- November 15, 2013
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I have a two year old. A really cute, busy two year old. He is the sole reason that I dye my hair. His antics have made me go gray. Yet still, I love him and I want to keep him safe. And contained. Like many of you, I turned to baby gates to help me keep him safely where he needed to be. We bought a specific gate for the top of our stairs that is made just for that purpose. The top of the stairs is no joke, so get one made specifically for that purpose. The bottom of the stairs, and between our kitchen and living room however didn’t need so much oomph. I was basically looking for something that would discourage him from going up the stairs. Slow him down a bit, you know?
I tried the usual store bought gate here, the tension rod kind. Because of the way our stairs are set up those gates were a major fail. They wouldn’t stay up. My next option was to shove a piece of furniture in front of our stairs. Surprisingly this made the stairs more appealing to my son, and he was even more determined to get up them. Not to mention the inconvenience of having a chair in front of my stairs.
This is where my fabric baby gate came into the picture. All over the Internet were complicated instructions on how to build baby gates, both fabric and wooden. I decided to go extremely simple here. First I measured the space I wanted blocked off. I measured the width of my stair way, and the height that I thought would be appropriate. I added a few inches on all sides to allow for hemming, and mistakes. I did not use my sewing machine to do the hemming here. I just used hemming tape from my craft store.
At each of the four corners I added a small loop of elastic. I did use my sewing machine for this, just for the extra strength. This could also be easily done by hand if you don’t have a machine, or are intimidated by its existence like I often am.
The hardest part was figuring out where to put my hooks for hanging the gate. I chose command hooks because I’m hoping that I won’t need this baby gate up forever. The key to placing your hooks is to make sure that they gate will hang super taught. I chose to make my gate rest on the floor instead of the bottom step. I didn’t want my son to see the gap and test it’s weakness.
So far the gate has served its purpose. My son gave it a few pulls and tugs the first day then moved on to something else. I don’t imagine I would leave him completely unsupervised around it, it is again just a deterrent, but it is thus far serving its purpose.
The best part is that the fabric I choose matches the rest of the decor in the room, making the gate far less of an eyesore.
Filed in: Parents