If you are looking for the best baby gates of 2017, we strongly suggest you take the time to read this article. It may seem a bit long, but you will be much better equipped for finding the best product for your needs. If you want though, you can use the links below to jump directly to the section you are interested in.
Being parents is not an easy task.
You are responsible getting another (or several) human beings ready for their journey through the rough streets of life. Parenting is no doubt a full time occupation that requires a lot.
If we, on the other hand see this from another perspective we can say that being a parent is the greatest experience a person will ever have. You get to share every moment with your child. Every laugh, every smile, all the tears, all the sadness, every win, every loss.
A bit simplified we can say that a parent’s job is to mold the best person that you possibly can from your child. There is no greater joy in life than seeing your child, the one that you have raised, become a great person.
Yet, there is one aspect of parenting that is more important than anything else.
You need to keep your kids safe.
This is especially true when we are talking about babies and toddlers, as they are most likely to have accidents happen to them. They literally do not know what they are doing.
Accidents to small children almost always happens at home. Not because home is a place that is more dangerous than other places, but because they spend the vast majority of their time there.
Five Biggest Hazards for Babies at Home
- Poisoning/toxic substances
- Flames and hot surfaces
- Suffocation and strangulation
There are numerous steps you can take to baby-proof your home, and you should probably consider using many of them. Of course, some safety measures are more effective/better than other.
One of the best, in our experience, is the use of baby safety gates. Though not the best option for baby proofing every situation, it is without a doubt the single most versatile safety equipment you have at your disposal.
It would not surprise us if you said that you never had a safety gate in your home when you were a kid, because they were not all that normal back then.
Nowadays parents all over the world realizes that installing some kind of barricade to control where the kids are moving is a good idea for many situations. It is a natural thing to do, right? If we want to keep someone restricted to one area, we install an obstacle to keep them there.
Whether it be to keep toddlers from the stairs or going into the kitchen, a baby gate is one of the most effective ways to keep small children out of an area that may pose dangers to them. Essentially, these gates are a must have for most parents of a baby or toddler.
Though all situations are different, one thing remains the same – the safety of the baby or child comes first and foremost on a parents priority list.
Being a parent is hard and it is true that your eyes cannot be glued on your child, or children, all the time. With everything else that happens around the house, that is simply impossible to say the least!
The next best thing we can do besides physically keep them within a certain safe zone is to put up a safety gate in order to set certain boundaries.
Not only is this going to keep a child from getting themselves in any danger, this is going to give you peace of mind until your little one has finally learned their boundaries as well as certain other rules of the home.
Small children act off of instinct and need some time to understand simple things that we as adults know as “common sense”.
Many Reasons to Have a Baby Gate
As a parent, it can get really frustrating if you have to keep telling a baby to go back into their playroom every single time they step foot in the kitchen while you are cutting up some vegetables. Heck, most babies won’t even understand what you are talking about.
Certain environments are a part of everyday life and they simply cannot be cut out just because your little one is here. Would you take the stairs out of your home just because you had a child? Of course not!
So, again, this is where these handy little baby gates are just so darn useful. Surely there are a million reasons to utilize one of these in your home and even if you aren’t a parent yourself, you may even be considering one of these for your grandchild or if you happen to babysit often. In addition, these gates work just as good for dogs as children.
You may have noticed that there is a ton of different gates available to consumers today. How do you find the best gate for your needs? You might even wonder where you should start looking.
You and your little one are going to be dealing with this thing for many years to come, so of course you want a high quality safety gate that is sturdy enough to handle even the rowdiest of kids.
If you just pick up a random gate at the store, you might discover after some time that it is more of a nuisance than a helpful tool. It is essential that you choose the gate that will work best for you and your situation and needs. This can be very different from person to person and house to house.
Luckily for you, we will be going over everything you need to know about choosing a baby gate as well as some other useful information you should know about these versatile safety measures.
Not only that, but we are also going to do some brief reviews on the best baby gates of 2017 to help you make a good decision.
We will give a recommendation on both the best high end option and an affordable option. We will not be giving any detailed prices as these changes all the time. You can however, use links to amazon to check the prices there.
