The baby gate dilemma

Wyatt’s moving more and more every day. Yesterday, he figured out how to back crawl or maybe it was shimmy – either way he’s progressively moving his way around the room.

I need to find baby gates before he’s crawing!

We live in a 4-level split home with 3 staircases. Our main hallway features side-by-side staircases with an older railing. There isn’t much to hold a tension-style gate, nor is there much to fascine a permanent style gate to. A new railing has been on my wish list for a few years now, but is highly unlikely to happen anytime soon.



Yes, that’s a cat toy hanging from the railing. We opted for self-serve play time once Wyatt arrived. 

Our lower level may be an easier solution as it has a fairly standard railing on one side.


We may need gates with a pet door. Our chihuahuas will go outside, but they are also pee pad trained. Their pads are in the basement, same with the cat’s litter box. I’ve put up a tension style gate at the bottom of the 3rd level stairs to keep the dogs contained a few times. Oliver the cat can jump over it to go to his litter box, but sometimes he gets lazy and meows for me to lift him back over. Anyway, the pet gate isn’t a MUST have feature. I’m willing to adjust our routine and/or pet bathroom location if necessary.

I’d prefer tension style. My husband will cringe if I have to put holes in the walls, BUT if that is the best solution we will go for it.

What are your suggestions?



23 thoughts on “The baby gate dilemma

  1. At our old house, my husband built a set of brackets that bolted around the metal railings, and at our new house we recreated them because we didn’t want to drill into anything. It allows us to screws the brackets into one side, and the latches on the other, but it’s all completely removable. I can email you pictures if you want, just let me know!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tension ones are fine for going up stairs(in the sense that they can’t fall up) but when they’re at the top of a staircase. If it was to falls that could cause issues. We zip tied a piece of wood to our banister and screwed it into that. Then the other part is screwed into the wall.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I use the cheap one (evenflo, $10 on amazon) at the bottom of the stairs, it’s tension.
    I use one that we had to install with a swinging door at the top. It’s the safest option at the top I think. My husband hated having to put holes in our wall and rail. And we hate the gate, it’s annoying, but necessary.


  4. We are currently using our dog x-pen as a gate. Our house doesn’t have the stairs yours does, but we are very aware of dog and baby interactions so we are blocking off some large openings with a very portable and easy to manipulate and use dog gate.


  5. We have almost an exact floor plan and I’ve completely given up on baby gates, we mostly play in his room now and i do use a tension gate to block off the hallway to the stairs. If we’re in any other room we’re in a jumper, or high chair, or something else. Frustrating- but, I’ve yet to find a solution. Good luck momma!


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