Baby climbed over my only idea
September 17, 2007 11:52 AM   Subscribe

In desperate need of highly creative baby-gating solution

The problem:

Baby has to be blocked from hallway that is over five feet wide.


1. Standard baby gates are not wide enough; extenders require holes drilled in wall

2. Cannot drill holes in wall, live in apartment

3. Cannot use anything that is too high for me (5ft2) to step over

4. Cannot be something that can be pulled down or climbed.

We were blocking it with weighted boxes, but she scaled those this morning, horrible face-plant.

posted by esereth to Home & Garden (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
They make extra-wide baby gates without extenders that are not too tall.
posted by ND¢ at 11:59 AM on September 17, 2007

Petsmart and other pet companies often have extra wide non hole needed gates.
posted by stormygrey at 12:02 PM on September 17, 2007

This conflicts with #2, but you may find it is cheaper to repair holes drilled in the wall than to deal with any other solutions. Some mud, sanding and paint will make the wall look new again. If you want to reduce wear and tear on the wall, you could secure a couple of two-by-fours to the wall.

You really need a solution that uses a gate that can open, as something you need to climb is not very safe. And children tend to try to copy their parents.

If the hallway is not above stairs, you could use a heavy bureau to block half the hall and then a pressure-based gate between that and the wall. However, you may find that the gate presses into the wall and that you will need to repair the wall later. It is also clumsy to open and close.
posted by acoutu at 12:03 PM on September 17, 2007

I think this fits all your requirements, but it's not cheap. It's also marketed for pets, but seems to be what you're looking for. If it's too short (it's 22" high), they also have a taller one(36"), but since you said you wanted to be able to climb over it, I chose to link to the shorter one. Good Luck!
posted by Laura in Canada at 12:59 PM on September 17, 2007

I also recommend the drilling option too. We used one from Target (albeit for a small frame) that had 4 hooks (2 top/2 bottom) that swung open. The hooks simply screwed in and the holes were less than ¼ inch. If your landlord is crazy about the holes they can be easily covered with toothpaste just long enough for you to get your deposit back.

Also every gate we have every used has always left some type of damage (rubbing/scrapping) on the frame so doing it right once may be your best option.
posted by doorsfan at 1:00 PM on September 17, 2007

We use this extra wide gate at the bottom of our stairs (50"). It uses disks at either end that you turn to increase the pressure as you install it, no need to drill. We've used two extenders to get that width, but it says on the site that it goes as wide as 11'. Bonus points for safety include that you can walk through and that there are no horizontal rungs for a baby to climb on (though, we have a real climber and he never seemed into climbing the gate itself).
posted by cocoagirl at 1:03 PM on September 17, 2007

If you use a pet gate or some other contraption, check that the spaces between the rungs are no bigger than those on a crib.
posted by acoutu at 1:04 PM on September 17, 2007

More feedback: we had it up for a year, pressing against 100yo woodwork and there were no marks left when we took it down last month. It was strong enough to take a number of falls against it (and a lot of pushing from the other direction) and it never gave way.
posted by cocoagirl at 1:05 PM on September 17, 2007

tangentfilter: i find it extremely amusing that the gate cocoagirl links to is not preventing the child from climbing upstairs, but rather trapping him on them.
posted by kidsleepy at 1:34 PM on September 17, 2007

5 feet is a heck of a wide hall. Is there something heavy you could put on either side of the opening, thus narrowing it to more standard width and providing stable anchor points for a proper screw-in gate?
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posted by nakedcodemonkey at 1:44 PM on September 17, 2007

Cheap ikea furniture, end tables/etc, put rubber pads on the side of it closest to the wall, use a standard pressure based baby gate.
posted by iamabot at 2:05 PM on September 17, 2007

Seconding that you're better off drilling and repainting/patching later. Did this on an eight-foot section in my home, and patching/painting was trivial. Target sells a nice gate that will work for you, complete with door in the middle to pass through -- and I can tell you, if it could have been climbed, my kids (or dogs) would have done it.
posted by davejay at 2:53 PM on September 17, 2007

Oh, one more thing: consider contacting your landlord and asking him to install the gate, with the understanding that you'll remove it when you leave but he has to patch and paint, and that you're willing to pay a reasonable fee for this up front provided everything's in writing first.
posted by davejay at 2:54 PM on September 17, 2007

I'm with Iamabot. You could use 2 bookcases or shelves, and a gate with a latch. You get to keep the furniture, and the landlord has no repairs.
posted by theora55 at 3:54 PM on September 17, 2007

An idea that we have used with some success:

Attach with screws, and paint the same colour as the wall, a track made out of 1/2' x 1" need to create a channel into which you can slide a piece of plywood. Then, you buy a piece of half inch plywood and have it cut to the correct size. I found it simplest to slightly round the bottom of the plywood, so that it went into the slots more easily. I also sometimes ran a bit of soap over the edges of the plywood to help it slide more easily.

The great thing about this approach is that when you remove the plywood, there is really little evidence that you modified anything. If you paint the channels the same colour as the wall, it blends in rather nicely. You can, of course, also paint whatever you want on the plywood, although I'd avoid painting the edges, as it might make the panel slide poorly.

Anyway, just another idea.
posted by Richat at 6:50 PM on September 17, 2007

My parents have Richat's solution installed at their place. However, it's a pain if you need to go in and out with a toddler trailing after you.
posted by acoutu at 7:33 PM on September 17, 2007

You didn't say how old baby is.

I moved in with a friend's husband for 5 days to help him watch the foster kids. When we wanted to corral the 8-month-old (who hated his playpen) in the living room, we:

Blocked one entrance with the playpen, tipped on its side so the open side faced the living room, filling in the small gaps by using the pillows from the couch
Blocked off the gaps on either side of the couch by taking the (giant) couch cushions off the couch and standing them up on the floor.

Granted, it's only a temporary (but creative) solution.
posted by IndigoRain at 12:44 AM on September 18, 2007

A homemade solution could be easily devised using tension rods used for hanging shower curtains. They are long, don't make holes, fit quite snugly, and are easily removable.
posted by Redruin at 9:45 AM on September 18, 2007 [2 favorites]

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