Child Safety Gates For Uneven Walls
Usually about $50. The top-rated North States Supergate is one of the best reviewed baby gates on the market, and is fairly priced. It is a tension gate, meaning that there is no assembly required, it basically squeezes itself into your doorway. They provide wall cups that hold the tension arms in place to prevent slipping forward/back when baby pushes or pulls on the gate. The wall cups do screw into the wall, or you can use the double-sided mounting tape like we did. The tape comes in the box. It has a 2" tall threshold on the bottom, so it is NOT recommended for use at the top of stairs. We found that the gate is very sturdy and uses a clever locking mechanism that has two settings - one that requires only lifting the gate to open it, and another that involves twisting the lock for extra security. In both cases, we found that it only takes a couple minutes of practice to perfect one-hand opening. The gate also swings both directions for convenience, and swings closed very easily (but not automatically). You can lock it into the open position as well, as needed. The gate includes extensions that come with it, and in our testing, we found that it can fit doorways from about 31" to 38" wide. It measures 29" high when installed, making it easy for taller adults to step over it rather than opening it (we do this a lot!). This safety gate is also available in white or bronze, and this is the third year that this gate has appeared at the top of our best baby gates list (and for some great reasons!). Interested? You can check out this North States Baby Gate here.
The locking mechanism needs to be child-proof! This seems obvious, but there are a lot of gates on the market with locks that babies figure out before their second birthday. Avoid gates with a simple button lock, or a simple lift-open mechanism. Your baby may not figure out how to open the gate now but give him or her another year and you'll be kicking yourself for not buying a gate with a better, relatively child-proof lock. All of the gates recommended below have well-reviewed locking mechanisms that are reliable, easy for parents to use, and difficult for babies to figure out (or physically grasp).
Usually about $50. The Munchkin Easy Close metal baby gate is well-reviewed, but not quite as well as the North States or DreamBaby models. It is also a tension gate with a 2" threshold along the bottom edge. The locking mechanism is well-reviewed as highly child-proof. The gate does not have an auto close feature, and some parents report that it can be annoyingly difficult to push closed sometimes, particularly when you only have one hand available. Even if you swing it closed forcefully, it requires you to open the latch mechanism to get it to latch shut. We also found that this particular tension-fit gate requires quite a bit of outward pressure for mounting, so it is very restricted to solid doorway frames on the sides. The Munchkin Easy Close metal gate fits doorways as narrow as 29.5" wide, and up to 35" wide when using the one included extension. If you're trying to fit a wider opening, you'll need to purchase some more extensions. Interested? You can check out this Munchkin Baby Gate here.