Baby Stair Gates
The first thing to consider when getting a baby stair gate is where exactly it will be placed. Obviously it is going to be at the bottom of the stairs, top of the stairs or both however sometimes you may wish to place it in the hall or on the landing so it isn't actually right up next to the stairs. This could be for a number of reasons but I found the primary one to be the ease of access for the parent.
We have two gates on our stairs, one at the bottom of the stairs and one at the top, but the one at the top is positioned as shown in the diagram. The reason for this is it gives an extra level of safety. If the baby manages to dislodge the gate, unlikely but it still could happen, the gate will not fall down the stairs, along with the baby, but will fall forward onto the landing providing vital time for the rescue.
Once you have decided where the gates will be going (we got an extra one for the kitchen and as we have a kitchen diner had to buy the extension set) you can work out the size required. Be careful here that you measure the widest width as taking a measurement at the bottom of the floor may include a skirting board. This might lead to you getting a gate that is not wide enough as the top fitment, where there is no skirting board will be a little bit wider and you will therefore need to get an extension unit if it's available. For a full look at measuring for your baby gate take a look at "How to Measure Safety Gate Gaps"
Different gates have different widths ranging from the BabyDan extra narrow baby gate, which is expandable from 61 to 102.7cm, to the Summer Infant Wooden Stair Safety Gate which has a very narrow level of expansion from 76 to 82cm.
Before looking for your gate you also need to decide how it will be fixed in place. Do you want to screw the gate to your walls or do you want a gate that uses a pressure mounting system. We opted for the pressure mounting system as we didn't want to put any holes in our walls however even these have lead to paint being chipped off door frames so we (meaning me) will have to do some repairs when they are removed.
In my opinion when buying a baby gate you should ensure to double check your measurements, consider a practical location and buy a gate that will be safest for its intended use.