How To Block Stairs Without Baby Gate?

Last Updated on May 11, 2023

If you are looking for ways to block off your stairs without using a baby gate, there are several options available. 

This article will outline some of the most effective and safe methods for blocking access to stairs, from using furniture and strategically placed items to installing door locks or gates. 

With the right precautions, it’s easy to keep children away from hazardous staircases without resorting to a traditional baby gate. 

Read on for more information about how to block stairs without a baby gate.

How to block stairs without baby gate?

How to block stairs without baby gate?

You can block stairs without using a baby gate in many different ways. We’re giving you a few of the most effective and safe options below:

1. Use Furniture

You can strategically use furniture or large, stable items to block off access to stairs. This doesn’t have to be a permanent solution; you can use items from other parts of the house and rearrange them as needed.


This method is cheaper and less permanent than installing a gate, and it allows you to customize the setup for your particular needs.


This isn’t the most secure option; children can potentially move or climb over the furniture if they are determined enough.

2. Install Door Locks

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You can install door locks that prevent access to stairways when not in use. These locks come in keyed, combination, or electronic varieties, so you can find one suited for your particular home security needs.


– This is a very secure way of keeping children away from stairs as long as the locks are engaged when needed.

– They also add an extra layer of security to keep unwanted guests out of areas with hazardous staircases.


– This is a more permanent solution and can be slightly more expensive than other options.

3. Install Stair Gates

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  • The Summer Metal Banister and Stair Safety Dog and Baby Gate fits openings 31” to 46” wide and is 32.5" tall; featured on Babylist's "Best Baby Gates for All Your Childproofing Needs" list
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  • This baby gate accommodates banister-to-banister and banister to wall installation at the top or bottom of stairs, as well as installation in doorways and hallways
  • Adults can easily open the toddler gate one-handed; the door opens the entire width of the gate so it's easy to walk through and the no-threshold design minimizes tripping
  • Be sure it's secure with the locking indicator and a support foot that provides extra stability; the protrusion on the latch prevents door from swinging outward over stairs; 3rd party safety tested and approved

If you prefer to use an actual gate, there are many styles available that fit into doorways or staircases without having to drill into the walls. They are typically made of plastic or metal and come with adjustable widths.


This is one of the most secure ways to keep children away from stairs because it completely blocks off access while simultaneously providing visibility so adults can supervise their activity.


This method is typically more expensive than using furniture or installing door locks, and some versions may require drilling into walls for installation.

Also read: How long can you use baby gates

4. Pressure mountable gates

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These gates are designed to fit securely into doorways and stairs without drilling. They use tension or pressure along with adjustable widths, so they can be placed in any doorway or staircase opening that is greater than 28 inches wide.


This is a secure yet non-permanent solution, so it’s ideal if you need to move the gate around frequently or want to remove it when not needed.


Some of these gates may not be as secure as those that require drilling and installation.

5. Retractable gates

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Retractable gates are a great alternative to traditional baby gates. They operate on a spring-loaded track system, allowing them to be easily pulled out and retracted when not in use. This makes them ideal for homes with multiple staircases or doorways, and they come in both mesh and wooden options.


– This is an easy way to block off access to stairs without the need for installation.

– It is also less expensive than installing a permanent gate or door lock.


– The retractable gates may not provide as much security as other types of baby gates, as children can potentially push through or climb over them if they are determined enough.

– Additionally, it requires more effort from adults since the gate needs to be pulled out and retracted each time it is used.

6. Plastic tension rods

You can create a DIY baby gate with a tension rod if you’re searching for an inexpensive yet highly effective solution to keep your children safe. It’s economical and easy to assemble, so it conveniently fits into any budget!


– This is a very affordable option that doesn’t require any installation.

– It’s also easy to adjust the width of this gate so that it can be used in a variety of spaces and doorways.


– This is not the most secure option, as children can potentially move or climb over the tension rod if they’re motivated enough.

It may be difficult to maintain a tight seal around the edges of doorways or walls with this type of gate.

