The infant gut microbiome starts to be shaped in the first days of life and continues to increase its diversity during the first months. Several investigations are assessing the link between the configuration of the infant gut microbiome and infant health, but a comprehensive strain-level assessment of vertically transmitted microbes from mother to infant is still missing. We longitudinally collected fecal and breast milk samples from multiple mother-infant pairs during the first year of life of the infants, and applied shotgun metagenomic sequencing followed by strain-level profiling. We observed several specific strains including those from Bifidobacterium bifidum, Coprococcus comes, and Ruminococcus bromii, that were present in samples from the same mother-infant pair, while being clearly distinct from those carried by other pairs, which is indicative of vertical transmission. We further applied metatranscriptomics to study the in vivo expression of vertically transmitted microbes, for example Bacteroides vulgatus and Bifidobacterium spp., thus suggesting that transmitted strains are functionally active in the two rather different environments of the adult and infant guts. By combining longitudinal microbiome sampling and newly developed computational tools for strain-level microbiome analysis, we showed that it is possible to track vertical transmission of members of the microbiome from mother to infants and characterize their transcriptional activity. Our work poses the basis for surveying at larger scale the sources of microbial diversity in the infants and start associating non-physiological transmissions with microbiome dysbiosis at later infant development stages.