Bringing Baby Home – Workshop for Expectant and New Parents

Bringing Baby Home is a 12-hour workshop designed by The Gottman Institute to help maintain and build upon the stability of a couple’s relationship during the transition to parenthood.

Through the workshop, couples will learn skills to help them maintain their relationship satisfaction as they become parents together.

“The greatest gift a couple can give their baby is a loving relationship, because that relationship nourishes Baby’s development.”

– Drs. John and Julie Gottman, Authors of “And Baby Makes Three”

About the Workshop

newborn baby holding finger - Bringing Baby Home workshop for new parents

Bringing Baby Home was designed and created by relationship experts, Drs. John and Julie Gottman, at The Relationship Research Institute in Seattle.

The Gottmans’ research demonstrates that when couples become parents, there is a significant decrease in their relationship satisfaction. Further research has shown that relationship discord and conflict have a profound negative effect on the couples’ infants and toddlers.

The Bringing Baby Home Workshop is specially designed to help prospective and new parents keep their relationship supported and thriving.

Couples will discover tools for: balancing baby-needs with relationship-needs, enhancing their communication, and supporting each other through common experiences.

Who does it serve?

The program is for prospective, adoptive, pregnant, and new parents with children up to three years of age. Babies in arms are welcome (less than 1 year of age).

What are the goals?

The goal of this program is to improve the quality of life for babies and children by strengthening the parental relationship. Objectives include:

  • Increasing friendship in the relationship
  • Dealing effectively with conflict
  • Keeping dads involved in infant care and parenting
  • Improving the quality of parent–infant interaction
  • Recognizing the psychological and emotional needs of their child
  • Co-parenting effectively


Bringing Baby Home Workshops are offered four times annually and are currently held IN-PERSON in the Ashburn office (map it).

Workshop Dates:
June 3-4, 2023
October 21-22, 2023

Please note: Workshops may be moved to virtual/online or cancelled and refunded if registrations are limited one month prior to the workshop date.

The schedule for each workshop on Saturday and Sunday is as follows: 9:30am-12:30pm and 2-5:00pm (with a break for lunch from 12:30-2:00pm).

Schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation with the facilitator, Julia Ward, to learn more about the Bringing Baby Home workshop. 

Workshop Materials

Each couple will receive a package including:

  • Bringing Baby Home Couple’s Workbook
  • Love Maps Card Deck
  • Love Maps for Couples with Kids Card Deck
  • Open-Ended Questions Card Deck
  • Father Cards Card Deck
  • Softened Start-Up Card Deck
  • Expressing Needs Card Deck

  • Maintaining Relationship Health While Transitioning to Parenthood
    It’s no secret that the transition to parenthood is a challenging one with all the physical, psychological, and relational changes that occur in a relatively short period of time. With sleep deprivation, it’s no wonder that many parents experience a shortness in temper or/and a lack of patience. If you’re a parent, you’re familiar with these challenges. If you’re expecting for the first time, you may be wondering how to navigate this unknown, upcoming transition, how a new baby will impact your lifestyle and relationship, and what kind of parent you will be.  

About the Educators

Counselor Julia Ward

Julia Ward earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Marketing at Cedar Crest College and completed a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Marymount University. She is passionate about supporting the perinatal population and couples, both through individual and couples counseling as well as by facilitating the Bringing Baby Home workshop. Julia’s ultimate goal is to support couples in maintaining and strengthening their relationship as they transition into parenthood.

Trainings include:

  • Bringing Baby Home Gottman Educator (2019)
  • Gottman Method Couples Counseling Level 1 (2020)
  • Gottman Method Couples Counseling Level 2 (2021)
  • PSI Perinatal Mood Disorders: Components of Care (2021)
  • PSI Advanced Perinatal Mental Health Psychotherapy Training (2022)

Amy Clay is a co-founder of Sunstone Counseling and has been in private practice for over 20 years. She dedicates much of her time to training other counseling professionals, and she serves as a clinical supervisor to several of Sunstone’s residents in counseling. In her clinical work, Amy specializes in women’s issues (pregnancy, perinatal mood disorders, becoming a new mom, and sexuality issues) and couples work (premarital counseling, new parenthood, low/no sex, repair after an affair, and second marriages – to name a few).

In her experience working with couples, Amy has encountered many stories of couples finding the transition to parenthood to be a difficult journey and often a significant turning point in the relationship. She is inspired to help couples get ahead of the classic pitfalls many face during the first several years of parenthood.