Baby Gates 101

We were thrown into the world of baby gates when we moved from our two bedroom, one floor apartment, into a 3 level house. I had pretty much demanded that once all boxes had been put on each level accordingly, that the gates be installed. Sophia had never had the option to be around stairs, and I wanted her to be as safe as possible. Also, her having free reign of going up and down the stairs at 8 months old isn’t an option, and it still isn’t an option, being 15 months.

I researched baby gates for about 2 months prior to us moving, and found ones that were the most baby-safe for our house and lifestyle. It obviously depends on your own specific taste, but if I have company over and they can’t even operate a baby gate, I know we’ve gotten the right one. We waited until Babies R’Us had their ‘Buy One Gate, Get One 50% Off’ promotion and purchased both gates at once.

Munchkin Auto-Close Metal Gate.

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We currently have this gate at the top of our stairs. I LOVE IT. The key to this gate is that not only do you have to slide the trigger, but you need to lift the gate up out of the frame and swing it either way to use it. There are some days that I feel like I struggle with this gate, so I know for a FACT that Sophia will not have the strength or coordination to open this gate. I’d say the only con is you need to step over the frame when you’re going up and down the stairs, which isn’t a problem for us. You just become accustom to stepping over it. If we have guests over, they don’t go upstairs in our home anyway, so it isn’t an issue.

It’s pressure mounted, which is great. We’ve had it installed since August 2013 and haven’t had any problems with it. Here are some pictures of it upstairs.

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That is definitely my favorite gate. But, it’s not the same gate we have at the bottom of our stairs. Unfortunately, banisters aren’t very receptive to baby gates. Since it isn’t a solid wall to pressure mount, it doesn’t get as tight of a fit as it should. Jay took it out so many times with his gym bag, carrying Sophia, and Sophia actually ripped it off herself too. So that gate is now pressure-mounted downstairs in the basement, to lock away the relatives 😉

The gate at the bottom of the stairs on our main level now is the Summer Infant Multi-Use Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate. That’s a mouthful. That’s what she said. I win.

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It’s more versatile as it gives you more or less gate pieces to help it fit wherever you need it to fit. But there are more cons than pros to this gate.

  • The frame seems sturdy but the gate door itself is much more flimsy than the Munchkin gate.
  • Sophia can already reach the top where that latch is. Crap. Stop growing.
  • It isn’t an auto-close gate so half the time Sophia sees that it’s open, and makes a run for it. (Even when we close it all of the way)
  • The actual gate opening is much smaller than the Munchkin gate, which is a big con for us.

 

Overall, it works. If I was to recommend a gate, clearly I’d recommend the Munchkin Auto-Close metal gate. I genuinely like Summer Infant products, but this gate just isn’t a winner in my book. Of course everyone has their own opinions as well. We even thought about getting the Dream Baby Retractable Gate, but it doesn’t have great reviews and I rarely have two hands to yank a gate closed. Also, Sophia would have way too much fun trying to crawl underneath it. For $100, I don’t see that gate working for us.

 

What baby gate do you use? Which ones have/haven’t worked for you?

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