Best Baby Gate

Simplify Safety with StepFoot stepping on pedal of First Years Hands Free Baby Gate

  • What: First Years Hands Free Baby Gate
  • When: Your infant becomes mobile
  • Why: Easy to install and use
  • Where: Discontinued

I still mourn my old baby gate. It didn’t even stop working, but it had gotten older (five years old). We had a newly mobile baby in the house, and I thought – it’s time. I bought a new gate, and even had enough sense to test it before I passed the old gate along.

I wish I could have it back. Had I not given it to a random stranger from a parenting list, I would ask for it again. I would buy it again, and would’ve when I replaced it,too, but they don’t make it any more. Plus, the new one had more bells and whistles and came with the extension panel we needed.

Toddler hugging a teddy bear in front of The First Years Hands Free Baby Gate

My toddler in front of my favorite baby gate from The First Years.

When we first got out gate, our son hadn’t even been born. We propped it up with some of the many extra boxes we had lying around with baby gear in them while we waited for the extension we didn’t know we needed to arrive. Once we got that installed, I had to adjust it or tighten it from time to time, but it served us well. The rubber coated pads on wall side of the pressure mounts prevented it from moving much. It could swing open in either direction, which also made a huge difference going back and forth.

Pressure mount installed against wall on the First Years Hands Free Baby Gate

Pressure mount of The First Years Baby Gate when installed. The rubber coating prevented the mount from moving around much.

Installation was a snap, with giant screws that pressure mounted to the walls. It came with a plastic wrench for tightening them, and I didn’t even have to dig out a toolbox. You could buy it with or without the extension panel, though I failed to realize we needed it. Luckily I wasn’t the first one with that problem, and we immediately ordered the extension to fit.

It featured an awesome foot pedal (on the opening side, which beats the pants off a foot pedal on the hinged side like this bad baby gate) and I choose it not only because I knew how much I would have to handle coming in that way from the back door, but also because I had used it before, with ease and no issues. It even had this convenient panel built in just at the right height for a bent knee to push. I know that sounds inconsequential, but shoving metal bars into your knee repeatedly really isn’t a grand idea.

Crying toddler holding onto the First Years Hands free baby gate

My son is angry because he can’t defeat The First Years Hands Free Baby Gate.

This baby gate wouldn’t work for everyone, as the actual opening narrows a doorway to about a foot and half. The foot pedal also prevents a door from closing in the same space with the gate installed, so it only worked for open doorways, rather than into rooms that have a door, like a bathroom or bedroom. But it worked oh so well for those spaces, and I still regret parting with it.

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