Bringing Baby Home

“The greatest gift you can give your child is a strong relationship between you and your partner.”

– John Gottman

What is the Bringing Baby Home Program About?

Even couples with strong and loving relationships are challenged during the transition to parenthood. Sleep deprivation (oh yes, it is real), unfinished chores (like that unfolded laundry on the couch), changing financial demands (another mouth to feed), all the signs that can create profound stress and a steep drop in relationship satisfaction – all of which takes its toll on baby’s care. Not surprisingly then, 69% of new parents experience relationship conflict, increased depression, decreased quality of the parent-infant interaction, disappointment and hurt feelings.
To date, there has been no known psycho-educational intervention that has successfully taught couples the skills that they will need to preserve intimacy in their relationship, keep fathers involved with the baby, and help parents understand and appreciate infant developmentThe Gottman Institute‘s research-based and research tested Bringing Baby Home (BBH) Program is designed to prepare couples for their new life with baby and helps them to be the best parenting team possible. In a relaxed and supportive environment, new parents learn the skills needed to strengthen their relationship and foster baby’s development during this challenging time. 

Bringing Baby Home Program Overview

Goals of the Couple's Workshop

  • 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

Objectives of the Couple's Workshop

Participants will be able to:

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

The Research

John Gottman began his research on couples having children in 1985, following 20 previous years of research on couples and marriage. The Bringing Baby Home Study began in 1999 as a small pilot study designed by John M. Gottman, PhD and Alyson F. Shapiro, PhD. This study later grew into a full-scale research evaluation that was concluded in 2005, when the youngest of the research participants was 2 1/2 to 3-years-old. The BBH program has been evaluated through random clinical trial research involving 159 families. Each family was randomly assigned to one of three groups. One group received both a two-day BBH workshop and subsequently, attended 12 weeks of a support group. A second group only received the two-day BBH workshop that they attended shortly before the birth of their baby. The third group, the control group, did not receive either the BBH workshop or the support groups. The control group was offered the workshop following the completion of the study.

By following these new families over the course of three years, Gottman, Shapiro, and colleagues have determined the effects of each BBH Program component on familial and parental relationships, and ultimately, on the developing children. As a result of this research, The Gottman Institute has developed the BBH Program which includes the Couple’s Workshop, the Program Sections, Support Groups, and the Beyond Bringing Baby Home Program. Each of these tools is being used to make the research findings available to the public.


Robin Smith is a certified Gottman Educator authorized to present the Bringing Baby Home Program for new and expecting parents. This program can be incorporated into individual and couples treatment.