Baby Safety Gates

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Questions Related Pages

Extra wide retractable gate or barrier?

May 2010

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! Deb

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. Good luck!

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).

Baby gate that a 6 yr old can open too

Sept 2009

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 was fine). They are somewhat expensive, but you can find them on Craigslist and on the internet. Nikki

My five year-old son easily opens the First Years hands free baby gate: 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 the door. Andi

Looking for Top of Stairs Babygate

May 2009

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. Andi

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 hardwood. anon

I just sold the 2 stair gates I had but I got them at They gave me good service and I would recommend them. Jody T

Long gate to keep out toddlers?

Sept 2008

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: We have one for the bottom of a circular staircase and it's great. Andi

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 or call us at 650.571.7774. Best, Dana

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.

Doorway gate

Feb 2008

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 Jamie

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. Handy Mama

2 yr old crawling over gates

Dec 2005

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 mshaker

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. anon

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?

Nov 2005

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.) - Sharon

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. Mary

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. m

Baby gate suitable for outdoor use

Nov 2005

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. Kara

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. anon

Gate for 66 inch top of stairs

May 2005

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!! Lisa

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 works great. tabnand

You can find something at . Anon.

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. Jodi

Just Google ''child gate 66'' for oodles of options. I liked this one, which offered a ''gate selection wizard'' to help you narrow the selections:

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 for you. Michele

Baby Gate for Wrought Iron Bannister

Sept. 2003

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. Alicia

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. Karen

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. Mary

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. anon

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. hengel

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: 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: Good luck! robin

I had sent the person posting the advice wanted message an email about the gate mounting kits that work for wrought iron from 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 more securely. anon

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 catalogs. anon.

Oversized gate for a weird staircase

Sept. 2003

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) thanks, brenda

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 childproofing solutions. Good luck. Anon

Gates for stairs

June 2003

hi, our little one is up and crawling and will soon be running around! so we can no longer procrastinate on putting up the baby gates. 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! thanks 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 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!!! Ivy

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. Karen

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. Robert

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 living room. It blocked off the fireplace, the low unsafe windows, and for a while, the Christmas tree. It stayed that way until she was more than 2 years old, and started climbing over it. I also took it with me on a couple of trips to relatives' houses (bulky, but worth it). You probably want to get the one with the extra add-in sections 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 time, 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! Dawn

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. Jennifer

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. Mary

Extra-wide Baby Gates

From: Bob

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

From: Elizabeth

>Regarding gates. A few years ago we bought two gates from ToyRUS. They are very long and comparitivley cheap, but alas less than lovley. Good Luck! Liz Roberts

From: Dawn

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!

From: Linda

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.

From: Heather

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.

From: Nicole

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. Good luck!