You may also want to check out some of our other posts for in-debt reviews.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Baby Gate
Now you can go to the store and just pick up any ol’ baby gate to use, but that does not ensure that you are getting the best product or deal you can get. It may get the job done, but for many of you, doing the proper research before choosing a product is well worth it, especially when something as important as the safety of your little one is the topic. There are many things you should consider when looking for a baby gate. In this section, we will take a look at some of the factors you need to consider. Some of these factors may seem obvious to you, but every factor here is very important when making your decision.
What type of baby gate do you need?
“Type of baby gate? I just want a gate that keeps my child safe.” We have been there too! The market is flooded with baby gates today. A quick search at amazon.com gives us more than 700 results! Many of these gates achieves the same goal, but there are some key differences that you should be aware of. The first thing we will mention is the mounting method. Just imagine buying a baby gate that you cannot install because you have not checked how you mount it. Annoying to say the least.
As you can imagine from the name, you mount these by letting the gate press on two opposing walls or other vertical surfaces.
Mounting is really simple. For example with a walk-through gate, you place the gate between two solid vertical surfaces and screw the mounting plates out until they reach the surface. The mounting plates are always equipped with some kind of rubber to create friction and to not damage walls.
You do not need to install this gate with any kind of hardware and there are also different types of pressure-mounted gates as well. These include portable pressure-mount gates and walk-through pressure-mount gates.
The portable is probably the most commonly used type and it features two sliding panels that implement a locking system. Portable pressure mounted gates does not have door, so adults would have to either step over it or take it down when they want to pass through it. Not only is it tedious to step over the gate every time, it can also be a falling hazard. According to consumerreports.org, about fifty percent of the injuries related to baby gates is grown ups falling or tripping when they try to leap or step over a gate.
The walk-through pressure-mount gates provide a swinging door so you can go through without taking the gate down or having to step over it. However, because we need to apply pressure through the gate there will always be some kind of threshold under the swinging door that is a potential tripping hazard.
Pressure mounted baby gates can be used just about anywhere with one exception, at the top of stairs. The combination of a less rigid mounting and a potential tripping hazard can make it dangerous so close to a stairway. Using them at the bottom of stairs is not a problem. Generally speaking, they are good options any place where falling is not a hazard.
Hardware Mounted Gates
If you need to have a gate to secure the top of a stairway, hardware-mounted gates is probably what you want.
Any other kind would be too risky and very dangerous if your child happens to knock the gate down. Additionally, pressure mounted gates will always involve a tripping hazard that is especially risky when they are mounted close to stairs.
This is why hardware mounted gates are the best safety gates for stairs. As you can probably tell, these gates installs onto a wall or door frame with hardware to ensure stability and safety. This makes these gates extra sturdy and reliable. While this is true, it is also important that you are sure that the material you attach the gate to is reliable enough to handle the gate. For example, mounting to a plaster wall would probably be a bad idea and will give you a false sense of security. This is usually more dangerous than actually knowing that the mounting is not so rigid. Best practice is to figure out where the framing inside your walls are and mount it at that point.
You can choose a hardware-mounted gate either with or without a threshold, though it is most common to find them without. It all depends on the way your space needs to be restricted. With either one, there will be a door mechanism to allow you to walk through the security measure.
The deal with these types of gates is that they do not need walls or doorways to be mounted on. Essentially, these gates are interlocked and stand-alone. This creates an enclosed and safe space to create a play yard and they also have many different variations they come in. These include stay-open/hold-open, self-close/auto-close, childproof latching, safety locking, angle mounts and extensions. Each of these have their own minute differences while they all provide the same kind of security for your little one. If you have a fireplace that you need to secure, these gates can be a very good option for you because of their length.
As furniture becomes more and more modernized, things like the retractable baby gate is gaining popularity. With a retractable gate, you are able to set up the gate as needed while also being able to disable it without having to do much at all. When the gate is retracted it is out of your way so that you do not have to open and close it every time you walk through it. If you have a wide doorway or hallway that you need to secure, a retractable gate might be your best option as it can often cover wide openings.
Typically, these gates are made of mesh and cost a bit more than your standard safety gates.
For those who have special width needs be sure to read this post about extra wide retractable baby gates.
Where you are going to use the baby gate?
Be sure to know exactly where you will be installing the gate before even starting to search for one. Different openings can demand very different gates.
