According to statistics of the American Academy of Pediatrics, in the US alone, a child is treated for a stair-related injury every 6 minutes. This is extremely worrying and something that can be avoided by use of a baby gate.  

the American Academy of Pediatrics

Already know basics about baby gates? Go straight to review our careful picks for you.

You can also read the full report here: Stair-Related Injuries to Young Children Treated in US Emergency Departments (1999–2008).

Learn More about Best Baby Gates 2019

Baby gates are normally made out of plastic or wood or even metal, and they are expandable to fit into any specified area. You can also use them in the outdoors, when you want to have some relaxing time either on the patio, the deck or even at the pool.

Once your baby is old enough to climb over the gate or the stairs, you can remove the gate.

Now, let’s dive in the two main types of baby gates: hardware mounted and pressure mounted models.

Hardware mounted gates

These gates are normally securely attached to the wall frame in your home using bolts and screws.

They are the most recommended type of baby gates because of their stability, and if used on the stairs, the chances of them toppling over is minimal.

Hardware-mounted-gate

Pressure mounted baby gates

These are gates that make use of an expandable spring to lock them into place. What you do is squeeze them in between two walls which creates a pressure to hold them in place.

They normally have rubber pieces on either side which helps to secure them and protect the walls as well.

This is not recommended for staircases, because it can topple over if it is not secured well, plus, if your baby is strong enough, they can pull it.

They are however best suited for flat areas such as doorways.

When do you need a baby gate?

The best time to consider putting up baby gates is the minute your kids start to crawl, or when they are just about to.

This is generally between the 7th and 10th month of your baby’s life. It is however recommended that you start early even at six months or earlier depending on your child’s developmental progress.

For children under two years, falling on the stairs usually is quite dangerous and may even lead to a visit from the emergency department, so, do not take it lightly.

The best thing to do is to install a hardware mounted gate both at the top of the stairs and the bottom too, to ensure your child is safe at all times.

Best Baby Gates - Reviews of 5 Handpicked Models

This top-5 list offers multiple options of various material, construction, size and design; so you can select a proper product that fits you to keep your active little one away from any potential risks.

Before you searching for the best baby gates, make sure you have measured the width of doorway.

1. Evenflo Soft and Wide – Best Price

If your baby loves just to run around or crawl all over, then, this is the best gate for you.

pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Made of high-quality materials
  • The size is perfect and fits well
  • Easy to clean
  • A high force resistance even for strong babies
  • The design is extremely beautiful and will enhance any room

cons

  • It only opens one way, and most people have to step over it
  • The door opening is a little narrow

It is a pressure mounted gate with very soft ends, that makes it extremely safe for the little one, plus, it is made of a mesh material that is very soft to touch.

It also has a high force resistance, so, if you have a particularly strong child, you have absolutely nothing to worry about, because he will not be able to overcome it.

Evenflo-Soft-and-Wide-Gate-pressure

If you are the kind of parent that doesn’t like to see steel bars all over, mostly because they tend to destroy your walls and may not be safe for baby, then, you will greatly appreciate the make and design of this baby gate.

It comes with non-marring rubber bumpers that will help prevent any damage to your home’s décor, and most especially your walls and wallpaper.

It is large enough. It measures 27 inches, and it can also expand from 38-60 inches. This makes it perfect for the bottom of the stairs, the hallways and also the doorways.

You can comfortably keep your little one safe from all danger zones. You should however not use it for the top of the stairs, because your baby may topple over it.​

You can easily remove it, fold it up and throw it in with your load since it is made of a very good fabric that comes off easy.

It has neutral colors that will neither clash or mess with your décor. You can use it in any room, and it will complement it.

It is very easy to assemble and does not require any tools whatsoever, you can install it all by yourself.

2. Retract-A-Gate safety gate – Best retractable gate

If you are looking for a way to confine your child within a specified area, then this is one of the best child safety gates you shall find in the market.

pros

  • It easily retracts
  • Very neat and does not destroy your walls
  • It is lightweight.
  • It is JPMA certified.
  • You can use it with your baby as well as pets.

cons

  • Strong dogs can easily break it.

