Nick Lachey: Why We Named Our Daughter Brooklyn

04/27/2015 at 10:45 PM ET

She’s only 3 months old, but already Nick Lachey‘s daughter Brooklyn Elisabeth knows an important secret.

“I’ll come up to her and make faces and she smiles and laughs, she’s already got me wrapped around her fingers,” the 41-year-old host of VH1’s Big Morning Buzz told PEOPLE after shooting the cover of the upcoming 2015 Toys “R” Us Toy Guide for Differently Abled Kids at a New Jersey photo studio Wednesday.

“The whole daddy’s-girl thing, she’s already got me hook, line and sinker,” adds Lachey, who is working with the brand on the gift guide, an annual shopping resource for those who know and love children with special needs. (Having a brother with Asperger’s, a form of Autism, has helped Lachey understand the different ways kids can learn.)

“[Brooklyn] is the happiest baby ever,” he says. “She laughs and smiles, just the sweetest disposition.”

Already, the differences between Brooklyn and her big brother, Camden John, 2, are evident.

“Cam is a little bit more reserved and our daughter is a firecracker,” Lachey explains. “You could just tell that she’s going to have a very, very strong will and she’s going to give him a run for his money.”

Nick Lachey Toys R Us
Courtesy Toys R Us

When asked how he and wife Vanessa came up with their baby girl’s name, the new dad laughs and says, “Well, if you must know, she was conceived in New York.”

He adds, “Not in Brooklyn, per se, but we felt the Upper West Side didn’t have a good ring to it and we wanted to pay an homage to New York.”

Already the couple is enjoying Brooklyn’s sweet sleep schedule. But while she’s mostly sleeping through the night, the rare times she doesn’t, it’s Vanessa who’s usually on night duty as Lachey makes a weekly commute to N.Y.C. from the family’s homes in either Los Angeles or Cincinnati to host Big Morning Buzz.

“It’s heartbreaking,” he says of leaving his kids. “I think [Camden] recovers in 30 seconds, he’s fine. For Dad, it’s tough. The older they get, with every week it gets tougher and tougher.”

Every night while away, Lachey has a bedtime ritual with his son. “God love FaceTime,” he says. “We do our little kiss through the phone and an Eskimo kiss, that’s our little deal.”

When he’s at home, after a day hanging out doing father-son things together — like hitting the car wash — Lachey is in charge of Camden’s bedtime routine, which includes a bath followed by the doting dad singing “Sleepy Eyes,” the song he wrote and recorded for his firstborn.

“That’s our thing now,” shares Lachey. “He wants to sing it every day. I have to do one for Brooklyn now, I can’t play favorites.”

But it seems Camden is already following in his father’s musical footsteps.

“I’ll put different words to a song, like ‘Frere Jacques,’ ” he explains, laughing, as he uses the tune to sing, “Chew and swallow, chew and swallow, all your food, all your food, it is so good for you, it is so good for you, yes it’s true, yes it’s true.”

He continues, “[Camden] will take that melody and he’ll put his own, like, ‘Super Camden, Super Camden.’ And he’ll be starting to write his own and improv his own lyrics to songs. It does seem like he’s musically gifted.”

— Diane Herbst

Share this story:

Your reaction:

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 20 comments

Carmen on

Beautiful family!! Love these two together!!

libba on

NO ONE CARES!!!How is this even an article???

pk on

I wonder if Camden was conceived in Camden, NJ.

Ayisha From Brooklyn on

I’m from Brooklyn born and raised and it really irks me that those who are not love to claim Brooklyn so hard as they live there. You have to be from Brooklyn to appreciate what Brooklyn is

Emily on

Oh gawd. As they conveniently planned it so they can have this article. Bunch of desperates!

Dawn on

I guess since his ex wife’s sis toon Bronx, that would’ve been weird? 😉

So nice to see a family guy gush about his babies.

And Ayisha–Flatbush and Bay Ridge girl here and it just makes me proud that people love the best borough in the world. Don’t be greedy. 😉

soph on

Camden and Brooklyn. Tackiest sibling names I’ve ever heard.

Trish on

Who cares? Do you know why I named my daughter Olivia?? Exactly!

Tom on

Does Nick Lachay have any real career other than constantly talking about his kids in People mag?!? Seems he can only get any press when he gushes on & on about how “fun” it is to pretend to be a dad.

Erin on

Doesn’t anyone realize that every other kid is named Brooklyn these days? If they were truly in NYC when she was conceived they could have named her Madison because I seriously doubt they were staying in Brooklyn at the time. I’d put money on it that Vanessa would step foot off of Manhattan. Madison is just as common and obtuse as Brooklyn. Remember when the movie Splash came out and it was so hilarious and absurd when she picked the name Madison? And now people actually use it as a real name. These kids have to apply to college and get jobs one day!

Mia on

shhhhhhhhh

Seriously??? on

Libba…’No one cares’? Speak for yourself. You do NOT speak for me. If you dont’ care, don’t look at the picture, read the article and comment on it. DUH. Problem solved.

Emily…Conveniently planned what, exactly??? Your comment makes NO sense. None at all.

Trish…’Who cares’? Once again, you do NOT speak for me. You think far too highly of yourself. This is the BABY section of an entertainment page. Nick and Vanessa are celebrities. THAT is why we’re reading about the way they chose their daughter’s name. If you ever become a celebrity instead of a permanent whiner, perhaps People will ask you why you named your child Olivia.

Tom…What an insanely stupid comment. Of course he does more than interview with People magazine. Do you whine about every single celebrity who is featured in the BABY section of this magazine? My God…you’re whining like a 2 year old brat.

libba on

Seriously???….

They are not celebrities…what has vanessa done??? Nothing….And as for nick he’s just living off Jessica’s money.

Not Amazed on

That is so gross when people feel the need to let the world know where they conceived their baby. TMI! And then they have to go and name the kid after that place so she’ll always have a reminder of Mommy and Daddy doing the deed? Yuck! So not cool!

Roy on

Um that is the reason they named their daughter.

J on

Vanessa’s ob/gyn’s office is located on a road named CAMDEN, hence his name. They told us that fact when he was a newborn.

Guest on

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that the same reason Victoria and David named their son Brooklyn? I may be showing my age here, but I remember reading an article somewhere around the time he was born that he was named that because he was conceived in Brooklyn. That’s so funny that it’s the same reason for Nick and Vanessa. I know a girl who named her daughter Chevrolet for the same reason. I guess the Brooklyn’s got lucky with their parents location lol.

Rachel on

These comments are hilarious and extremely immature.
Nick Lachey has been hosting shows on television for YEARS now. He toured with New Kids on the Block and 98 Degrees a couple years back. He does make money and some people do find him relevant. If you don’t, why do you read?

And the comment about him living off of Jessica Simpson’s money? When you have a net worth of $20 million… you don’t need to live off your ex’s money. People act like he sits around on his butt and does nothing.

Anonymous on

It’s interesting to know how he name his daughter!

Sarabella on

Adorable! What a sweet story.