About Bringing Baby Home

Research shows within three years after the birth of a baby two-thirds of couples will experience a significant drop in relationship quality and a dramatic increase in conflict and hostility. Drs. John and Julie Gottman's research has shown that relationship discord and conflict have a profound negative effect on the couples' infants and toddlers.

Bringing Baby Home is an educational program for pregnant couples and families with children up to three years of age. It was designed and created by relationship experts, Drs. John and Julie Gottman, at The Gottman Institute in Seattle, Washington. The program was developed in order to support families during this challenging, transitional time. 


  • Increase friendship in your relationship
  • Deal effectively with conflict
  • Keep dads involved in infant care and parenting
  • Improve the quality of parent-infant interactions
  • Recognize the psychological and emotional needs of your child
  • Co-parent effectively


  • Learn how to maintain relationship satisfaction after having a baby
  • Reduce relationship hostility and increase affection
  • Promote positive parent-baby interactions
  • Promote quality involvement for both parents
  • Reduce the incidence or severity of postpartum mood disorders


  • Explain what to expect during the transition to parenthood
  • Describe child development in the first year
  • Create strategies to co-parent with your partner
  • Learn ways to improve communication
  • Demonstrate how to strengthen friendship, intimacy, and conflict regulation skills
  • Recognize the signs of postpartum mood, anxiety, and adjustment disorders and be aware of support or treatment options


Research is essential for providing information that describes what is working for real people and for ensuring that programs really do help those they intend to. There are many intervention programs and even schools of therapy that are based solely on individual ideas or theory, but have not been validated by research. The Bringing Baby Home Program is different. Bringing Baby Home is both research-based and research-tested, and has been shown to help new families experience the best possible outcomes.

  • Parent-Baby Relations
    • Both fathers and mothers who took the BBH program (compared to those that did not) showed greater sensitivity and responsiveness to their infant's signals. This was particularly true for fathers.
    • Parents who took the BBH program demonstrated better coparenting abilities in that they were able to work together more positively during family play with their 3-month-old baby.
    • Babies expressed more smiling and laughter during family play if their parents had participated in the BBH program. This was true for both 3 and 12-month-old infants.
  • Infant Development & Temperament
    • There were less language delays in one-year-old infants of parents who took the BBH program.
    • Mothers who took the BBH program rated their babies as showing less distress in response to limitations (such as having a toy out of reach).
    • 1-year-old babies in the workshop group were rated as responding more positively to their fathers' soothing (this is likely to reflect something about father-baby interaction quality as well as infant temperament).
  • Father Involvement
    • Fathers who took the BBH program reported being more involved in parenting and feeling more satisfied and appreciated for their parental contributions.
    • The quality of father-baby interactions was more positive if fathers had taken the BBH program.
  • Couple Relationship Quality
    • Couples who took the BBH program reported high stable relationship quality. Those who did not take the BBH program showed a decline in relationship quality over the first year after the baby's birth.
    • There was less hostility expressed by both husbands and wives during conflict discussions if they had taken the BBH program.
  • Parent Psychopathology
    • Fewer mothers who took the BBH program showed symptoms of postpartum depression, the baby blues, and other indicators of psychopathology such as anxiety.
    • Fewer fathers who took the BBH program showed signs of depression, anxiety, and other psychopathology after the baby was born.