23 answers

Baby Gate Advice for Wide Area at Top of Stairs

Hi,
Our almost 8 month old will be crawling soon, so we're starting to babyproof. We've blocked off most stairways, but we live in a townhouse where there are three steps up from the entryway to the main floor. We can't find a baby gate that's wide enough (48") that wouldn't also entail us removing the railing by the stairs, which is 24" off of the ground. I'd thought about just trying to barricade it with a playyard or something, but the stairs to upstairs are right there, and we need to access them easily. Any thoughts? We're not planning to have him roaming around on his own, but want to be on the safe side.

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Thanks so much for all of the advice! We may give that baby-proofing company a call. It seems like the height of the space (trying to get it to fit under the railing next to the stairs) is going to be trickier than the width...

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Hi K.,
We bought The First Year's gate w/a pedal you step on to open. They sell extentions that can go on both sides of just one side depending on how big you need. It's been a good gate for us. We've had it for about 4-5 years now. I think I bought it at Buy Buy Baby in Rockville. Hope this helps.

L., mother of 3 girls ages 9, almost 5 & 2

You can get retractable mesh baby gates that are very long. They roll up on one side and pull out and connect to the other. You have to bolt them on the wall though. I think One Step Ahead has them or just google it. I have steps that have railings on each side and couldn't find a solution so I just put my ottoman in front of the stairs so he couldn't get to them.

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We had stairs but we were so involved with each other that we never needed one. You only have one child, no biggie wiht a hubby like yours!!
God Bless

I at one time had to span a 96" door way (8 feet) with a gate and found the Elongate (shows here http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=27553...)
to work wonderfully! It's adjustable, you can get it as small as 48" up to I believe 13 feet. I used it like I said over an 8 foot span and it was easy to install, easy to put together, easy to use, and kept my dogs and baby secure. It does install with some hardware, but it's a total of about 8 screws, so it's not a ton of holes to fill once you decide to take it down. it's available at several pet stores, though I bought my set online at the time. The 8 foot span cost me about $120 bucks with shipping (shop for the best price, pet stores tend to be a little higher) and I was thrilled with it. The door it about 30 inches and can open either way, it's not particularlly easy for a toddler to figure out (as it takes kinda aadvanced finger use to open) and it swings silently so no worrys about waking a sleeping baby if it's 4am.

Now...after reading your post a little more...is there a wall or stair rail on both sides of the stairs or are they open stairs? If they're open stairs...try this one: http://www.safestartbaby.com/ecomm_product_details.php?id...

You can get retractable mesh baby gates that are very long. They roll up on one side and pull out and connect to the other. You have to bolt them on the wall though. I think One Step Ahead has them or just google it. I have steps that have railings on each side and couldn't find a solution so I just put my ottoman in front of the stairs so he couldn't get to them.

Check out onestepahead.com they have tons of gates that will fit almost any space. We have the retractable ones at the top and bottom of both of our staircases and love them. My boys are 7 and 4 and we still use them when we have playdates (to keep kids downstairs) and for night walking. Good luck.

Dear Kim , I'm just a plan old coutry girl but if it was me I would see if I could find somthing made of net material and add hooks to it for easy release . accually you could make some with like leather materials something (strong ) keep holes small. That way the only damage your really doing to structure is some eye hooks .

Hi K.,

I also live in a townhouse in Ashburn. After some research online, we came up with the same dilemma with the steps up from our entry to our living room. The angle and width made it really complicated, so we decided to look into hiring a baby-proofing company, Safe Start Baby that I think is located in Round Hill. You can get an in-home assessment for about $100 and they will tell you the areas of concern in the rooms to be baby-proofed and what types of gates they would use.

We chose to have them install the gates (my husband works a lot and I'm not that handy with a drill!) and they did a great job. We had to have a couple of different types of gates in our house. They didn't drill into any of the banisters but instead used zip-ties; they did have to drill into the wall and into some trim, but those can be patched up easily. They are all super easy to remove as needed, as we discovered when we had a new refrigerator delivered.

When we hired Safe Start Baby, they didn't have an online store...but they do now! You could get the assessment and then buy the gates online and install them yourself. (Installation is not cheap!)

http://www.safestartbaby.com/index.php

Hope this makes sense...if not, please email me!

Good luck!

I also live in a townhome and my advice is to block from the bottom and never leave him unattended at the top. My babygate is3 steps up from the bottom and it is a big plastic and clear plastic gate. It comes with special hardware so you can mount it on the wall and it will swing out. the hardware even comes with a mounting kit which helps balance out the top mount on the wall and the bottom mount on the trimwork.. yes it took me 2 hurs to install...had to run to hardware store for wall anchors and finally i just gave up and glued it to the wall with a product called liquid nails. mind you in 6 years when its time to take down the gate, i will have to cut it out and spackle and patch but its better than my baby falling down stairs. I reccomend to start a 3 steps up b/c they will learn about steps but not "fall" down them. good luck!

Hi K.,

We took an old door (we had been remodeling at the time) and laid it across the opening sideways, then affixed it with eye-hooks (we had some that were difficult for a child to manipulate). It turned out the door did the job well, and we adults could easily go over it.

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