Two of the most famous Nicoles from the early 2000s were Nicole Richie (aka Paris Hilton’s then-best friend) and Nicky Hilton (aka Paris Hilton’s younger sister). The girls were spread across the tabloids for their wild partying ways and controversial behavior and were often seen together while hanging out with Paris. Nicole and Nicky were definitely “it” girls in the ‘00s, but things have sure changed in the last decade.
Since saying goodbye their twenties, both socialites have gone on to get married and welcome children of their own. Nicky wed in 2015 after four years of dating. The couple has two young daughters: Lily Grace (born in 2016) and Theodora “Teddy” Marilyn (born in 2017). Nicole also has two children, though she became a parent almost a decade before Nicky. The reality star began dating Good Charlotte member Joel Madden in 2006. They have two children: daughter Harlow (born in 2008) and son Sparrow (born in 2009). The couple eventually married in 2010.
Needless to say, these two celebrities are raising their families very differently. Keep reading to see how Nicky and Nicole run their households. First, let's take a look at how Nicky Hilton is raising her two daughters.
First, let's look at Nicky.
Nicky’s husband has very strong ties in the U.K., and when they first met in 2011, she was living in Los Angeles while he was in London. When the couple married, reports said they both agreed to split their time between their two hometowns. And even though the couple is now primarily based in New York, they do spend a good chunk of their year back with his family in London.
"I’m going to London in June—I’ve been going there almost every summer since I was a little girl,” Nicky said in 2016 shortly after having her first child. “A lot of my husband’s family members haven’t met the baby yet, so we’ll spend time with my in-laws and see them. I love London so much that I decided to have my wedding there.”
While Nicky may not have a traditional office job, the socialite keeps busy with organizing charitable events, making public appearances, and of course her fashion design work. She once got real about how much her job can take her away from her young family - and how difficult that can be.
After flying from New York (where she and her husband have an apartment) to LA to attend a Gala, the star told People that she couldn’t wait to jump on the next flight back home to her kids. “I literally took the last flight out of New York, and I’m leaving right after this event to get back home to them,” she explained.
Given that Nicky is the sister of Paris Hilton, we’ve always imagined both of them glued to their phones so they can check their social media. But it sounds like Nicky has done a lot of growing up since getting married and welcoming children.
After welcoming her first daughter, Nicky’s mother Kathy Hilton opened up to People about how she was adjusting to motherhood. Kathy said her daughter barely touches her electronics nowadays since she’s always busy with her baby.
“Her computer and her phone have just been in the same place,” the grandmother explained. “We spent a month together out in the Hamptons and she’s breastfeeding and it’s a full-time job — literally a full-time job — so she can’t go anywhere for more than an hour. I think we went out twice.”
Despite welcoming her daughters practically back-to-back, no one would ever guess that the celebrity gave birth in recent years. Nicky once opened up to E! News about how kept fit and healthy during her pregnancies.
"I really didn't gain too much […] during my pregnancy," she told the publication. "I really looked after myself and had a healthy [eating plan] and [kept] working out."
From the sounds of it, she kept to a strict regime, which likely helped her bounce back so quickly. But Nicky also added that she’s always been slim most of her life, so genetics may be the main factor in this one.
Most moms have to wake up early, especially when they’ve got little ones. How else are you supposed to do everything in one day?
But Nicky is one mama who actually enjoys getting up bright and early. After welcoming her first daughter in 2016, the socialite admitted that she’s planning on getting up at the crack of dawn until her kids move out of the house.
"I love it! I love it!" she told E! News. "I have an alarm clock for the next 18 years, about 5:30 a.m. every [...] day. But I love it! Waking up to that face—it's heaven."
Paris Hilton has always loved shopping for herself. So imagine how excited she was to have two little nieces to shop for - and Nicky says her older sister hasn’t disappointed. In 2017, the celebrity said that Paris routinely spoils her two girls, and she’s all for it.
"Whenever she comes over, she comes bearing sweet gifts," Nicky told E! News. "Clothing, toys, dolls... so Lily Grace gets very excited when Auntie Paris walks in the door." Paris added, “I like to spoil her.” By the sounds of it, every kid needs an aunt like Paris!
