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Health & Parenting

Q&A With Nick Lachey

How becoming a father changed this singer/songwriter's life and music.
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"Like most typical new parents, we were pretty vigilant about germs when he was really young -- so anyone who was going to be in close contact with him had to scrub up. But otherwise I think we’ve been pretty mellow, overall. As for me, I made a concerted effort to stay in shape. To start, I tried not to gain any pregnancy sympathy weight. That’s partly just because of the business I’m in, but also partly so I feel good."

Have you had any moments where you thought, whoa, “Daddy FAIL!”?

"Well, I will say that the first time Vanessa went out of town and I had to do his bath solo, it sure wasn’t pretty, and it was not nearly as smooth as when his mom does it. Oh, I got him clean, in the end...but I felt like I was subjecting him to a sub-par bath experience."

What has surprised you most about parenthood?

"Just the way your life changes so much, so fast, and in every way. It affects every decision you make, and for the rest of your life. Actually, I’m not exactly surprised by this -- because I did expect it -- but perhaps I’m just amazed at how broad-sweeping it is."

Any baby gear you’re particularly grateful for these days?

"The little jumpy thing we put in a doorway. He loves bouncing around in it so much, and it helps me in the mornings -- I can actually have my hands free and make a cup of coffee."

What role has music played in these early days of parenting?

"Well, I started singing to him well before he was even born, because I heard that babies might recognize the tunes they heard in the womb. In fact, one of the songs on my new album of lullabies came out of those pre-natal singing sessions, called 'Sleepy Eyes.' And while I was making the album, as soon as I came home from the studio, I’d test out my songs on him. It’s just the sweetest thing to watch his reactions: He smiles and his eyes light up. I also included my take of the classic 'You Are My Sunshine' on the album because it has a deep resonance for me -- my grandfather sang it to me when I was a baby."

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