I get it - many people describe safety gates with four-letter words like “hard” (to use) or “ugly”... there may be a few other words I forgot.
However, safety and child welfare usually end up winning in this common internal debate when it comes to creating a safe place for your baby. The AAP agrees (that's the American Academy of Pediatrics) and recommends baby gates as an essential part of home safety. Here are some of the top reasons to break out the tape measure and charge up the power tools:
Stairway Safety (Obviously) - Unless you like your toddler served over-easy, you should install a gate at the top and the bottom of the stairs. We all worry about babies falling from the top of the stairs, but it is also easy for a crawling baby to go up several steps from the bottom and tumble back down.
Baby Proofing Mandatory: Only use hardware-mounted safety gates at the top of the stairs because tension mount gates aren't stable enough. This is SUPER IMPORTANT.
Protection from pets – Babies should have a pet-free area where they can cruise around without being hip-checked by a bouncy dog. This is especially true when bringing a new baby around pets needing gradual adjustment to their new mini master.
Overnight safety – Toddlers who sleep in a big-kid bed can easily get up at night and wander. It is important to have peace of mind that your toddler isn’t going to wander down the stairs in a sleepy state – and by wander, I mean fall. Shudder.
Travel safety – Visiting family or staying in hotel rooms means your baby is in rooms that have not been childproofed – think mini bar. You can quickly childproof one room or small area and then gate it with portable pressure-mounted gates to create a safe space.
Non childproofed rooms – Maybe you have rooms in your home that are not yet childproofed, like an office, a craft room…the wine cellar, perhaps? Yeah, sure. Sometimes these rooms or areas don’t have doors that close, so a gate is a great way to limit access to potential dangers.
Safe play boundaries – Use gates to create a safe space for toddlers to play freely, where you won’t constantly have to jump up and rescue them from unsafe objects or that tempting doorway.
The next two posts will focus on all the different types of gates available and provide a basic overview on how to install them.
Do you have another reason why you would need to use a gate? I’d love to hear about it! Please comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't forget to like below.