Thursday, January 19, 2012
You'd think that with the (seemingly) hundreds of baby gates on the market, it would be easier to find one that actually works and fits in the spot you want to put it. But we're not having much luck, and we have an increasingly mobile and curious toddler who thinks that climbing the stairs is the most.fun.activity.EVER.
The other issue with the bottom of the stairs is that I guess you're supposed to put the gate on the bottom stair, as opposed to the floor? If that's the case, we've got bigger problems since we have a pretty thick and cushy carpet as a runner, making the surface area unlevel when you go from left to right.
Our trim molding is not the easiest thing to deal with either, as it also semi-interferes with mounting--both tension and hardware styles. Fun.
And then there's part of me that is thinking we should just save our money and buy a cheap, removable-on-a-daily-basis gate that we can somehow rig at the bottom of the stairs, and just very carefully supervise (like we have been) whenever we're upstairs. At what age do kids generally learn how to go down stairs safely? When are they old enough to start teaching them to scootch down on their bellies, backwards?
For downstairs, if we can't figure out a bottom-of-the-stairs solution, our only other option is to put a gate in the doorway to our kitchen, then put a (very wide, and probably very expensive) gate across the opening into the playroom, effectively blocking off our entire foyer. This is less appealing to me because I feel like the gates will be more "in your face" this way, as opposed to being relatively inconspicuous in our stairway.
What do you think? Any suggestions for us based on our photos? Do you live in a "gated community," or do you let your kids roam free? If you do the former, what is the system you've found works best for you? If the latter, how on earth do you keep your kids away from stairs and/or watch them every second?