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Best stair gates to keep babies and toddlers safe UK 2022 – Women's Health UK





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Baby on the move? Now is the time to install stair gates to keep your little ones safe from harm.
There’s nothing quite as exciting as watching your baby strike forward independently for the first time. Whether they’re commando creeping, crawling on all fours, or cruising the furniture like a pro, it’s a moment that has many parents reaching for their cameras, desperate to capture those precious first moments. And then, as your baby inches closer and closer to the stairs which, previously, had been safely unattainable, reality hits: it’s time to baby proof.

As soon as your little explorer begins to move, a baby gate quickly becomes an essential piece of kit to help keep them secure while also allowing them to practise their new skills and investigate their surroundings safely. Baby gates offer peace of mind to frazzled parents, who – despite what they may wish – do not have eyes in the backs of their heads, especially when the washing machine needs unloading or the dishwasher putting on.

To baby proof your home, first things first: move all of your precious possessions two metres up and out of reach. Next up, lock all of your kitchen cupboards with safety latches. And last but by no means least, install a stair gate, or three, depending on how many hazardous spots you have in your home.
A baby stair gate does what it says on the tin. Typically made from wood, metal, or plastic, they provide protective barriers to prevent babies, toddlers, older children and family pets from accessing certain parts of the home.

They come in a number of heights and widths; can fit across stairs, in doorways, or even across entire rooms; and are easy for adults to open one handed (useful when you have a baby on your hip!) while also being secure enough to withstand small, curious hands.

Stair gates fit into a number of categories (see below) and the best type for you will depend on a few key factors, including the size of your house, the type of stairs you have, where you’d like to fit the gate, how handy you are with a drill, and the age (and dexterity) of your little one.

Is your home safe for little explorers? Selina Russel, in-house safety expert at Fred Safety, offers the following home baby proofing safety tips:
From filling awkward spaces to safety equipment that will blend in with your home decor, keep scrolling for our pick of the best baby stair gates to shop now.

If space is a concern then look no further than this folding baby gate from BabyDan. As well as keeping your little one safely away from staircases and other hazardous spots within the home, this is almost invisible when not in use, automatically folding away in a neat little concertina. The screw-fit gate is suitable for stairs, hallways, and corridors and can be mounted both inside and outside door frames and at the top or the bottom of the stairs. It can be opened one-handed and, because it is wall mounted it has no bar at the bottom which means you don’t need to worry about tripping over as you step through.
Dimensions: Width 55-89cm, height 69cm
Type
: Screw fit stair gate
If ultimate peace of mind is what you’re after, this clear stair gate from Fred Safety has a range of features designed to provide reassurance. A colour indicator – red and green – lets you know when the gate is locked and a glow strip built into the bottom rail prevents it from becoming a trip hazard. The gate also has a slam shut auto lock feature for extra security and, although it can open both ways, has an optional one day swing setting. Slick and contemporary, the clear gate also blends perfectly into any modern family home and is made from strong acrylic that can withstand heavy impacts – ideal for especially rambunctious toddlers.
Dimensions: Width 76-96cm, height 77cm
Type
: Available in both screw fit and adhesive fit
For ones so small, babies (or, more accurately, their stuff!) take up a hell of a lot of space in our homes. Sometimes, when they’re asleep, we want to come downstairs and relax in a more adult-friendly environment. This safety gate from Danish brand BabyDan serves just this purpose. As well as quickly and easily creating child-friendly spaces in your home without the hassle – or mess – of drilling into the walls, the gate is so easy for adults to remove (it requires no tools whatsoever) that you can take it down in the evening – perhaps if you’re having guests over for drinks, a fancy dinner party, or even just a glass of wine and a takeaway in a living room that looks a bit more like it did pre-kids!
Dimensions: Width 60.5-102cm, height 73cm
Type
: Pressure fit stair gate
We often assume that baby gates are for, well, babies. In fact, they can also provide a useful tool for families with toddlers or older children. One gate that’s perfect for such a job is the Easy Fit Plus Deluxe gate from Lindam, which is taller than the standard safety gates at 91.44cm from the floor to the top, making it ideal for keeping older, and taller, children safe. Even better for time-pressed parents (which is, I think, all parents) is the fact that the gate comes pre-assembled and ready to use and can be installed in just five minutes with the four point pressure fit frame providing peace of mind without the need for a drill.
Dimensions: Width 76-82cm, height 91.44cm
Type
: Pressure fit stair gate
If a stair gate isn’t for you – or if you’d rather have something a bit more portable – why not consider a playpen instead? This versatile gate from Dreambaby can either be used as a playpen or an extra-wide gate, giving you oodles of flexibility. It also has mesh panels, which means you can easily see your baby, and can be moved around the house depending on need. Plus, if you did want to use it as a barrier or gate, wall mounts are included for extra stability. Win-win!
Dimensions: Width 85.5cm-3.75m, height 74cm
Type
: Screw fit, if needed
Hey, if you’re going to have something taking up space in your home, it might as well be nice to look at, right? Well, this portable playpen from moKee is exactly that. The wooden Scandi-style pen is Instagram-ready and comes in a wide range of gorgeous pastel colours. It’s also made from sustainably sourced beech wood and can be folded away and easily stored when your baby outgrows it.
Dimensions: Height 63cm, width 72cm, length 103cm
Folded dimensions: 166.5cm x 8cm
Type
: Play pen
For a neutral design, look no further than this classic gate from Safety 1st. It’s understated, affordable, and fits effortlessly into any family home. It can also extend to fit a 94cm gap (with the stair gate extension which is sold separately) and has all the additional features you might need: one handed opening and an easy closing system – ideal if you have your hands full. The pressure fitting also means no drill is required to fit. And for extra style points, it’s also available in wood.
Dimensions: Width 73-80cm, height 80.5cm
Type
: Pressure fit stair gate
Sometimes it’s the most awkwardly shaped spots that need cordoning off the quickest. The fireplace is one such example – and, frustratingly, my own baby seems intent on scaling ours! Fortunately, Babydan offers a gate configuration that can either be used as a room divider, an extra wide gate or – hurrah! – a fire surround. The gate is screw fix, giving plenty of security, and is mountable on straight or angled walls for extra flexibility. An extra wide gate gives easy access to stoke the fire on those cold winter nights, while adult operated quick release wall fittings mean you can adapt or remove the set up easily.
Dimensions: Height 71cm, width 90-278cm, depth 3cm
Type
: Screw fit stair gate

If ultimate flexibility is what you’re after, this retractable gate from Dreambaby comes with two full sets of mounting brackets, meaning that you can clip on and clip off the gate panel and use it in two separate locations in your home or outside on patios and decks. Thanks to its extended width, this mesh gate is ideal for safely sectioning off areas of your garden too – the perfect option for when spring and summer come around. Even better, it retracts when not in use, preventing tripping and saving space wherever it is located.
Dimensions: Width 140cm, bracket height 93cm, mesh height 86.5cm
Type
: Screw fit stair gate

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