry heavier items through the space, such as your washing or shopping, take a look at hands-free and automatically closing gates
- How wild is your child? If your baby is an adventurer, extra high gates provide a more secure barrier. Your baby gate should always be at least 75% of the height of your child
- Do you need to move your gates? If you frequently stay away from home, portable gates are easy to move with your child, convenient for keeping them safe when staying away
I hope the simple 3 step process for understanding your needs has helped to clarify what you are looking for when choosing the right baby gate for you and your family. If you are looking for the best baby gate for stairs, I highly recommend checking out this in-depth and comprehensive guide – http://www.checkpregnancy.com
Now that you’ve got your basic functional and practical needs mapped out, the final step is the fun bit – choosing a baby gate that looks good and complements your décor. Don’t forget, you are going to be looking at your new gates for some time, so take the time to find a style that you can live with throughout the baby and toddler years.