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How important are safety gates?
As baby grows, safety gates become more important. Use only gates that are attached or are rigid; the folding kind or those with tension attachments are unsafe. They ensure that rooms that haven't been thoroughly baby-proofed stay off-limits. Gates can also be used to just make sure that baby stays in the same room as you.

If you have pets you want to keep away from your infant, it's better to use your safety gate to keep the pets out of the room than to raise baby off the floor and perch the infant seat on a counter. (While your baby is still young enough to stay seated, if sitting anywhere in an infant seat or carrier, make sure baby's in a secure position. The safest place for a baby in a seat is on the floor.)
Dr. Bettye M. Caldwell Ph.D. Professor of Pediatrics in Child Development and Education