Baby Gates Aren’t for Sissies


Today I present to you a tale of babyproofing, in 3 parts. The cast of characters: 2 reasonably smart (if sleep-deprived) parents, 1 particularly wily Chihuahua, a charming 8 year old redheaded boy, and a curious climb-happy baby. Setting: a two-story home in Oklahoma City with less-than-admirable landscaping (#blackthumbs).


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What nobody tells you about having a tiny dog is that they can wiggle their way into places you never expected. They will wreak enormous havoc on your home and destroy absolutely everything. Underwear you left on the bathroom floor? Eaten (GAG). The corners of your kitchen island? Gnawed. The carpet upstairs in the playroom? Peed upon copiously. Your husband will walk out of the laundry room in a pair of boxers with the rear entirely exposed because the dog has chewed a hole the size of a softball in them. Your mouth will drop frequently in awe of how much a tiny dog can destroy.

So you get creative because after all, it’s just a tiny dog!  And you are a college-educated adult! THIS SHOULD NOT BE THIS HARD. You figure out really quickly that the only way everyone will survive (including the dog), is to contain the canine and not allow him in all parts of the home (DUH). This is easier, however, than first thought due to the size of said tiny dog as he can run faster than you and squirrel his way through narrow spaces. And perhaps he is also smarter? Or maybe just less sleep-deprived.

After a brief rummage in the garage, you discover crib rails from Jude’s bed. And because you are crafty and enjoy a DIY, realization pours over you. “Yes, this will make the PERFECT GHETTO RIG GATE! And the husband will be happy because hey, it’s free! We’re recyling! Yes!”


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But then you go and have a baby who is precious and lovely and so sleepy! He stays in one place, unlike the redheaded 8 year old and the pesky Chihuahua. In fact, maybe he will be the relatively calm one of the family. YES.

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Except … no. Because once he starts crawling, that quickly leads to climbing, which then leads to rolling down the stairs and many tears and your ship is sunk. The ghetto rig “gate” made of crib rails is now no longer an option because he can pull them over on himself. Curiosity abounds! Yes! Let’s climb the stairs until we’re blue in the face! The baby learns to climb on chairs which leads to an Instagram series tagged #ArcherStandingOnChairs.

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Another perusal of the garage brings us to a pressure mounted stationary baby gate from circa 2007 that means everybody in the family ends up doing this when trying to get over it:

This is undoubtedly the exact opposite of safety.

Unexpected corners of the home suddenly become treacherous. The chihuahua’s food and water bowls are no longer safe in the hands of the curious baby. The dog is still escaping upstairs, leading to much moaning, groaning, and gnashing of teeth, and occasional stepping in wet carpet (GAHHH). The mother threatens the murder of all who let the dog run free in the home.

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When all else fails, the mother realizes that the only solution for all of these issues is to get legit functioning baby gates for the stairs and the family room. Sanity must be restored! Enter Munchkin to the rescue.  Measurements are taken, options are explored, friends are consulted. Because of our extra-wide door frames, we go with the Munchkin auto-close designer gate with matching extensions to give a customized fit.

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Despite the mother’s reluctance to give in to babyproofing gear, everyone in the house is breathing a little easier. The dog is now totally contained due to the auto-close feature of the gates – no more accidentally leaving the gate open for pesky Chihuahuas or curious babies to scoot through. And thus, there’s no more yelling at various family members and neighbor kids to “OMG SHUT THE GATE!”  The mother may or may not be seen clapping in glee everytime she thinks of how the system is now foolproof.

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And as we close on Part 3 of our little tale, all’s well that ends well. The husband is happy! The wife is happy! (The dog and baby aren’t totally happy now that they’re in lockdown mode, but that’s beside the point!)

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At the end of the day, everybody still has all their eyeballs and major organs, and THAT is what it’s all about.Munchkin Pencil Shavings Studio-7 Munchkin Pencil Shavings Studio-11

Now if we could just get something ironed out about sleeping through the night …

Big thanks to my friends at Munchkin for sponsoring this post (and seriously, for giving us ALL better peace of mind in the Shingleton residence!). Munchkin has some seriously innovative products (I particularly am impressed with this sippy cup) and the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Check out their handy dandy guide to all things baby gates.