Buying Guide: Best Baby Gate Models and Features

Best Baby GatesOne of the first tasks that any parent should take the time to do, is baby proof their home. That means hiding sharp objects, locking away chemicals, plugging in receptical outlets, and creating an all around safe zone. One tool which is an absolute must in accomplishing this, are baby gates, or safety gates, which create barriers to “danger zones”.

Baby gates are awesome, because they are very versatile and while they are secure enough that a little one isn’t going to bust through them, adults can easily maneuver around them or over them. This creates peace of mind for mommy and daddy, while also becoming little more than a minor nuisance for those they are not intended to obstruct.

Top 5 Baby Gates

North States Supergate Extra Tall Easy Close Gate, Bronze

For areas where you absolutely must keep secure, such as stairwells and maintenance rooms, no ordinary plastic or wooden gate will do. You have to go for the surefire, fool proof gate, and North States has produced that in this product. It has a triple locking system which should prove to difficult to open for even the mischievous of toddlers, and its heavy duty. At the same time however, it features a simple function which should allow adults to easily swivel back and forth.

Richell Wood One-Touch Pet Gate, Autumn Matte Finish

This beautiful hardwood pet gate is the perfect addition to any home if you want to maintain elegance yet at the same time create a barrier for children. Its tension mounted and is easy to unlock, however it might be too easy for little ones to burst through so should be used in non-vital areas.

North States Supergate Easy Close Metal Gate, White

Another heavy duty gate by North States, this “Supergate” also offers a triple locking mechanism which is simple for adults to open. However, once again its tension mounted, so although it provides versatility, a heady toddler might be able to push their way through.

Summer Infant Metal Expansion Gate, 6 Foot Wide Extra Tall Walk-Thru

Finally a mounted gate, this Metal Expansion Gate by Summer Infant is created to fit into large openings and then mount to firmly prevent entry. Install in wide, dangerous corridors.

Dreambaby Extra Tall Swing Close Gate with Extensions, Black

One of the more popular baby gates on the market, this model by Dreambaby is designed for large toddlers who like to climb, and has been created to be extra tall. Like most good gates, there are no horizontal bars and it closes automatically after opening.

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Hardware or Pressure Mounted

You have two options when it comes to the types of barriers that you would like to use, pressure mounted safety gates, or manual hardware mounted versions. Happy TikeEach has an advantage and a drawback.

Pressure-Mounted: Just like shower rods, these are models that use a pressure arch system to support itself, and work great in doorways, at the bottom of stair wells, and to prevent interference with family pets.

Hardware-Mounted: While pressure mounted models are versatile and moveable, these are semi-permanent fixtures which stay in one place indefinitely and cannot easily be moved. You want these in areas that you want to take every percaution necessary to hinder your little one from falling, such as at the top of a stairwell.

Metal Versus Wooden/Plastic

The material of your gate is also very important when you are considering the options, and there two main options; metal, or a wood/plastic hybrid model.

Keeping Out PetsMetal: Although much more expensive, heavy, and typically hardware mounted, metal gates are an excellent choice because they are incredibly sturdy. These are musts on the top of stair wells or danger corridors.

Wood/Plastic: Typically used in the construction of pressure mounted gates, these are great because they are light and easy to handle, and are cheap. However, as your tike gets older, they become ineffective. Also, make sure these are properly sanded as loose splinters and slivers of wood can injure.

Tips on Ensuring a Safe Product

Monitor Everything: Some parents make the grave mistake of setting and forgetting their gate. In fact, a lot of preventative tools sometimes do more harm than good because they are used as an end all be all, as opposed to a way of supplementing a safety plan, don’t make the same mistake. Watch your toddler and make sure they aren’t getting into trouble. You would be surprised how they figure out ways to climb over the safety gate, and trust me they will want to very badly!

Adding onto this, monitor your product as well. Gates tend to break down over time, especially the wooden and plastic versions. A loose gate is a hazard.

Slats: I’m not sure what genius thought it was a good idea to design these, but make sure that you avoid products with horizontal slats. Our little ones are smart, horizontal slats are baby sized ladder rungs which will be used to climb over. These are typically designed as pet barriers and not baby barriers.