the Short Term Baby Gate

Okay, well, I don't know if any of you mamas out there have had a problem with this or not...but I absolutely have. I envision just that...a short-term baby gate. Because, I mean it IS short term...what? Like 2 years tops? Coming into this house, our baby gate options were horrible. With our particular set up, my choices were either: something that falls or something that destroys your banister...and well, I had no intentions of choosing either. Not to mention what an eye sore they can be! So if I'm able to take it down for company or what have you, then I certainly want that option.

If you're familiar at all with buying a house, then you know how crazy it is. Literally, walking in a house maybe twice, and then making a life altering decision to buy the thing! (And in our situation, waiting another 2 months before you're actually living there.) It's really pretty nuts, if you ask me.
Anyway, in the few times that we visited the house before we actually closed, I took a bunch of pictures of the stairwells and got to work over at Annie's...

(A small side note: I am fully aware how horrific many of these pictures are. We did this late at night on a time crunch...)

-zip ties (size based on your measurements)
-2 bungee cords (Again, size based on your measurements, but several inches smaller. You want it to be as tight as you can when you hook it up.)
-drop cloth or fabric of your choice
-2 eye hooks (shown below)
-2 small metal rings (shown below)

The first thing I did was measure and cut my fabric. You'll need to measure the width and height of the stairwell space you intend on blocking off, adding an extra inch on the sides and an extra two inches on the top and bottom.

After it was cut, I double folded (about a 1/2 inch each fold), ironed and sewed each side down.

Next, I folded the fabric (at the top) over the bungee cord and sewed it in place (making sure to backstitch at both ends).

Now, this is the part when you'll need a little help...
Because your bungee cord will be shorter than your fabric piece, about half way in you'll need someone to pull it taut while you sew it to the end. You'll do this same thing on the bottom as well
...all while making sure you get a few sips of wine in...

Mind you, once you've finished sewing in the two bungee cords, it will look scrunched up and funny. It isn't until you actually install it that it comes together!

In order to do that, at the top we simply attached a metal ring on the zip tie and pulled it as tight as we could.

And, at the bottom we screwed in the eye hook.
The bungee hooks slide right through the metal hooks to take on and off whenever we please.

If I would have had more time to do this, I probably would have chosen a fun fabric...but in using a drop cloth, I feel like I could always come back do something fun with paint maybe? (Of course, it would have been much easier to do that sort of thing before I sewed it and it was still flat...)

(One final note: Do be aware that this may not work for every child! My little one is 18 months, and he's done great with it. He's hung on it many, many times but never once has he gone over it. There is certainly a possibility that a child could go around it, but again he's never attempted that either. I think for the most part, it's just too much effort to deal with, so he moves along. If he is hanging around it, then I try to distract him away from it, because I do realize there will come a day when he will figure it out. Of course, I'm hoping by then I'll have reached the point where I feel much more comfortable with him climbing anyway...)

I hope this is helpful, guys! It really has been over here!

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  1. So brilliant. I have this exact situation going on! I have the exact same style of banister posts that you do and I sure as heck was NOT drilling into them. We have tried like 4 different gates and my son (now 14 months old) can freaking pull them out or climb over them! Omgosh! I can't stop this dude. But the biggest problem is that we are using tension gates on freaking round knobby posts so they are impossible to secure. I have thought so many times about a gate solution like what you did but I couldn't figure out how to do it exactly!!! I love this!! I seriously might be making this…like um…tomorrow! ;-) Goodness! I have to get this boy contained!! hahaha

    1. Girl! I know exactly how you feel! I hope so much this works for you!!!

  2. Love this idea! My husband actually sent me a link to your blog.. he's a fan of the short term baby gate as well. Our stairs and our deck need this badly.. thank you so much!


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