Thursday, 28 August 2014

Mummy Time #8: Claire Sutton

I came across Claire's Instagram page via Lauren and saw a gorgeous mama who lived by the sea (I grew up by the sea), took pretty photos, and was clearly into cacti (one of my favourite things!), so I followed. A couple of days later, Claire posted a selfie and the recognition cogs in my brain started turning! It turned out that Claire and I used to hang out during our college years in sunny Eastbourne over ten years ago! Small world! Fresh from a trip to Portugal, I thought I'd add in some questions about travelling avec bebe.


Who are you?

Howdy! My names Claire. I'm 28 and I live by the sea in East Sussex. I have a 17 month old son, Wilfred, who was born on the 18th of March 2013. I'm a single mama, but still very close to Wilf’s daddy.

What do you do for a living?

I'm a fraud investigator for an insurance company (enter yawn here). Not my dream job, but it helps me provide a good life for my little prince.

How long did you take for maternity leave?

I took a FULL year! I was huge when I was pregnant and it was snowing and I thought I just can't risk a slip or a fall, or anything happening to my baby! I didn't care about anything else at that time other than him, so I took early maternity.

How did you feel when you returned to work and how did it change things?

I actually kinda liked it! In a weird way it gave me that time away doing something by myself, albeit it was work, but it was my work and kind of a social thing, too. Only so long I can sing ‘Raa Raa the noisy lion’!

How are you?

I'm actually a lot better now I'm by myself rather than with Wilf’s dad. Together it just didn't work, somehow it didn't fit. I know that sounds weird but  now we are apart it just somehow works! People are like ‘but you still get on?’ Yup! And ‘you still have family days out?’ Yup! It just works for us.

What do you do to relax?

Music and making jewellery is my passion, it's the fire inside me keeps me ME! 

Check out Claire's jewellery page: Deer Haven Jewellery

What do you do when you have time to yourself?

Usually have dinner with friends (I'm a foodie), or just relax with some ol’ country songs ;) 

How does a typical day go?

For me it's very different now from when Wilf was tiny. We don't have a super strict routine. He wakes up at about 7:30-8am and has fruit or cereal for breakfast before we get dressed and head out for the day… Or have a cosy house day (weather depending). He is like my lil buddy! We have adventures together; I dress him up all cute and take numerous photos of him. We go all over the place together.


How was your pregnancy?

Pregnancy, for me, was kinda tough. I had huge OCD issues about germs and bad things happening to my baby. It was my job to make sure nothing went wrong; I felt a huge pressure that if something happened it would be my fault... So I was super super, super healthy - no junk, nothing!

Any cravings?

Nope, just eating in general ;)

Did you find out what you were having?

Yes! We absolutely couldn't wait 9 months to find out!

How did you decide on a baby name?

I remember like it was yesterday! We were sitting in our car eating lunch and Harry said ‘I like the name Wilfred, do you?’ I was like ‘yes!’ And no other name felt right like Wilfred did.

How did your prepare for your baby’s arrival?

No antenatal classes; just One Born Every Minute, ha!

How was your labour?

Not great. I was on a drip to induce pregnancy for an hour and pushed for an hour and nothing happened. Before I knew it the room was filled with people and he was coming out (with their help) - emergency style, very scary.


How did you get on with breastfeeding?

I desperately wanted to breast feed, and I did for two months, but I was, unfortunately, not producing enough milk and had to stop. It was heartbreaking.

What does your baby eat?

Fruit, Fruit, Fruit! Oh, and ham

What was your approach to weaning your baby onto solids?

Wilf was ready to go on to purée at 4 months. I started with fruits and he just loved them (in small amounts ). I think it’s good to give them some flavours; milk must get boring, hehe!

Does your baby have a nap/ sleep routine?

Usually, nap time is at 11am and bedtime is at 7pm…depending on teething!

How do you keep your baby entertained?

Books are Wilfred's thang! He loves to point and the pictures and say what they are.

When you're baby's freaking out, what do you find helps them to calm down?

I sing, sing, sing my heart out! And stroke his arm; works every time.


Have you taken your baby on any holidays?

Yes!!! Ahhhh! I’m not going to lie; it was hard work! The plane on the way there wasn’t that bad, but we had a villa and I kept having to chase Wilfred away from the pool! I didn't have many toys with me, and he didn't have his usual TV faves, or juice… and two new teeth came through! He wasn't keen on the food either.  Also, on the flight home he’d done a massive pooh which leaked onto my dress just as we boarded our flight… And guess where my nappies were... In my suitcase! Ahhhh! Thank God for another mum who saved the day and had spares.

What were your baby holiday essentials?

Sadly, my iPad. He loved it. I think, for him, it reminded him of home. And the pool; he loved me holding him and swishing him around.

Was your baby's routine affected by being on holiday?

Yes! Badly! His travel cot was horrifically uncomfortable and he just couldn't sleep well at all. I desperately wanted to just have his cot and the cushions that he loves.


Does your baby have a favourite toy?

Any kind of ball is Wilf’s favourite toy. Or his Percy train.

What was your most recent baby or baby-related purchase?

I bought Wilf loads of Thomas the Tank Engine related goodies as he learnt to say ‘choo choo’ from a book and has been train-obsessed ever since!

What is your baby’s mode of transport?

I don't drive so I go everywhere on foot or by train. I use a Quinny Buzz and I love it! It's so cosy and durable, an all-round excellent mode of transport. On holiday my mum took a stroller (I hate strollers) and I hated it! It felt so rickety and I can't see how they’re comfortable!

What are your baby essentials when you go out?

Wilf’s green with white polka dots blanket. I can't leave the house I without it!


If you could give your pregnant self some advice, what would it be?


What's the best advice or most useful tip that anyone's given you about parenting?

Don’t forget yourself. Always, always make time for 'you'- it's so important.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with other mums or expectant mums?

Relax and enjoy it. It's the best journey; it will change you and make you a better person all-round. And it’ll make you so damn happy you could cry! 

Thank you so much for sharing, Claire! Good to be back in touch after all these years! x

P.S. Mummy Time will be taking a little break. Quite a few mamas have my Q&As, but I totally appreciate that everyone is busy so I don't want to put any pressure on anyone to them to fill them out in a hurry. If you're interested in featuring on Mummy Time, please email me;

Thank you for reading xxx

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Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. It really means a lot! Nicki x