From the time he could scoot around (like a seal), my third child has been into everything. Exploring, climbing and taste testing shoes, dirt, bugs and other small objects that his 8-year-old brother has left behind. He’s quite sneaky, too. He waits for the most opportune time to make a break for the shoe bin or downstairs bathroom (which happens to be connected to the older brother’s bedroom). I finally threw in the towel or rather raised my white flag, aka burp cloth, then decided to call his bluff. Ah ha! You are trapped Super Curious Baby. No longer can you snack on flip flops! I have fooled you and gained a bit of sanity. Sure, the other four people in the house have to climb over the obstacle course (causing my pleather ottoman to crack and tear- ugh.) but at least you are contained… and safe.
Fast-forward a few weeks.
Super Curious Baby gains a new title- Super Strength Baby (or budding Interior Designer). Too smart for his own good, the child figures out that if he pushes things out of his way, he can get to where he wants to go.
Sanity lost, once again.
I looked high and low for a gate that would fit the open area. It has a random, short wall that I guess is supposed to act as a divider from “entry way” to “living room” but it’s far too short for any baby gate out there.
I needed something that could fit an 11-14 foot long space, straight across. Oh, and with a door in the middle. Most straight across gates I’ve seen, or have had in the past, have a gate on the end of either side. This high-traffic area needed to be blocked off both for the safety of my toddler AND the safety of my preschooler, who could reach the lock on the front door (yes we have a top safety lock on the front door, too).
Summer Infant sent me their Sure and Secure Custom Fit Gate to see if my white flag burp cloth could go back to being just a burp cloth.
Look! (yes we got a new rug, too!)
Length and Custom Fit
The key to this gate is the flexibility. The straight across wall-to-wall measurement in our front room is 14 feet. The Sure and Secure Gate only reaches 12 feet BUT can be installed to unparallel walls and angle mounted, Like so:
Adjusting the Length
Each long side adjusts with a hidden adjuster and then locks once you have it at your desired length. (notable- I installed the gate with the Velcro piece out so my kids wouldn’t see that there’s something to play with… not that they could figure out how to unlock or twist it, I just would rather it be out of sight, out of mind).
Installing the gate was simple. It comes with easy to read directions and a wall guide to ensure the gate is installed properly. (Notable- Use the wall guides! I didn’t at first and the gate would not shut properly. Once I fixed it, and installed it properly with the guides, I had no problems opening and closing the gate door). The hardware mounted ends provides the gate with strength and stability.
The Gate Door
The walk-through door is positioned in the middle of the gate and there is no option to move the placement of the door but you can adjust the sides to move the door placement slightly. For us, it’s just what we needed!
The door swings open in either direction and stays in the open position if you need to leave it open (or want to keep it open when the kids are sleeping, like we do). There is a metal piece on the bottom of the gate door that lines up with the walk-through bar.
Yes, there is a bar across the bottom of the door that you need to step over. Most gates, that are this long, must have this bar to ensure the gate is stable. It’s second nature to us and doesn’t bother me (or my husband) one bit.
The top of the gate door lines up with a groove and the slide lock automatically locks it in place. To unlock and open the gate door, slide the lock to the side and lift the gate door up while opening it out or in.
To close the gate door, line up the bottom metal piece with the gate while lining up the top lock, then push the door down to lock it in place.
The gate has a sturdy steel frame that is JPMA certified. It comes with two “feet” that you place under the gate, near the door, for added stability. The mesh and fabric walls allow the gate to adjust to any measurement, to meet any rooms needs. I actually like the mesh as I have three boys that run around like wild banshees and often run into things. Yes, they have run into the gate. It has endured the wrath of 3 boys and is still standing like it’s brand new. The fabric edges (and even the mesh) are easy to wipe down… can you tell I’ve had to clean it already?
Like I mentioned above, the best part of this gate is the flexibility. It’s the first gate to fit openings up from 6 to 12 feet (attaching to parallel or unparallel walls) without the need to purchase extenders or extra pieces to increase the length.
You can corner off a part of a room, create a barrier in a great room (for children and even pets), install around the bottom of a staircase, and it’s especially great for unusual openings, like our entryway.
Before mounting it in our entryway, I played around with it and found that it can be configured in so many different ways; I was impressed (and will probably find a new use for it, somewhere in the house, once my youngest is older).
This gate also has the option to become a play-yard. You do need to purchase two in order to create the play-yard but the two gates do attach together easily from what I can see in the manual.
To purchase a Summer Infant Sure and Secure Custom Fit Gate, click HERE
To see which Summer Infant Gate works best for your house, check out their YouTube Channel HERE