This gate is ideal for children from 6 months old to 2 years. This is because the gate is designed in such a way that adults can easily operate them, but it is difficult for toddlers to open.

For you to open this gate, you must push and turn the lock at the same time. The toddlers are not able to do this, and this is what makes the gate safe.

retract-a-gate-lock

This specific gate from Smart Retract company has passed all the tests, and this gives you peace of mind when you use it around your baby.

JPMA stands for Juvenile Products Manufacturer’s Association, and it is the body responsible for enlightening users on how to use the gates safely.

JPMA has a certification process, where they test all products so they can ensure that they are safe for your baby or your pets.

JuvenileProductsManufacturersAssociation-Certified

Automatic retraction – this gate is self-retracting which means that when you unwind it, it unwinds. This makes it very easy to use and less tedious.

To ensure that this happens every time you use it, hold it tightly on both sides using the bars.

When you are done using it, and you want to store it, you need to unlock the mesh, and it will retract automatically.

Universal mounting bracket – This makes it easy for you to change the location of the gate as frequently as you wish.

Now, this is quite a unique feature with these kinds of hardware mounted gates because in most cases you are not able to move them around, but with this retractable gate, this is pretty easy.

InternationalAssociationForChildSafety
International Association For Child Safety
NationalParentingPublicationAwards
National Parenting Publication Awards

MadeIn The USA

ParentTestedParentApproved
Parent Tested Parent Approved

Stair banister kit – Now, this one you will love. If you think that all hardware mounted gates will require you to drill holes into your walls, you are dead wrong.

This stair banister kit allows you to mount the gate on the wall without necessarily drilling any holes. This will leave your homes as neat as they were even before using the gate, and long after you are done with the gate.

It is made of a mesh that is tightly woven together making it hard for children and pets to climb over. It also measures 34 inches in height.

It is a hardware mount, and so, you may need to find someone who can help you with the installation, as it needs to be installed correctly and tightly held on the walls. Also, ensure to follow the instructions very closely from the manufacturer.

The gate weighs just 4 pounds, making it easy to move around, or even take with you as you travel.

The mesh on this gate is pretty clear and see-through, and therefore, the child does not feel completely left out or blocked out. It also makes it easy to work in the kitchen while your baby is in the living room as he can be able to see you.

3. Summer Infant Multi-Use Baby Gate – Best for Stairs

This is an attractive metal gate that can be used in different areas within the home. This is mostly because of its multi-use nature.

pros

  • Multi-use – Pressure mount as well as hardware mount
  • Easy walkthroughs with one hand.
  • Dual lock for extra safety
  • Auto close – this makes it highly convenient
  • Beautiful design

cons

  • The installation is a bit technical

You can use it both as a pressure mount as well as hardware mount, which gives you the freedom to use it on any part of your home.

Summer-Infant-Multi-Use-Deco-baby-gate

Pressure mount – You can mount it using this technique, which ensures you do not drill any holes in your walls. This method is also perfect for use between rooms, or on doorways.

Hardware mount – This makes the gate ideal for the stairs. It also comes with a door stopper to make the gate more secure, and hence can be used both at the top of the stairs as well as the bottom.

One had for walkthroughs – The gate can be opened in either direction with just one hand. 

It has a dual system of locking that also makes it extremely secure, and it means that your baby cannot easily open the gate. This will give you peace of mind.

When you walk through the gate, it will automatically close gently behind you.

It has this old kind of design that is very elegant and chic, and will enhance the décor in your home. Besides, it is tall enough it is one of the tallest baby gates available today. Its height is 36 inches.

4. Regalo 192-Inch Super Wide Adjustable Baby Gate – The Biggest Baby Gate

Looking for a gate that can transform into a play yard? This is the gate for you. It is a 4-in-1 kit that includes four packs of wall mounts just for you.

pros

  • 2-in-1 – you can either use it as a baby gate or a play yard
  • It is very easy to set up
  • Has a walk-through design
  • It can be folded easily for travel
  • It has an easy one-touch safety lock

cons

  • Be careful when your child is in the playpen that they do not get stuck
  • It comes with many pieces that can be confusing

This gate is easily adaptable and can fit into whichever use you wish. If you want it to be a safety gate all you need is to set it up as such; if you want a standalone play yard, with barriers, then it can extend and go around to look like a playpen.

