October 2011 Moms

Baby gates for stairs

Our new house has stairs and I want to gate the top and bottom. I looked at BRU a while back and it looked like all the gates for stairs require you to screw them into your banisters is that right? Do you recommend your gate?

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Re: Baby gates for stairs

  • We have this gate: http://www.target.com/p/munchkin-auto-close-metal-gate-safety-gate/-/A-13202372#?lnk=sc_qi_detaillink

    You can mount either by screwing it in or the easy mount.

    Parenting Floozie Brigades official motto:  We welcome to you the board with open legs.  Also, open beers. ~@cinemagoddess

  • We have a hand-me-down doggie gate that we use.  (We're klassy like that.)  It looks just like this, including the cute paw print decoration, and is pretty basic:


    It just uses tension so you don't need to disrupt your walls or banister.  As long as we make it snug enough T hasn't been able to push it down or anything, and she's quite strong.  I'm just throwing this idea out there because you might be able to find a doggie gate for cheaper if you're looking to save money.

    ETA: Woodsie and Elle make good points about the top of stairs.  We only use the gate on the bottom of stairs and in doorways so I wasn't thinking about that. 

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  • You should definitely use hardware mounted gates for the top of stairs.  The tension ones are just not safe in that position.  They can become dislodged and allow the child to fall down the stairs.  They should be going into the wall studs or wood to be secure, not just the drywall.  You can find mounting brackets that go around banisters for anchoring if that's what you have.  We have a thin metal banisters that we had to get creative with handmade wood brackets to get the gate to work.   

    At the bottom of the stairs, a tension gate is fine.    

    We have the Cardinal Special Gate


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  • LCassLCass
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker

    image Woodsie:
    I didn't think tension gates were safe for the top of stairs? Ours screws into the railing on one side and the wall on the other, and it's rock solid. We'll just use wood filler on the railing and drywall mud on the wall when we're done with the gates. Easy peasy.

    I'm pretty sure they aren't.  We got the Safety 1st Lift, Lock and Swing gate when we moved.  Somebody suggested them on this board (can't remember who, but maybe kagl?).  It took me a day to get used to it, but it's so easy now and very secure.

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  • AA0417AA0417
    250 Answers 2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 250 Love Its
    Definitely don't recommend the tension ones at the top. My smaller dog who is only 16 pounds can knock them down. LO can even unlatch them. Our gate is in the hall just before the stairs instead of at the top of the stairs, and I still only use the mounted type. I have a simple, swing style. I recommend solid fill or vertical bars because my LO climbed the other grid type styles.
  • found this on pinterest for not screwing into banisters: http://foxfamilyincary.blogspot.ca/2011/07/installing-baby-gate-without-drilling.html?m=1
    image  image
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  • I can't remember what brand ours is (we got it at Target) but it very clearly stated that gates on stairs MUST be screwed into the walls. 
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    Jim & Kristen ~ August 19, 2006
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