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Discussion Starter #1
I've got great news, my wife and I are going to have a baby! We're due in January and I find my evenings when i'd normally be looking at Lift Kits, Tire Packages and Skid Plates turning into Baby strollers and Diaper bags.

This has caused me to ponder - What have you guys done to your FJ's in light of having a baby on the way? What mods are out there that make it easier for the wife and the baby? Anybody trick out a stroller or have some ingenious idea for the car seat? Are there ways you made it more functional? Any ways to make it more safe? What car seat did you find necessary for the FJ? How have you managed all the baby gear? Anything.

I plan to continue upgrading my FJ into an expedition ready vehicle but any ideas or lessons learned regarding having a baby would be much appreciated.

Sarge. :king:
 

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Congrats! It's definitely an experience; I'm ~8 months into fatherhood myself. :)

Honestly, getting the car seat in/out of the FJ is a pain with the half doors, but doable. I'm 6'2" and could lift the car seat & baby in without a lot of issue. My wife being 1' shorter had to lift the car seat & baby into the back seat, climb up into the FJ then insert the seat to the base. We are now using the in-place/stationary car seat so things have gotten a bit easier.

My suggestion would be to make sure you have running boards or rock rails of some sort... looking at your profile it looks like you have sliders. Not sure if you can step up on them or not but for my wife those were crucial.

We have a rather big stoller setup. Loading it, the dog, baby and gear, the FJ is packed! We have purchased a smaller 'umbrella' stroller that has helped with that. Seeing my niece/nephews, I would plan to eventually get some decent seat covers also.

Congrats again!
 

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Congratulations. We have a 2 year old girl, and are about 6 months shy of our next kid. I agree with sdiver78 if you or your wife are shorter, you have to have some kind of steps. We've only had our FJ for a year, and never had to deal with the backwards facing seats in the back, so I'm not looking forward to dealing with that here soon, but it should hopefully only be that way for a year and a half. Only real baby mod we've done, was dvd head rests. She wanted them. Funny thing is we only use them on road trips so they don't get used that often. Congratulations again, and good luck!
 

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The FJ is no good for rear facing children. The back seat is not only difficult to access but it's also tilted too much backwards. You would have to do a fair amount of work to get the car seat leveled & secured properly, but it's just "another mod".

For children over 1 year old, it's OK. Sometimes I take my two year old with me and it's not difficult at all.

For older ones, they may complain because they cannot see much things outside.
 

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The kid won't be rear-facing long.... take yer lumps for a while..... pay to play,.... blah blah blah.

My kids love the FJ..... 5 yrs and 7 yrs. The dvd players help when they're grouchy though ;)

Congrats on the baby!

Now is when your life changes.... marriage isn't the life-changer, kids are.

It's all worth it.

:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Great stuff guys. Keep it coming! Thank you.
 

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Running boards. Helps my 3 and 5 year olds crawl in and out without help. I bought these one year ago when my 4 year old wanted to do it by himself (bought from Joesip, by the way, mentioned on this thread) Seat covers, keeps the car clean from all the crap they drop. In dash DVD/NAV HU, for watching movies from the back seat while on road trips.

I have a Britax car seat behind the passenger, and a booster in the middle. Still room for one more person in the back when needed.

My kids love the FJ much more than the VW minivan.

As for hauling gear, the only thing for me is taking out my sub-box when I have 2 strollers back there, which is less and less these days.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Running boards. Helps my 3 and 5 year olds crawl in and out without help. I bought these one year ago when my 4 year old wanted to do it by himself (bought from Joesip, by the way, mentioned on this thread) Seat covers, keeps the car clean from all the crap they drop. In dash DVD/NAV HU, for watching movies from the back seat while on road trips.

I have a Britax car seat behind the passenger, and a booster in the middle. Still room for one more person in the back when needed.

My kids love the FJ much more than the VW minivan.

As for hauling gear, the only thing for me is taking out my sub-box when I have 2 strollers back there, which is less and less these days.
Interesting. would you be willing to post up a pic of that Britax car seat in the fj?
 

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X2 on the seat covers. Better to put them on BEFORE you have scraped crusty Cheerios off from under the car seat about 50 times.

The baby in the FJ can be more convenient in another car. (Especially when you box yourself in at the grocery store).

The FJ is plenty safe for children. In the end as long as the rest is manageable and the FJ is the car you want to drive...

One mod for the future you might consider... My wife and I are discussing the opening rear door window mod. Every time I put my window down my 4 year old wants hers down too. The only way she can understand why I don't, is I tell her "it's broken" right now.

We're about to have our second. If it was horrible the first time around, I'd be dreading the car seat/ FJ interface, but it hasn't even crossed my mind.
 

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Best thing we did when our son was born was to put a full length rack on top. Our's did not come with a roof rack and we wanted something that was the full size of the roof and could carry a ton of stuff......and you will now be carrying a TON of stuff if you go camping. We have an ARB touring rack...basket wall only in the front.

We really can't use the cargo area for anything other than the two Siberian Huskys that continually try to lick the baby....a dog barrier might be in order. Might be a good idea on the barrier anyway, could keep gear or stuff from flying up towards a rear facing baby in the event of a quick stop.

We used a waterproof travel bag with straps at the front of it for the Pack n Play (crib) & other baby needs that had to stay dry. The rack was also great for the huge BOB offroad stroller that came in handy, also the hiking pack or any other bulky baby items your significant other insists on bringing :)

Our son is now almost 3, no more BOB, no more pack n play....but now he wants to bring his bike....so the rack has certainly been a great additon for us.

Congrats! :clap:
 

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Discussion Starter #14

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As others have stated before a step is crucial for the vertically challenged. The only issue we ran into was that the rear facing carseat seat does not install safely in the center of the backseat, the solution for us was to install the base behind the passenger's seat and slide the passenger's seat forward a little. I think you will find this a non-issue as we did, as my wife enjoys riding in the back seat with the little one for our outdoor/offroad adventures.

Congratulations, the next nine months will be extremely exciting.

Oh, I almost forgot, when we had the babyseat checked by the children's hospital, they place a piece of a medium sized pool noodle (the long foam sticks kids float with or beat each other with) under the back edge of the car seat base. Apparently the rear FJ seat have a pretty steep pitch to them and it was causing the leveling readout on the car seat to not be in the "optimal safety zone". Anyway, Hope this helps.

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #16
This is all great info everybody. Keep it coming. I've got great sliders to step on but I'll have to figure out the car seat issue.
 

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My boys are 3 and 5, with no complaints. For a while we had the Grey Recaro rear-facing in the center.
4wheelin_014.jpg
 

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We use a Britax car seat now with no issues. Can't remember the brand we used for the detachable base & rear facing combo...but never had an issue with installing in the rear center. Check some different brands to see if the various bases mount/attach differently.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yeah we went over to Babies R Us this weekend and played with a bunch of different styles. My Fj was the only real 4x4 in the whole lot, it was kinda weird.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Congrats on your future rock crawler!

I saw that Joeisip811 tricked out a stroller...

All I can offer as I'm still a bachelor :cheers:
ahahahaha that's funny. I remember seeing that on his build page. Curious how functional that is or is it just plain cool?
 
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