How to Choose the Right Baby Gates for Your Home

With a baby in the home, everything changes. You need to be very careful about where the baby wanders off in order to keep him or her safe from many of the possible threats that are lurking in and outside of the home. A baby gate is the best way to prevent accidents from happening and if your child currently falls in between the ages of 6 to 24 months, then your baby is mobile and at risk of moving into an area of the house that might be unsafe. Now the only question is which one to buy? We’re here to help you figure that out by offering these helpful hints to choosing the right baby gate for your home.

Know Your Gates

When you start shopping for a baby gate, the first thing to know is what kind of gate you’re planning to purchase. There are two types of gates from which to choose, each one defined by its particular method of installation. The first is a hardware-mounted gate, designed to remain in place on a permanent basis. You typically need to drill the gate into your wall and it stays there.

The second is a pressure-mounted gate which is portable and can be set up in any room or doorway of the home. The type you choose is going to be dependent upon the level of protection you need for your baby. Some types of gates are inappropriate for use in certain areas. The top of the stairs, for example, should only be cordoned off with a hardware-mounted gate. The pressure-mount gates are not reliable enough in case your baby leans against it. The gate can be dislodged and fall.

Buy Certified

Baby products can earn the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) certification, which means that an item has gone through the JPMA vetting process so it meets the highest standards for safety and quality. The agency certifies over 2,000 products in 24 different categories on an annual basis. The process involves sample testing each year or after a change in manufacturing or materials, performed by independent labs to ensure every product meets JPMA safety standards. It’s easy to determine whether or not your gate is JPMA certified, it says so right on the gate frame, the packaging, or the baby gate with pet door buyers guide.

Functionality and Openings

Finding the right baby gate means examining it carefully to ensure that it also meets all ASTM standards for functionality. While the JPMA assesses safety standards, the ASTM focuses on other important factors, among these being the size of the openings that are visible on the gate. These openings are those found between the bottom of the gate and the floor as well as the amount of space between the rails and slats and the frame components, among others. All of these openings present a potential hazard for small babies to get stuck if they try to pass through. ASTM standards dictate that any openings deeper than 2/3rd of an inch may not be any wider than 1½ inches. Be sure your gate complies with these measurements before you buy.