Professor Linda Gilkerson is director of the Irving B. Harris Infant Studies Program. Her area of specialization is early intervention and her research addresses the needs of infants and families in a range of settings including neonatal intensive care units, Early Head Start, childcare and early intervention. She also directs the Fussy Baby Network, Erikson’s first clinical initiative. The network provides support for families who have concerns about their baby’s crying, sleeping, feeding, or temperament. Gilkerson also develops Fussy Baby Network programs in other states.

Gilkerson has served on the Illinois Interagency Council for Early Intervention and has chaired the Early Care and Education Committee of the Futures for Kids Initiative. A board member of Zero to Three, she also chairs their Infant Mental Health Task Force.

Areas of Expertise

Early intervention with infants and families, with special emphasis on high-risk children in hospital settings; teacher and caregivers education about the brain development; and supporting the parents of fussy babies.


B.S., elementary and special education, University of Kansas
M.Ed., special education, University of Missouri
Ph.D., early childhood/special education, University of Illinois


Principal Investigator, Fussy Baby Network Enchancement of Healthy Families, funded through Maternal and Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Competitive Grant awarded to Illinois Department of Human Services, 2012-2015

Co-Principal Investigator, Early Correlates of Later Substance Abuse, a grant from the OSA Foundation, 2009

Co-Principal Investigator, Psychophysiological Correlates of Prolonged, Excessive Crying; an NICHD grant to University of Illinois Brain-Body Center, Stephen Porges, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, 2007-2011

Co-Principal Investigator, Unmet Needs Project, a joint project with the University of Illinois-Chicago, funded by the Illinois Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities, 1999-2002

Recent Publications

Gilkrson, L. & Wechsler, N.(2014) A Place to Begin. Zero to Three Journal, 34 (4), 60-62.

Gilkerson, L & Gray, L (2014) Fussy Babies: Early Challenges in Regulation, Impact on the Dyad and Family, and Longer-Term Implications. In K Brandt, B, Perry, S, Seligman, & E. Tronick (Eds). Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, Alexandria VA: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc., pp. 195-208.

Gilkerson, L, Hofherr, J., et al. (2012) Implementing Fussy Baby Network Approach. Zero to Three Journal, 33 (2), 59-65.

Baker, M., Goulet, S. & Gilkerson, L. (2009) Stories from the Fussy Baby Network: The Latino Family Services Drop-In Program. Zero to Three Journal, 29:3, 18-23.

Gilkerson, L. Ask the Expert. Zero to Three Journal, 29:3, 62.

Heller, S. & Gilkerson, L. (Eds). (2009) A Practical Guide to Reflective Supervision. Washington, DC: Zero to Three Press.

Gilkerson, L., & Klein, R., eds. (2008) Early Development and the Brain: Teaching Resources for Educators. Washington, D.C.: Zero to Three.

Cardone, I.A., Gilkerson, L. & Wechsler, N. (2008) Teenagers and Their Babies: A Perinatal Home Visitor’s Guide. Washington, DC: Zero to Three Press.

Gilkerson, L., & Kopel, C. C., (2004). Relationship-based Systems Change: Illinois’ Model for Promoting Social-Emotional Development in Part C Early Intervention, Occasional Paper, 5. Chicago: Erikson Institute Herr Research Center.

Gilkerson, L. (2002).Unmet Needs Project: A Research, Coalition Building, and Policy Initiative on the Unmet Needs of Infants, Toddlers, and Families.

Handbook of Early Childhood Intervention, 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cardone, I.A., Gilkerson, L., & Wechsler, N. (1998). Community-Based Family Administered Neonatal Activities: Field Test Manual. Chicago: Ounce of Prevention Fund.

Gilkerson, L. (1998). Brain Care: Supporting Healthy Emotional Development. Child Care Information Exchange 121, 66-68.

Stott, F., & Gilkerson, L. (1998). Taking the Long View: Supporting Higher Education of Behalf of Young Children. Zero to Three, 18(5), 27-35.

Gilkerson, L., & Stott, F. (1997). Listening to the Voices of Families. Zero to Three, 18(2), 9-16.


“Supervision and Mentorship: Powerful Training Tools for Infant/Family Practice.” Zero to Three Forum for Educators and Trainers of Infants/Family Personnel. Washington, D.C., with Rebecca Shahmoon Shanok, July 1994.

The Modeling Role of Professionals and Mentorship.” Ohio Early Childhood Special Education, Higher Education Consortium, Oregon, OH.

“Reflections on the Implementation of Developmental Care.” Arizona Developmental Insights Conference, Phoenix, AZ, May 1994.

“Reflecting on Relationships with Families.” University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, September 1992.

“An Examination of the Effectiveness of Family-Focused Developmentally Oriented Neonatal Care Practices.” NCCIP National Training Institute, Washington, D.C., December 1991.