When your little one is on the move, a baby gate or baby playpen will be one of the most useful pieces of nursery kit you’ll buy. Stair gates can stop them from accessing the stairs while they're too small to be up there by themselves. It will also keep your bubba from wandering off where your eyes can’t follow so they stay safe in your home and avoid any bumps to their baby head. There’s a wealth of safety gate products on the market, so to make your life easier, we've put together some tips on how to choose the best stair gates for baby.
Here is some stairgate safety advice
According to RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), "every year there are more than 42,000 Accident and Emergency attendances by the under five age group resulting from accidental falls on stairs."
In their research into 'Can The Home Ever Be Safe?', the publication looked at the need to improve safety in the built environment of homes and gardens.
The Society wrote: "RoSPA considers the provision of reinforcement of the wall substructure to ensure the safe fixing of European Standard stair gates should be included in the specification of all new and refurbished homes."
We spoke to Selina Russell, from safety products brand Fred UK, about the importance of stair gates; who said: "Stairways, kitchens, bathrooms, fire hearths to name but a few, are areas of the home that pose potential risks for older babies finding their feet and confident toddlers on the move.
"It is important that any access to open stairways and rooms in the home that could be hazardous to young children if left alone, are restricted by installing safety gates. As infants have an innate curiosity and tend to feel the need to explore their surroundings, stair gates enable you to restrict little ones to safe areas in the home."
How to choose the best stair gate for baby?
First up, you need to consider the place you’re guarding. You won’t want anything with a step-over bar at the top of the stairs, but they could work fine at the bottom. Is there space for a door to swing open and shut in the space? If not, a retractable gate could be the answer. And you’ll definitely need a gate that you can open and shut with one hand – trust us on this.
The best stair gates for baby
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Are baby gates safe?
As with everything in life, you’ll need to apply some basic common sense. No step-over bars at the top of the stairs. And the gate will only work if you actually remember to close it. Hey, nothing can be taken for granted after six months of sleep deprivation.
Q: "My little girl is fascinated by our stairs. We have stairgates but I'm not sure when and how to teach her how to go up and down safely - any tips?"
A: "In comparison to an adult, each stair is a huge step for a small child. When your child is tall enough to manage each step without crawling, take them up and down the stairs whilst holding their hand on the opposite side to the stair rail, whilst they hold the handrail themselves with their other hand. Ensure that they go up/down one step at a time, and slowly. Make sure that you can grab the handrail yourself if one or both of you become unstable."
How often will you use a baby gate?
If your space needs a baby gate, you’ll use it every day. From stopping your tot from crawling upstairs alone and risking an accident to keeping them in one room while you're cooking dinner, safety gates are a lifesaver!
How much money should I spend on a baby gate?
A standard stair gate for babies can cost less than £20. Gates for unusual spaces can cost up to £200.