Child safety gates are important devices that keep your children safe from stairway injury and help separate them from rooms that contain hazardous and dangerous elements such as the kitchen or the garage.
Our home has always been a bit big and clunky, and therefore we needed to purchase 4 sets of safety gates for our two youngest children. While our main shopping was done to protect our young toddler boy, his sister, now 20 months, benefits from all the safety measures we took while installing safety products for the boy.
We have this crazy cat walk that acts as the upstairs corridor in our home, connecting the three bedrooms and the bathroom. I really love it as you can oversee the main entrance on one side as well as the kitchen, living room and rear entrance on the other side. While pretty to look at, it’s a safety nightmare for parents. This made it difficult to just separate the stairway entrance from upstairs, and therefore two child safety gates were needed. One in the small kids’ bedroom and one for ours since that’s where we bathe them and get them ready for bed.
For this we bought 2 Dreambaby Extra Tall Swing Close Gates, currently priced under $63 with free super saver shipping on amazon.com. The extra height tops off at 39.4 inches and fits doors 28 inches up to 42.5 inches with appropriate extensions. They automatically close in both directions and have a self locking mechanism. They are pressure mountable, but we used the screwed on mounting cups for extra durability.
For our six foot extra wide living room entrance, we had to get the Kidco Elongate Wide Opening Gate with two extensions. This was a little tricky to install but it definitely surprised me by not only lasting this long in terms of durability, but also the children’s ability to climb over them. I expected they would be out of the living room sooner, and they boy has managed to place a truck in front of the gate and climb over. But we removed some items he might use as a stepping stone and just discourage the behaviour, and it has worked! Now they get to play in the big living room without us having to worry about them getting into the kitchen or garage. Although now our 3 year old has been given more leeway and runs around the first floor freely at times, and our 20 month old girl wants to do what her brother does, so she’s being introduced to first floor freedom sooner than him.
We also needed to get a gate for the stairway at the first floor entrance. We purchased one of these child safety gates in the One Step Ahead catalog, which overprices things, and our 11 year old girl smashed the locking mechanism. Besides that, the bottom of the gate never manages to stay put well, so it never worked great. it’s still there, and anyone can open it. Our boy has no problem opening the gate and running upstairs then downstairs, and at this point I personally feel that he could learn a bit with some freedom, though mom and grandma go into temporary fits of panic.
I would have instead gone with the Kidco brand and used the Safeway gate with its much simpler and less expensive features.