There may be many baby gates model and brands, and the same goes for the features. The features of baby gates depend on where and how the gate will be used. Most of these features are incorporated to ensure safety and increase the gate’s versatility. Below is a look at some features to look out for in different baby gates.
Height of Baby Gates
The height of baby gates varies from one gate to the other. To get the ideal height, you have to be very specific with what you want because sometimes the height misses on the package. Sometimes the height is even incorrectly stated on the safety package and as a parent the last thing you want to do is get a gate that is too short for your child.
The average height of most baby gates is 23 to 26 inches. However, there are gates than can be as high as 30 inches. Better still, you can get baby gates that are 36 or even 40 inches tall. Some gates especially the extra wide baby gates come with an extension that can allow you customize the gate to a height of your liking. The best way to know the ideal height for your baby gate is to take measurements of your doorway, hallway or any other opening you want to block. That way you have an idea of how high the gate should be when making a purchase that is particularly helpful when the gate’s height is not indicated on the package
Construction of Baby Gates
The features of a baby gate are largely determined by how the gate is constructed. Like stated earlier on, each gate is constructed to offer maximum safety and increase versatility to the highest level possible. The construction of a baby gate also determines how easy it is to operate the gate. Most gates are constructed in such a way that they can be operated with one hand meaning that you can pass through the gate when holding your baby, pet or other goods with one hand.
Other gates such as the self-closing baby gates are constructed in such a way that they automatically close themselves once you’ve passed through them. Such functionality not only saves time but ensures you have some peace of mind knowing that the gate will lock itself into place even when you’re in a hurry. Some gates are constructed with light materials to ensure they are easily portable from one point to other within the house.
Such kinds of gates are specifically ideal when you want to block certain entries temporarily. The construction allows you to dismantle and assemble the gate almost at will and change its position when the need arises. A good example is the pressure mounted gates that can be mounted from one doorway to the other depending on the current needs.
Hardware and Latches for Baby Gates
The hardware is the actual material used to make the baby gate. The hardware features of baby gates goes hand in hand. The hardware determines how flexible the gate will be. For instance, you can’t compare the flexibility of a safety gate made using metal to that of the gate made using a mesh. At the same time, the gate’s hardware dictates how long a gate can last. A wooden gate would last longer than plastic made baby gate. The materials used to make a gate can also facilitate for addition of other features. For example, it’s easier to come across a baby gate with pet door made from aluminum than it is to find the same gate made from wood.
The hardware also determines how strong a gate is and by extension where you will place it in the house. If you want to block top of the stairs for instance, you will probably go for a hardware mounted gate that will guarantee added safety. Latches, on the other hand, are made to increase the functionality of the gate. Also depending on the materials use to make them, latches also determine the longevity of a gate. They also determine how fast a gate closes after you’ve passed through it.
The last thing you want with a baby gate is its inability to lock safely. However, thanks to latch indicators you can know the status of your gate even when you’re far away. Latch indicators are one of the most important features of baby gates. They are designed in such a way that they light up in red when the gate is opened. If for some reason you want to restrict your child to a certain area and need to attend to other issues, all you need to do is keep an eye on the latch indicator and you will know the status of the gate all the time.
Sometimes, dust can accumulate on the latch indicator but this can be solved by using a dust cover over the red light. However, it is important to mention that for you to install a latch indicator correctly, the gate needs to be in its closed position. Latch indicators will help you detect jamming during closure especially with a retractable baby gate that is being used quite often. In other words, a latch indicator is the feature that lets you know if the gate is functioning properly hence guaranteeing safety and reliability.
Flexibility for Installation
The level of a baby gate’s flexibility determines how easy it is to install it. The best baby gate needs to be as flexible as possible. It should allow for the addition of an extension when you want to increase the height or width of the gate. The gate should be flexible to a point that you can use it to block any opening irrespective of the shape or angle of inclination. If you have to use any screws of hexes, it should be easy to fit each and every piece into place without a lot of difficulties.
Baby gates should be retractable when not in use, which is the essence of flexibility. If a baby gate is to be installed on a framed doorway, its design should be such that it takes you less than half an hour to install. Some baby gates are made from Plexiglas or high-strength fabrics to increase their flexibility. It is imperative to mention that before you install any gate at a particular point you should consider the flexibility aspect. Avoid installing permanent gates on openings that would do with a temporal safe gate and vice versa. That way you will make the most out of various baby gates features.