Some parents joke that “child-proof” really means “adult-proof.” I think that’s especially true of a baby safety gate. I’ve developed a habit of simply stepping over gates (long legs are an advantage, although that solution doesn’t work with skirts) because it’s so hard to figure out how to open them. Then we needed a baby safety gate ourselves…
As I climbed our long set of stairs in my last months of pregnancy, I thought about how we’d soon need a baby gate. When Sunshine was a baby, we lived in a single-story house so she learned to do stairs when we visited friends. When Lily was a baby, we borrowed a baby safety gate from friends (before they needed it for their baby).
Now we have a baby again, so I jumped at the chance to review the Evenflo Summit Easy Walk-Thru Gate.
When the box arrived at our door, my husband worried that it would require screws to install. Because we’re renting, we have to be careful about what we put in the house. Looking closer, I saw that the gate uses pressure pads on either side to keep it in place.
Installation was super easy; it took me about five minutes to get the gate in place at the bottom of our stairs. Each of the pads was large and soft, so I’m confident it won’t leave a mark on the walls.
And the gate is definitely easy walk-thru. I was able to open it with one hand (convenient for carrying a baby or laundry up and down the stairs). Sunshine (my five-year-old) figured out the gate without help, but Lily (my three-year-old) couldn’t do it by herself. I like the simple beige metal design of the gate better than a chunky plastic gate.
Jade figured out the stairs at ten months old. Now she stands shaking the gate and wailing at me because she wants to get through it to climb the stairs. Even with the shaking, it stays latched and steady. The only downfall is that we’ve found the gate a bit narrow for carrying laundry or car seats through.
I’m glad to have the baby safety gates keeping Jade out of trouble. It’s fun to watch her exploring our home. Crawling is such a big milestone for a baby. Now she’s mobile and more able to express interest in her world around it, to go to things she wants to touch or taste.
Watching her learning all the baby milestones, I’ve been amazed at how quickly she does learn. There’s so much for her little body to do. And each time—whether the milestone was sitting up, crawling, or holding a bottle by herself—it seemed like one day she couldn’t do it and the next day, magically, something had clicked and she could do it. It makes me think of the Psalmist’s comment that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Of course, now that she’s crawling, there are so many more things she can get into. She can open bottom kitchen drawers and scatter shoes around the house. And of course, there are always big sister’s toys to go after… So it’s a good thing I’ve got the gate installed to keep her in the same area of the house that I am!
Life is never dull when there’s a baby in the house, learning new things every day!
Did you use a safety gate with your children? How did you choose the right gate?