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The Best Baby Gates To Prevent Your Now-Mobile Kid From Head-First Exploration

No joke. Because major accidents happen.

Toddlers are like miniature ninjas. One minute, they’re quietly building entire cities with building blocks. The next, they’re exploring the concept of gravity by taking on the stairs. When properly installed and used, the best baby gates for stairs, including the ever-popular Retract-a-Gate, keep intrepid, rambunctious toddlers safe. 

Need further proof — besides observing your curious and active child — that a baby gate is a good idea?  Consider this stat from a 2012 long-term study in the journal Pediatrics: “A child less than 5 years old is treated in a US emergency department, on average, every 6 minutes for a stair-related injury.” 

For tops of stairs gates, experts strongly recommend that parents go with hardware-mounted baby gates. Simply put, those are the most secure because they’re screwed into place, even though they do leave holes in your walls. Pressure-mounted baby gates are another option; they’re more flexible because you can move them from place to place and are best for flatter areas, like doorways.

Now you see it, now you don't: That's the basic idea between this fairly brilliant 52 inch hardware-mounted gate that can retract when not in use. You can also purchase extra mounting kits if you'd like to be able to move the gate around to different locations.

A simple, affordable, and durable wall-mounted gate for the top of the stairs, this one is 42.5 inches wide. Adults open and close it using a one-handed latch system. It has an optional stop bracket that prevents it from opening over a stairway. It installs at angles up to 30 degrees.

This baby gate adjusts even when your walls are uneven, and is a solid pick for the top or bottom of stairs, hallways, and doorways. It's up to 40 inches wide, so it's better for narrower spaces. It has an indexed sizing system that adjusts for a perfect vertical fit when walls aren't level, and a tuning system that lets you adjust the width. It has a double-locking system that's easy for adults to use, but a challenge for kids.

At 53 inches wide, this baby gate is perfect for bigger or taller openings. You have two installation options: Hardware stairway installation (which we recommend) or a no-drill doorway mount. The gate door has a feature that gently closes the door behind you, and a hold-open feature if you, well, want to keep it open. It also has a built-in door stopper that will prevent your gate from swinging open.

This hardware-mounted aluminum gate has a powder-coated finish that's rustproof and weatherproof, so it can be installed on the stairs of a porch or deck. It's 42.5 inches wide. Although the gate can swing freely both ways, the company also includes an optional stop bracket that prevents the gate from being opened in whichever direction you choose (such as over a staircase).

So you live in a palace, with a massive staircase? And other, regular baby gates just won't do? You need this behemoth, which fits openings up to 72 inches wide. It's a swinging safety gate with a childproof double-locking system. You can hardware-mount it on to straight or angled walls. And parents can open it one-handed.

If you need something for angled openings or the bottom of the stairs, this hardware-mounted baby gate is for you. It can expand to fit openings that are 192 inches wide, and comes with eight 24-inch panels. If you opt to use it as a play yard, it can create 19 square feet of play space. It has a walk-through design with a safety locking feature.

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