BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
Baby Safety Gates
Berkeley Parents Network >
Baby Safety Gates
I'm looking for a retractable gate or barrier that I can use
to divide my playroom. It's not a very big room so I don't
want to put up a stationary gate but I need to find a way to
keep my newly-crawling son out of my preschool daughter's
stuff. Her bedroom is tiny so moving unsafe toys there
isn't an option. I haven't been able to find anything big
enough (12 feet) except barriers that are meant to be used
outside that stick in the ground. Any recommendations or
ideas for how to separate the space would be very much
appreciated - thanks!
We have one that extends to 12'. Its pretty expensive but
works really well and has a gate in it for you to move from
one side of the room to the other. If you need more length,
you can get a second one and join them together.
Its called the Summer Infant Sure And Secure Custom Fit Gate
and we bought it on Amazon.
We use the Secure Surround Gate to divide our living room -
we bought one set then picked up extra panels on CraigsList.
Its not the most beautiful thing but its self standing and
keeps our little guy corralled and from escaping to chew on
his older brother's more fun (and more dangerous) toys. It
has a walk through gate so its fairly easy to use (we've
pulled it outside to corral him in the grass also).
I'm looking for a recommendation for a baby gate that a six year old
could easily get in
and out of too. Anything like that exist? Any recommendations? Thanks.
Trying to keep the baby out, not the kid
We had a lot of luck with the KidCo G15 gates. By the time our
oldest was 3.5 or so, he could open them (which at that point
They are somewhat expensive, but you can find them on
Craigslist and on the internet.
My five year-old son easily opens the First Years hands free
baby gate: http://www.amazon.com/First-Years-Hands-Free-
Gate/dp/B000058CC7 (Not sure where you need it. It's for a
doorway, not for the top of the stairs.) we love this gate,
and two of our friends have it too. It's great for the kitchen
so you can carry things in and out and use your foot to open
Hello, We recently moved and now have two flights of stairs
in our house. We are looking to purchase the best top of
stairs babygates and are overwhelmed by all the choices. Are
there any top of stairs babygates that are pressure mounted
and do not require hardware? Any specific brands or styles
anyone can recommend?
thanks so much!
Top of stairs baby gates are never pressure mounted because they
wouldn't be strong enough to hold up a child who did something
like hit the gate at a full run (or something like that). They
have to be screwed into the wall to avoid coming loose and having
baby and gate tumble down the stairs. We have the The First Years
Simple & Secure Stair Gate which we like.
You'll probably gets lots of responses on this, but you can't use
a pressure gate at the top of the stairs. NOT SAFE!!
You have to get one that screws into a solid, aka, wood surface,
not just the wall board. I have one on my deck, (can't remember
the maker) but I remember it was expensive at the time. Totally
worth it now that my two little ones sometimes push on the gate.
A pressure gate would not hold up to that.
get the gate
You're not going to find a pressure mounted gate for the top of
stairs because they are just not safe. They can be jiggled loose
over time. The only type of gate for the top of stairs is mounted,
and I think the best one is by Kidco. It's tall, super strong and
easy to use. If you have railings, you can by an adapter kit which
is basically a piece of hardwood that is attached to the railings
with large zip ties. Then you screw the gate mountings into the
I just sold the 2 stair gates I had but I got them at
http://www.stairgatestore.com. They gave me good service and I
would recommend them.
My wife is offering daycare in our home and we are looking for a
long gate, about 12 feet long, that we can use to block off the
living room. Any suggstions where we could get one. thank you
Kidco Configure gate, which you can buy extensions for. One website
says you can have the gate up to 24 feet long although Kidco says there
are no limits to the gate length:
http://kidcosafety.com/proddetail.asp?prod=KD1613 We have one for the
bottom of a circular staircase and it's great.
I recommend that you call Home Safety Services who performs in-home
assessment and installation of child safety products. We've (yes, I work
for them) ''safetyfitted'' over 8000 homes throughout the Bay Area and
are experts in this area.
If you call us, we can offer you guidance and answer any questions over
the phone, or we'd be happy to schedule an appointment where we can do a
safety assessment of your day-care, and/or install the gate for you. You
can check us out on the web at www.homesafety.net or call us at
Check out Kidco gates - G60 or G80. You can get extra sections to expand
them to almost any length. We use one to cover an opening about 12 feet
wide and it works well. The only downside is that the middle gets a
little floppy at that length. Picked ours up on craigslist.
