Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Review: The First Years Hands Free Gate

Originally submitted at Toys R Us

Improved product features a newly designed foot pedal and a newly designed hinge, both developed to make the gate stronger and longer lasting. (Launch date was 2/1/01.) Also improved were the pressure-mount pads for increased durability. (Launch date was 6/02.)

Watch out for smart kids!

By TwinMama from Winter Park, FL on 12/2/2008

2out of 5

Pros: Easy To Use

Cons: Less than 35 lbs pressure, Poor Construction

Best Uses: Infants, Crawlers

Describe Yourself: Parent of Multiples (Twins etc)

We have three of these gates in our home, set in strategic locations to protect our twins from the home office, as well as keep the dog contained in the kitchen when we are away from home.

This was a great gate until just a few days ago. We used them all with no issues for 17 months. However, now that our twins are 22 months, they have figured out how to open the gate, thereby rendering them useless for most of our purposes.

You see, the gates are rated for 35 pounds and our twins weight less than 24 pounds each! We assumed that with a gate that needed 35 pounds of pressure/force put on it, that these gates would last us until that point. Sadly, we were wrong.

On Friday, one of our twins stood with one foot on each side of the foot pedal and jumped/bounced until he freed the pin that keeps the gate locked. The first time he did it, it took him a good 30 seconds to get it undone. Now? He can walk up to the gate, place one foot on each side, jump once and the gate springs open. Before you go and say that we need to tighten the pressure mounts, please know that we did that just to rule that out as the reason he could open the gate.

With this product and all other safety products, remember to use them with caution. Just as a pool float comes with a caution of "Not a lifesaving device", baby safety equipment should say the same thing. Baby gates are a deterrent for while, but will not make your child stay put forever.



Lorie said...

David figured this out several months ago. At the time he was less than 30lbs.

Mountain Momma said...

Yea, we looked at buying this gate for the kids and decided that once they saw us open it that it would not work... We have just one of those plain jane wooden ones and we can barely open it and they still can't open it....works great!!

SLM said...

We had the wooden one, and they used to climb it. Monkey toes! :-)