We have a tough spot at the base of our staircase that a regular old baby gate is not going to fit. Our 10 month old's favorite thing to do is climb the steps. He's actually quite good at it, but the steps are hardwood and of course every time he starts to climb them, one of us needs to drop what we're doing and follow up right behind him, just in case it is that one time that he slips.
I recently took the initiative and purchased a KidCo configure gate that is supposed to fit large, irregular spaces. It looked as nice as a baby gate is going to look, but it took up so much space at the base of our stairs that we just weren't truly happy with that arrangement.
Not knowing other alternatives, I would have been OK in the end just keeping that big KidCo gate there, but my DH told me to return it and that he is going to make our baby gates. To put this into context, he is remodeling our basement in the home we just purchased and is therefore on a huge "DIY" kick. I've had to have several gentle conversations with him recently about how he is trying to do too much by himself, how it's OK to buy something every now and then instead of making it himself, how he needs to take some time off from remodeling and building things so that he can give our 10 month old some attention and relax, etc. He's gotten better but, if there is any sort of issue in our home, his first response is that he is going to build something to fix it, and he says this with 100% conviction!
I'm letting him do his thing even though I think he needs to take it down a notch (he wants to build us new kitchen cabinets from scratch...I can't help but worry about how long I will be out of kitchen cabinets during that process). But with things like baby gates, I have major doubts. Not in his capabilities, but I just think that baby gates and other safety items that are routinely tested and held up to specific safety standards should not be something that my husband should try to make himself. I just worry that, as sturdy and attractive and custom-built as they may be, they are going to fall short on the safety aspect. I've told him that I can easily just buy some second-hand gates for our other spots for cheap and be done with it. But he tells me he can make them cheaper (I'm not sure I believe this).
Am I overreacting/wrong for feeling concerned in this instance?
dh built ours, it worked well for the time period we wanted it to, and it looked so much nicer.
what safety aspects in particular concern you? as long as it's not possible to climb it, or get stuck in it, you ought to be fine, unless you have a super serious boundary tester determined to pound on it or something-- most of the kids who have interacted with ours just treat it like a wall or something permanent.
Is it getting lonely in the echo chamber yet?
Hildare, that is good to hear.
I think part of my concerns with this stem from the fact that, b/c DH has so many projects he is trying to tackle, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed FOR him, and also because we really need baby gates now and I just don't know how long it is going to take for him to build them. Getting stuck in them is something that has crossed my mind. DS is quite a go-getter and I could totally see him trying to scale one, but we don't plan to leave him unattended even if gates are up, so I'm sure we could intervene if need be. I don't know how complicated it is to make a baby gate- they seem simple enough to me, but because it is a safety item, I didn't know if it was a good idea for him to make them. But if they worked out for you just fine, maybe I should just sit back and trust that he'll build really nice, safe ones.
I don't think there's any harm in a competent handyman making a baby gate, but I would tell him that you will not be returning the one you've purchased, as you cannot simply wait for him to be done. That alone may deter him. LOL.
This is the key. Babies change so quickly. You might not even need a gate in a few months. We moved to a home with stairs when dd was 11m. By 13m she was an expert. One the novelty wears off my lo never goes on the stairs unless I'm using them
Could you maybe put a cheap gate a few steps up. That way your lo could practice on a few.
We are doing the same in a few days. Even when the baby is past needing them, they will be nice, as they can be used to keep pets up or down, and used when company with little ones is over.
I am also taking on a few hours of childcare in our home, so the built in gates will be super for that as well.
One of the families we fellowship with has beautiful hinged gates at the top and bottom of both sets of stairs in their log house.
I am not a vegetable. I feed myself accordingly
My DH built our baby gates and years ago he built baby gates for my SIL. One of our gates is a solid wood door that is attached with hinges to a door frame and has a sliding bolt lock, he actually built that one before we had kids as a dog gate :) The gates he built for my SIL were solid too and hinged but he put a nice circular hole as a window in the top third of the gate for my nephew to look out. The other gate he built for us he used the side of a crib we were handed down that we didn't need and was recalled as it was a drop side crib. it is also hinged to a door frame with a sliding bolt lock. He made a gate at my mom's with the other side of the crib which was great because she had a wide spot at the top of her stairs we wanted to gate off.
Scarlett , DH Boris , DS 1/29/08 Julian DD2 6/7/12 missing our DD 1/06/06 Sonja and MC @ 9 wks 11/18/06 Satchel