Baby Fence Guide: Don’t Get the Wrong Baby Fence

Infants are immobile for only so long, and once they're on the move, so are you. When you need to juggle multiple responsibilities in the home, it's important to have a protective place to let your baby safely roam and play. Baby fences give your child a secure, enclosed area to play when you can't monitor them with your undivided attention. When looking to buy a baby fence for your family, you'll notice that you have many choices. Take time to research your options and think about how you will use a baby fence, and what features are most important to you. With so many unique baby fences on the market today, you're sure to find one that meets your family's needs and offers the look, design and safety elements you're looking for.

>> Consider your need for a baby gate

Different types of baby fences have different purposes, so you should first decide what type of fence you need. Parents purchase baby fences as baby health and safety products. Some parents and daycare providers use a variety of baby gates to keep children safely partitioned in the rooms they are supposed to be in, and out of less kid-friendly areas, such as kitchens or bathrooms. If you will be caring for your child in an environment that has stairways, you should also look into purchasing baby stairway gates to keep children from going up or down the stairs without your assistance.

Child-proof gates also work well in keeping pets sectioned off from children (or vice versa) when you can't be there to adequately monitor their interaction. When looking at baby fence designs, consider where you plan to use the fence. Some baby fence styles give your children an opportunity to play outside safely, in a secure enclosure that can keep a number of children carefully corralled.

The biggest difference between baby gates and baby fences is that baby fences are often stand-alone. Baby fences are typically more durable than gates, and can be expanded by connecting more than one fence together. Baby gates can either be placed in a door frame temporarily, or they can be permanently attached. Before buying a baby fence or gate, you need to decide which style best addresses your family's needs.

>> Select the material

When choosing the best baby fence, you're apt to notice that there are generally three types of material used in the manufacturing of baby gates and fences. Wooden gates are sturdy and often the most inexpensive style of gate available. Wooden gates are ideal for younger-aged children and should be placed in locations where they are not moved often. Plastic gates are great for both indoor and outdoor use. Some plastic quality baby fences offer a gate and additional panels to expand the fenced area. There are also plastic baby fence styles that can be either permanently attached to a wall or temporarily placed indoors or out. Metal gates are extremely durable and are often the top choice for permanent gates to block stairways. Metal baby fences are unique baby fences that are often sold in two pieces, one that serves as the latch and the other that has the gate and hook to secure the latch.

>> Consider the clasp type

There are three main types of clasps found in baby fence designs. Some fences employ a bar clasp, where a bar fits into a slot at the top of the fence door. This is a common clasp type, often found on wooden baby fences. Another clasp type is a lever clasp, which is usually found on plastic fences. The lever clasp has a notch on the edge of the lever that is slid into a slot to lock it completely. The lever is in addition to the extender that will select the length of the gate. Fine tightening of the extender ensures that the gate is properly secured. Finally, some baby gates and fences come with a button and grip style latch. These latches are purposely more complicated to prevent children from unlatching them, and require a combination of pushing buttons and grips to unlock the gate. This type of clasp is usually found on metal gates, and also on fences that are made from high-quality plastic.

>> Look at the additional features available

As with many baby products, the best baby fence will offer features that make your life easier. When you are looking at a new baby fence, think about where you will use it. If you plan on placing the fence outdoors, then you'll want one that is waterproof. If you'll be using it as a play yard, you might want to look for one with expansion capabilities. Having additional panels means having more space to play, so be sure to take into account how many children you'll be using the fence for, as well as their level of coordination and movement. If you'll be using the fence as a play area that will be taken down and put up often, look for gates that are easy to assemble and take down.

Whether you are using the baby gate as a fence or in a doorway, you'll want to think about a door feature. Doors will make it easier to open and close the gate, but they are often only available on the gates that are permanently attached to the walls. If you live in an apartment or other rental setting, you may wish to go with baby gates that offer a temporary installation option, to keep your walls free of drill holes.

The best baby fence for your family will help you keep your child safe while also allowing your child to explore his or her surroundings. With a little bit of time and research, you're sure to find the right baby fence for your family and your home.
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