Keeping Baby Safe — Five Best Baby Gates!

Every parent worries about their child’s safety and well-being. This is especially true within your own home, since there are many hazards and safety concerns. Having the best baby gates you can find for your particular space can reduce the hazards and risks for your little one and give you a greater peace of mind. This guide explores five of the best baby gates and provides you with information you can use when shopping for one to install in your home.

How Do I Choose?

Best Baby Gates 3

There are important features of a baby gate that you must be aware of before you head out to purchase yours. If a baby gate is not properly used or improperly installed, it will not keep your child out of harms way and could actually give you a false sense of safety.

You should also consider if the gate has been rated by government agencies or groups for it’s proper safety. This means it has been inspected and has reached very strict standards in order to keep children safe from harm.

Aside from those key points, there are other things you should keep in mind when you set out to find a baby gate for your home. Especially if you need more than one baby gate to suit your space.

What Purpose Do I Need It For?

You should decide what you will be primarily using the baby gate for. Some parents want to keep their children out of specific rooms in the house but there is no door to shut, for example the kitchen, so you will need to find a gate to block your child out. Alternatively, you may be looking for a gate to block a stairway. There are specific gates for this purpose. Maybe you want a gate that has multiple functions, including a play yard to give your child safe space to play. Consider this point before you purchase.

How Is It Mounted?

Most gates fit in between two walls in some way. Some gates come with hardware which you fix permanently to your door jamb and the gate attaches to the hardware. Some gates are simply pressure mounted between the two jambs. If you are installing a gate at the top of a stairway, you shouldn’t use a pressure mounted gate since the risk of it being pushed out of place and having your child fall down the stairs is too great.

Best Baby Gates

Is it Portable?

Do you want a gate that will be easily moved from room to room or place to place? This means you need a pressure mounted gate for sure, but is the gate easily transported? Some baby gates fold up for easy carrying or storage.

How Wide is the Span?

You will need to measure the space you wish to block off before you purchase a baby gate. This helps you find one of the best baby gates for your needs since you will then know what size width you require. Most baby gates are expandable, but only up to a certain size. You should definitely check to see the gate fits your desired space properly.

How High Will it Stand?

If you have a toddler or an older child (maybe even a pet or two!) you will need to make sure they cannot easily climb over the gate. If the gate is too short it may not protect your child from harmful areas you are trying to barricade off such as fireplaces or stairways.

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What is it Made of?

Baby gates come in many different materials, including plastic, wood, plywood, pressed wood and even wrought iron. Each material has its own merits but you will want to find a gate which suits your purpose. If you need to keep out an older child, you should opt for a stronger, more durable material like wood or steel. Plastic is fine for lighter duty use or just general passageway blocking.

Design or Décor

This is the least important of all the points, but a consideration nonetheless. If you will have a baby gate permanently fixed in your living space, you may be concerned with how it looks and how it fits into your overall décor. There are many baby gates available which have style and elegance in order to blend nicely into your home design.

The Best Baby Gates for Your Child

Parents looking for a super-sized baby gate option need to look no further. This gate opens to a huge 192 inches wide and is configurable in different ways. If you want to run the gate straight, you can or if you wish to create a play space, that is easily done as well. When you want the gate out of your way, it folds up easily. The fixed wall mounts make this gate very sturdy once it is in place and the walk-through gate allows adults to walk through without climbing over the gate or barricading themselves out of a room.

PROS


  • Works as both a wall mounted gate and free standing barricade
  • White finish is sleek and clean
  • Expands to 192 inches or encloses as 19 square feet of safe play space
  • Gated walk through space for adults
  • Fair price point
  • Folds up for easy storage or transportation
  • Made of steel for added strength and durability
  • Can use each section separately for smaller spaces

CONS


  • Additional expansion pieces are sold separately
  • Only 30” high so may be easily climbed over by a tall toddler
  • When fully stretched out, it is easy for children to shake it which makes it loose
  • White finish may not suit all décor preferences
  • Joints are made of plastic instead of steel like the gate

If you have a small entrance way or doorway which you want to block for the safety of your child, this gate is perfect for that job. It fits spaces between 29 and 39 inches in width. There is a walk-through gate so adults won’t have to step over when needing to get by. It is a pressure mounted gate as well as a permanently fixed gate, depending on your preference. It is made of steel for durability and strength.

PROS


  • Fits even small spaces and up to 39” widths
  • White and sleek design
  • All steel construction of the gate for a durable finish
  • Choose either pressure mount or fixed mounting with included wall cups
  • Walk-through gate for adults ease of use
  • Very reasonable price point
  • Adjustable for various width openings (spindles, baseboards, etc.)

