It’s an exciting time for parents when babies begin crawling, but this milestone also means it’s time to get to work babyproofing the home. One of the most important pieces of baby equipment is the baby gate. Not only does it have to be strong enough to protect crawling and walking babies and toddlers from going up or down stairs, it also has to be easy for tired parents to install quickly. Baby gates are typically used in high traffic areas, so having a handle that is easy to open and close with one hand (parents never get to use two hands) is also at the top of our list.
Baby gates are obviously a must-have item in homes with babies, but they are also a great fit for homes with pets. Fur babies need protection, too. Baby gates can keep puppies in a specific area when no one is home and they can stop young and elderly dogs from running upstairs or having an accidental fall downstairs.
Baby gates are imperative for stairways, but they are also great for providing a safe barrier around fireplaces, windows, or areas that aren’t childproof, like kitchens and bathrooms.
Whether your baby has two legs or four, there are many things parents have to worry about. The quality of their baby gate shouldn’t be one of them. Check out our top picks for the best baby gates below.
1. Regalo Easy Step Walk Thru Baby Gate
Keep doorways and entrances to stairways protected with the Regalo Easy Step Extra Wide Walk Thru Baby Gate. The adjustable baby gate stands 30 inches tall and works on openings between 29 and 38.5 inches wide. The pressure mount design comes with wall mounts for fast and secure installation. The middle of the gate features a locking door to keep pets and babies safe. The all-steel gate has a solid bar that lands just above the floor, ensuring little hands or paws won’t reach underneath. The Regalo includes multiple safety lock features and has been certified JPMA and ASTM-safe.
Pros: The Regalo comes with a six-inch extension kit and additional extension kits are sold separately.
Cons: The Regalo requires two hands to unlock the gate. The small walk through gate opening means the opening at the top and bottom of stairs is restricted.
2. Toddleroo by North States 3 in 1 Metal Superyard
The fewer products you have to buy as a parent, the better. That’s why we like the Toddleroo by North States 3 in 1 Metal Superyard. When puppies or babies are just learning to walk or crawl, keeping them contained in a 10 square foot area filled with soft blankets and toys is the safest playing environment. The Toddleroo can connect to form a portable playpen or it can be extended to create a 12-foot long baby gate. Mounting hardware is included and can be used with tall baseboards and angled walls (extension packs are also available). The Toddleroo has locking panels that can easily be moved, allowing users to place the double-locking door opening wherever it works best for their space.
Pros: The Toddleroo won’t scratch and is safe for most flooring, including carpet, tile and hardwood.
Cons: The Toddleroo isn’t available in white. The bar openings are wide enough that a small puppy could get their head stuck.
3. Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Walk-Thru Gate
For a gate that is easy to install and features a one-handed opening mechanism, we recommend the Summer Infant Multi-Use Deco Walk-Thru Gate. Available in five colors with a modern finish, the gate provides a welcomed touch of style to an item that is typically an eyesore. Designed for doorways and stairways, the Summer Infant can fit spaces between 28.5 to 48-inches wide. At 36 inches high, the Summer Infant is one of the tallest gates available, making it comfortable to reach the handle when opening the gate and providing more protection for dogs who love to jump. The Summer Infant features an intuitive auto close door that provides added convenience. We also like that it includes a removable door stopper that prevents the gate from swinging into stairs.
Pros: The gate can be installed using the tension setting or customers can use the mounting hardware for a more secure installation, which is ideal for use at the top or bottom of stairways.
Cons: Using the extension can cause the gate to bow outwards. The gate opening is quite narrow.