Choosing and Using The Right Baby Gates For Stair Tops
Babies and stairs do not naturally match. In fact, stairs can be quite deadly for babies if left unattended, and may even pose a danger even when under parental supervision.
Few things can be quite as distressing and horrific for a parent and as traumatizing and painful for a young child than to fall down the stairs. That is why baby gates for top of stairs are an important baby safety item to have if you live in a multi-story house (or any house with stairs) and you have a little crawler or toddler just starting to learn how to move about.
Think and plan ahead
Most new parents do not see the need for a baby gate if their child is very young, as in a few days or weeks old, since they are not yet mobile and so they feel that a baby gate would be pretty useless.
However, the most prudent thing to do as a new parent is to prepare everything you might need for the baby for every developmental stage they might go through, and that includes the stage where they will become more mobile. One of those crucial responsibilities is baby-proofing your home.
Time will literally just fly by if you are a new parent and the demanding task of parenting will leave you baffled when the time comes that your baby is already crawling about while you barely had the time to put up a decent set of baby gates for top of stairs or wherever it may be necessary, such as around fireplaces or electrical outlets.
Accidents can happen and baby behavior can sometimes be unpredictable. That is why thorough thought must be put into baby proofing your home before the toddler reaches that stage of their life when they are all over the place trying to learn anything about everything they encounter.
Don’t fuss too much about aesthetics
Fortunately, these days baby gates are usually made of materials and colors that are classy and can easily blend into any home. Some parents may worry that mounting baby gates will cause some damage to their walls, while other just think that they are a sore sight.
However, you cannot discount the fact that stairs can be very dangerous and potentially life threatening for your little one, so it is definitely a must that you install these gates.
Besides, you can always go around and find creative ways on how to make your baby gates blend seamlessly into your home as if they were originally a part of it in the first place.
Try to sort out the kind, type and quality of baby gate that you will need
This will largely depend on the layout of your house. You have to first see where you intend to use it and get the right measurements of that area with precision since it must fit snugly to work.
Gates are usually installed by mounting them onto the walls or with the use of a pressure locking system that keeps it in place without the need for screws. You may find mounted gates to be more efficient and sturdier since they cannot be easily removed with even great force or weight exerted by your child.
However, if you plan on removing and relocating the gate several times throughout the day or week, you might consider the pressure lock type since it is generally easier to uninstall and install. Just make sure not to use this type of baby gate for top of stairs because of its tendency to pop off with great force.
Make sure to test the gate
Try opening it by yourself. Try it with one hand while carrying your baby or something else, because chances are, you will have to do this single-handed opening all too often when you go through it while carrying your baby.
Ideally, you will be able to open and close it with just one hand; otherwise, it would be difficult and even impossible to use it.
Inspect the installation on a regular basis
Baby gates for top of stairs, especially if they are the pressure locking type, have the tendency to become loose and pop off if your baby leans on them with most of his weight.
Mounted gates are no exception as well since the screws and bolts may also corrode or become damaged in time since babies and young children usually not only lean on but also pull, push, and attempt to climb over the device. Check for loose screws or detached poles and readjust as needed.
Get older children acquainted with the baby gate
Teach older kids on how to properly use the gate – on how it works, how they could open it, and the importance of properly closing it afterward.
Make sure to stress this as often as possible until you are 100% sure that your older child has it understood to make sure of your baby’s and your other children’s safety within the house at all times.
Again, accidents can happen anytime, and kids, even older ones, can sometimes forget the huge responsibility of using a baby gate and making sure that it is properly closed.