CONS


  • Only 30” high which could be easily climbed by some toddlers or older children
  • Pressure mounts can peel away paint on your walls or make marks/indentations
  • Wall cups are made of plastic not steel like the gate
  • Doesn’t fold up for portability

This elegant baby gate will fit into just about any household décor, with it’s garden gate-like appearance. The all-steel construction will hold up over time and handle little hands trying to shake or climb the gate. The gate features a walk-through option for adults who don’t want to climb over the gate. Since it is extra tall, it is great for younger and older children alike. It is either pressure mounted for simple barricading or wall mounted for the top of the stairs safety. Wall mounts are included. The multi-piece construction allows you to customize the width up to 48” wide.

PROS


  • Contemporary design fits nicely into most household decors
  • Multi-piece gate allows for customizing widths from 28” to 48”
  • Extra tall height at 36” means less likely for a toddler to climb
  • Option to wall mount or pressure mount
  • Great value for price
  • All-steel construction means it will stand the test of time
  • Wall mounts are included
  • Walk through gate for ease of passage
  • Is built for use at the top of stairway

CONS


  • If your doorway opening is larger than 48” this won’t work
  • Not free-standing; need an entryway or two walls for mounting
  • Locking mechanism not always strong and prone to bending
  • Automatic closer fails over time, requiring new springs

This super affordable baby gate is made of all-steel and done in a white, clean finish. It has a handle with a double-lock system to open the walk-through gate for adult use. This Munchkin gate can be pressure mounted to your walls or fixed with the included hardware. The U-shaped frame keeps the gate in place firmly. It will fit openings from 29.5 to 35 inches in width. The door swings open both ways and has an automatic closing feature.

PROS


  • Affordable price range
  • Metal construction
  • Double locking handle for adult use
  • Easy swing open pass through door swings both in and out
  • Pressure mount or fixed mount

CONS


  • Bottom piece remains fixed, creating a tripping hazard
  • Locking handle wears over time
  • Older children may be able to open the handle because it is so easy to use
  • Only 29.5 inches in height; could be a climbing hazard

This easy close gate by North Gate is a great choice for basic barricade purposes. It has a U-frame to keep the gate firmly in place. It comes with two extensions for extra wide openings, up to 38.5 inches. The pass-through door has a triple lock handle for adult use. This gate is for use with children 6 to 24 months of age. It measures 29 inches high and can fit a passage as small as 28 inches wide. Installation is a breeze since you just adjust the pressure mount knobs in and out as needed.

PROS


  • Very affordable basic gate
  • Comes with two extension pieces
  • Metal construction for durability
  • Customized fit by turning the knobs
  • Triple handle lock for adults to open and pass through
  • Easy to move around the house

CONS


  • Not very tall at 28 inches high
  • Best for young children; infant to toddler not older children
  • Only pressure mounted so not suitable for top of the stairs
  • U-frame may create tripping hazard
  • May loosen with time and require readjustment
  • Children could shake the gate loose from the wall with enough force

The Winner Is…

While most baby gates serve the same function, to keep baby out or inside a certain area, not all are going to be right for your specific needs or preferences. Finding one of the best baby gates to keep your child safe should be a priority.

As for which one is the best of the five outlined here, my pick is the Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate in Bronze. It is very stylish and elegant in appearance, and doesn’t add an industrial look to your space. The height is excellent for babies up to older children since it is higher than most standard baby gates. The width is ideal for most doorways or openings and if not, extensions are available for purchase.

An important feature in my opinion is that this gate can safely be used at the top of stairs where there is a significant risk of a child being hurt by falling. The wall mounts are strong and secure enough to stop a child from shaking it loose or knocking it over. It is affordable enough to have more than one throughout your house. If you choose to pressure mount it, it is easily transported from room to room or space to space.

Hopefully this guide has been helpful in your search for the best baby gates out there. If you have found this helpful or have a comment please drop us a message. We do love hearing from our readers!

Jennifer Shackelford
 

Hi, I’m Jennifer, the founder and editor of TheMamaNeeds.com. On The Mama Needs, I write about experience with pregnancy, raising kids, and nutrition for both kids and expectant moms.. I love that blogging brings parents together and lets our readers know they’re not the only ones going through these experiences. I love seeing comments on my posts that say “I thought it was just me! I’m so glad it’s not!” Being a parent is hard, but friends and blogs really help.

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