Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a charity worker with the Thompson Reuters Foundation, was reunited on Thursday with members of her family outside the Iranian capital, Tehran, after the unexpected three-day furlough.
Her lawyer was hoping to come to an arrangement with prosecutors to have her furlough extended - and there was hope it would prove a successful pursuit.
In a statement, Mr Ratcliffe said: "After discussion with her family in Iran, Nazanin decided that she would go into prison".
The campaign posted a photo of Nazanin with her daughter with the caption: "Here is the moment she said goodbye to a distraught Gabriella".
However, after a "day of mixed messages" the request for an extension was not granted and she was told she must return by sunset, her husband said.
"She did not want to be dragged out of the house in front of her baby, but would walk into prison with her head held high".
"Gabriella woke up and said "oh, it's you mummy, I thought it would be granny", they had breakfast together, Nazanin did her bath, and then brushed her hair".
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The charity worker is serving a five-year jail sentence for alleged sedition - a charge she has always denied, claiming she was arrested while on holiday with her daughter.
Richard Ratcliffe had hoped the three-day leave would lead to permanent freedom for his wife, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.
In relation to Hunt, Ratcliffe said: "He's been great in that sense: he's been clear and critical and he's said "listen, she's innocent and she shouldn't be in prison, her treatment has been appalling", and all the things that we've been asking the government to do".
"We do not think it is in the best interests of any of our dual national detainees to provide a running commentary on individual cases", the foreign ministry said in a statement.
Mr Ratcliffe has campaigned for her release since she was jailed and met Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt earlier this month, who vowed to do "everything we can to bring her home".
"In terms of how the relationship with Iran has changed, well clearly she got out for a few days".