My husband occassionally works from our home office and we have a very
active (and loud!) 20 month old at home. We'd like to find a gate for the
doorway of our office that allows the door to close without removing the
gate so that he doesn't have to be closed off from us all day. Does this
even exist? Thanks for the help
Pretty much any hardware-mount (not pressure) gate can be
rigged to mount on the outside of the doorway, rather than
inside the frame, but depending on the gate and the
configuration of your door mouldings, you may need to screw
some support posts to your wall.
If you want easy and don't mind spending relatively big bucks,
I recommend the KiddyGuard gate, which is a great solution for
all sorts of awkward spaces; it rolls up like a sideways
window blind and is therefore very unobtrusive when not in
use. It's about $110 and is available from One Step Ahead.
My two year old son has recently started crawling over our baby
gates and my husband and I are unsure what to do. The main one we
worry about is the gate to his bedroom door. His bedroom is on
the second floor, right next to the stairs. We don't currently
have a gate at the top of the stairs so we could add that, but of
course, he could crawl over that if he really wanted to - and he
appears to want to. Has anyone else dealt with this problem? Are
there any extra high gates? Or is there something we could do so
his door could not be opening wide enough for him to get to the gate?
Baby gates really are guaranteed as a deterrent only to the age
of 24 months, though normally they do work longer than this.
The question would be: how is he climbing over the gate? Are
there ''footholds'' on the gate (like the plastic mesh) that he
is able to use or does he push a box or piece of furniture over
to the gate and climb over, or is he just so tall that he can
lift his leg over? If there are footholds, there are better
gates that have no horizontal parts (other than the bottom and
top bars)--only vertical rods, which kids cannot climb over as
easily. If he's pushing something to the gate and stepping on
that, just remove anything from his room that could be used for
that. If the gates just won't work anymore because of his
height, there is an excellent plastic overhead door lock that
just sits on top of the door and slides to lock; it can be
opened from either side, but you must be adult-sized to reach
it. It would mean keeping his door closed, but with a baby
monitor, you can ensure that he's okay at all times. If you
need any more info about this, email me at
teach him how to handle stairs! get rid of the baby gates. trust me, it is
the best solution. he probably just want's to go up there because he
''shouldn't'' show him how to ''crawl'' down the stairs. and walk up them
using the railings.
I think at two it's time to take the gates down and show him how
to get up and down the stairs safely. Also this is the no-no time
when they learn about not touching the stove, not going out the
front door, etc. Of course you need to keep a close eye because
he can get around fast, but he's old enough now to start learning
where the boundary is. For stairs, the method I learned from my
mom was to show him how to sit down and bump down on his bottom
step by step - do it a few times till he's good at it. Or if he's
pretty steady on his feet and there's a good rail within reach he
can just learn how to walk down. Gotta do it sooner or later!
Top-of-stairs gate without drilling into banister?
We are looking for a safety gate for the top of our stairs.
But everything we have found requires drilling into the
banister post. Since we plan to move in 1-2 years, we don't
want to drill into the beautiful wooden banister post. We
don't mind drilling into the wall, since those holes will be
easy to fill and paint over. But there must be some way to
avoid drilling into the banister. Can anyone recommend a gate
that doesn't require drilling into the banister? Thank you!
The good news it that you don't have to drill holes into your wooden banister post! I
had the same problem and found a gate that attaches to the wooden banisters with
thick plastic ties. The ties won't come off until you cut them yourself when your kids
outgrow the baby gate. I purchased mine from one of those babyproofing companies
that comes to your house to do the babyproofing, but you might try calling Rockridge
Kids at (510) 601-5437 to see if they have them, or know where to get them. The staff
at Rockridge Kids are really helpful. Good luck! (By the way, be sure to get a gate that
is labeled for use at the top of stairs. I'm not sure what the exact differences are, but
apparently gates for stairs are different than gates that just close off rooms.)
We have a banister at the top of our stairs too. What we did was
to securely fasten a piece of wood to the banister with two cam
straps and then drilled into the wood. It works really well.
We had the same issue. We ended up drillling in the wall and
strapping the other end of the gate to the bannister. We used
one of those elastic strap with hooks on each end (I'm sure
there is a good English word for it). We tied it all along the
side of the gate so it was impossible for kids to untie it.
We need to install a gate at the top of a set of stairs leading
from an outdoor deck into our back yard. One side of the gate
will be installed into solid wood and the other side into the
side of the house (which is stucco). The gate only needs to be
about 2.5 - 3 ft high (standard baby gate height). I've done
some internet searching for baby gates, but have yet to find one
that specifically says it is suitable for use outdoors. Has
anyone successfully used a metal indoor gate for outdoors, or
can you recommend another product that might work? Or, is our
only alternative to custom-build a gate? Thanks.
