Best Baby Gates
A baby gate is a must-have for any parents with a baby or toddler. Baby gates are one of the best ways to baby-proof your home by keeping your children out of certain areas. This article will introduce the different types of baby gates, what to look for when purchasing, and our recommendations for the best baby gates to add to your home.
What is a baby gate?
Baby gates are temporary or permanent barriers installed to prevent babies and toddlers from accessing areas in your home that may be unsafe. When your child is on the move, you may consider installing several baby gates around the house to keep them safe.
Types of baby gates
In this section we will introduce the different types of baby gates to help you choose the best option for your home.
The most secure baby gates are hardware-mounted gates, which are installed using screws into a wall, door frame or bannister. These are the best to install in high-risk areas, such as at the top of staircases.
- Provide the most support against weight
- Sturdy and will not be knocked over
- No bottom threshold - low risk of tripping or bumping
- The best choice for the top of stairs
- Semi-permanent - take some time to remove
- More complex and invasive installation process
- Leaves holes in walls and wood upon removal
Pressure-mounted baby gates are the most common type seen on the market. They are affordable and very easy to install. These are installed similar to a tension curtain rod and can be pressed simply between two walls. They can be put up and removed and needed, making them really flexible additions to your home.
- Easy installation without any hardware
- Flexible use - can be moved around
- Non-invasive installation won’t leave holes behind in your walls
- Lots of selection on the market
- Provide less support against weight
- Risky when used on stairs
- Can slip if not installed properly
When to buy a baby gate
The best time to buy and install a baby gate is before your baby starts crawling (between 7-10 months old). This will keep your baby safe as he or she grows and is on the move.
Where to install a baby gate
Some areas of your home are more high-risk than others. Here are some ideas where you may consider adding a baby gate.
- At the top of stairs
- Garage entrance
- Doors to exterior
If you have pets
If you have large pets in your home, you may want to buy a sturdier baby gate as you wouldn’t want your dog to run through and knock the baby gate down without you knowing. Hardware mounted gates are better options for pet owners.
When shopping for a baby gate, here are some features you may want to consider.
The baby gate should be at least ¾ of your child’s height so that your baby or toddler is not able to climb over it.
Baby gates can be built out of a variety of materials including wood, metal and plastic. If you have pets, they may chew through wood, so we would recommend against buying a wooden gate.
Look for a gate with vertical slats or bars that are placed less than 3 inches apart. Anything spaced further apart runs the risk of trapping your child’s head or having them crawl through.
Latches and hardware
All baby gates come with latches so adults can open the gate and pass through. Look for gates with a squeezing mechanism (to compress part of the gate) or a pressure-release handle. Some models even come with a foot pedal to release the latch. Consider your lifestyle and buy a baby gate with a latch option that works for you. Also make sure the latch is child-proof and that your child cannot easily open the gate themselves!
Depending on where you install your baby gate, you will need to consider installation flexibility. If the area where you are installing is shaped irregularly or extra wide, keep this in mind when shopping. Always measure your entryway first (height and width) to see if your baby gate will fit properly. If you plan to travel with your baby, it is recommended to buy a pressure-mounted baby gate so you can bring it to hotel rooms and wherever you are staying.
Best Baby Gates
Regalo Easy Step Walk Thru Gate
This is a best-selling pressure-mounted baby gate. It is very easy to install and remove and includes wall cups for extra security. The gate fits an area between 29-39 inches but you can purchase an additional extension to extend it to 60 inches wide. This product works well for doors, hallways and stairs.
This is a great product that works well for multiple spaces. It installs easily, requires little assembly, and operates well day to day. People say that the gates can be installed within half an hour and most people within the home can operate it easily with one hand. The gate is sturdy and holds up well and is a good height so can even keep out dogs. It’s affordable and offers great value and many people buy them for multiple spaces in their homes.
Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate
This is a very stylish metal baby gate that will fit well with your home decor. It is a hybrid design: it’s mainly a pressure mounted gate that is easily installed in most spaces, but also includes optional hardware mounts so it can be installed at the top of stairs and be secure. The gate is extra-tall at 36” tall for added security, and is adjustable from 28-48” wide. It is dual locking with one-handed operation and an auto-closing mechanism.
Parents love this product because it is sturdy and surprisingly stylish compared to other cheap plastic products. It’s easy to mount, holds up well against a child’s weight, and works well with existing decor. The gate is well made and is very convenient because it is self closing. Its height even keeps the dogs out! Keep in mind that the opening is on the narrow side at 16.5 inches wide so some users find it difficult to pass through.
North States Supergate Easy Close Metal Gate
This pressure-mounted metal gate from North States is light and durable. It is 29” high and fits spaces from 28-31.5” wide. The door is very flexible - swinging either direction and autoclosing with a light push. What’s nice about the design is that the door stays open as well, so there is no need to hold it open or worry about it swinging back. To close, simply push it and it’ll close without slamming. The flexible width allows it to work on wide doorways. Children may try to pull or push on it but it’ll stay put.
Summer Infant Multi-Use Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate
This is a good quality baby gate which can be pressure or hardware mounted. The pressure-mounted option is easy to install and won’t leave marks on your walls or doorframes. If you want to install it at the top of stairs, hardware mounts are included, and the doorstep provides added security. The gate is 36” tall, which is perfect for keeping toddlers out. It has an adjustable width, fitting from 28” to 47.5” wide spaces. A nice feature is that it comes in two colours - white or antique bronze depending on your decor. It has dual locking mechanism and an easy- to-use handle that can be operated with one hand. This model is JPMA certified so definitely a safe option for your baby or toddler.
Summer Infant Custom Fit Gate
This baby gate is a perfect choice if you’re looking for ultimate flexibility! With 3 to 6 panels available, you can adjust this gate to fit any space in your home. It is 30” tall and fits spaces between 65-87” wide and 87-143” wide if you use the extension. You can choose to mount this using hardware to your walls or door frames, or if you buy two sets and lock 6 panels together, you can create a freestanding play yard for your little one. Or, mount it to a wall for a playpen. It’s nice and tall so babies and toddlers can play safely inside without climbing over. It’s made out of mesh, which is a nice feature because you can see your child right through it. It’s perfect for very wide areas (wall to wall room) and oddly shaped spaces because you can bend it as needed. Installation is quick and easy. Some users find the lock a bit tricky to figure out at first, but this is good sign that toddlers won’t be able to unlock the gate easily!
Buying a baby gate is a great addition to your home when you have a newborn starting to crawl or a toddler. It’s the best way to keep your little ones safe and out of reach of dangerous things and spots in your home. I hope you found this information useful and are well on your way to finding the best baby gate for your child!