Monday, June 12, 2006

Child Gate not Child-Proof

Hands-Free Gate by The First Years - Product Review

We went to a friends house and noticed she had this nifty little gate for her daughter's bedroom. Since I am pregnant the idea of stepping over a gate is less appealing. But I needed to find something that would keep my daughter in her room while she was being punished and her younger brother out. He is capable of opening doors now, even with the baby-proof doorknobs. So keeping him out is quite a challenge. He loves her so much!

I talked to my best friend about this particular gate and she questioned my judgement, "Don't you think Lainy Ann will be able to open it." I assured her that she isn't heavy enough to stand on the foot pedal. And she wasn't able to open it at the friends house.

I told my husband about it too. And he said the same thing, "she will be able to open it".

So we went to the store and bought this big box for $60. I needed help getting it to the car because I am pregnant and have a toddler. As soon as my husband got home I had him install it. I was so excited, a solution to my problems.

The first day the kids kept closing the gate for fun and I would have to stop what I was doing and open it in order to stop the screaming. The second day I let them scream. The third day they learned to open it!!!!!!! My daughter would step on the pedal on one side of the gate and jump up and down and she would coax my son to jump on the other side.

THEY COULD OPEN IT! A three-year-old and an eighteen month old worked together to open the gate. By the end of the day my daughter had perfected her technique and could do it by herself.

So now I have a $60 gate and nowhere to put it. I guess I am proud, but I still haven't solved the problem of keeping my son out of her room. He has grown a bit since we bought the gate. He is starting to understand, "leave sister alone" and it seems to be working.

Next we are going to try the gate on Connor's bedroom door. We have transferred him to a big boy bed and he likes to wander around the house at night. Hopefully this will keep him safe and most importantly, asleep. Probably not - but since I already spent the $60 we might as well try it.


  1. [...] We stored the gate away for about a month; after all we couldn’t return it and it wasn’t gating (see previous post about the child gate). Recently we switched my son to a twin bed and he has taken to getting up several times a night and wandering around the house, just because he can. It makes me very nervous and I haven’t been sleeping well. So we put the gate in his bedroom doorway. It would keep him in the safety of his room at night and the worst that would happen is he would end up sleeping on the floor. His older sister would be sleeping and wouldn’t be able to assist in the opening-process. [...]

  2. [...] William showed signs of being ready to sleep in a big boy bed many months ago, April to be exact. But we were scheduled to go on vacation to Georgia and I didn’t want to transition him to a bed, back to a crib for the trip, and then back to a bed when we got home. Then in May we moved into my mother’s house for 2 weeks. I couldn’t have him wandering around the house at night, especially since he learned to unlock and open the door after just two days there, so into a playpen/crib he stayed. Then when we came back home in June I really wanted to move him, especially since we would be having a baby in just a few months. But I wanted to put the doorway gate in front of his door so he wouldn’t be able to wander the house at night. It was currently being used in the kitchen to keep the kids out of the construction zone. Once the kitchen was tidied it still wasn’t childproofed, so we left the gate up. Mostly to keep him from endlessly emptying drawers, sliding the chair to the stove to help himself and opening the freezer to eat “iieh” (ice) and popsicles. [...]