3 Tips for Installing Baby Gates
Congratulations! Your baby has learned how to stand upright and walk, and now there’s no turning back. Nothing is out of reach and nothing is out of bounds. You’d be surprised where those little feet can go and what those little hands can reach.
Put yourself in your child’s position and imagine the world from her point of view. It’s a big, new, exciting world full of possibility and discovery. It’s also a very scary world full of risks and dangers. What was once a simple task of home safety has now become a seemingly futile task of constant baby-proofing.
This is where baby gates become invaluable. They can temporarily limit your child’s exploration and confine her movements to a set perimeter. Just keep in mind that this doesn’t last long, and once she’s able to CLIMB the gates, it’s time to remove them.
Please don’t cry. She hasn’t gone off to college just yet.
Until then, here’s a few tips that will help you baby-proof your home without hurting yourself or pulling your hair out in the process. You may pull your hair out for OTHER reasons, but we apologize. That’s beyond the scope of this blog.
1) Know Your Baby-Proofing Arsenal –
Baby gates come in three types: harware, pressure and irregular. Hardware mounting requires hardware to be screwed into the walls or baseboards whereas pressure mounting simply relies on springs and mechanical retention to hold it in place. Irregular gates act as “pens” of sorts, fencing off irregularly shaped areas to either keep baby in or other elements out.
Knowing which gates to use where leads us to…
2) The Right Tool For the Job –
The safest gates for blocking off stairs are hardare mounted. Period. Any doorway or area that gets a lot of foot traffic will suffice with a pressure mounted gate. Any large areas around the bottom of staircases or fireplaces, then this looks like a job for the irregular gate.
Sounds simple enough for the kiddos, right? What about the clumsy big people in the family?
Baby gates aren’t going to do much good if they’re a hazard for grown-ups. Gates with secure latches are a must for the staircases. The most common accidents caused by baby gates and stairs are adults tripping over them, so this will mitigate any potential catastrophe.
On the ground floor, pressure mounted gates still serve as trip hazards, especially during midnight trips to the kitchen. Thankfully, some manufacturers have resorted to “gates-within-gates”, which feature a latched door. It still has a small threshold to step over, but most consumers have reported no problem with it whatsoever. The only trip hazard in the middle of the night will be baby’s DUPLO set.
This stage of life may seem frustratingly difficult at times, but enjoy it while you can. It only comes around once and before you know it, it’s gone. No matter where you are in life, though we’ll help protect the things that matter the most to you.
Oh, and if you actually know what DUPLOs are: welcome to the club, fellow parent.
First Baldwin Insurance