Nicole Richie & Joel Madden: 'We're So Blessed'

10/10/2008 at 11:00 AM ET
Brian Doben for PEOPLE for use on CBB

Nicole Richie and 9-month-old daughter Harlow Winter Kate appear on PEOPLE’s latest cover, available on newsstands now. Nicole, 27, and partner Joel Madden, 29, of Good Charlotte chat with the magazine about everything from Harlow’s schedule to traveling with the band over the summer, goals for the family, and if they want more children.

Additionally, the couple have provided a playlist of their daughter’s favorite tunes, available for download on iTunes.

Brian Doben for PEOPLE for use on CBB

Click ‘More’ for all the photos, the interview, and to download Harlow’s playlist!

On Harlow’s looks and personality:

J: She smiles all the time.

N: She appreciates every single thing. It’s awesome. She’s very carefree, very independent. In the car, she’s in the back talking to herself.

J: She likes to have her own time.

N: Harlow’s a delicate soul. She studies people. She’s very coy. People say that she and I make the same expressions. But everyone says she looks like Joel.

J: I’m cool with it as long as she doesn’t look like me in a wig when she’s 16. I like that she looks like me — it’s my get-out-of-jail-free card.

N: I tell Joel, "Even when I’m really mad at you, I could never really hate you, because you look like Harlow." So it’s saving you. [Laughs]

On if they miss their pre-baby lives:

J: I can’t imagine life without her. It was never a moment where it was like, "This is inconvenient for us." We’re very blessed to have it happen the way it did. She’s the most important thing in the world to us.

On Harlow’s schedule:

J: She’s up at 7, eats at 8.

N: No, she eats at 7.

J: Eats at 7. I get up a little later. And we hang out, play…

N: Play until 9, then she takes a 45-minute nap. She breastfeeds at 10:30 and eats real food at 11. Naps from 12-2. Eats again at 2:30 and again at 6. We do a family bath, maybe every other day; everyone piles in. She goes to bed at 7. That’s my chance to do adult things. It’s a healthy balance.

On starting solids:

J: She’s got a whole system of trying food. We have a puree-er. We do green beans, peas, bananas, apples, carrots…

N: …sweet potatoes, squash. Her first food was sweet potatoes and she loved it. She ate the whole thing and it was all over the place – in her hair,on her nose, everywhere! Food tastes better coming from your Mom because it’s made with love.

J: We talk about it all the time. It’s an energy thing. I know exactly what’s going into her body.

Brian Doben for PEOPLE for use on CBB

On traveling and being on the road with Good Charlotte:

N: At home, her wake-up time is 7 a.m. If I’mflying to the East Coast, I get her up at 4 a.m. She’s a bit jet-laggedthe first day, but she’s good about getting back on schedule. Ibreastfeed during takeoff and landing to help relieve pressure inHarlow’s ears. She’s teething, and she’s definitely had her moments inthe air. I get a little embarrassed, but if we’re calm, she’s calm.

J: We had a crib on the bus. These days on a Good Charlotte tour, there’s no partying on the bus.

N: I shipped everything Harlow needs in containers, labeled.I’ve never [been this organized]. Now I’m all about the schedule. Ithink Joel’s kind of annoyed about it. He’s like, "Stop talking aboutthe schedule!"

On making memories:

J: [Nicole] has notebooks and notebooks full of the first time she rolled over, the first time she laughed, the first time she…

N: …screamed…

J: Everything she’s ever done is in that book. It’s pretty cool. I really appreciate that because I come home and I can look through it.

N: My friend ask me what I wanted for my birthday, and I told her I wanted a notebook. She said, "You need to calm down!" [Laughs]

On extracurriculars:

N: I’m just now starting to get her into a music class. I’m going to put her in everything. I’m going to put her in ballet when she can start walking.

J: I can’t wait till she starts playing sports.

N: Sports?

J: Tennis.

N: Tennis?

J: It’s cute. A little tennis player?

N: No, she’s going to be a dancer. Or whatever she wants to do.

J: I just want to give her the option to try whatever she wants. I have a feeling she’s going to be musical because she loves instruments.

N: She loves to play the piano.

J: She has a little piano that I took the legs off and put on the floor. She lays there and just bangs on it.

N: No electronic toys. There’s plenty out there in nature to enjoy. She loves flowers in the garden.

Brian Doben for PEOPLE for use on CBB

When asked if they pamper themselves:

N: Do I look like I’m pampering myself? I don’twear nail polish because she sucks on my fingers. I wear my hair upwith her. I don’t really shop. And I only wear heels after 7 p.m. No, Idon’t miss it.