The most common place to install a baby gate is, without a doubt, at the top of a stairway. This might be the most dangerous place for a baby to be, so it makes sense. However, when the child gets old enough, it will usually want to explore more of its surroundings. For example climbing up the stairs can be an irresistible temptation for many toddlers. Obviously, a child that climbs to the top of the stairs runs the risk of falling down again.
Therefore, a safety gate at the bottom of the stairs can be just as important as on at the top. Another important thing to consider when installing a gate at the top of stairs is that the door should only be allowed to swing away from the stairs. We would also be careful when installing pressure mounted or retractable gates at the top of stairs as these are general not as sturdy as hardware mounted, solid gates.
Another common thing to do is to install a fireplace baby gate. Often, small children will avoid getting to close to heat, and parents can believe that a fireplace poses no threat. And they are right in some way. It is very rare to see a child walk up to a hot object and touch it. The problem is when children, and babies in particular, play, walk or run nearby the fireplace. This is when unwanted accidents happen. Having some kind of barricade around eliminates the immediate danger. Taking chances is not something that you should do, as touching a hot fireplace often leads to third degree burns.
For our first child we decided that having a few boxes around the fireplace would be good enough. It worked OK as long as he was still only crawling around. Once he started to stand up, he shoved the boxes out of the way very easy. We decided to buy a fireplace safety gate and it worked way better.
Generally speaking, you should baby proof all of your electrical equipment in areas that the baby can be. If you have some place that is impossible or not practical to baby proof with traditional methods, considering a baby gate around the area will often be a good idea.
Sometimes you also need to block of outdoor openings. In this case, you need to make sure that the gate that you choose is suitable for outdoor conditions.
There are countless potential hazards for babies in a house. Too many for us to mention here. With some planning though, you can use a baby gate to eliminate almost everyone of them.
How big is the opening?
It is very important to take measurements of how wide the opening you want to seal off is. If you end up getting a gate that is too short or one that is too big (though this is uncommon), it will be useless.
Hardware mounted gates make up the vast majority of gates that you can use for very wide openings. You can find a few extra wide pressure mounted and retractable safety gates, but you don’t have nearly as many to choose from. With very wide openings we are referring to gates that can cover an opening up to about 70 inches. For openings even wider than this, you are almost only left with hardware mounted gates.
Needless to say, the geometry you want to secure is one of the most important factors for choosing your gate.
Are the internal bars reasonably spaced?
The bars (sometimes referred to as slats) are obviously key elements of the gate. Without them, anyone could just walk right through. There are two major considerations regarding the distance between them. First of all they need to be close enough so that a baby cannot get through. After all, this is the reason to have a gate at all. Second, there should be no chance for a child to get his or her head stuck between the bars.
Most major brands have the internal distance between bars set to about 3 inches for all of their models. If the gate is JPMA approved you can be sure that these considerations has been made, but it is never a bad idea to check for yourself.
How old/big is your child/are your children?
If you have smaller children, then something like a play yard that can provide a complete enclosure that does not rely on walls and such would work very well. This is because they typically will not try to knock down the gates. However, if you have a little one who is 12 months and older or considered a toddler, then you may want to consider sturdier types of gates because they get experimental as well as try to push more limits with their older age. Once your little one has reached a weight of 40 pounds or is at least 36 inches tall, it is suggested not to rely on these baby gates anymore as a safety measure.
Unsure of when your child is too big for a baby gate? Check out this post where we talk about 5 signs that you can remove the baby gate.
What is the installation method?
Different types of gates require different methods of installation. With portable pressure-mounted gates, you will not have to worry about the installation since it relies solely on pressure to stay in place. However, if you are getting a hardware mounted or retractable gate, you are going to need to screw these gates into the doorway or wall. Freestanding enclosures does not require installation since it can be placed without any support of walls or doorways. Many safety gates do have installation kits that you can buy separately, so before you make your decision; take the time to be certain that you have all the parts you need.
Does the material matter to you?
Choosing a good material is very important. Of course, if you choose the cheapest baby gate, you can find and compare it to a higher end gate; often the material of the more expensive gate will be of higher quality. If you have a preference of wood or metal or simply want the gate to match the furniture in your home, this may also be a reason to consider a particular material. Safety gates will typically come in wood, metal and plastic as well as different blends and variations.
What is your budget?
