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Second child preppers: 13 mums share how they went from one to two.

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As so many parents know, number two can make life a bit more of a challenge than when there was just one.

It’s a transition that can take you by surprise. While navigating those new waters of having a second child can be tricky, there are parents who’ve been there before and they’ve learned some great lessons about dealing with this new life stage along the way.

Here is the best advice from Australian mums on how they managed going from one child to two, so you know what to expect:

Bec Hollyman

“When you have one you’re a couple with a child, when you have two you’re a full-blown family. I found the more kids we had, the easier it got. You’re so unprepared with number one that you know what to expect with number two. Number three was a walk in the park.”

Haylee Guiver

“There’s just under three years gap between my two boys. I’d say overall it’s easier than having one. We have a more structured routine and they entertain each other while I’m getting housework done. And the majority of the time they don’t sound like they’re killing each other!”

Andrea Kane

Andrea Kane's daughters. Image: Supplied.

"Don’t get hung up on what you did for one - you don’t always get to do for two. For example, holding them for hours while they sleep. Also remember every detail about the first few months. They will be different children and you will parent differently and that’s OK."

Jo Stein

"The best thing was alone time. Getting hubster to come home 30 minutes early twice a week so I could go for a run was life changing (I would have dinner ready in the oven and a bottle good to go). Those days of both are tough but you get through however you can!"

Olivia Christie

"I found it fine going to two. Not everyone’s experiences are terrible. I had a flexible routine and mine slept through the night by about six weeks old. I never went a day without being out of pyjamas and my house was always clean.

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"Before I had my second, I had taught my first to stay in the lounge room and only leave with my permission. So she was capable of sitting with me and waiting patiently whilst I fed the baby. She would hold up books and I read to her whilst I fed. The best advice is set a flexible routine."

Benita Beer

Benita with her second son. Image: Supplied.

"My second is only three months old at the moment, so I'm still new to having two kids. But so far my biggest piece of advice would be to do as much as possible with both kids together.

"For example, ask your older child if they would like to help change baby’s nappy and when playing with the older child, have baby sitting in your lap or on the floor next to you. Hopefully the kids will get used to playing together very naturally.

"Also try to be organised and word statements so that it’s not 'because of the baby' that you can’t do things."

Kylie Simmonds

"I actually didn’t find the transition from one to two as hard as I had expected. BUT my second baby has so far been a fairly good sleeper, which gave me lots of one on one time with my clingy toddler! I felt like I was already in 'mum mode' and not much else really changed. I just had a few more nappies to change."

Brittany Griffiths

"It was harder as you couldn't nap when baby slept because you then needed to entertain the first child or show them love and attention. But it was much so much easier as I was less anxious about little things and strong enough to tell doctors something was different with this one.

"I stuck by a strong routine and it worked being single doing it my way. It was way easier than dealing with a man-child wanting his share of attention. I now have two biological children and two that aren't and I still follow a strict routine when we have all four together."

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Miriam Gascoigne

Miriam Gascoigne with her children. Image: Supplied.

"I found the jump to two challenging at times. I had a super active toddler so running after him whilst trying to feed a newborn was not always easy. There are also two people to wake in the night! Once the second is a little older it’s easier as they can entertain each other.

"My advice would be to find a routine that works for you and rope in any help from friends and family if you can."

Emma Steggles

"Divide and conquer when you can; when my husband was home and the baby needed something, I would do that and my husband would look after the toddler. Or when we all went out together he would take one and I would take the other.

"Also, planning ahead helps when they’re little. On the days I was alone with them both I would have our toddler’s breakfast and lunch prepared. That way if the baby needed something, I could quickly finish off what needed to be done for the toddler’s meal and then tend to the baby so they were both sorted.

"Accept help when it’s offered too, especially in the early days. My grandmother kept offering to come over and help during the 'witching hour' when my husband was working late and I said no at first because I thought I should be able to manage on my own. But then one night I said yes and it was such a big help. Plus she loved being able to help us out and spend that time with her great-grandchildren.

"If someone is offering to help, it’s OK to say yes if the offer will work for you. They wouldn’t offer if they didn’t want to do it and we don’t need to try to be super mum and think we should be able to manage. It’s hard when the second baby is a newborn!"

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Sharona Behrens

"I found it just as hard going from one to two as going from zero to one. It was brutal. Constantly being needed by multiple people is exhausting.

"I realise I was pretty lucky with having healthy kids and a supportive family but my mental health took a big dive when my second arrived. It is a lot harder to get time to myself, time alone with hubby, get a babysitter and get finances under control.

"The age between my two is three years and three months. It is an age gap I would recommend."

Sharon Bretherton

Mum Sharon Bretherton. Image: Supplied.

"I always tell people the hardest part of the second child is the reaction of your first child. Their little world has changed, they are no longer the complete centre of your attention and it can be hard. The actual baby is way easier because you have so much more confidence in your ability as a parent. Just remember that number one will need a little more love and understanding and probably won't show that need in a very nice way."

Bree Alexander

"My big ticket advice — don’t listen to anyone’s advice. Everyone has such strong opinions, but I think you just find your own groove! And have wine available!"

So there you have it, some sage advice from parents who have been there and done that to help get you through this new phase. We know you can do it.

What is your advice for going from one to two? Tell us in the comments section below. 

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The first 6-8 weeks after conception are critical for a baby's development, including the growth of its vital organs.  When you're pregnant, your baby depends on you for everything it needs to grow and thrive, and in the early stages of infancy, breast milk provides nutrients for baby’s healthy development.

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