J: Nicole is completely dedicated. I do whatever she tells meto do. I’m cool with that. She’s really good with the baby. I’m reallygood with the finances. All of Harlow’s education and all that stuff, Ialready have planned.

On Joel as a dad:

N: I’d love to say [Harlow]’s a mommy’s girl, but when she sees her dad, she nose-dives for him. He’s really protective of us. It’s cute.

J: A couple weeks ago they fell asleep on the plane, and there was this guy, and his two teenage daughters wanted to take pictures of her. I was like, "Hey, she’s asleep now. Maybe when we get off the plane, you guys can take a picture." The guy just stood up, turned around and started taking pictures of her, and I kind of got into it with him. I was like, "I can’t believe you’re arguing with me. This is my newborn daughter and my girlfriend."

On if motherhood has changed how Nicole views herself:

N: I think my sense of self is still the same. But I don’t do things, we do things. I work around her. She and I do everything together. It’s so fun, especially now that she’s older.

When I was like 2 or 3, my mom and I would get our nails and hair done together. That was so fun. And I want her and I to do that when she’s older.

Brian Doben for PEOPLE for use on CBB

On their pet project, The Richie-Madden Children’s Foundation:

J: The charity stuff is emotional — every kidbecomes your child. Every little baby deserves to be held and fawnedover. I’m happy that my daughter has been born into an easy life. Ialways thought I didn’t want that — I had a thing with people whodidn’t have to work, because I had to work so hard for everything Ihad. Hopefully by example from us, she’ll learn to do the right thingand to be a good person.

On if they have celebrity playdates:

N: No! [Laughs] My mom friends are people I grew up with. Her godparents will be our best friends Mark and Masha.

J: They’re "civilians." We are friends with Pete and Ashlee [Wentz]. We’re excited for th
em to soon be parents.

On goals for Harlow and the family:

N: I don’t think you can plan anything about having a child. It’s something so completely new, so you just have to go with whatever works for you. There’s a million different ways to be a mom.

J: Our baby’s healthy. She’s growing, so everything’s working.

Brian Doben for PEOPLE for use on CBB

On getting married:

N: When we get married, everyone will know. It will happen when it happens.

More kids?:

J: If it could be as easy as Harlow, sure.

N: Right now? Oh my God, I need a nap first.

Brian Doben for PEOPLE for use on CBB


Nicole and Joel shared a list of a few of Harlow’s favorite tunes!

  • A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes — Cinderella. "I have a morning playlist that’s mellow Disney music," says Nicole. "I was a Disney kid!"
  • r Elise — Ludwig van Beethoven. "She has a classical playlist for when she’s on her mat," Nicole shares.
  • Love Song — the Cure. "Harlow doesn’t dance yet, but she kicks her feet," explains Joel.
  • Wild World — Cat Stevens. Joel reveals, "I can’t wait to write songs with her as soon as she can play an instrument!"

To download the Richie-Madden’s picks on iTunes, click here!

Source: PEOPLE, October 20th issue

Click here for yesterday’s cutie!

FILED UNDER: Babies , News , Parenting

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Showing 57 comments

Brandi on

What a beautiful photo! Can’t wait to see and read more tomorrow. I am consistently so impressed by Nicole as mom and all the changes she’s made.

amanda on

Harlow is so cute and she looks a lot like Joel with Nicole’s color. I think this is a great picture and I’m sure it’s going to be a great article. You can tell Joel really admires Nicole and that they are both all about their little girl. How precious!

Kelsey on

I really love this family! I think Nicole has totally matured and chilled out with motherhood and Harlow is just precious!

Gigi on

i agree, brandi! :o)

Chiara on

The picture and article about the Richie-Madden family look great and that baby is adorable, but seriously, on the sidebar there, ANOTHER article about postpartum weight loss. How many of these can the magazines churn out? Do people really eat up every single one? I can’t possibly imagine they contain any new information. And it’s right next to another weight-related article to boot. I try to keep of the soapbox on this site, but this is just getting ridiculous. It’s just so BORING.

babyboopie on

aww I love Nicole Richie! I thought she was absolutely funny on the Simple Life.
Harlow is absolutely gorgeous!

Kristen on

Nicole looks lovely, and Harlow is adorable (I love her name too)! She is completely identical to her father, there’s no mistaking it. Between having a twin and a little look-alike baby, Joel sure has lots of genetic similarities around😉 What does he mean when he says that the similarity is his ‘get-out-of-jail-free-card’ though?

