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Minding the Baby®

Meets HHS criteria for an evidenced based model

Model Overview

Last Updated

April 2018


Theoretical Model

MTB is based on a multi-generation model of care that aims to integrate primary care and infant mental health services by pairing a nurse with a mental health professional to conduct home visits. MTB is grounded in the theories of attachment, reflective parenting, social ecology, and self-efficacy. The intervention aims to enhance maternal and child health, reflective parenting, early attachment between mothers and children, and relationships between families and communities.


Model Components

MTB consists of home visits with a nurse and a mental health professional. The home visitors primarily meet with families separately on an alternating schedule, except in the following circumstances in which both home visitors meet with the family together: at the time of recruitment, at the first and last home visits, when mothers transition from weekly visits to visits every other week, and as needed (such as during a crisis).

During visits, home visitors aim to develop mothers’ abilities to become reflective and responsive in their interactions with their infants by doing the following:

  • Giving voice to the baby’s experience (both physical and emotional); 
  • Giving voice to the mother’s experience of herself as a parent; 
  • Highlighting the mother’s positive feelings for the child; 
  • Developing the mother’s capacities to reflect and contemplate, especially in the face of difficult emotions.

When indicated, the mental health home visitor conducts a mental health assessment and provides treatment in the home.

In addition to home visits, the visitors maintain close contact with the mothers’ prenatal and pediatric clinicians, who may be based in a partnering community health center. Clinicians and staff at the community health centers guide home visitors in working with families who have numerous physical, medical, and mental health needs. Home visitors also facilitate a close relationship between families and their primary care clinicians, and coach families on how to consume health care information and access needed social services.


Target Population

MTB is intended for first-time young parents, ages 14 to 25, living in low-income settings. Mothers who are using drugs prenatally or who have a serious medical condition are ineligible to participate. As guided by the mother, home visit activities include fathers or other family members. The model serves families beginning in the second or early third trimester of pregnancy and extending until the child’s second birthday.


Where to Find Out More

Minding the Baby® National Office
Yale School of Nursing
400 West Campus Drive
West Haven, CT 06477
Phone: (203) 785-5589