If you have budget restrictions, as most of us do, then you will not be able to pick out the most expensive gate on the market. You need to consider if the safety measure, quality and pricing all correlate and make sense. As a rule of thumb, the pricier gates are “better” than the cheap ones. We say “better” because this is a relative term that is dependent on your needs. For example, a retractable gate is usually more expensive than a hardware mounted metal gate, but the latter is better suited to use at the top of stairs. The most important thing is to compare your needs to what the gate can offer you.
Are you looking for additional features and safety measures?
With a big variety of safety gates to choose from, you can bet there are also many features to take into account. For example, some gates have the convenience of a simple click and lock mechanism. They may also have color indications to help you spot when your gate is not properly secured. You should also remember that these locks and latches should be difficult for your child to use, otherwise what is their purpose in the first place?
There are even gates that implement alarm systems to help remind you when a gate is open, whether it be not latched correctly or the door left open, an alarm security measure may be something you want if you find yourself to be pretty forgetful. While extra features are nice, these do not mean the gate itself is better at the job. For the most part, these are just for convenience and if you enjoy such things, then you will definitely want to know about them.
Is your child a climber?
If you notice that your child is a natural climber and enjoys exploring, then you might want to think about either 1 – making sure you opt for a taller baby gate or 2 – finding additional or other methods of safety rather than just relying on a baby gate. Surely, you are already aware of door and drawer locks and blockers. This will help keep your child out of dangerous areas that contain small objects, risky tools, certain chemicals and so much more.
Best Baby Gates of 2017
There are so many baby gates available on the market and choosing one can be a bit tough depending on your budget and requirements. We also realize that everything we have talked about this far may have confused you more than anything else. Fear not, in this section we will provide our recommendations for baby gates for a variety of different situations.
As we go over the models that we think are the best baby gates of 2017, we will break it all down for you as good as we can to help make things a bit easier for your decision making process. We will be including the best of the best as well as the best affordable gate to help accommodate for the different budget needs. This is a very important decision, so we advise you to take the time and really consider all options. You may or may not agree with our choices, but we have done a thorough job reviewing many gates. In our opinion these are the best.
Best Pressure-Mounted Baby GateCHECK PRICE AT AMAZON
Being arguably one of the best pressure mounted gates, this one provides a ton of safety when it comes to blocking doors and hallways. It utilizes something called Magnet-Lock Technology that helps to bring to door back to a closed and locked position. This system is what ensures that the door locks and closes every single time so you do not have to worry about forgetting and allowing your little one to go somewhere he or she should not.
If you want the door to stay open, you can do that by the push of a button that keeps the door open until you actively closes it. Watch the video embedded below to see these features demonstrated. If you need a gate for a wider opening, you can easily grab one of the extensions in order to accommodate to a wider opening of up to 47.5”. This really is a great gate that is suitable to use for almost all situations.
- Doesn’t cause damage to your door frames or walls
- Button to hold down to keep the door open when needed
- Magnet-Lock technology that auto-locks and closes for additional security
- No tools needed for mounting
- Durable steel construction
- Comes with optional extensions
- Weighs 15 pounds
- Dimensions are 30.5 x 28.8 x 1.9 inches
- Can go up to 37 inches in width
Be sure to check out my review of the KidCo Auto Close Gateway.CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON
Evenflo brings us the classic wooden pressure-mounted gate with a more modern look. It can fit into openings up to 50 inches in width and is capable of keeping small children safe from the most common forms of danger in the home. Easy installation means no tools are required and the rubber bumpers cause no damage to your home whatsoever. The locking bar is classically notched and you can easily move this gate from place to place. This gate is perfect if you need extra height. Not as good as the KidCo Auto-Close, but real good value.
- Damage free installation that requires no tools
- Has a wood frame wand vinyl-coated mesh that is durable and secure
- Locking bar is easy to use and can be used to re-size for openings up to 50”
- Great for both kids and animals
- Weighs 6.2 pounds
- Dimensions are 3 x 30 x 32 inches
CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON
The Summer Infant Multi Use Deluxe Wood Walk-Thru Gate is a beautiful gate that can be used both with pressure mount as well as with hardware. Arguably, one of the best baby gates for stairs, this gate is perfect when mounted at the top of the stairs and the Cherry Wood would look absolutely beautiful in your home. This gate is easy to use as well as to install and can go up to 40.5” wide. It provides a door to walk through when needed and you will never have to put your leg over the gate to get through ever again. This one is our favorite.