We have a hardware mounted wooden gate by Evenflo. It doesn't
say that it is for outdoor use, but the gate can be EASILY
removed from the hardware. You could bring it indoors when you
are not using it. I think we bought it at Target, but I've seen
it at other stores.
Help! We are moving to a new 2-story house with stairwell that
is 66 inches accross. Did I mention we have a very active
crawling/almost walking 10 month old? Any recommendations on a
good child safety gate that can span at least 66 inches? So far,
the longest I found was 59''. Any suggestions of what to get and
where I can get it would be very appreciated!!
Go to Babierus or their online site. There are several gates that
expand beyond what you need. Configure Gate by Kidco and Sure and Secure
Metal Expansion gate both accomodate what you are looking for. I have
the E'Longate by Kidco and love it. I have an extra wide stair case
which also has an uneven area where the gate needs to be mounted. Each
side of the gate, top & bottom/side to side, ajusts independently and
You can find something at http://www.onestepahead.com .
Most people will probably tell you this, but have you tried ONE Step
Ahead? They have a website or catalogue. They have a very large
selection of baby gates and I remember one for a very wide top of stairs
when I was shopping with them. I bought several baby gates from them
when we moved into our current house with stairs. Babies R Us also has
some gates. Rockridge Kids in Oakland has some as well.
Just Google ''child gate 66'' for oodles of options. I liked this one,
which offered a ''gate selection wizard'' to help you narrow the
Check out the Ace Hardware on Grand Avenue in Oakland/Piedmont.
They have a great selection of gates - I got one that opens to 60 inches
and remember that they had larger ones. If they don't have them in
stock, ask a clerk, while they're not cheap, they can special order them
Does anyone have a recommendation for a baby gate that will
attach to a wrought iron bannister? I'm moving in the coming
months to a place where the stairwell has a wall on one side and
a wrought iron bannister on the other side. Pressure mounted
gates won't work and neither will ones that require drilling into
a wall. If you know of a gate that will work and where to buy it
please post or
send an e-mail. Thanks.
One that might work is called a KiddyGuard. We have it in our stairwell
with a wall on one side and fancy wooden bannisters on the other side
(that we didn't want to drill into). It attaches with small plates to the wall,
and has half-circle attachments that go around the bannisters on the
other side. As an added bonus, it rolls up rather than swinging, so takes
up much less space.
We bought it online -- you can find multiple places that sell it if you do a
search fo the name.
We have a wrought iron banister, too. I can't remember the brand
of gate we got (safety 1st?), but we got it at Rockridge Kids and
it's one of the major brands -- comes in both wood and metal
versions. It does screw into the wall (or molding). You can
always spackle and paint over later. And when screwing into the
wall you can use mollies to secure it better. On the side where
it attaches to the banister, two pieces of wood on either side of
the upper & lower rails, bolted together, serve as the attachment
point for the gate.
I suggest you talk to the sales people at Rockridge Kids, or at
another good baby store.
We did a fair amount of research and I don't remember another
viable solution. Stair gates really need to be screwed into the
wall for maximum safety.
We attached a two by four the height of the railing to the
uprights with ''D'' rings (I have no idea what they are called)
and that made the ''wall'' to attach the gate hardware. It has
worked really well.
You can buy kits to avoid drilling into walls/banisters. They
consist of a long strip of wood that you strap on with plastic
strapping. Then you install the gate to that. They also work
for walls. I don't see why it wouldn't work on wrought iron. I
found them at Babies R Us. You need 2 per gate. A friend of
mine bought one and then went and bought duplicate materials at
Home Depot (cheaper that way.) Hope that helps.
We had a similar problem. At the top of the steps, we used a
non-pressure-mounted gate that we modified (with some extra
brackets and small blocks of wood) to wrap around the metal
railing on one side; the other side we attached to the wall.
The gate we used was similar to this one:
http://store.babycenter.com/product/safety_health_and_babycare/safety/gates/3092. It's not the most secure solution, but our
daughter is not terribly adventurous or fast, and we're always
upstairs when she is.
