Motherhood Has Been Easier Than Nicole Richie Once Thought

10/21/2008 at 02:00 PM ET
Brian Doben for PEOPLE for use on CBB

Although Ellen DeGeneres seems to think that Harlow Winter Kate — who recently graced the cover of PEOPLE — takes after her mom Nicole Richie, in an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres show last week, Nicole disagreed, admitting that most people think the tiny tot takes after her dad, Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden. Giving Ellen the benefit of the doubt and sharing that Harlow, now 9 months, is constantly changing, a clearly elated Nicole is "having the best time of my life" with her new family. After hearing the warnings during her pregnancy to prepare for sleepless nights after the baby was born, for Nicole, the journey of motherhood — so far — has been "actually easier" than the 27-year-old had envisioned. "[Harlow] sleeps 12 hours and I’m sleeping," says Nicole, who lovingly refers to her daughter as the "sweetest little angel ever."

As for hitting some major milestones, baby Harlow — who is "very delicate and very sweet" — is on the move, learning to crawl and even taking some steps as long as she "holds things." While Ellen revealed her plans to cover her house in foam for any of her future children, Nicole shares that although she is a bit nervous, she tends to not let her feelings show around her daughter "because I don’t want her to pick up on that energy." According to Nicole, with a baby on the loose, the couple have baby-proofed their home and jokes that after removing any dangerous objects, they have been left with nothing. "It’s pretty much an empty box that we live in," laughs Nicole. In addition to becoming mobile, Harlow has also learned to say a few words, much to the delight of her parents…and Ellen! "She says mama and dada and that’s pretty much it…she says Ellen sometimes," Nicole joked with the talk show host.

Giving an update on Nicole and Joel’s new project for The Richie-Madden Foundation, the actress shares that with the donations of $5 through a text message, the plans are to "build a mobile clinic to go around and provide children in America with proper healthcare." Going on to say that "20 million children in America do not have access" to care that they need, Nicole revealed Joel’s upcoming plans.

"Joel, actually, is leaving next week. I wish that I could go, but I’m still nursing. He’s going to Africa and that’s going to be a really amazing trip for him."

Source: The Ellen DeGeneres Show

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Showing 25 comments

Amber on

Harlow is so sweet; my favorite celeb baby girl.

wow on

It’s so awesome that she is still breastfeeding! What a great role model for others.

bren on

Love her! I saw her appearance on Ellen and she was just so down to earth and sweet. Her baby is gorgeous. I see both Nicole and Joel in Harlow so I can see how Ellen sees that especially when you are looking at one parent in person, I think you will see that parent more in the baby at the time. I have seen that with alot of babies and even my friends.

Pearl on

Isn’t that the benefit of breast feeding. To be able to have nutrishment for your baby anytime anywhere?

Megan on

Harlow is too cute. I love that Nicole is still nursing. She was on a bad path before and little Harlow saved her! Nicole seems to be the perfect celeb mommy!

Carol on

Not to take anything away from Joel in his desire to help children get health care–it’s great–but the Children’s Health Fund has been around since 1987. CHF was co-founded by singer/songwriter Paul Simon, so Joel is not the first celebrity to do this. CHF is in California, too.

Ruthella on

Harlow is adorable, and soo much like her Daddy! Maybe she’ll look more like Nicole as she grows, but I wouldn’t describe her as ‘delicate’ just now! Maybe Nicole meant delicate natured?🙂

Brigid on

I’ve been so impressed at how Nicole has changed with the birth of her daughter. She seems so calm, and at peace. Maybe this was really the person she was all along, but it’s so great that her public image is reflecting this maturity.

Sam on

I think it’s fantastic that she is still nursing Harlow, can someone please explain to me why should couldn’t nurse in Africa?

Nicole had grown up so much; I couldn’t stand her on the Simple life I used to think she was such a spoilt rich brat now I think she’s mature and wonderful.

Brandi on

I think it has something to do with the travelers shots you need for the trip, some may not be compatible with breastfeeding or Nicole may not want to risk it.

