Enjoyable as it is to watch your child learn how to crawl and take their first steps, the mobile stage can be troublesome depending on the circumstances. For example, let’s say you live in a two-story home or need a few hands-free minutes to cook, clean or (gasp) shower. Because your baby’s little legs have caught up with their insatiable curiosity, they’re going to want to explore as much of their surroundings as possible — in which case a baby gate would sure come in handy.
Baby gates guarantee your little one can only roam so far, giving parents much needed peace of mind. They come in different lengths and heights to adhere to your specific space, and are made from a variety of materials such as metal and wood. You’ll also want to consider where you’ll be setting up said baby gate and the type of mounting required: hardware-mounted baby gates work great for door frames and lock in via brackets, while pressure-mounted baby gates feature expendable springs that fit nicely between walls. Once you’ve decided on the logistics, check out the best baby gates below to find the one that meets your needs.
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1. Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate
Summer Infant’s baby gate is constructed from a handsome metal frame and features dual mounting systems to fit anywhere in the house that needs blockading. The pressure-mounted installation can be used between rooms, while optional hardware mounts can be installed to gate off stairwell entrances. However, this gate in particular is best suited for relatively smaller gaps, accommodating openings between 28.5 to 48 inches wide.
Gone are the days when parents would have to swing their legs over baby gates to enter a room (thank goodness): The Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Extra Tall Walk-Thru Gate features a walk-through door that automatically locks when it closes. The removable door stopper is also a life saver at the top of stairs, as it prevents the gate from opening towards the staircase.
2. Regalo Super Wide Gate and Play Yard
Regalo’s Super Wide baby gate lives up to its name (and then some). Perfect for houses with open concept layouts or just generally wider areas that require barricading from curious babies, the Super Wide Gate and Play Yard stretches a whopping 192 inches and stands 28 inches tall. Bonus: It’s convertible from an extra-long gate to an eight-panel play yard that comes together without using tools.
While the steel gate certainly appears bulky, it actually folds flat for easy storage. Though the product is clearly designed for toddlers, it’s also great for keeping pets confined too, so even though your little one won’t need to be gated in forever, you might want to keep this contraption around just in case a puppy joins the fam.
3. Toddlerdoo by North States 3-in-1 Metal Superyard
Get the most bang for your buck with the Toddlerdoo by North States baby gate that converts from gate to a portable 10-square-foot play yard to a safety barrier. The setup for each stage takes only a few seconds, and this baby gate features both pressure and hardware mounting to accommodate all sorts of spaces. Its customization really is a key selling point as not only can this baby gate be used in so many different ways, it can also increase or decrease in size with removable panels.