Q & A with my new guest blogger - motherhood series

Q & A with my new guest blogger – motherhood series:

Please introduce yourself and your baby – how old is he now?

Hey there! I’m Charmaine and my partner, Darren, and I have a beautiful baby boy, Arlo. Arlo is now 3 months old (14 weeks to be exact) and I can’t believe where the time has gone. Our little rainbow surprised us a month earlier than expected at 36 weeks so we got our cuddles even sooner!

Motherhood Series

How has the first 3 months of motherhood surprised you?

How little people talk or prepare you for the 4th trimester. Those 3 months after the birth of your baby are a rocky road in so many ways. Your body is recovering, your hormones are everywhere as they return to normal, you’re exhausted and you’re working out this new huge change in your life and trying to bond with your new tiny human. ‘Bounce Back’ culture hasn’t helped this at all, scrolling through social media you see this culture on new celebs parents social media.


Many people also just expect you to ‘host them as they come around and see the baby as if you’re not sat there in discomfort, wearing your giant disposable underwear and having a wound the size of a dinner plate in your womb (it’s a wonderful image, but reality… worth every second to have your little one in your arms though!). The more I speak to people, the more I see this is a super common feeling. I’ve had people say to me they felt as though everyone had told them everything about labour, but no one prepared them for the months after. It really is a magical time, it’s hard work but so special. Take that time to recover, if people offer help and you feel comfortable accepting then accept all the help you can.

Your job is not to host people, do the dishes, mow the lawn or clean the house… your only job is to recover with your baby and your partner. You’ve got the rest of your lives for chores or jobs, but you’ll never get those initial moments back with your baby and partner. A book a read that helped with this was the little book of self-care for new mums, summed up everything I have tried to explain in this answer – thoroughly recommend.

Motherhood series

What is a typical day like for you and your family?

Arlo will typically wake up around 7-8am (with his cheeky ‘good morning’ smile that’s the absolute best!), we then bring him downstairs give him his morning bottle and sit him upright either on us or in his rocker chair for a little while. Then…. Playtime! Arlo is so playful in the mornings, what type of play changes each day. Currently, Arlo is obsessed with the Fisher Price Lion, so any toy with that on he is playing with right now, other times we read a book, do tummy time or play with our sensory scarves.
I try to get out around 11am, that might be to a class (we have just finished a baby massage class) or out with family or friends. But if Arlo is not feeling it that day, we’re adaptable and it’s a cuddle day instead – which I’m never going to complain at! I have found even if it’s just going out for a walk, getting out around 11-12 helps a lot with encouraging Arlo to nap or give structure to the daytime.
Then when my partner finished work around 6, he then plays with Arlo and soaks up all his cuteness that he’s missed in the day. We start Arlo’s night time routine now around 7:30-8:30 and put him to bed. Then we can have dinner, catch up on our days, chill out and prep for the next day (wash bottles, get any food out we need to defrost etc.). Then finally it’s time for us to catch some Zzzzzz.

Motherhood series

and which part of the day do you love the most?

This question is hard as I love different parts of the day for different reasons. I love watching Darren read Arlo a bedtime story each night, but I also love that cheeky smile in the morning that I wake up too from him in our Next to Me crib. Overall, I think I have to say the morning time. Arlo is well-rested (usually…) and is so happy and curious. The morning is always when we get the most smiles and when Arlo wants to do nothing but play. Plus choosing his cute outfit for the day is always one of my favourite times (extra bonus if the outfit lasts past midday…)

baby photographer Norwich

Was there many Baby names you didn’t agree on

There was a few either of us weren’t too convinced on despite the other really liking it. They were all lovely or unique names, but our issue was we couldn’t picture our baby with that name. For a boy, my partner was pitching Atlas and I suggested Albert. For a girl, I was team Aurora and Darren liked Lyra. Despite suggesting different names, we ended up with a good list (2 for each gender) that we both loved, then little man arrived and it didn’t even take 30 seconds for us to both go ‘He’s an Arlo’.


Something you bought but never used?

This may be specific to my situation, but a breast pump. Due to health conditions after Arlo was born the doctors and us decided formula feeding was best for him, so now we have a breast pump unused. I do wish we’d have brought a cheaper one first and if we’d managed to establish breastfeeding then invested in a more expensive one if needed.
The opposite though, something people told us not to buy (so we didn’t) and then needed – small sized clothes. Our little man, because he surprised us early, was especially little. Size 0-3 drowned him, so much that they were unusable. Now i’m not saying for everyone to go out and stock up on Tiny Baby clothes in case baby comes out small, but personally if baby isn’t measuring huge on the scans, I would have a couple newborn sized clothes if you’re able (or more if you’d like). Chances are, little one will grow very quickly but there is something so special about bringing your little one home in a nicely fitting outfit :).

What were your 3 hospital bag must haves? 


1 – Fan. Granted, Arlo was born during the 40C heatwave in the UK so it’s no surprise this is my number #1 must have, however even in more normal summer heats hospitals can get so hot! Especially when you’re working hard getting your baby into this world which just adds to it. I also took a pet cooling mat and slept on it, worked a treat!

2 – Baby formula pre-made bottles (ready to use). Even if you plan on breastfeeding, you don’t know what’s going to happen and to have these small ready to use bottles with you will be a lifesaver if you suddenly find you need them. It’ll save your partner having to rush out to the nearest 24 hour supermarket unexpectedly (The hospitals do have some there for urgent needs, however if you need more than a few they ask you get your own as new-borns eat so often your little one will deplete there stash very quickly)
3 – Snacks…. We had packed snacks, but that stash was finished within the first 24 hours. There might be many reasons you miss the routine food times in the hospitals, or you may not be up for a whole meal (you are working hard after all, and it’s not often you’d want a full meal in the middle of a workout normally). Having snacks can aid to top up your energy and your partners, also a little pick me up if it’s your favourite snack.

The best bit of advice you’ve ever been given – The biggest piece of advice you’d give to a new mum?

You will get a lot of advice as a new mum. My advice is don’t get overwhelmed by advice! I was always being given advise, with good intentions, however it was often contradicting or stress/panic-inducing. After talking to other new mums, I have found this is incredibly common. Trust your instincts, no one will know your baby better than you, advice can be helpful but you always have the final say.


Thank you Charmaine for your honest blog, I cant wait to follow your motherhood journey this year!


Arlo and his parents will be back around the 6 month milestone for more photos and an update


Jess x


View more newborn images here.