Originally Posted by Cmense
This is sort of no brainer when it comes to children. Especially newborns. Because the upmost care and safety has to be taken I own a 98 Xj with a 6.5" lift 35s. And a loud a** exhaust due to the fact it runs underneath my floor with rhino lining. The fiancé is 7 weeks pregnant and owns her own Honda civic 2dr. I know the Jeep would be way easier to haul all the extra things that a newborn enquires especially the four doors when putting the car seat in and out. But am I the only one that thinks the Jeep isn't safe and impractical for a baby? She wants me to keep it for the winters and the family thinks Ill be fine. I guess I worry about everything, because I am the one who drives it everyday I do know it has its problems. Like howling from the rear bearings. Just figured I'd see what you guys thought about the situation. I'm on the edge of selling it..
I don't post too often but think this is pretty important.
First off, congrats! First for the baby and second for posting as a concerned father to be - you're off to a good start already.
You're not the only one. As a father of 2 girls (3 yrs and 10 mos) and married 10 yrs, I think your concern is well justified.
While you may drive more defensively with the kids, your jeep is less stable and more prone to roll overs. I wouldn't trust the roof integrity with possibly more violent rolls and a heavier suspension.
How are your brakes? I'd expect your braking distance might be longer.
What about side impact protection? While you may be higher up than a standard car, what will your Jeep do if t-boned?
How's the reliability of your Jeep? Breaking down on the side of the road with the guys is MUCH different than a wife and screaming kid... Make that a pissed off wife whose tired from being kept up all night.
Lastly, where will you position the car seat? If both you and your wife can manage lifting your baby up and in the middle seat Routinely - more power too you. Try it out with a seat and 20 lbs of potatoes. If it is too difficult, you may get complacent and start using the outboard seats OR your new wife will quickly start getting pissed with you. It's common knowledge the safest place is the middle of the back seat.
Personally, I'd rather use an XJ than a 2dr Civic BUT not one with 35s and 6.5". Maybe you can find a stock one for the daily drives with the wife and kiddo. It may go without saying, but new priorities may prompt some personal sacrifices. While others (even family) may say you're fine, trust your gut. Your family's safety is YOUR responsibility, no one else's.
The long post can be summed up with safety, reliability, and happy wife = happy life! Best of luck with your new baby and future wife. Pardon the rant.