It can also be mounted on walls to act as a safeguard on the top of the stairs, and you can also use it as a free-standing barrier for the bottom of the stairs.

Regalo-Baby-Gate-play-yard

Configuring each panel is also very easy, and you can do it all by yourself without hiring a professional. It is also easy to take down, and it is also foldable, which means you can carry it along wherever you go.

It comes with an extremely convenient walk-through design, with a one-touch safety lock for easier access by adults. All you need to do is lift the barrier, and you are good to go.

The gate is 28 inches in height, and can comfortably be used with pets as well, plus, this is a good height which small children cannot climb over.

It is made of steel and meets all of the standards set by the ASTM, which is The American Society of Testing and Materials. This means that you can rest assured that you are using a highly effective gate that is safe for your little ones.

It may look big and probably complicated, but that is not the case. This baby gate is made up of 8 detachable panels that are lightweight.

5. Cardinal Baby Gate – Best for Outdoors

When looking for a baby gate for the outdoors, then this is one of the best.

pros

  • Can be used both indoors and outdoors
  • It is weatherproof, long-lasting and durable
  • High-quality aluminum and stainless steel
  • It is safe for use on decks and patios
  • One-handed latching technique
  • Adjustable width

cons

  • A bit expensive compared to similar products
  • A one-door gate, which means you have to swing the whole gate

It is designed using aluminum, and this makes it weatherproof and perfect for use outdoors. Opening and closing the gate is also very easy, as all you need to do is swing it, and it will open and shut automatically.

This is a hardware mount gate that is not only ideal for the outside but can also work perfectly for the top of the stairs. You can also be able to install it up to a 30-degree angle

Cardinal-Gates-Outdoor-Safety-Gate-detail

The gate comes in black, brown and white. This will allow you to choose the right one for your home. Remember that you do not want something that will clash with what you already have.

It is very strong, and your baby cannot easily overpower it. As mentioned above, it is made out of aluminum and stainless steel which are very tough and reliable materials. It also means that it cannot rust even when exposed to extreme weather conditions.

Now, the beauty of aluminum is that it not only looks very nice, but it is also very easy to clean and maintain. Even if your baby touches it with the dirt of baby food, all you need is a clean or damp cloth to wipe it out, and you are good.

It has extension pieces that give you the freedom to expand its width up to 21 inches wide. This is great when you have large areas to cordon off.

It is a hardware mount gate, which means that it is very secure and safe for your child. You can rest easy that your baby will never be able to get down the stairs or to get up.

Why Do You Need a Baby Gate?

Now, as state above, baby gates are designed to help protect your child from accidental falls, or from accessing areas in the house they are not supposed to access such as the kitchen and the stairs.

However, for people who may still be wondering whether these gates are necessary, here are some reasons why you must consider one for your toddler;

• Kids can easily fall down the stairs

You must be extra careful when it comes to your crawling baby, because this is a child at an inquisitive age, and wants to explore all over the house. If you accidentally leave him unattended, one of the areas he will want to explore is up the stairs.

Needless to say, that this may not end well. Stairs are the bane of active toddlers, and almost all want to climb them.

Stairs are a common source of injury to children. Most injuries are minor soft tissue injuries, with the head and neck region being injured most commonly.​
the American Academy of Pediatrics
American Academy of Pediatrics

It is unfortunate when you look at the statistics of how many toddlers are rushed to the ER every day as a result of falling down the stairs. Do not let your child become a statistic.

Install a baby gate both at the top of the stairs as well as the bottom and ensure they are securely mounted on the wall.