- Choose between using the pressure mount of the hardware mount methods
- Both methods of installation are easy
- Extends from 29.5 to 40.5 inches wide to fit into various openings
- Choose to use the banister to banister installation for no drilling required
- Quick release mechanism is implemented to allow for super easy removal and re-installation as needed
- Has a nice height to keep kids from climbing over the top
- Beautiful cherry wood finish looks elegant in your home
- Easy one handed operation capabilities
- Weighs 19.5 pounds
- Dimensions are 29.5 x 2.5 x 30.3 inches
CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON
Though some may think that plastic means a product is low quality, this is very much not true when it comes to the North States Plastic Stairway Gate. This safety gate is perfect to keep the little ones safe and away from the stairs and is surprisingly very heavy duty. The gate itself swings open and not over the stairs. You can remove it very easy and the gate is made with rounded edges to cause no possible harm to a child. If you want something affordable, this is one of the best safety gates for the top of stairs.
- Great for ages 6 months to 24 months old
- Is a one operation type stairway gate
- Can extend from 26 to 41 inches wide to fit most stairways
- Heavy duty and durable construction
- Easy removal for when child is ready to use stairs safely
- Weighs 5.22 pounds
- Dimensions are 26 x 1.5 x 26 inches
CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON
A classic gate that never goes out of style. Actually, this is a gate that is good for all almost all situations, not only for the bottom of stairs. If you are looking for something sturdy, a gate that you can really trust, this might be the one for you. It is simple, but still extremely versatile. Read our full review of the Stairway Special. In the review we focus on the gates features for use outdoor, but most of it applies just as well for the normal edition.
- Easy Installation
- Mounts with only 4 screws
- Extensions for wide openings available
- One handed opening
Our affordable option is also hardware mounted. This gate has a removable swing stop that allows you to determine if the gate should open in both directions or just one. A feature like this is especially useful if you use it for the top of stairs. That is why the gate is labeled as “Top of Stairs”, but it works just as well for the bottom. Some people might find it a bit heavy, but if installed to a good sturdy banister it should not be a problem.
- Removable sving stop
- Releases one handed
- Lock indicator
- Available in white and light wood
Best Baby Gate Play YardsCHECK PRICE AT AMAZON
Another gate by Kidco, this secure play yard is the best you can get on the market. You can create a safe play yard space or even use this to mount around a fireplace or other dangerous areas of your home. The nice height of 31” makes it difficult for any small child to get over and you can be sure your little one will comfortably stay within the safe space. You can implement the hold open button to keep the door open as needed. This gate also has the Magnet-Lock Technology typically featured by Kidco to make sure your gate always closes and locks for safety. When we are talking about play yards, this is among the best baby gates of 2017.
- Magnet-Lock Technology ensures the gate safely locks and closes every time
- Use the hold open button to keep gate open when you want to
- The gate joints easily rotate as well as lock into place with ease and security
- Can fit up to a 6 foot wide opening when needed
- Comes with a 1 year warranty
- Additional extensions can easily fit onto this gate to provide more room for your child
- Dimensions are 9 x 24 x 31 inches
CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON
Another economy gate featured in our list is by North States. This play yard is fun and colorful to ensure your little one will have fun while at the same time providing a safe place within the play yard. Easily transport this yard inside or out. You can easily extend the space your child has by purchasing the additional attachments available. These panels are super easy to interlock and connect and they even come pre-connected. Take this play yard anywhere since it comes with a handle for convenience.
- Perfect for small children between the ages of 6 months and 24 months
- Made of durable plastic
- Brightly colored panels make this play yard fun for babies
- Comes pre-connected for your convenience
- Has non-slip pads to prevent the scratching of hardwood surfaces
- Weights 19.4 pounds
- Dimensions are 26.8 x 8 x 35.4 inches
Best Retractable Baby GatesCHECK PRICE AT AMAZON
Enjoy the convenience of a retractable baby gate with Lascal’s superb KiddyGuard. Turn a dangerous place in your home into a spot unreachable for your little one with this gate. The mesh used is strong and flexible and comes in black and white. Retract the gate when not in use and easily set it up again once little ones are roaming. A nice feature of this gate is an indicator that turns red if the gate is unlocked. You can also easily open and lock the gate silently. This is one of the best baby gates for bottom of the stairs as well. Not only that, on this list of the best baby gates of 2017 this is probably the most elegant and aesthetically pleasing of all. Enjoy the luxury with this one.