At the bottom of the stairs, we used a big, metal, three-
sectioned gate to enclose the stair landing, securing it to the
wall on both sides. It's not very subtle, but it is very
secure. This is the gate we used:
I had sent the person posting the advice wanted message an
email about the gate mounting kits that work for wrought iron
from www.safebeginnings.com and had mentioned also using quick
ties. I deleted your email address, but wanted to add that I
found the source of the quick ties (otherwise known as cable
ties) idea. It was in The Childproofer's catalog -- he suggests
using the cable ties to secure hardwood strips onto wrought
iron banisters in order to hang gates. His website says to use
hardwood because it doesn't split and will hold the gate screws
We have the same situation at our house--wrought iron
railing at the top of the stairs. We do have a KidCo gate at
the top of the stairs. My husband installed it by drilling one
side (hinge side) into the wall, same as a regular
installation. On the wrought iron side, he fastened a piece of
wood, maybe 3/4 inch thick, to the outermost bar using two
large U-bolts. Then he installed the other part of the gate
into the wood, as if that were the wall. I'm not sure if my
description makes any sense, but I can tell you that this
system has worked well for almost three years and shows
no weakness or wear-and-tear. I think they may sell
something similar in The Right Start or One Step Ahead
what bay area stores could i get oversized baby gates for
stairs? i heard about a store in walnut creek, but don't know
the name? i tried babies r us but couldn't find much for
oversized gates (we have a weird staircase)
We too have areas we needed to childproof. We bought our safety
gates from Pet Smart that extend enough to keep our little one
from getting in to trouble. Try a pet store for some
our little one is up and crawling and will soon be running
around! so we can no longer procrastinate on putting up the baby
we need at least 2, one for top and bottom of stairs.
i was wondering if those tension mounted gates are strong enough
to w/stand a strong baby tugging, pulling and pulling up to
stand? i'm afraid of her doing that especially on the top by
the stairs since they are wooden! eek. i like the mesh ones
because then she can't pull on them like she could w/ slats -
but that's just a guess...
and for stairs do you need one that you can open to get by or
the ones w/ the pedal to step and open? i also have a 12 year
old boy who could easily trip if he tried to step over them
constantly (me included) and don't want to buy anything we won't
end up using!
recommendations on specific brands and features are appreciated!
mom w/ strong curious baby!
NO! Don't put a tension gate at the top of a staircase. There
is a great service called The Childproofer
www.childproofer.com). They will come to your house and do it
all for you if you'd like. They will come and give you a
consultation and then you can decide if you want them to do the
installation or if you would like to just buy the products from
them and do it yourself. Of course, you don't have to buy
anything from them at all. I don't remember how much the
consultation costs, but it is worth it!!!
It is absolutely NOT OK to use a tension mounted gate at the top of the
stairs. They are for bottom of stairs or level doorways only. No matter
how tight they feel, baby can always dislodge them by pulling or falling
against them -- and end up falling down the stairs. You must use the
type of gate that mounts into the wall somehow at the top of the stairs.
And since it's permanently mounted, it's best to get one that's easy for
you, and impossible for the baby, to open. We found one that, rather
than simply swinging, rolled up on a roller when open (and so could be
totally out of the way when the baby was asleep). Given that our house
is small, this feature was much appreciated.
Play Yards & Baby Corrals
Does anyone have any experience with the corral-style security gates that
they sell at Babys-R-Us? (I mean the ones that are basically one big
enclosed 18ft. circle.) We have a big room that will be impossible to
baby-proof. I don't want to put the little tyke in a play yard or
exersaucer all the time if I don't have to. This "corral" seemed like a
better solution because it will still allow him to roll around in a wide
area, and we can get in there with him if we want, but he won't be able to
pull on bookcases or get to computer cords. I am worried, however, about
these gates being too easy to tip over as our baby gets a little older
(he's six months) Erika
We use the play yard which works great in our living room. We have
combined two futon couches (light ones that are easy for adults to move)
with the play yard to make one big enclosure. To secure the play yard we
have plastic containers filled with toys or books (our way of using more
storage space) to help keep it steady. It's hard to explain but basically
even though it is not attached all the way around it is still very secure
and with the couches as part of the area it gives the feeling that they are
not in a blocked off space. The play yard panels block the areas that
needed baby proofing - tv, electrical cords, stereo etc.. so we have never
worried about this room being unsafe. My twins are now 13 months and still
cannot knock anything down or push the gates open.
We had one of those, though it was the older, wooden style. We liked it a lot.
