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Vanessa Lachey talks baby Camden and her new mom essentials

Kim Grundy is a mom, writer, expert laundry folder and sandwich maker, not necessarily in that order. Raised in Oklahoma, she is now a West Coast gal and lives in California with her husband and two sons, along with one dog, two fish (oo...

Vanessa Lachey opens up

Vanessa Lachey opens up to us about the best parts (and the most surprising parts!) of being a new mom, including how she is embracing her post-baby body.
Vanessa Lachey

Get the scoop on how she and Nick Lachey decided on naming their son Camden, the hilarious thing Nick really wishes he could do, as well as her cool new campaign with P&G called “Have You Tried This Yet?”

Wipeout host Vanessa (Minnillo) Lachey called me up to chat about her sweet boy Camden John Lachey, as well as her new campaign with P&G called "Have You Tried This Yet" in which she shares the products that help make her life as a new mom a little easier.

Camden is the first child for Vanessa and her husband, Nick Lachey — and she can’t help but gush about her favorite parts of being a new mom.

SheKnows: Congratulations on baby Camden! Tell me, what is your favorite part of being a mom?

Vanessa Lachey: I am still in shock and we look at him and we are like — we made this! I know it sounds corny and cheesy, but it is your love personified. We made this baby! It is weird and very surreal to me. I love everything about being a mom — looking at him and seeing him and hoping and praying that he will be a gentleman and a good man and a supportive friend. All my hopes for him are through the roof.

SheKnows: What do you think is the most surprising part of being a mom?

Vanessa Lachey: The feeding! [During pregnancy] everyone is like, ‘get your rest now!’ and I was like ‘I’ll be fine!’ I didn’t understand that they need to eat every two to three hours at first and then three to four a little after that. And that each feed can be up to one hour with the changing and the ′shushing’ and the swaddling. Sometimes we literally had like 15 minutes between him falling asleep and then having to wake him for the next feed. I’m like this goes on 24 hours a day and no one told me about this part of it!

SheKnows: That part does get better! I promise! You definitely have that new mom glow. What is your secret go bouncing back so quickly!

Vanessa Lachey: I think it is great everyone thinks I bounced back so quickly… but truth be told I’m still wearing my maternity clothes and taking it day by day and enjoying being a mom. I’m not stressing about bouncing back!

I think it is about living in the moment and just I would say having a good support system is extremely important because it keeps you positive because another thing that women tell you about but you can’t prepare yourself for is the emotions and your hormones are completely out of whack and you can cry because you lost the top of your bottle of water! It is the dumbest thing, but it makes it real.

I think it is about focusing on being positive and that is really what I want to encourage other women is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

SheKnows: That’s great! I love that positive message for moms. Did you exercise throughout your pregnancy? How about now?

Vanessa and Nick LacheyVanessa Lachey: In my first trimester I did exercise. In my second trimester, I toned it down a little for obvious reasons because I was getting bigger. And, in all honesty, in my third trimester it was just about the wellness in my mind and the relationship with my husband and [I did not focus] on the gym so much. The exercising I did helped me through the third trimester and labor.

I think we should be focused more on being good moms and not getting back to whatever it is that everyone talks about, your post-baby body, I guess. Your body is different! It took nine to 10 months to get there and it is different now — my body is different now — but I’m learning to love it and embrace it and I have a great support system.

I have my husband to tell me that stretch marks and flabbiness and all is beautiful and it makes me feel good and better and confident and I look at my little boy and I’m like — this is what it is was for.

SheKnows: Nick seems to be such a great, hands-on dad! Did you always know he would be a good dad?

Vanessa Lachey: Absolutely. That is one of the things I looked for in him when we were dating. Not only how he is as a man and a husband, but how he will be as a father. All of my hopes and dreams have come true and he is awesome.

I was actually joking earlier that if Nick could nurse Camden he would! If he had boobs he would do it!

SheKnows: What does he do better than you do when it comes to taking care of Camden?

Vanessa Lachey: He literally can cradle Camden and swing him around and do “shh shh shh." He does that so perfectly because for the first couple of weeks I couldn’t bend! You can’t do certain things after childbirth, like bending and squatting, so Nick took that role and he is awesome at that!

I mean my thing is the obvious. I’m the feeder. I’m his meal ticket. As soon as I’m done feeding him it is Nick’s time. We are pretty fortunate that he is such a good baby; he has a sweet disposition about him.

SheKnows: I love the name Camden! It is such a cute baby name! How did you pick it?

Vanessa Lachey: It was one of those crazy, ’how about that?’ On the way to my doctor’s office to find out if I was pregnant and to see the first ultrasound we passed Camden Drive — and we knew we always wanted a baby with the initials “C” because John is Nick’s dad’s name and we wanted that to be the middle name so we wanted CJ Lachey. We fell in love with the name Camden and it means something to us and we will always remember the name Camden Drive!

SheKnows: Will you call him Camden or CJ?

Vanessa Lachey: As he gets older, CJ Lachey. That is going to be his sports name or stage name — or doctor’s name! One of my girlfriends calls him “Cam Cam.” I call him Buddie, actually, and Nick calls him Cambone.

SheKnows: I know you and Kristin Cavallari both have babies named Camden. Have you talked to her about it? You guys need to get your sons together for a playdate!

Vanessa Lachey: No, I haven’t talked to her. I actually don’t know her!

SheKnows: I know you have started working again. How is it going? Is it difficult to balance it all?

Vanessa Lachey: It is a juggling act but I think it is manageable. I think you want to support your family but also have a creative outlet and that is why I’m excited today to talk about my partnership with P&G because it has single-handedly helped me juggle work and family.

It is a campaign called “Have You Tried This Yet?” and basically, once I became a new mom, I was inspired to share new ideas and what this program has to offer can help improve everyone’s daily demands because we have the constant daily grind of household chores, if you will, and these products that I’m talking about honestly cut the time in half and declutter, make it seamless and make it easier so you can focus on the things you want to focus on — and for me that is my son.

[Author's note: Vanessa revealed that some of her favorite new mom products are Pampers Swaddlers diapers for their wetness indicator ("at a glance you can see if the diaper is wet and needs a change"), Bounty Basic paper towels and Tide with a Touch of Downy as it helps to streamline her laundry.]

SheKnows: What beauty product can you not live without?

Vanessa Lachey: I think it is important to hydrate. It is not an actually product but I think drinking a lot of water is important in your daily routine. P&G has great beauty products. It is kind of embarrassing and kind of a little TMI — but what has saved my life after childbirth are the pads and panty liners.

SheKnows: Yes, that is one of those things that no one talks about but new moms need those!

Vanessa Lachey: Yeah! I will be the one to tell women! They will protect you and after that stage the panty liners protects you so there is no worries. It is life! It is not glamorous to talk about, but when you send your husband to get your Always Pantiliners... that is love!

SheKnows: For sure! So what are you guys doing for Halloween?

Vanessa Lachey: My big idea for next year is that we are going to be this Star Wars family. I am going to be Princess Leia, Nick is going to be Hans Solo, our dog is going to be Chewbacca and Camden is going to be Yoda. This year, maybe the "Lachey Boneyards" so Nick and I will be skeletons and Camden a mini skeleton and [our dog] Wookie will be too. You have to include the dog — he is family! He was our first born... although now he is getting shunned.

SheKnows: Who is your celebrity mom crush?

Vanessa Lachey: Oh gosh! Kelly Ripa is amazing! I mean, really — with the body? And the kids? I want to be her friend!

Image credit: WENN.com / @VanessaLachey

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