Given that Nicky was the first Hilton child to have children, we imagined that her heiress mother would be right alongside her to give her a hand. After all, grandmas are always the most overbearing with the first grandchild.
But back in 2016, Kathy said that her daughter was very particular over who interfered with the baby’s routine. “With my babies, if I wanted to go pick them up I would just go in the room in the middle of the night, but Nicky is very much on a schedule,” Kathy told People. “This is nap time, this is tummy time, so I’m just kind of like, ‘Okay.’”
She added, “I’ll tell her certain things, but she’s read up on everything,”
Fans expect nothing less than over-the-top when it comes to Hilton birthday parties. After all, Paris has been partying in style since she was a little girl. So, it’s no surprise that Nicky has gone all-out when it comes to her children’s birthday parties.
Last year, she threw a Minnie Mouse-themed party for Lily-Grace’s second birthday. The party, which was thrown at Nicky’s family’s mansion, featured lavish décor, including a balloon arch and characters dressed in Disney costumes. If we didn’t know better, we’d swear everyone was at Disneyland. The mother and daughter duo even wore matching, custom-made outfits for the occasions.
Given that she has a full social and professional calendar to attend to in addition to raising her two girls, we can only imagine that Nicky doesn’t have that much free time.
The celebrity has admitted to needing to keep to a tight schedule in order to fit everything in. But she also has another secret.
So how does Nicky do it? One word: naptime. "I always time everything to leave during a naptime so I'm not missing anything," she told E! News in 2016. Given that this is also the mama who voluntarily gets up at 5:30 a.m. every morning, we guess we shouldn’t be surprised.
Paris and Nicky Hilton were two of the most iconic sisters around during the early 2000s. The girls were constantly photographed together at red carpet events and parties- sometimes even wearing identical or coordinating outfits. Last year, Nicky revealed that she hopes her girls are as close as she and Paris have become.
“It’s very interesting. You definitely see the difference,” Nicky told People. “There’s a Paris and a Nicky. The younger one is the quiet, shy one and my older, Lily-Grace, is the more outgoing, loud sister.”
She added, “watching them grow every [...] day […] you can see their personalities already at this age.”
Now, let's turn to see how Nicole Richie is parenting her two children.
And now, let's look at Nicole.
Given what we saw of Nicole on The Simple Life, we never pegged her as the most hands-on person in the world. But clearly, motherhood changed a lot of things for the young star. In 2008, after welcoming her first child, Nicole revealed to People that she was only feeding her daughter home-cooked baby food.
“Food tastes better coming from your Mom because it’s made with love,” she said to the magazine while preparing baby food. Her husband added that he supported Nicole’s decision. “We talk about it all the time. It’s an energy thing. I know exactly what’s going into [Harlow’s] body,” Joel said.
Nicole added, “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!”
Nicole has always self-admittedly been a daddy’s girl, while her famous father has always gushed about her in the media. So, it’s clear these two have a strong bond. Back in 2008, after Nicole welcomed her first child, she admitted that she was relying a lot on her dad to get through the newborn phase.
“[My dad is] beyond amazing, and my family has been supportive. And I go to my dad’s house all the time,” she told People. “He actually babysat the other day – him and Joel- and they were amazing. I mean, she slept the whole time.” Her dad chimed in, “It’s when the baby wakes up that I freak out!”
Nicole has gotten flack over social media for allowing her kids to temporarily dye their hair, wear edgy outfits, and even rock makeup. And although she may continue to receive criticism, the fashion designer doesn’t sound like she’s going to become picky about what her kids wear anytime soon.
Speaking to People, she once said she loves encouraging her kids to experiment with their looks. “My daughter loves makeup, she loves to experiment with hair, and I let her do that,” she said. “She’s finding joy in that and I feel like she’s kind of figuring out for herself what she likes and experimenting with different colors. Whether it’s makeup or not, experimenting with color is really important for the soul. So I just let her go at it.”