Brandi on

^ I think he meant no one can deny that he’s the father.🙂

MommyX2 on

She is so beautiful. Definately one of my favorite celebrity babies.

Loren on

Brandi🙂 I agree and you really can’t 🙂

Emily Jones on

GAH! Harlow is so beautiful! I’m biased though, my 10 month old Lily, looks liker her twin!

Love Nicole, love Joel, they are they cutest family!

BornFab on

Harlow is beautiful!!!!! What a great family they have turned out to be!!! So happy for them!

Gemma on

Harlow is beautiful! Nicole seems so much more mature and grounded now, I have no doubt that she and Joel are wonderful parents. I hope they have more kids.

brooke on

I love this family. Always liked nicole, and she seems like a good mom. Harlow is one of the cutest babies, and no doubt looks exactly like her daddy joel.

joely moley on

They moved to a new home? Awww, Joel’s house was so awesome😦

Harlow is such a cutie.

Shirelle on

Harlow is so cute! Nicole is so pretty!

Carrie Jo on

Nicole looks great! She looks like she’s just glowing with happiness and content. I’m really happy for her that things are going well.

Willow on

Her original people cover included a follow up interview depending on how the issue sold. the first issue did really well that why they did another one.

CelebBabyLover on

I have to chuckle at the fact that, when Harlow was first born, Joel and Nicole were saying she looked just like Nicole…and now they’re saying everyone says she looks just like Joel!

Anyway, I love Nicole’s approach to the marriage question! Don’t get me wrong, I’m curious as to when they’ll get married. However, I really think the media needs to lay off the marriage question- not just in regards to Nicole and Joel, but in regards to other unmarried parents in Hollywood as well.

I especially feel bad for couples like Angelina and Brad and Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis who have clearly stated several times that they will not be getting married…but still get asked the marriage question!

jo.ann on

This reality starlet really does love whoring her daughter out for magazine covers

Rosy J on

There is no way possible for me to love this lovely little family any more. I am so rooting for them to always be this happy and devoted to each. That precious Harlow is truly the greatest gift to them and they are indeed blessed.

Megan on

I have always loved Nicole and Harlow is the cutest celeb baby (and there are a lot of cute ones!) Nicole seems like a great mom. She is what people should think of when young moms are mentioned, not other young celeb moms who shall remain nameless.

Karine Freitas on

muito fofa a Harlow,Nicole na foto está com um sorriso lindo!

Sami on

They are both really adorable. I think by a “get-out-of-jail-free card” Joel maybe means b/c he looks like Harlow that Nicole can’t get mad at him (for dishes in the sink, underwear on the floor, or whatever) because when she looks at him she is reminded of sweet little Harlow. At least that’s how I interpreted it.

My 9-month old daughter is a little clone of my husband, although she resembles me a little more than she did when she was a newborn.

Toree on

I knew it! It NEVER fails to be mentioned! “She looks just like joel, but with Nicole COLORING!!! How is it that she has Nicoles coloring?! If you look at little Harlow, instead of focusing on the fact that Nicole is part black, you’ll see that she is actually closer to Joel complextion than to Nicoles!

I hate to say it, but I think that waaaay toooo many of you out there are racialy biased. Whether you know it or not!

But I do agree, Harlow is beautiful, and I wish the 3 of them success and happiness!

Jasmine on

I was never a fan of Nicole Richie during her younger days; however, she has really turned into a lovely young woman and mother. Harlow is beautiful and so is Nicole. I wish them well.

Jo Ann v. on

Oh wow, the change in Nicole is absolutely awesome ! And the schedule made me smile !🙂 I grow so fond of her since they became three !

CTBmom on

Harolow is beautiful, and I agree that she looks just like her daddy. It seems like Joel and Nicole have really settled down and are centered around their daughter.

Brandi on

What beautiful photos!! So funny how Joel obviously defers to Nicole. It’s such a great change to see her succeeding and doing so well. And still nursing at 9 months! Go Nicole!

Bren on

They are my favorites! I love how sweet they are and down to earth. Their baby is gorgeous and looks so happy.

Jess on

They certainly didn’t tell a fib on that Harlow smiles allll the time!

She’s gorgeous and so is Nicole. Cute family!

I can’t believe how much Nicole has turned her life around. Good on her =D!

mmh on

How cool that she doesn’t go for electronic toys… I went to one of those large discount stores recently (won’t name names) looking for puzzles for my 2-year-old (he’s obsessed!) I found exactly ONE puzzle for his age (he needs less than 40 pieces or so…) but rows and rows and rows of electronic toys. I was disgusted.

julie on

I have to say I truly applaud Joel for standing up for his family, and am sickened that a man with daughters of his own would completely disregard another man’s request for HIS daughter’s privacy. He is the true definition of a man and a father. Bravo!

