Baby Gates

Written by Serena Berger
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Baby gates are essential if you live in a multi-level home. Though you do not need to purchase them immediately following your child's birth, you should start using them around the time that your child begins to crawl. Baby gates can be used to block off staircases as well as entrances to rooms that have not yet been "baby-proofed."

Staircases, the kitchen, and rooms with fragile items are just some of the places that you may want to block off. If you have not purchased plugs for excess electrical outlets in your home office, you may want to make sure to put a baby safety gate in front of the entrance. When you are considering what areas of your home you need to block off, it may be helpful to crouch down and examine your home from your baby's level.

Types of Baby Gates

There are two main categories of baby gates: pressure-mounted gates and hardware-mounted gates. Pressure-mounted gates allow you to install a safety gate without drilling holes into your walls. The gate is easily positioned within a doorframe or between a staircase and the wall. While these gates are easily installed, you may have to keep a closer watch on them as they can become loose over time.

Hardware mounted gates, in contrast to pressure mounted gates, are installed into walls with mounting kits and therefore provide the greatest level of security. This may be more appropriate to block the staircase, as there is a much lower chance that it will be dislodged. Look for hardware-mounted gates that have directional control so that you can set the gate to swing in only one direction; when installed in front of a staircase, be sure that the gate does not open over the staircase, as that would negate its effectiveness.

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