Alexandra Burke welcomes second child just over a year after her first: Benefits of a small age gap

 Alexandra Burke attends The National Lottery's Big Night Of Musicals red carpet. The show will air in Spring on BBC One. at AO Arena on February 27, 2023 in Manchester, England
Alexandra Burke welcomed her first child in July last year, and has now given birth to her second. (Getty Images)

Alexandra Burke has shared that she has given birth to her second baby, around 15 months after welcoming her first child.

The singer, 35, announced she had welcomed her firstborn – who she has not revealed the name and gender of – in July last year.

Back in April, the star told fans that she was expecting again sharing an image of herself posing with her partner, footballer Darren Randolph, 36, as he holds her bump.

And now the Bad Boys singer has announced her second child has arrived, just over a year after her first.

Sharing several images of the newborn's hands and feet, she wrote on Instagram: "Feeling so blessed. We are now a family of four. Welcome to the world our little peanut."

Read more: Can a 'together-apart' relationship really work? Alexandra Burke only sees footballer boyfriend twice a week (Yahoo Life UK, 3-min read)

The former winner of The X Factor joins Rihanna in giving birth to her second baby under two years after the arrival of her first.

Parenting expert Liat Hughes Joshi notes that while having children with a smaller age gap sounds exhausting, there are some key positives too.

She says: "Having your first baby is tiring, so welcoming a second around a year later is going to be pretty all-encompassing.

"It will be challenging, in a way that goes beyond lack of sleep – and you may find it hard to get time to yourself amidst the whirl of nappy changing and feeding."

However, Joshi notes that this phase is only temporary, and you'll be able to reap the rewards of a smaller age gap – not least because their needs will align better than siblings born several years apart.

"The key thing to focus on is that this difficult phase won't be forever and in a couple of years, you'll have more chance of your 'close in age' siblings being playmates," she says.

Read more: What to know about having babies close together like Rihanna? (Yahoo Life UK, 5-min read)

Parenting experts say there are a number of plus points to having children close in age. (Getty Images)
Parenting experts say there are a number of plus points to having children close in age. (Getty Images)

"It'll be a lot easier to plan activities and outings that appeal and work for them both as opposed to two siblings with a much larger age gap."

Danielle Manton-Kelly, early years expert for Munchkin, agrees: "Though often met with ‘Are they twins?’ and ‘You’ve got your hands full!’ type remarks, life with siblings born close together can be incredibly special – often they will grow up as best friends.

"You can also hold all your clothing and other items and re-use them," she adds. "The great thing about small age gaps is there is less time for baby equipment and clothing to degrade in any way."

However, Joshi encourages parents in this situation to take key steps to make those early years as smooth as possible.

She suggests: "Accept as much help as is offered by others – whether it's a friend dropping off dinner in the early weeks or grandparents staying over to allow you and your partner a bit of a break. This is not the time to be proud and say no."

She also advises focussing on being "good enough" rather than some sort of super-mum.

"As long as your babies are safe, fed and cared for, anything else is a bonus," she adds.

Read more: Co-sleeping benefits and drawbacks as Josie Gibson shares bed with 5-year-old son (Yahoo Life UK, 6-min read)

There can be many benefits in having a close age gap between your children. (Getty Images)
There can be many benefits in having a close age gap between your children. (Getty Images)

Self-care is also important. "Never feel guilty about that as looking after your wellbeing and health means you'll be better placed to look after your babies," Joshi continues.

"Also, don't forget the little things – eating well, drinking water plenty of water and taking an extra nap on the rare occasions that both children are sleeping.

"Finally, on the hopefully rare hellish days, focus on the mantra 'this too shall pass'. It will and one day, you'll probably look back and laugh at the moment they both were sick at once."

Cheryl MacDonald, parenting expert from Yoga Bellies says don't wait until your second has arrived to get into good habits around looking after your mental and physical health.

"Think about good nutrition, especially if you are pregnant and breastfeeding, and some gentle physical exercise that is suitable for the postpartum body and in pregnancy," she advises.

“Above all, look after yourself mentally. Meditate if you can, get to sleep early and ask for as much help as possible. Good luck to Alexandra!”

Watch: Alexandra Burke explains reason for not revealing baby's name and gender