Elizabeth on

I used to not be able to stand Nicole Ritchie during her “Nicole & Paris” days but now I smile every time I see her. She has completely transformed herself and seems like such a great mother. Little Harlow is absolutely adorable. She looks just like her daddy.

Elizabeth on

Kirsten, I think what Joel means by saying Harlow is his “get out of jail free card” is that no matter what he does Nicole won’t be mad at him. Every time she sees him she sees Harlow and can’t be mad because she’s so cute.

Melissa C on

How lucky is baby Harlow?She has a great mom and dad.Nicole is the wonderful person I knew she was.She is a great mom.

Mandy on

Love the last pic of Nicole and Harlow!!!

Kelly on

good for Nicole! she seems so grown up & mature now & Harlow is just adorable!

Jen on

I see both Joel and Nicole in little Harlow! What a beautiful family!

brannon on

wow – she is seriously cute!!! and nicole looks amazing! love that they posted her playlists!

Tammy on

They are such a cute family. Way to go Joel for standing up for your family on the plane. If that were me, my motherly instincts would have got me arrested! I would have ripped that man a new one, literally.

Stephany on

I loved this interview! Joel and Nicole and Harlow make the perfect little family. Harlow is soooo cute!

erica alayne on

Totally my favorite celebrity family. Such wonderful photos!

Mary-Helen on

What a beautiful family and my goodness does Harlow look like her father!

Erin on

I absolutely love their family. Wouldn’t have thought I’d care, but they seem like one of the very few honestly happy families in Hollywood. I actually think they’ll go the distance. And that little girl…oh come on, how cute!?!

kaya on

for some reasons, I just LOVE that the cure is on their playlist lol. harlow’s very cute and I think Nicole has never looked that good. That third picture (in the trailer?) looks cool, like an old movie still.


Nicole Richie looks so much like Sharon Tate. The late wife of Roman Polanski. It’s almost uncanny.

I’m so heartened to hear that she’s taking the time to puree her child’s solid food. Nutrition is so important in the first years of life.

Megan B on

Harlow is so beautiful. She looks just like Dad!

Brandi on

Kaya it is on the Good Charlotte tourbus.🙂

Serenity on

Nicole and joel look like the most amazing parents and you can See the love they have for each other in Harlow. Harlow is to cute. I think Nicole has matured alot both during her pregnancy and after the birth of the baby i love how she keeps Harlow out of the public eye and i cant wait to see how Harlow turns out. Good Job Nicole and Joel

Bee on

Harlow is adorable, and Nicole looks gorgeous too. She seems more mature & grounded ever since she became a Mother. Harlow definetely saved Nic from herself, what a blessing for Nicole & their beautiful family!

Arabel on

Haha, the “sports? tennis?” part has got to be my favorite. I have to admit that I had my doubts about these two (well… mainly Nicole, I’ve always liked Joel for some reason) when we first learned of Nicole’s pregnancy, but they really have proven themselves as loving and devoted parents. I’m very impressed and I really hope they’ll go the distance with this relationship. I recall reading Nicole say that she wants at least 5 children, both biological and adopted (since she herself is adopted), although she’s still young so I doubt she’s in any hurry. Anyway, this was a great article and Harlow has got to be the happiest/most adorable celebrity baby girl I’ve ever seen! And I just realized Nicole has excellent grammar, lol…

Crystal on

Harlow is absoultely GEORGOUS!!! She seems so happy, healthy and loved!! You can tell that Joel and Nicole adore their little girl. I used to think she was an EXACT replica of Joel. I think she is now looking more like Nicole. Either way she is an adorable child! Sooooo cute!!🙂

emily on

Breastfeeding, making her own baby food, no electronic toys…I had no idea I had so much in common with Nicole Richie. And Harlow is ADORABLE!

Kim on

I love hearing about this family. I’m a big fan of Joels music and always had the impression that he would know how to treat a woman properly, and everytime I hear him mention Nicole or his precious little girl I know I was right. I love seeing Harlow grow – she’s so BEAUTIFUL! Looks just like her Papa!:)

carla on

Harlow is a real beauty and has the best features of both parents. Great interview.

Brandi Cryer on

I thought she looked so much like Joel until these pictures and she`s like Nicole`s twin.

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