However, our child did not tolerate actually being *inside* of it for very long
(a few months, starting at about 5 mos). What we ended up doing with it for
the longest period of time was placing it, opened out, along the end of our
room. It blocked off the fireplace, the low unsafe windows, and for a
Christmas tree. It stayed that way until she was more than 2 years old, and
climbing over it. I also took it with me on a couple of trips to relatives'
(bulky, but worth it). You probably want to get the one with the extra
if you can afford it. Bigger is definitely better with one of these
(assuming you have
somewhere to put it!). Be prepared to get used to stepping over it all the
especially if your living space is small--you won't want to take it down
and put it up all the time.
We thought it was great. Hope you do too!
I haven't had experience with the kind of gate you describe, but no matter
how well it works now it will be only a temporary solution. A younger baby
may be perfectly happy in an enclosed space, but I can't picture a toddler
being happy with the arrangement. Sooner or later, your child is going to
want to explore, and you'll need to find some way to make the room safe. It
may be less complicated than you think, though; as you watch your baby in
action you'll get a sense for what is likely to be dangerous at any given age.
Here's what I've learned in a year of childproofing (and watching many
friends go through the same stages): although it may seem right now that you
have to do everything at once, in all likelihood your child will become more
mobile slowly, so that you really only have to worry about a few things at a
time. Stairs may be a problem now, for instance, but your child is probably
several months away from being able to open drawers or having the manual
dexterity to get into trouble with a light socket. One set of worries
replaces another, but that's a lot more manageable that having to deal with
them all at once.
A lot depends on your child's personality type and development, too. You'll
get a sense for what currently interests your child. (My toddler has never
really been the type to put everything in her mouth, for instance, but she
loves putting keys into holes and putting things around her neck. Yours may
be the opposite.) You'll know what skills your child has (more or less)
mastered, what skills they're working on (these are the ones that you really
have to look out for), and what skills are currently out of reach (although
you certainly need to anticipate those).
There isn't one product you can buy (or one childproofer you can hire) to
eliminate every risk, once and for all. Fortunately, you don't need to
proceed that way.
I realize this doesn't respond directly to your concerns, but I posted it
because it's something I wish I'd known when my daughter first became mobile
and I was feeling completely overwhelmed.
Based on our experience with twins in a baby corral, I think you can expect
babies to be very
safe at least until they're walking well. After that they may be able to
push the side of the
corral along the floor, although it will probably be some time after
walking before they could
actually push it over. Anchoring one section against a wall or a piece of
furniture will help
keep the corral in place and stable. We got a lot of mileage out of our
corral, and then took
it apart and used several sections as fixed (non-opening) barriers around
the house and yard.
Extra-wide Baby Gates
reply about extra long gate: we faced a similar situation and couldn't
find a gate long enough for our purposes so my wife devised our own gate by
using 2 tension pole shower rods with fabric in between - just sew the
fabric ends into loops, insert the tension rods, and put them up so that
your child can't get through but you can step over. bob
>Regarding gates. A few years ago we bought two gates from ToyRUS. They
are very long and comparitivley cheap, but alas less than lovley.
I have seen a number of extra long type gates available through some of the
"standard" baby catalogs. The Right Start catalog also has stores (there
is one in Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton, for instance), so you could go
look at some actual gates. I have seen all sorts of models, including some
that are completely clear plastic, and some that are an attractive light
wood slat design. Good luck!
I can't remember how long our gate was, perhaps 8-12 feet; it was a
plain natural wood slat gate. Our son never figured out how to open
or break it like he could on most every other gate we tried. We got
it 2 years ago from the Childproofer of Santa Rosa, 707-545-1116. He
can describe it over the phone and ship it to you or send you a
catalog. I used him not only to babyproof my house (boy was he
fast!), but to buy other safety products as well.
The One Step Ahead catalog has an Extra-Wide 3 panel Security Gate for $49.95.
It is splinter free hardwood and adjusts to fit openings 52" to 93", and is
24" high. The order number for the gate is 1438NF. One Step Ahead's phone
number is (800) 274-8440. I haven't ordered one yet myself, but I'm going to.
We had to make a gate to protect children from the standing gas-fired
floor heater in my living room, and used that redwood lattice you can
buy quite cheaply at a nursery or Pay-less type store, framed in 1X2
wood. This approach requires a few carpentry tools and some skill, but
is quite cheap. I suppoe there is some possibility of redwood
splinters, but so far, so good. Eventually we will be able to use the
wood in the garden for trellises. I fasten it to the mantle with hooks
and eyes (I'll have to spackle and touch-up paint when it's taken
down). I also use a borrowed spring-gate which is fairly long to
restrict my child from the fridge/ cat-food area; should eb available
in variable lengths from baby supply places.
this page was last updated: Feb 14, 2013
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network