Three is definitely the magic number when it comes to Nick Lachey‘s kid count.
“[My wife Vanessa] and I always, in the back of our minds, wanted three kids. So here we are at three, and it’s awesome,” the 98 Degrees member tells PEOPLE.
But just because the Lacheys have an idea in mind doesn’t mean they will necessarily cap their family expansion after the recent birth of son Phoenix Robert, 2 weeks.
“Short of a surgical procedure, I guess it’s always an option, but I’ve given up on trying to predict these things,” jokes Lachey, 43. “Apparently there’s a way to make babies and we’re fairly good at it, so you never know. But I think right now, three feels like a very good number.”
Though the singer is busy being a new dad to three kids — he and Vanessa also share daughter Brooklyn Elisabeth, 2, and son Camden John, 4 — he admits Phoenix is giving him a very important role since his arrival on Christmas Eve.
“Right now he’s [a] newborn, so it’s more about Mom than it is about Dad,” Lachey says. “But the cool thing about that is it’s given me a lot of time to spend with the other two and pal around with Camden and Brooklyn.”
Lachey admits that though he’s a “slightly bigger pushover” than his wife, he says both he and Vanessa are easier on their kids “in different ways.”
“There’s definitely something to the ‘Daddy’s girl’ thing — my daughter can have her way with me pretty easily,” he explains, “although she’s now turning 2 and it’s starting to get to be the terrible twos, where you gotta put the hammer down a little bit.”
He adds, “She’s still adorable, it’s just she’s adorable [while] she’s screwing up.”
The father of three’s older son does take after Dad in one very special way, though.
“Camden loves to sing, so this summer, when we were touring, he came out [during 98 Degrees’ performance of ‘Because of You’] and followed Dad around stage and sang,” Lachey recounts.
“You can tell that music is definitely something he’s into,” he adds. “And that’s what’s cool — you don’t know what your kids are gonna be drawn to or what’s gonna excite them and what’s gonna motivate them. So it’s cool to see their personalities develop and see the things that they lean toward.”
Considering he has had almost half a decade to build up his parenting skills after fathering two sons and a daughter, it’s no surprise that the singer has some serious wisdom to impart.
“I think, as parents, it’s our job to support those things and try and encourage them in those areas,” Lachey says of the role he is playing in his kids’ lives as they grow.
“What’s really cool is they’re all so different in their own ways, and you don’t really see that until they start to get older and get their personality,” he adds. “But they’re all so unique and different, and you love the different things about them in different ways.”