I have a 11 month old at home and she’s fast transiting from a crawler to walker. I’m trying to child proof our house properly and am wondering what mums think is more useful while i am doing things like cooking? Would a playpen or a baby gate be better?


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Posted by silvialee, 28th May 2015


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  • Baby gate, far more longevity out of these. Eventually your toddler will be able to love the playpen!!



  • I would go for the kitchen gate.



  • I think you should experiment with both of them and see what works for you!



  • I personally don’t like the gates. Most of them have rails a few cm. up from the floor – not the gat itself and it is very easy to trip over them. A friend of mine was renting a house. The laundry and toilet were just off the kitchen so that is where they had one. I tripped over it more than once. Their own 5 year old tripped over it and went “flying” and landed against the laundry trough, slid and ended up against the the back door. It stopped a crawling baby but was a hazard to others. The kitchen was very small so it wasn’t practical to have a playpen in the room.



  • I entertained the thought of a kitchen gate but mothers told me that babies hated them, and they were too small and chunky to store. Gates are better.



  • Due to the set up of our townhouse we had to buy a retractable gate to keep our baby out of the kitchen (and the cat little trays and access to our courtyard).



  • Kitchen gate without doubt!



  • Kitchen gate. I don’t think they stay in the play pen for too long before trying to climb out!



  • Kitchen gate for sure. Mine wouldn’t stay in a playpen for long.



  • We found at that age, that our babies hated a playpen as they wanted to explore too much and hated being confined. We also tried a gate on the kitchen but found it a hazard for the adults (this might be resolved with a better gate).
    Instead we reinforced what areas our children could and couldn’t use. I had just a cupboard and draw of things (eg. tuppaware) in the kitchen out of my way that they could sit and explore. I reinforced that they were the areas bub could use. It does take a little bit of time to learn (eg regularly bringing them back to those areas if they wander where they shouldn’t) but as long as there is enough to interest them then it works. If I really needed to keep them right away, then I might put them in a highchair with a snack or with a new toy or activity that kept them really interested for awhile.



  • yes also if the child will be able to leave your site and wander too far, then a try the baby pen for safety



  • Up to the individual. I use the gate so they can move around more.



  • I used a baby walker to sit her in, she then had freedom to move around but could not get close enough to anything that was hot whilst I was cooking.



  • I have always used a gate with my children and taught them not to touch things :)



  • I would recommend a kitchen gate, but experiment with both and see what’s easier for you.


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