X-Factor star Sam Bailey is now on tour, but the mum of three shares with us why her baby daughter is the one taking centre stage
After winning The X Factor in 2013, Sam Bailey, 37, has had an amazing year. Her debut single Skyscraper was the Christmas number one in 2013, while her album The Power of Love was the fastest seller of 2014 on its release in March. To top it all, she’s now a mum of three. Baby daughter Miley was born in September 2014, joining Brooke, nine, and Tommy, five.
Despite her sudden rise to the top, Sam’s feet are firmly on the ground, She raves about Primark, goes into detail about her labour and doesn’t hold back on newspaper columnist Katie Hopkins. It’s clear that Sam’s got the big voice, but she’s no diva – and besides, as she tells us, it’s Miley who’s ruling the roost at the moment…
How’s Miley getting on? She’s a dream. I’ve not heard her cry for longer than 10 seconds. The only thing I’ve struggled with is breastfeeding. It turned out she had a tongue-tie (a condition that can make it hard for a baby to latch onto the breast), but she’s now doing well on bottles.
“Everything goes out the window when you have three kids”
Are you in a routine? She’s sleeping through from about 11.45pm to 7am, but I’ve never been overly strict about routine because my life’s just too busy. Everything goes out the window when you have three kids. So long as Miley’s bathed every other day and she’s fed when she wants to be, then I’m good with that. She’s definitely the boss at the minute.
Is motherhood different this time? You tend to be more relaxed. I picked Tommy up all the time and was always worrying ‘what’s he crying for?’ But with Miley I know she’s alright. I have more knowledge now – like realising it doesn’t have to be super-quiet all the time and that sticking the Hoover on will actually soothe her!
How are Brooke and Tommy with her? Tommy dotes on her and Brooke always wants to hold her. From the word go, I’ve told them that everything revolves around when Miley needs feeding, so we’d sometimes need their help with her bottle and nappies.
Miley was born early – what happened? I had a bleed at 29 weeks. My cervix is short, which increases the risk of going into labour early. So, the doctor did a test and said there was a 70% chance of me having my baby in the next few weeks. Then I got a urine infection at 32 weeks, which started my contractions. Brooke was born at 32 weeks, so I was thinking, I don’t want to go through this again – it was so scary when Brooke was delivered early. I knew that Miley would be very small, and I was really worried she would be poorly.
Did you have to stay in hospital? I spent six days in hospital. The doctors stopped my labour, telling me not to do anything when I got home, just the school run. They kept me under observation and gave me antibiotics for the infection. Miley was finally born at 37 weeks. I had an epidural, so no pain. My husband Craig said he had more pain than me, I was squeezing his hand so much.
“My husband Craig said he had more pain than me, I was squeezing his hand so much”
Miley was conceived just after The X Factor ended – was that planned? No, although the show definitely brought Craig and me together! I was over the moon, but then I thought I’m going to have to tell my management…
Katie Hopkins criticised you for getting pregnant just as your career took off. Did that concern you? I was worried at first, but then I thought ‘why should I be?’ Katie Hopkins is making a fool of herself saying stuff like that. If she wants to be known as that person who was nasty, that’s fine, but I think it’s unfair on her children. I’ve got nothing to prove to her. I’m happy to go with the flow in my life and not think ‘oh, I’ll be doing that this time next year, and that the year after’.
Miley’s godmother is Sharon Osbourne – has she met her? No, but she will soon. I’ve had castings made of Miley’s feet and hands for Sharon and Nicky . Sharon is more than a TV personality to me. We get on really well. She was my mentor from day one.
What about Simon Cowell? He sent some Stella McCartney clothes for Miley, which I can’t wait to put her in.
Can you imagine playdates with Simon’s baby son Eric? That would be great. Playdates on the yacht!
Do you and Craig find couple time? Yeah, just watching EastEnders and snuggling up on the sofa. We have a newfound respect now and even talk to each other differently. Before, I’d say ‘pass me that tea’ and he’d tell me to get it myself, but now he’ll pass it to me and I’ll be like ‘thanks, babe’ . It’s because we’re complete, our little family of five.
Sam Bailey: Daring to Dream is out now, £18.99, Blink Publishing
Our panel of no-nonsense mums put popular baby products through (very!) vigorous testing, meaning you can spend money on the things that really work and have extra time to watch EastEnders with a cuppa tea!