What You Need to Know before Installing a Baby Gate

There is nothing more important than to provide all the essential things which your baby needs, such as baby safety gates. There are many kinds of safety gates in the market, and choosing the best baby safety gates for stairs can be quite tricky, especially if you haven’t used this kind of stuff before. Using an obstacle such as extra-wide safety gates for babies is indeed needed to provide protection and safety for your kids as well as peace of mind for you as a parent. Buying and installing the baby safety gate can be overwhelming than you would think. Here

What you need before installing a baby gate

To ensure that you will acquire the safety gate with the perfect fit, it is vital that you take the precise measurement of the distance between the walls where you will place it. After acquiring the measurements, you can now head to the store and purchase the safety gate that satisfies the specific size requirements that you need. It is highly recommended that you opt for safety gates that are produced by reputable manufacturers to ensure a quality purchase.

Once you have procured the safety gate, it is important that you read and understand its included manual. This is necessary to ensure that you will be able to install it properly. Check if all the gate’s components are present before commencing with the installation. Lastly, strictly follow the manufacturer's installation procedure and ascertain that the gate is firmly attached to the wall. 

Size of a baby safety gate

What size of safety gates do I need that fit the space? Most parents ask this question when they plan baby-proofing. Measure the opening where the top and bottom of the gate will go. If you want to install a pressure-mounted gate, then measuring the opening will help you go off the baseboard measurement. Prefer to buy a gate that fits in that measured space. Most baby gates come with a 39” wide opening. They are 37” wide with four spindle rods. These spindle rods are attachable and add 1 inch on either side of the baby safety gate to get you a 39” wide opening.

Types of safety gates

There are mainly two types of baby safety gates: hardware-mounted safety gates and pressure mounted safety gates.

Hardware Mounted Safety Gates
Of all the available types of safety gates, the hardware mounted variety is perhaps the most secured and the safest. This is mainly because this type of gate uses special hardware so it can be firmly attached to a door’s frame, wood stud, or a drywall surface. Hard-mounted safety gates have dual-latch action intended for easy operation. Once you have installed it, you are assured that it will stay securely in place until the time that you manually removed it with the aid of the appropriate tools.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and other safety experts highly recommend using this type of gate when blocking stairways and other areas where there is a big risk for falling accidents. In fact, this is the only type of safety gates for stairs that have been approved by the experts. They are an excellent choice for restricting access to stairways because of the following reasons:
  • They are securely mounted on the wall
  • They can only be opened in one direction
  • They can be extended to accommodate wide openings
Pressure Mounted Safety Gates
Unlike hardware-mounted gates, pressure mounted safety gates make use of pressure to properly hold them in place. Generally, there are two basic types of pressure mounted safety gates —- the portable and the swing gate.
  • Portable Pressure Mounted– These gates feature a two-handed operation. They are the ideal choice for blocking low-traffic areas. Additionally, they are convenient and relatively inexpensive. However, their main drawback is the fact that they can only extend up to 42 inches.
  • Pressure Mounted Swing Gate– As compared to the portable variety, swing gates provide a more convenient cross-over. In addition to that, they can be integrated into doorways or entrances with wider openings. They also make use of dual-action latches for single-handed operation. Moreover, foot pedals are also available for hands-free operation.
    How to install to baby safety gate for stairs

    Installing a Stair Safety Gate – Tension Mounted

    Place the gate's hinge side towards the strongest wall or on the wall near the top or bottom of the stairs. If the gate's bottom has a separate tension bar, tighten this against the opposing wall, stair railing, or doorframe. If it does not have a separate tension rod, place the other end of the gate against the wall, stair railing, or doorframe. Either way, you will need to screw the two pipes apart just like a tension curtain rod until sufficient force is applied to the wall from both ends of the tension rod to prevent it from moving with any amount of applied force.

    Installing a Stair Safety Gate – Screw or Clamp Mounted

    If you have purchased a screw mounted stair safety gate, refer to the manufacturer’s instruction in detail. Ensure that the screw holes are properly drilled deep into the wood stud below the outer wood frame and not just the doorframe's façade wood. Often the package does not come with long enough screws to reach far enough into the stud to securely mount the gate; take the screws and replace them with a longer version of the screws at your local hardware store.

    If installing a clamp mounted safety gate, be sure to inspect the frame around the stud of the door to ensure that it is securely installed and will not give way to pressure should someone pull at the gate.

    Finally, choose a brand that is sturdy; opt for one with lattice-like cross beams or bars space close enough apart so little pets and babies can’t get their heads, hands, feet, or bodies stuck between. Look for one too tall for the child or pet to climb or reach the top. Also, choose one either that can screw into the stud of the doorframe or that has a cross beam on the bottom that screws the frame into place. Avoid those with metal edges and that have parts not coated by rubber or plastic.

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