7. Stairway separation kits

Finally, if you’re looking for a more long-term solution to protect your children from harm on the stairs, consider a stairway separation kit. These kits come with all the hardware and instructions needed to create a barrier along the sides of your staircase.


– This is an effective way to completely separate your children from the stairs, preventing them from having access.

– You can also customize the height of the barrier for added protection.


– This method requires installation, which is slightly more expensive and time-consuming than other gate options.

-Additionally, there may be better options for homes with multiple staircases.

– It also doesn’t provide as much visibility as other baby gate solutions, so you may find it harder to keep an eye on your children while they are near the stairs.

8. Half door barriers

Summer Infant Modern Home Walk-Thru...
  • The Summer Modern Home Safety Dog and Baby Gate fits openings 28-42" and is 30" tall; please measure opening prior to purchase to ensure proper fit
  • Fits in doorways or hallways with easy no-drill pressure mount system to help prevent damage; also fits at top or bottom of stairs, on walls or flat banisters, with included hardware kit
  • 18" wide door can swing both ways; gate door stays open when engaged greater than 90 degrees; door opened less than 90 degrees auto-closes; stopper prevents door from swinging over stairs when installed at top of stairs
  • Door locks securely to keep babies, toddlers, and dogs contained with narrowly spaced bars that prevent them from squeezing through; adults can open door with one hand by engaging the latch and pulling up on the door
  • The safety gate will appear bent at first, but will be corrected upon proper installation; note this gate will not fit an opening 32-33" or 37-38"; 3rd party safety tested and approved

Half-door barriers are another great way to keep children safely away from the stairs. They provide a secure barrier between the lower and upper part of the staircase, preventing any access and allowing visibility so adults can supervise their activity.


– This is a simple yet effective solution for stairway safety.

– The barrier also provides visibility, so you can keep an eye on your children while they are near the stairs.


– This type of baby gate may require installation, depending on the model and brand you choose. – Additionally, some models may be more expensive than other types of gates.

– It also doesn’t provide as much security as other options, as children could potentially climb over or push through the barrier if they are determined enough.

Also read: Best retractable baby gates

How to determine if your stairs are safe for a baby gate?

If you are considering using a baby gate on the stairs, there are a few major factors that you should consider to make it properly safe for your baby. These are the following:

– Make sure the top of the gate is securely fastened to a solid wall or other sturdy structure on the top of the stairs. 

– Also, make sure that any metal components of the gate are not sharp and the hardware is secure. 

– You should also check to ensure there are no gaps or spaces between the gate and the stairs that could potentially allow a child to get stuck. 

– Ensure that the gate swings open away from the stairs and locks securely when closed. 

Following these guidelines will ensure that your baby gate is properly installed and safe for your little one.

However, you should regularly inspect the gate and any mounting hardware and replace or repair any broken components. 

Additionally, never leave a child unattended in or near the baby gate. With proper care and maintenance, your baby can enjoy the safety and security of a baby gate on the stairs.

Also read: Best portable baby gate for stairs

How do you make stairs safe for toddlers?

Making stairs safe for toddlers can be a difficult task, but there are some steps you can take to minimize the risk. These are:

– Use safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairs to keep your toddler from accessing them without supervision. 

– Also, consider installing rubber stair treads, which provide traction and make it easier to climb up or down the stairs. 

– Make sure the gates and treads are installed properly and securely, so they don’t come loose. 

– If you have hardwood stairs, consider putting carpet runners down the middle of each step to provide additional cushioning if your toddler slips or falls while using the stairs. 

– Teach your toddler how to use the stairs safely, such as always holding the handrail to help maintain balance. Explain to them the importance of using handrails when going up and down stairs and that taking one step at a time is best.

– Remind them not to slide down banisters as it can be dangerous and they could fall off or get hurt. 

– Keep staircases free of toys and other assorted items.

– Teach children that running, jumping or playing on stairs can be dangerous and they might injure themselves if they do that.

