Baby Gate Shopping Guide for First Time Parents

For first time parents, baby-proofing the home can be a struggle. If you’re a new parent shopping around, the number of choices can be intimidating. If you live with pets, shopping for gates can be even more complicated. Whether you’re looking for pet door baby gate advice or trying to find the best deal, here are a few things to keep in mind while shopping for baby gates.

Type

The first thing to figure out during your search for the perfect baby gate is what type you’re looking for. The range of gates is very expansive, and most parents can find a gate that meets any set of qualifications with a little digging. When thinking about the best gate for your home, take stock of your surroundings. Do you have a multiple story home with many doorways and staircases? Do you have a pet or several pets? Do you have an older child who’s just starting to get curious and trying to go exploring around the house on his own? All of these things are important to think about while figuring out the best gate for your needs. You’ll also want to think about a gate that grows with your child, not just helpful for the basic needs of early baby-proofing, but also great for growing toddlers and older kids. Take a minute to take stock of your household and write down a checklist of all the qualities you’re looking for in a baby gate. After you’ve written everything down, you’re ready to search by type.

Pet-Friendly or Toddler-Friendly

If you live in a home with pets, you’ll want to make sure that installing a baby gate isn’t going to get in their way. If you’re living with cats, dogs, or other free roaming animals, the trick is to find a gate that protects your child while giving your animal or animals free reign of the house. Many baby gates have taken this into consideration by building smaller pet doors inside of the gate. These doors are large enough for a small animal to fit through but too small for a baby to crawl through. If you’re dealing with a larger animal, you’ll want to purchase a more sophisticated gate. If you’re looking for a gate that will protect your child from coming into contact with a larger animal such as a guard dog, try and seek out a higher gate that will block the animal from jumping over the gate or toppling it. Similarly, if you’re trying to purchase a gate that will keep a baby in while allowing a toddler to roam freely, consider a sliding gate that opens on your command.

Mounting

One of the most important factors in terms of baby gate safety is the type of mounting involved. There are two types of baby gates, each with distinct purposes: Pressure-mounted gates and hardware-mounted gates. A pressure-mounted gate is flexible, easy to install, and even easier to move from room to room without any hassle or fuss. Pressure-mounted gates are usually the more inexpensive of the two. However, if you’re looking for something sturdy and impossible to shake, a hardware-mounted gate is your best bet. Hardware-mounted gates require a more traditional set-up, but once they are installed they’re a perfect, safe, and reliable method for keeping your child out of harm’s way. If you’re looking for a gate that you want to use in multiple locations, a pressure-mounted gate is an optimal choice. Pressure-mounted gates are flexible and require minimal set-up time. As such, they’re great for the office or for on the go.

Style

If style is a major consideration for you, you’ll be able to find a number of gates that meet not only your safety needs but the style of your home’s interior. From elegant cardinal gates to swing gates to accordion gates, you can find just about every type of style on the market depending on your price range. If you’re interested in different materials, you can search by your preferred type in mind. For parents who want to keep certain areas of the home off-limits but are worried about the safety of traditional gates, there are soft gates available made of durable fabric that keeps the baby out of harm’s way while providing a soft, flexible, and see-through view to the rest of the home.

Price

Whatever your price range, you’ll be able to find a baby gate that matches it. Some of the most durable gates also happen to be the most cost-efficient. Most gates range from about $25 to $200, depending on features, material, and specific concerns. Prices can also vary depending on where you choose to shop.