There comes a time in every baby’s development when they have become mobile, though they still do not have the motor control to avoid falls and other minor disasters. Any parent can tell you that although this phase is adorable, it requires constant supervision, and accidents can happen lightning-fast. The best way to avoid accidents and generally reduce stress during this time is to maintain baby-friendly zones were the little ones can practice their moves without danger.
Baby gates are a great way to partition off certain areas of the house in order to keep kids safe. While traditional baby gates are great for stairways and normal-sized doors, some spaces require an extra wide baby gate. This article will review some of the best gates available for all those parents who want to make it through this important developmental stage with a minimum of stress.
Regalo Super Wide Baby Gate: max width 52 inches
One of the most popular expandable baby gates is also one of the cheapest. The Regalo Easy Open Super Wide Walk Thru Gate offers an uncomplicated and easy to install solution. This steel gate expands from 29 inches to 52 inches and utilizes a lever-style handle that will be convenient for moms and dads with just one hand free. This gate uses pressure fit mounts so that there is no screwing involved.
Regalo Extra Wide Baby Gate: max width 58 inches
The same company also sells an extra wide version, the Regalo Extra Wide Widespan Gate. This product is a little bit more expensive, but comes with 4, 6, and 12 inch extension kits. The maximum width is 58 inches.
This version is also built of painted steel and it meets all current safety standards. This will be a good product for those who may want to utilize the gate in different locations with a minimum of conversion hassle.
Dreambaby Pressure Mount Gate: max width 53 to 60 inches
Another extra wide baby gate pressure mounted solution is the Dreambaby Pressure Mount Hallway Gate. This sturdy metal gate comes with included extensions so that it can fit in a normal doorway or any other space up to 53 inches wide.
Larger extensions can be bought separately to increase this distance up to just over 60 inches. One small but very helpful detail is that the gate door on this model will swing shut automatically making it impossible accidentally to leave the door open. Parents will appreciate one less thing to worry about.
Evenflo Crosstown Travel Gate: max width 60 inches
One option for families on the go is the Evenflo Crosstown Soft Portable Travel Gate. Technically, this product is not a gate at all because it does not open, and parents will have to step over the barrier, not through it. Regardless, this is an attractive and easy to use barrier that can be quickly folded up and stashed in the included carry bag for visits with friends and family. Keep in mind that this gate is too large for normal-sized 27 inch doorways. It is designed to expand from 38 inches to 60 inches and is fully adjustable for uneven openings.
DreamBaby Retractable Gate: max width 55 inches
The DreamBaby Retractable Gate offers a different spin on the baby gate question. This gate utilizes retractable technology, much like a roll up window shade. This is an attractive solution for folks who want a sturdy gate that will nonetheless hide away quickly and easily when not in use. Though this gate is strong enough for most uses, users do note that two hands are generally required for opening and closing. This gate is built to be used inside or outside, and can close off any opening up to 55 inches. It also comes with two sets of hardware for inter-changeable installation in two different locations.
GMI Keepsafe Expansion Gate: max width 108 inches or 9 feet
Because extra wide baby gates reach across a large area, metal is often a better material choice that flexible wood. One exception to this rule, however, is the GMI Keepsafe Expansion Gate. Built in a simple latticework style, this extra wide baby gate is easy to install and can generally take years of abuse. This is just about the widest expandable gate you can buy, useable in spaces up to 9 feet wide. This gate utilizes a rubber-footed center post to insure stability even at maximum extension. Another nice detail is that the entire gate swings 180 degrees so that the whole passage way can be used instead of just a narrow gate.
All of the products listed above have received enthusiastic reviews from customers and will offer years of quality use. As you search for baby gate solutions, it will be important to decide in advance what features are important to you. Pressure mounting versus hardware, hide-ability versus sturdiness, and portability versus decor should all be considered ahead of time. Metal is usually the preferred material, though some excellent wooden solutions are also available.
Always be sure to take careful measurements before you buy in order to avoid complications. Most of the products listed above are easily affordable at under $100. As with anything, you will generally get what you pay for, so it makes sense to spend a little extra for a well reviewed products that will last for years and offer trouble free installation and use. By allowing you to rest easy as your children stay active and practice their first steps, investing in a baby gate is some of the smartest money that parents can spend.