“ Manufacturer: Tippitoes / Type: Safety Gates „
After the birth of our son last year we knew we'd have to get a safety gate for the kitchen.
Our propery is very open and everything is at ground level so once my boy started to crawl the kitchen and all its cupboards and subsequently the bottles within them became a playground.
I looked pretty much everywhere and couldn't find a get that I wanted for the size out entrance width is 74 centimeters.
Most gates are between 75 - 79cm fit width and 'Tippitoes' was the only make of swing gate I could find that did a narrow (68.5 - 75cm fitmment) which is what I was after. They also do extra narrow which is 61-67cm openings space.
So I bought my gate from Amazon.co.uk for £24.95 with free delivery and it arrived on the 4th day after ordering. It was packaged really well as you'd expect and it was so easy to install and the fit was just spot on and exactly what we were after.
The gate itself looks really nice compared to some plain ones and the safety catch is easy for adults to operate (smile) and so far my toddler doesnt know how to open it at 14 months old.
The gate itself is made of steel with a two-button release catch for operation where you press the button and lift slightly before opening it. There are extension kits available for addons but I didnt require that as I needed the thiner version anyway.
It was reasonably priced, it does what its suppose to (keep toddler out of kitchen), it looks good and its easy to use. What more to you want from a safety gate.
It caught us by surprise. One day we were happily delighting our 'turtle-stuck-on-it's-back' babies who were stranded in one position unable to propel themselves beyond pushing themselves up on their knees only to face plant in spectacular fashion. The next day it seemed they had transformed into crawling, drooling rug rats. Ever seen that scene in Alien3 where the alien shoots past doorway after doorway at an incredible blink and you'll miss it speed? Well out littlies were faster. And when we found one of them mimicking Kermit the Frog " halfway up the stairs" we knew it was time for out next investment. Intense internet searches followed for sturdy, safe, one-handable, wider than normal stair gates.
Those criteria were important to us: Sturdy; I am glad this was a priority as many a time as we have since witnessed our ruffians standing on the gate and rocking it as a monkey does in a zoo cage, testing the bars. Safe obviously goes without saying. The one hand thing was my wife's insistence - and a good call it was too. Having twins, it is often the case that you are carrying one up the stairs, whilst coaxing the other. As 3rd hand ® TM © still has patents pending, it is essential that stairgate operations are single handed. I read a lot of reviews about the more versatile 'rigid-curtain' style stairgates which pull across. Logistically these would have been far less intrusive, but so many reviews said they were nigh-on impossible to close with one hand. Finally I guess we must have abnormal stairs, or abnormal banisters, as a lot of the stairgates reviewed were just too narrow.
So the model we went for, ticking most of the boxes was the Tippitoes Stairgate. It was simple to install, requiring 'cups' attached to the walls/ banisters and then the stairgate fixings to tighten up into the cups, preventing movement. The tighter you screw the stairgate into the cups, the more the gates bars are compressed together to ensure a tight fitting gate (it has 10cm 'border' of bars either side of the opening). . It is wide enough to fit a metre opening - or 99cm at least. It is of metal construction meaning despite being billed as lightweight, it is slightly heavier than normal, although the actual open & shutting of gate is finger light, and very easy to open, shut one handed. Even our now toddlers have learnt how to close it (but not open it - that would be disastrous!)
There is one downpoint to this stairgate- it has a lip which sits on the step/landing. The lip is essential as it is what the gate locks into, but it does mean you or baby has to step over it to get down the stairs. Now so far and the superstitious amongst us would touch wood around now, we have not have any trip accidents ; adult, child or baby, but it is a potential trip hazard - especially at the top of the stairs. Unless you had a stair setup whereby you could fix the gate so the lip was flush with the top step, and the gate only opened outwards, down the stairs. That would be possible, but our banisters (aka our fixing point) where not aligned that way. If you had walls either side of the stairs - that could easily be workable, eliminating the trip hazard.
Although we didn't trip it did cause many stubbed toes on the landing or the pain experienced when stepping on it with bare feet right in the middle of your foot on the bottom step.
It is a very good gate. The lip although frustrating and holds trip potential is not actually that dangerous; children under 2 (and that is the recommended age limit) really should not be traversing stairs on their own unless they are super stable, super steady. And if they are lone stair experts - it negates the need for a stairgate? Which negates the argument of unsupervised risk. I think I am talking myself into a circle.