"All of my hopes and dreams have come true and he is awesome," the new mom says. "I was actually joking earlier that if Nick could nurse Camden he would! If he had boobs, he would do it!"

Yitzhak Dalal/Hilton Media Group

Dating Nick Lachey was much more than just finding the perfect partner; For Vanessa, it was about discovering his parenting potential, too.

“That is one of the things I looked for in him when we were dating,” she tells SheKnows.com. “Not only how he is as a man and a husband, but how he will be as a father.”

Fortunately, Vanessa’s sneaking suspicions that Nick would make quite the doting dad were proven correct when the couple welcomed their first child, son Camden John, in September.

“All of my hopes and dreams have come true and he is awesome,” the new mom says. “I was actually joking earlier that if Nick could nurse Camden he would! If he had boobs, he would do it!”

While he may not be able to manage the midnight feedings, the proud papa has stepped up to the plate in all other areas — particularly his ability to simultaneously perform the sway and shush!

“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 … so Nick took that role and he is awesome at that!” Vanessa, 31, shares.

“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.”

Despite being blessed with a sweet-natured son, the strong spousal support — and extra set of helpful hands! — were much-needed during the first few weeks with baby.

Although admittedly forewarned as to sleep schedules and feeding frenzies, Vanessa wasn’t prepared for the time-consuming task of meeting a newborn’s needs. That is, until the full effects of a serious lack of shuteye began to kick in.

“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,” she explains. “Sometimes we literally had 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!'”

But even the late-night hours, countless diaper changes and endless swaddling sessions can’t put a damper on the new parents’ profound happiness.

“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,” she says. “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.”

Clearly smitten with their son, Vanessa and Nick have already penned cute nicknames for their 8-week-old, but with his football fanatic dad already showing him the sports ropes, it seems as if Camden’s full moniker also takes his countless career possibilities into account.

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

— Anya Leon