How to Baby-Proof a Stair Rail

Baby-proofing is an important part of keeping a home safe for babies. This is particularly true in homes with more than one level. Babies are often fearless until their first big fall, which makes the stairs a particularly hazardous area. Depending on the layout of the stairs, the entire staircase may need to be baby-proofed, including the top and bottom of the stairs and the railing.

Babies quickly learn how to climb stairs.
  1. Place a baby gate at the top and bottom of the stairs. Use gates that are installed by screwing or bolting them to the railings and wall. Pressure-mounted gates seem desirable because they do not damage the walls, but if a baby pushes hard enough against a pressure-mounted gate, the gate may release and the baby may fall down the stairs.

  2. Measure the distance between the spindles of the railing. If they are spaced wider than the slats on a standard crib (about 2 3/8 inches), install a railing net. Railing nets cover the railing so babies can't fit their heads or bodies between the spindles.

  3. Move objects away from the railing. Babies can quickly climb onto both decorative and day-to-day items and then topple over the railing. Keep portable items or items on wheels tucked away so the baby can't push them over to the railing and then climb on them.

About the Author

Shara JJ Cooper graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 2000, and has worked professionally ever since. She has a passion for community journalism, but likes to mix it up by writing for a variety of publications. Cooper is the owner/editor of the Boundary Sentinel, a web-based newspaper.