Child Safety Gates For Uneven Walls
Once your baby starts crawling and pulling up on furniture and toys, you will realize just how dangerous your house is! Stairways, fireplaces, exterior doors, glass furniture, fragile decorations. You name it, your baby will soon find it! To prevent your baby from getting hurt or gaining access to a certain area, most parents install baby gates at various places around the house. For instance, at the top and bottom of stairs, blocking a fireplace, or in the middle of a room as a little baby corral. Parents also use them to secure play areas, like a play-room, without having to close the door. Baby gates are also great for keeping that curious, jealous, or toy-gobbling dog away from a newborn! Not surprisingly, there are different gates that are better or worse suited for each of these uses.
We start by reviewing gates designed for doorways and hallways, and then consider gates designed for the top or bottom of stairs. Never use a regular baby gate near a stairway! To learn more details about our testing to find the best baby gates, scroll down to the bottom of this article!
Usually about $45. This top-rated Kidco safety gate is the best all-around for the top of the stairs. We also think it deserves a spot on the doorway list above, but this is specifically designed for the top of the stairs so we'll keep it here. The Kidco Safeway gate meets a lot of the criteria we mentioned above: no step-over bar along the bottom edge, can be attached to railing posts and/or walls, and is well-reviewed. It also has a one-handed operation, doesn't automatically swing shut, and in our testing we found it sturdy and reliable. It also prevents swinging out over the stairs with a one-direction swing/hinge mechanism. You can easily reverse this for your specific stairway configuration. Obviously, at the bottom of the stairs it can only swing one way to begin with, but this becomes relevant for the top of the stairs mounting. It is also available in black or white, to suit different styles. In our testing, we found that the provided screws were a bit too short and may not have a strong enough hold. In the end, we purchased different screws, though we do think it probably would have been completely fine with the existing screws. For people who don't mind drilling/screwing into their railings, this gate is an excellent option. We configured the Kidco Safeway gate for openings from 28" to 43.5" wide, and even got it to work really well on an oddly-angled wall by using the included hinge mounts. Interested? You can check out this Kidco Baby Gate here.
Usually about $40. The Evenflo Soft and Wide baby gate uses a different concept than all the other gates on this list. It doesn't have a door, and it doesn't swing open and shut like most other gates. Instead, it's a bit like those old wooden expansion gates our parents used when we were kids (the retractable baby gates that were really good at pinching fingers, and easy to climb on!), in that you install it and leave it. As long as it's not too high for adults to easily step over, then it usually just stays in place most of the time. Because it either needs to be removed or stepped over, it's not a good option for the bottom or top of stairs. It uses a pressure-mounting system, pushing out lateral force against the two adjacent walls. This particular baby gate is actually pretty nice; in our testing, we liked that the gate itself had nice padding and cloth over it, and that it used a sheer mesh that baby can look right through to see what's going on in the next room. It's a great basic gate that's cute, sturdy, and reliable. The installation was much easier than any gate you need to screw into a wall, as this one requires no tools or anything. You just adjust the outer knobs to the right diameter of your opening, and then secure the gate in place. There is a good installation video here, that we found really helpful for our install process. The gate adjusts narrow enough for small doorways (down to 38" wide) and wide enough for openings between rooms (up to 60" wide). It's the usual 27" tall, but that's if you mount it basically all the way down toward the floor - you can also come up a few inches from the floor and make it quite a bit taller. That makes it more difficult for kids to climb over the gate, but also makes it more difficult for you to step over as well! We know a lot of parents who use this type of baby gate in their homes, though it doesn't work very well when you're wearing a dress or skirt or if you're shorter than like 5'5"! Anyway, this is a great baby gate if you are looking for a stationary gate that's high quality, relatively easy to install, durable, and safe for your baby.