• Kids go everywhere

Now, other than the stairs, crawling toddlers will explore and explore and explore. This means that there is no room in your home that is off limits, and at times you may just turn your head for a second and he is off to god knows where.

kitchen
Kitchen
Fireplace
detergent
Detergent
stairs
Stairs
bathroom
Bathroom

Installing gates in every room you do not want them to access is an excellent idea. You can have a baby gate at the kitchen door, bathroom door, front door, and even backdoors. These are areas that, if he accessed, it would lead to some dangerous consequences.

You should consider having a small gate with a small door for adults to access easily.

• Kids need to be safe

Baby gates also help parents to have peace of mind. This is because they confine your baby to a specified area such as the living room, and even when you are not aware of where the child specifically is, you are assured that he will not go to areas that have been cordoned off.

• Kids are just curious

The truth is that, once babies enter the crawling age, they are extremely curious and wants to go everywhere. Keeping track of them may become quite complicated, and you need a way to keep them in control. 

They will also want to follow you wherever you go, so, why not use a baby gate to keep them out of dangerous areas?

curious kids

Areas That Need a Baby Gate

Here is a list of areas that you should consider putting up a baby gate.

kitchen

This is one of the high-risk areas that a baby must be protected against. Many dangerous items can cause serious harm to your baby, so keep him out of the kitchen at all times.

Pool

This helps to keep the baby out of the pool area. The risks are way too many when it comes to the water.

living room

This helps to protect your child from getting out of the living room to other areas, especially during the day.

Entryways

This will include the front and back doors. Toddlers can easily get out and onto the streets, so keep him secured indoors at all times.

Windows

In case your windows do not have a window guard or a window stop, then a baby gate can come in handy. You don’t want your baby to get out through the window.

Basement

Basements tend to have stairs as well as dangerous tools. Keep your baby out of the basement to keep him safe.

Bathrooms

Keep your child out of the showers, as there have been some horror stories related to a child accessing the bathrooms such as eating soap, drinking the toilet water, falling, etc. The worst-case scenario will be the child drowning in the toilet if he gets in head first.

bedrooms

You will need to protect your toddler from accessing the bedrooms as they also contain items that he must not touch. Also, most bedrooms have bathrooms that can cause danger to your child.

HALLWAYS

This helps to block the corridors that lead to other rooms.

Home office

You do not want your toddler to access your home office. Think of the damage he would do! He could drop the computers, the printers, the files, and many other things that you wouldn’t want to think about.

Fireplace

This can be quite dangerous especially when you have a lighted fire. You also do not want your child to access the burnt firewood when the fire goes out, as he can easily put it in his mouth.

Baby Gate Installation and Maintenance Tips

  • Make it fit: You must ensure that the gate fits the area in which you wish to use it. Most gates, however, come with additional panels to expand and adjust them.
  • Measure the slats: Ensure to measure the baby gate slats, as you do not want your baby's little fingers or even the head to get stuck. Do not forget your pets either.
  • Installing: When bolts/screws are required to fix a gate to the wall, use longer ones if a thick layer of putty covers the concrete wall body.
  • Install gates both at the top and bottom of the stairs.
  • Use hardware-mounted gates for the top of the stairs and pressure mounted gates for the bottom.
  • Do not install hinges or latches in round or uneven banister posts. These will cause the gate to be improperly latched. Use gate mounting kits for installation of banister posts on the walls that have a baseboard mounting.
  • Show your guests how to use the gates.
  • Even with gates in the house, adult supervision is still necessary.

Final Thoughts

When your baby starts to walk or crawl, safety MUST be your number one concern. You will be shocked at the number of kids that get hurt around the house, just because they entered the wrong room or they were allowed to go up the stairs unsupervised. 

When it comes to the best baby gate, we would have to recommend the Cardinal Baby Gate, as you can use it safely when outdoors and also while in the house.

The Regalo Baby Gate, 192-Inch super wide and adjustable,  also comes highly recommended and with excellent reviews. It is what we call the gate of all gates because you can even use it as a playpen.

When kids start crawling, it is a dangerous time that must be handled with care, and therefore ensure to have a baby gate handy to keep your baby safe at all times. 

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