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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Designing your house to be a safe place: baby gates


Once your child becomes a mobile little curiosity machine, gates, plug covers, latches, and door knob covers become essential. Using these devices, you can create safe zones for your toddler that are essentially giant play yards. Of course, you don’t literally want to live in a play yard but safety wise, you do. 

The importance of baby gate types has really made a difference in my designs over the years. First we had the small wooden $10 gate that is a straight gate. No opening or closing. These are great if you are tall and healthy and can climb over gates to get to every room with a baby in your arms but for me – straight to the trash. Picture me at 5’7” with no legs – all torso trying to jump a ten-foot hurdle; that is what I looked like. Then we decided to “invest” in the gates that would open and close. Some of the options include the ability to “self-close” while others can be left open or shut. This is where preference comes in. For me, I like the self-closing gates on spaces where you would never want your child. For example, in our house the utility room which is also where we keep our cleaning supplies. These are also ideal for stairs. But for William’s room, a space where he can come and go as he pleases much of the day but for nap time, quiet time, and at night he is “locked in” I prefer the gate that I can leave open or close my self – which I hope are for obvious reasons.