- Made with an elegant aluminum frame and a high quality mesh panel
- Easily retractable to put away when not in use
- Easier than ever one hand operation
- Provides a red indicator for when it is unlocked
- Has an elegant, Swedish design
- Can be used at the top or bottom of your staircase
- Easy and adaptable installation and configuration
- Extendable for up to 48 inches in width
- Weighs only 2.8 pounds
- Dimensions are 40 x 4 x 5 inches
As an affordable retractable safety gate, Gaterol provides you a lightweight and easy solution to keeping the little ones out of unsafe places in your home. This gate can fit in almost any opening ranging from 18 to 55 inches in width. Use this gate wherever you please, as it is even safe to use to keep kids from accessing the stairs, one of the most dangerous places in a home. Install this gate in your home and be assured that you child is able to roam freely while being kept safe from common dangers.
- Never worry about your child climbing over due to the tall height of 36.6 inches
- Easily usable in spots like the top and bottom of your stairs as well as doorways and halls
- Comes with 2 mounting sets to alternate between different locations with ease
- One hand operation capabilities
- Will never jam or pinch your child’s fingers
- Comes with an alert system for when the gate is opened unintentionally
- Great for ages 6 to 24 months
- Weighs 3.1 pounds
- Dimensions are 3.4 x 37.8 x 3 inches
CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON
This gate is one of the few that is meant for outdoor use. Cardinal Gates boasts that it is “the best baby gate for outdoor use, period.” We agree! We would say that it is one of the best baby gates of 2017, period. You get exactly what you pay for with the stairway special. There is nothing fancy going on here. Constructed the same way as the fantastic indoor version, we know that this is a gate you can trust. Not only today, but for years to come. Has the ability to span as wide as 64 inches and as narrow as 27 inches. If you have openings wider than 42 inches you need to buy the extensions that are separately sold. We have done a complete review of Cardinal Gates Stairway Special Outdoor.
- One of the few baby gates for outdoor use
- You only need four screws to mount it
- Available in black, white and brown
- Can be mounted at up to 30 degrees angle
- Made from aluminum and stainless steel
One of the most versatile baby gates on the market. It is not like the Stairway Special in that it is not a gate that is “weatherproof”. The reason that we regard it as an outdoor gate is that it is delivered with two mounting sets. You can mount one outside and one inside and move the gate between them as you wish. It should not be left outside for longer periods when not in use. Read our complete review of the Dreambaby Retractable Gate.
- Operates with one hand
- Can easily be relocated
- Available in black, grey and white
- For outdoor and indoor use
- UV protected mesh and galvanized hardware
Trustworthy Baby Gate Brands
If you are not into the gates we listed, there is a ton of other options out there. Some of the best brands available that provide the highest quality baby gates include:
- Cardubak Gates
- Cardinal Gates
- Safety 1st
- Munchkin, Inc.
- Regalo Internation
- Summer Infant Products
- Dream Baby
- North States
These brands are super trustworthy due to their JPMA Seal. The JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) certification seal help people identify products that is tested and meets the standards that is set by ASTM International. For you this means checking if the gate has a JPMA sticker attached to it. There are several factors the gate needs to satisfy to be JPMA gate ranging from component strength to a minimum height of 22 inches.
We hope that this guide with the best baby gates of 2017 has helped you in getting closer to your decision on what baby gate you would like in your home. It is super important not to ignore this aspect of providing safety for your baby because everything to do with your child’s safety should always be your top priority. Although some of the considerations may seem obvious, each one helps in making the best decision for you and your child.
Having your child at home and freely roaming is one of the best feelings in the world. It can quickly turn sour if they decide to go somewhere they are not supposed to or happen to pull something down on top of their head. Baby gates help prevent that these situations happen. Whether your budget is big or small, there are so many options out there to choose from. Use this guide to help you decide on what type of gate you want. Perhaps you want to try out more than one product. Whatever you decide to do, taking the steps towards protecting the well-being of your child is always the right choice.