– If a child has difficulty navigating stairs, demonstrate how to use both handrails and show them how to take one step at a time. Encourage the child to practice going up and down stairs with handrails under your supervision. 

With these precautions and a little practice, you can make stairs safe for toddlers, and your child will be able to navigate stairs safely.  

How can you stop your toddler from climbing stairs?

The most obvious and reliable way to prevent your toddler from climbing stairs is to install baby gates at the top and bottom of the staircase. 

The gate should be strong enough to keep your toddler from getting over or around the gate and should be securely attached to both the floor and wall so that it does not move. 

Be sure to remove or lock the gate when an adult is using the stairs, as toddlers may try to follow them. 

Additionally, keep doors leading to staircases closed and locked when not in use. You can also try adding a railing or a wall to the side of the staircase that your toddler cannot climb, as this may discourage them from attempting to climb the stairs.

Are stair gates necessary?

Stair gates are not necessarily essential for all households. However, for those with young children and babies in the home, they can provide an extra layer of safety and peace of mind. 

Stair gates can be a visual reminder to children not to go near the stairs and can also physically prevent them from accessing the stairs. 

This can be especially important for households with multiple levels and open staircases, as it can help to reduce the risk of falls. 

Stair gates are also often used to keep pets and young children from accessing potentially hazardous areas, such as kitchens or bathrooms. 

Ultimately, it is up to the individual household to decide whether a stair gate is necessary. If parents feel that their home environment warrants extra safety, then a stair gate is a great solution. 

However, a stair gate may not be necessary if the environment does not warrant it.


When to Start Babyproofing Stairs?

When it comes to stairs, babyproofing should begin as soon as your baby starts crawling or walking. It’s common for babies to begin crawling between 6 and 12 months of age. 
Depending on the type of stairs in your home, you may need to take different precautions. For instance, if the stairs have a banister or railing, install safety gates at the top and bottom to prevent your baby from accessing them. 
If the stairs do not have a banister, you may need to install pressure-mounted gates or hardware-mounted gates for added safety. 
You should also make sure that the stairs are clear of any furniture or toys that could create a tripping hazard. 
Finally, consider installing non-slip treads or carpeting to the stairs so your baby can safely move up and down them.

Do you really need baby gate at top of stairs?

Yes, it is important to use a baby gate at the top of the stairs. Baby gates are essential for providing a safe environment for your little one.
Without them, your child may be in danger of falling down or having difficulty navigating the stairs independently. Baby gates help create a barrier that prevents your child from accessing the stairs and provide extra visibility so you can keep an eye on them.

At what age do I not need a baby gate at the stairs?

Most safety experts recommend removing the gate when your toddler turns 2 or can open up and climb over the gate. 
If you cannot do so due to other young children in the house, opt for a gate that doesn’t have spaces or notches they could take advantage of.
Additionally, if your child has any developmental delay, consider using a baby gate beyond 3 years.

Wrapping Up

Thanks for reading about how to block stairs without baby gate! As you can see, many different types of baby gate alternatives are available that provide varying levels of protection. 

All these methods are short-term solutions and should be employed in conjunction with supervision, as none of them will be as reliable as a baby gate.

A baby gate is the best way to block off stairs and keep your little one safe. However, the best way to protect your child is by keeping an eye on them, no matter what preventative measures you take. 

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Amy A. Vincent

Amy A. Vincent, a mother of three amazing children, has been sharing practical parenting insights and advice for the past four years and counting on her blog. With contributions from real healthcare professionals, she provides guidance on topics ranging from baby products to best practices in raising your children with confidence. Whether you’re interested in learning how to take care of them or making informed decisions about their well-being, this site offers comprehensive parental support that can help you raise happy and healthy kids! Read more

Dr. Leah Alexander

Dr. Leah Alexander is a board-certified general pediatrician and has been practicing pediatrics at Elizabeth Pediatric Group of New Jersey since 2000. Since 2005, she has been working as an independently contracted pediatrician with Medical Doctors Associates at Pediatricare Associates of New Jersey. She also enjoys cooking outside of the medical profession. Read more

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