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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about Baby Safety Gates

Babies quickly become little movers and shakers, figuring out how to make their way into every nook, cranny and corner they've got access to. So once they've graduated from wrigglers to crawlers, it's important to stock your home with the tools and equipment that keep them safe from squished fingers, tumbles, and other harm. Baby safety gates from brands like Safety 1st, Munchkin and Evenflo keep little ones securely confined to areas made safe by moms and dads.

What is a hardware-mounted gate?

Hardware-mounted gates are bolted to walls by screws driven directly into studs. This provides exceptional security and a sturdy, permanent installation that is appropriate for places like the top of stairways, as well as in doorways between rooms or in hallways.

What is a pressure-mounted gate?

Pressure-mounted gates are easy to install and relocate, making them a great option for moving around the house with your little one. Instead of hardware, these versatile baby safety gates expand to adjust to fit your space, using rubber bumpers to press into walls to lock themselves into doorway frames and hallways; they are not suitable to use around the tops of staircases.

What is a pressure- and hardware-mounted gate?

Pressure- and hardware-mounted gates simply come equipped to offer parents both options for installation: they feature rubber bumpers for pressure mounting, and include the hardware required for hardware mounting.

What is a freestanding gate?

Freestanding baby gates are made up of interlocking panels that stand upright and connect to each other to create enclosed areas for babies to play in safely. These portable, movable play yards are ideal for travel, blocking off oddly-shaped spaces or creating a baby corral within a room or outdoor space; they are not designed for use at the top of stairwells.

What should I consider in terms of fit?

Most gates will fit an average doorway, but it’s best to carefully measure the spaces in your home just to be sure the dimensions are part of the range your chosen safety gate accommodates. Expandable safety gates use adjustable width settings to fit snugly into an array of door frames, hallways, and staircases. Vertical slats should be spaced less than 3" apart to keep tiny hands out of harm's way.

What should I consider in terms of safety standards?

Baby safety gates should be convenient and easy for adults to move through, but impenetrable barriers for children. Features like auto lock latching, which locks a gate immediately upon being shut, or gravity-fed hinges that pull gates closed, provide both assurance and ease-of-use. Look for JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) certification, the standard indicator that a gate meets applicable safety laws and standards.

I'm an active, busy parent - are there portable safety gate options?

Portable baby safety gates are available and designed to work with the eternally busy parent's lifestyle. Portable pressure-mounted gates are ideal for taking to hotel rooms or on visits with friends and families to place at the bottom of staircases or in the entryways of washrooms or kitchens. Freestanding gates are lightweight and a great option for keeping little ones centralized in parks or large rooms.

Want more info? Check out some of our resources:

Plug-in Blog: How to Baby-Proof your Home like a Pro
Plug-in Blog: Baby-Proofing Protects your Baby from Hidden Home Dangers