Kim on

Congrats on her still nursing, what an effort! I made it to seven months with my son before quitting, it was tough to keep up, especially with a busy working lifestyle! She has definitely turned her life around and seems like a different person, what a natural mummy she looks like and Harlow is happy and healthy. Kudos to her, she’s doing a great job🙂

aurora mia on

I wish my little one would sleep 12 hours!! I love the name choice. If I had a a girl… 🙂

Alexa on

Sam, It may be that they don’t want to take Harlow with them, and she may not like taking bottles. I remember Nicole being at an event, and she left early explaining she needed to get back to Harlow.

Sam on

Thanks Brandi and Alexa

Lorus on

Love that she’s still nursing! I really think little Harlow saved Nicole. She’s grown so much since becoming pregnant. For the first time in her life she truly looks happy. I wish this family all the best!

JM on

I’ve seen pics of Nicole feeding Harlow a bottle so I’m not going to lean on the fact that she can’t go cause Harlow won’t take one. Perhaps though Harlow is a nighttime nurser and won’t go to sleep unless nursed and maybe Nicole is truly uneasy about leaving her.

Dani on

It has to do with get the shots you have to take to be able to go on the trip.
Harlow obviously can’t go because she is too young to be subjected to that much shots and nicole can;t because you can’t take the shots when if you are pregnant or nursing.

Jess on

I’m glad she’s doing so well as a first time mommy. Even though her so called “difficult time” i was a fan of hers. I do wish people would stop commenting on the breast feeding. Do it, or don’t do it. I was unable to feed my child to due an allergy to my milk. The more everyone says “Oh what a great mom.” That definatly makes me feel like a crappy one, for something i couldn’t control. Just because someone doesn’t breast feed, doesn’t mean they didn’t wish they could!!! Or makes them less of a mother! I guess that makes all of us who couldn’t do it for whatever reason, bad role models.

I know my first child i could not breast feed for long, because i had to work 3 jobs just to survive. My second child, as i said, had an allergy to my milk. I hope all the other mommies out there who were like me and couldn’t do it, keep their heads up. Just because we couldn’t do it for whatever reason, doesn’t make us bad parents or bad role models. It makes for reality!!!

krissy mullins on

nicole has been threw so much the past years she deserves such greatnessim so proud of her an the woman she has grown up to be i look up to her so much my self. good job nicole your a great mom!

Suzie Urban on

Harlow looks just like her daddy and she’s soo cute.

Andria on

I would assume the nursing comment means it would be hard for her to pump enough milk for Harlow while she was gone. I know a lot of women who nurse their babies, and will leave them over night with bottles of pumped milk, but couldn’t leave them for much longer because they just don’t have the extra supply to pump in advance.

lis on

That baby is just so freaking cute!!! I love her – and I love, love, love her name. It’s unique without being so wacky…as many celebs are when naming their babies! Ha!

Emma on

The vaccinations and malaria tablets that you have to take to go to certain parts of Africa would have an effect your breast milk. Also, taking a young baby may not be the best idea in the world – there are just too many diseases and the immune system is too weak at that age to cope sometimes.
Jess, thank you for your comment – I have been waiting for someone to say something like that for ages. I wish people wouldnt get so sanctimonious about the breastfeeding issue. Whether you do or dont has absolutely no bearing on what sort of mother you are.

astro on

I hate to disagree with you ladies, but I love Nicole and she IS a great role model to young moms in terms of breastfeeding. She’s stylish, young and hip… and she’s still nursing. I am nursing my 18 month old with no plans to stop and I am so happy to see celeb moms doing what’s best for their children by nursing them. Jess, your baby was allergic to something in your diet, not your milk. It is very common and an elimination diet would have allowed you to nurse your child. There are actually very few women who medically cannot breastfeed, though misinformation is rampant. The vast majority of babies are still put on formula, so as someone who is educated on the dangers of formula I say “GO Nicole for being a public example!” And, personally, I think it says a heck of a lot about what type of mother you are.

xoxo on

is that picture of them also in People magazine?

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