I don't know why what I said is so offensive. I'm not telling anyone they are a bad parent because their baby cries. My babies cry. I try and make them feel better as much as humanly possible. If you can't make them feel better, then you can't. But for me personally? Letting an infant scream when there is something I can do about it is not ok. For me personally, my almost-4yo has the mental capacity to understand that she might have to miss a class if baby is too upset to be in the car. My infant, on the other hand, does NOT have the cognition to understand that I can't touch her for 20 minutes while she screams because we "have" to be in the car for my (almost)4yo. If we're 2 miles from home and baby starts crying, I will continue driving. But if baby is screaming when we get into the car to leave, I wait until she's ok to drive. Sometimes that takes a while, and it sure is a pita, but that's what I feel is important.
The concern that I and other posters have in this discussion is that after a while, the 4 yo is no longer going to patiently understand that their life has to stop because of the baby's needs trumping their own. The suggestion has been thrown around more than once that the whole family may very well end up being confined to home for as long as it takes for baby to no longer cry in ther carseat (possibly up to 6 months?) The average 4, 5, 6 yo kid may be able to understand occassional disappointment at not getting to go to a much enjoyed event, but if that is going to happen daily for up to 6 months how on earth is it not understandable (and even perfectly justified) that the older child will begin to seriously feel undervalued and resentful of systematically losing out to their new sibling?
My boys were almost 5 when our new baby was born, they understood that some stuff was going to change but it was still really hard for them to get used to the additional loss of our parental attention and time. Suddenly they had to be quiet a lot more so as not to wake the baby up, and remember to be gentle around the baby, and be told a lot to give us a few minutes while we took care of the baby. If we had also told them that we would no longer be going places outside the house because the baby cried too much in the carseat/stroller/carrier (because he cried in all of those) the likelihood of them experiencing significant emotional harm as a result would have been far greater than I would have been comfortable with risking. It doesn't matter how much we tried to reassure them that we still loved them too and that it was necessary to keep the baby happy, at that age kids simply do not have the intellectual capacity to dig that deep and put aside their own feelings in order to brush aside their own needs and wants.
Which is why I have repeatedly pointed out that there has to be a balancing of everyone's needs (and even wants from time to time) in order to try and keep the family healthy and happy as a whole. If that means that sometimes baby cries in the carseat so that the kids can go to school or summer camp or grandma's house or whatever then sometimes it just has to happen. We all do our best to make the situation as comfortable for everyone and to soldier through so that we can get it over with. And I will continue to disagree with the assertion that our attempts to soothe the baby when he cries is the carseat during those trips are either fruitless or similar to (or the same as) CIO.