“ Brand: Mothercare / Safety Type: Safety Gates „
When my daughter started to take an interest in the stairs a year or so ago, we realised it was time to get stair gates fitted. As with all parents we were faced with the dilemma of where to fit gates and which ones to buy.
The decision of which type to buy was taken from our hands straight away when we measure the areas on the stairs to find they were too wide to host any pressure mounted gates.
Fitted gates with screws were the only way to go with us as they expanded to a wider measurement.
I will admit to going straight to Mothercare purely because it was convenient, but I also think that they offer competitive prices and products compared to any other baby shop.
There were a few choices in the shop, but we chose the white extending panel gates because they looked simple to fit and also they would match the paintwork on the banisters. Wooden gates would have looked out of place in our house.
Each gate cost us £19.99 a year ago, but you can buy them now for £17.99 each which is good. If you need more than one there is an option of getting a twin pack for around £36 but it doesn't save you very much money.
The gates come packaged flat packed in two pieces with all the screw attachments separately. There is a sheet of instructions included and even if you're a man, I would suggest you read these before installing as this is your baby's safety you're dealing with not a TV cabinet.
Ranging in size from 62 - 106 centimetres you should find these will fit more gaps in houses. Our stairs are just over 100cm wide on the place we had to fit them due to how the banisters have been placed, so we have a large gap compared to some newer build houses.
To fit these gates you need to use the paper guides to mark your walls according to the measurements needed. Find a sturdy wall or wood area to secure the gate to as remember babies will probably lean on these as they get older.
The gate panels need to be placed together and held against the gap you want to place the gate. This is usually easier with two people as we found to make sure we got the width correct.
Once you have the correct width you can then place the extender in place and fix the gate together.
As for the wall fixings, once you have your walls marked then it's easy to drill the holes and secure the wall fixings in place. The gate will then simply screw and or slot into place depending on which side of the gate you are working with first.
One side is fixed to the wall bracket whilst the other will slot in when you need to open and close the gate.
One area we found difficult when fixing this gate was that you had to make sure both sides were completely level to ensure the gate fitted correctly. My partner isn't very DIY friendly and he managed to get quite cross with his spirit level on the first gate.
The gate will sit nicely in the slots when you have done it correctly so you will be sure when it's finished.
To open and close these gates when they are fitted is very easy, but they also have an added extra of a secure locking mechanism to prevent inquisitive little hands and minds trying to open the gates.
The gate opens by a simple lift of the gate if not locked, but if you remember to press the gate right down when closing it to hear a click then you have to press down on a little release mechanism to open the gate again. This can only be done when you're not pulling on the gate so will prevent small children from hopefully opening it.
We have found our daughter isn't interested in opening the gate so we are lucky as parents, but it does feel secure to us, so hopefully inquiring toddlers would have trouble with this.
I prefer the simple opening to other varieties of gates, especially as when you open the gate the whole gate opens. Opposed to gates which leave a metal bar to step over when opened, as I always find these slightly awkward and worry I'm going to trip over them let alone an eager toddler trying to get through a gap.
We have had our gates for over a year now and have moved them from the bottom of the stairs through to my daughter's bedroom door. They have stayed sturdy and in tact, easy to clean with no sharp edges or paint peeling thus far. I have been impressed with them and will hopefully last us until we can pass them onto someone else who needs them.
I also liked the fact you can choose which way to open these gates as they will swing open both ways if you need them to.
I had a stairgate, that i got from Mothercare. It is a walk through gate and they come in handy, as you don't have to climb over the gate. You just lift the gate up and it unclips and opens. I had one at the top and bottom of the stairs, one to keep him in the sitting room, which sometimes sat in the kitchen, so he couldn't get in there when i was cooking. Ihad one on either the front or back door what ever was open in the summer incase he was in the hall. I had these when my son was five and got rid of them. Now i have a new son who is crawling around, so i think it is time to get some more gates. I will get these gates again as i know these gates are safe. Some gates i've heard about pull away from the walls. But these iu know once you put the stoppers against the cup that is screwed in the wall and tighten them up, they don't move at all. I now know it is the panel gate.
I have three stairgates in the house. Two basic opening gates at the top and bottom of the stairs and a Mothercare Panel Gate at the door to the kitchen. This gate has an opening mechanism where you push a button in and lift the arm. It's very difficult for a child to open and neither of my two have ever achieved it (eldest is 2 years, 4 months). It's a very attractive gate with a perspex picture panel in the centre featuring a brightly coloured snail and dragonflies. I decided to put a gate in the kitchen to stop the children opening the oven doors and switching on the gas (I'll review my oven and hob in the future !) I wanted something a little more interesting than the usual plain bar gates. This is really attractive and doesn't spoil the look of the kitchen. If I could bring myself to spend the money, I'd replace the two on the stairs with this model. Another advantage for this gate is that it can fit a narrow gap. My door frame width is 70.5cm and the gate fits a minimum of 70cm. Many other stairgates will not fit, so you must measure the gap and check before you buy. Mothercare online features this gate at a reduced price of £29.99 but I paid the instore price of £34.99. You can buy gates much cheaper but certainly not as attractive. If you want to see it on the Mothercare site go to www.mothercare.co.uk then click the green SHOP tab at the top of the page. From there click HOME SAFETY under the HOME section and click on GATES. Click MOTHERCARE PANEL GATE and you'll see a larger picture with specification. .... an update on this stairgate..... I have taken the gate back to Mothercare because one of the upright bars under the opening mechanism failed. It seems that the welding came apart and the gate was then inoperative. Mothercare were happy to replace it, but didn't have this model anymore. I now have the plain gate with no picture panel but am happy that I had a repl
acement, plus refund of price difference, without being able to show a receipt (I threw it away). I'd still recommend this gate but if you have any problems with it, take it back. For your information, I emailed mothercare via their website and asked for their advice and they replied, telling me to take it back and print out their email. It certainly helped !