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How Long Do You Need Baby Gates? | important guide for child safety

By Amy A. Vincent | Fact checked by Dr. Leah Alexander, MD, FAAP | Updated on October 12, 2022

When your little one starts crawling, it is crucial to make your home childproof. You have to block the kitchen, bathroom, stairs, and other unsafe places for the safety of your child. It is where a baby gate plays an important role. It protects your little one from going to those risky places. But did you ever think, how long do you need baby gates? Though as a parent, I didn’t face any problems using baby gates. But there is a particular time when we should stop using the baby gate for our children’s betterment, which I will describe in this article.

What Is The Age Limit of Using A Baby Gate?

Usually, when our little one is six months old, he starts crawling, which is the ideal time for having a baby gate. But if you have pets in your house, you can start using them a little earlier because you want to keep the pets away from your baby. After all, it could be a bit of a danger for the little one sometimes. Pet can give a big kiss all over the face or licking all over his body, which is not advisable for the little one’s sensitive skin.

Related: If you want to baby-proof your house and still use the same gate when you’re on vacation or visiting your parents, a travel baby gate is suitable.

And when your baby becomes two years old, if he learns how to unlock the gate or cross over the gate, you should remove it. The reason is that when the baby may try to climb over the gate. Due to this, he may get stuck on it or fall over. So, that is why you should stop using the gate at that time.

It’s time to teach the baby how to climb up and down the stairs safely. Let him know the stairs are not a playing zone. He may get hurt if he plays around this place. So, tell him not to put any toys on the stairs.

You can slowly introduce him to the different areas or other corners of the house. But always keep an eye on him. Remember, close observation is significant at that age. You should not leave the baby alone whatsoever and ended up hurting himself.

In a nutshell, Age Limit of Using A Baby Gate: 6 months – 2 years.

What to do with the baby gate when it is no longer needed?

What to do with the baby gate when it is no longer needed?

Once a baby grows up, he will be a toddler and then a young boy with the time.  The things that were used for growing him up will be a memory. But when your little one outgrows the baby gate, don’t put it into the trash. You never know when you can utilize it again. You can use it for your pets also. If neighbors come to your house with kids, birthday parties, or family get-togethers, you can use this gate to discourage babies from going to certain areas of the house.

Even you can put it in the storehouse. Whenever you are having another kid, you can make use of it.

At what age can babies climb stairs?

Once the baby starts to walk, soon he will try to climb the stairs. When the little one is 12 months old, he may try to go up with his feet. But it usually happens between 9 months and 18 months.

You may notice that your baby might crawl up and down to stairs with his hands and feet before starting to walk. You can let him do it but, of course, under your observation. At this time, you can show him how to scoot down the stairs. It is safer for him. On the other hand, this bit of exercise will tighten his leg muscle that helps him learn to walk fast.  

Once the little one starts walking, it will be easier for him to climb up and down the stairs with the assistance of your hand or railing. But don’t let him overstretched his legs, he may get slipped and hurt himself.

At what age can babies climb stairs?

Some early crawlers may still use their hands and feet method no matter how perfect they walk. But it will be all okay with the time until they are comfortable climbing stairs with their own feet.

By 24 months, the baby will learn to climb stairs entirely with or without the help of a railing. But still, you have to keep a close eye on him so that he does not get slipped and fall. You can let him try to climb a short ladder or step up to a slide outdoor. It will be good practice for him.

Are baby gates safe?

The ultimate goal of a safety gate is to keep our baby safe. A baby gate is entirely safe if we use the right one at the right place. But a wrong selection of gate might occur an accident.

That is why we have to be careful at the time of choosing baby gates. There are two types of safety gates that are widely used. 1. Hardware mounted gates and 2. Pressure mounted gates.

Hardware mounted gates are bolted to framing inside the walls of our house. We use it at the top of the stairs to prevent the falling of our child.

On the other hand, pressure mounted gates press simply on opposite walls. These gates are used where there is no falling hazard like in between rooms, at the bottom of the stairs, kitchen, etc. to discourage babies from going to certain places or climbing upstairs.

Pressure mounted gates aren’t secure enough to be installed at the top of the stairs. If you install it in that place just to avoid drilling holes into your walls, it would be a bad idea because the gate might come off any time.

Are baby gates safe

On the other hand, sometimes, overusing the gate might hurt your little ones. For example, if your baby is outgrowing the gate, you should remove it immediately. The reason is he may try to climb over the gate and result in getting hurt. 

The Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio discovered a study in 2014 that nearly 1400 babies wind up in the emergency room every year due to baby gate related injuries. Most of the injuries were not serious, though.

Final Verdict

So, the moral of the story is that a baby gate is safe. But we will always install the hardware mounted gate at the top of the stairs. And when our little one is 24 months and up, we will remove the safety gates to avoid hazards. 
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