We’ve already revealed that Nicole used to make her own baby food from scratch. But it sounds like she’s become even stricter about her family’s eating habits since then. In 2011, the mom-of-two revealed that she doesn’t let her kids have sugar.
“Sugar is obviously a big no-no,” she revealed during an appearance on The Talk. At the time, the star’s son and daughter were 2 ½ and 1. When asked about what kind of snacks the kids can eat, Nicole said, “sugar-free vegan cupcakes.”
“They’re children. Their brains are developing, their bodies are developing,” she went on. “You have to pay attention about what goes into their bodies and what they’re around, it’s important.”
Although Nicole has kissed her reality TV days goodbye, the celebrity is still on TV - on a new talk show, to be exact. The mom-of-two has been starring on the show Candidly Nicole in which the celebrity gets honest yet comical with her audience on a variety of issues.
If you’re wondering how Nicole balances her fashion line, filming for a TV show, and raising two kids, the answer is simple: she brings her kids to work with her. "My kids were so excited to come to set and watch me in this new chapter of my life," she told E! News about bringing the kids to the set in 2017. "They were with me throughout the whole process."
Nicole is the famous daughter of musician Lionel Richie. Growing up, the celebrity says she spent most of her childhood being raised on a tour bus or backstage, and she doesn’t want the same for her two children.
So, despite the fact that her husband is a Rockstar, it doesn’t sound like the kids are allowed to go on tour anytime soon.
"One of the biggest differences in the way I'm raising my kids versus the way I was raised is that I was on tour a lot,” she told Us Weekly. “I don't really do that with my kids," Nicole says. "It's important to me that they have stability. I like them to be home."
Eating cake at birthday parties has become a tradition that many kids can’t imagine doing without. But Nicole once revealed that her children aren’t allowed birthday cake, regardless if it’s their own party or someone else’s.
“I was at a birthday party and there was a cupcake with all this pink icing and there was a blueberry on top of the cupcake,” Nicole once revealed, Hollywood Life reports. “and Harlow looked at it and her eyes got so wide and she was like ‘Ohh,’ and I was like, ‘Oh boy, here we go,’ and she was like ‘Blueberries!’ So I went to the kitchen and got her a whole thing of blueberries. And she was happy.”
Nicole and her husband Joel’s children may not even be teenagers yet, but the celebrity once revealed that everyone gets an equal say when it comes to important family decisions. While speaking to People, she said that it’s important to her that her children always feel part of a family unit
“I have a huge family,” she said. “We all chip in to do anything we do. We decide as a family, we decide as a group.” Nicole has always been vocal about how close she is to her family, and since her husband and his brother are in the same band, we’d say he feels the same way. So, it’s no surprise that they’re so passionate about making their family cohesive.
We’ve seen how Nicole can be pretty health-conscious when it comes to her kids, from banning all things dairy and making her own baby food. But it doesn’t sound like her husband always agrees with her strict views. In 2011, the celebrity revealed her husband often takes the kids out for food behind her back.
“Joel is not on the same page as me,” she said, Hollywood Life reports. “My kids don’t have dairy either, but Joel does take Harlow out and she comes back and I say, ‘How was your dinner?’ and she says, ‘Good, we had pizza!’ I’m like, ‘OK, OK.'”
However, she also added, “I have my own ways, Joel is not me and I have to let him be a dad and I have to let him do his thing. And that’s their relationship. It’s not an everyday thing, but it’s not necessarily something I agree with.”
Once while speaking to Hollywood Life, Nicole got real about just how different their children are in personality. And it sounds like her son’s adventurous spirit has landed the family in the ER on more than one occasion!
“Sparrow looks exactly like Joel and has my personality. He’s just wild. I’m in for the ride,” she told the publication. “He’s two, and we’ve had [injured] fingers, we’ve been to the hospital. You cannot take your eye off of him for a second. He is just a full, free spirit.”
Of her daughter, she said, “[Harlow] looks exactly like me, and she has Joel’s personality,” Nicole says. “She’s very careful. She doesn’t make a move without fully thinking about what the consequences would be and what that means."