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Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard open up about parenting and setting boundaries

In this article:
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  • Dax Shepard
    Dax Shepard
    American actor
  • Kristen Bell
    Kristen Bell
    Actress

Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard are partners in love, parenting diapers. While the two are best known for their film and TV roles and Armchair Expert Umbrella podcasting empire, their affordable, plant-based Hello Bello diaper line — since expanded to include dozens of other family-friendly items — has made them major players in the parenting industry. Just last month, they opened the first Hello Bello diaper factory, in Waco, Texas, a vibrant and playful space that Waco royalty Chip and Joanna Gaines and their Magnolia design team had a hand in creating.

Video Transcript

DAX SHEPARD: We fell right into the pattern that the majority of new parents do, which is like it's so time consuming for so long. But we're now seeing these little windows again when we're like, oh, right, we're going to be able to be besties and think about each other's needs as equally to the kids.

KRISTEN BELL: And they're fine with it.

DAX SHEPARD: They prefer it.

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KRISTEN BELL: I will say I have learned a lot from Dax. I don't want to admit that, but I have. I am a nurturer by nature. So instinctually, I am able to take care of their needs when they're crying or when there's a bad emotion. But setting boundaries is much, much harder for me. And so we have actually had a couple different talks about-- that I need to stick to my boundaries, not because I need to be a harder parent, but because it's actually better for the child to have a little bit of rules and regulations.

I think the really, really important thing is really recognizing their autonomy and, like, I have no ownership over them. I'm simply here to support them and make sure that they have shelter, and food, and water. And beyond that, I can only do the best that I can do.

DAX SHEPARD: The last year or so, they can get up and get themselves breakfast. So that's time we can lay in bed together. We hadn't had that in whatever-- six, seven years.

KRISTEN BELL: You have strong boundaries, but you explain them very peacefully and you're very gentle.

DAX SHEPARD: I say "I'm now going to throw you in the trash can and take you to the curb." I don't have an opinion on how lenient or not lenient I would want Kristen to be, I just want her to be consistently that, whatever that is. So if you can sleep in our bed some nights, like what nights is it? Is it Wednesdays and Fridays? Is-- you know, I just think it's the anxiety of the kids trying to figure out when this privilege can be cashed in and when it can't.

KRISTEN BELL: And he was 100% correct. Because when I started doing that, they immediately got better. The reality is I can be talked in or out of anything. I don't know if it was a surprise so much as a confirmation of how affectionate Dax is as a father. I mean, they are either wrestling or draped all over each other. There's not a time when the girls aren't on the couch where they don't have their head on his shoulder or they're playing with his fingers. They just feel that there is both physical and emotional connection available from their dad. It's just nice to see.

DAX SHEPARD: That almost got me.

KRISTEN BELL: Really.

DAX SHEPARD: Yeah.

KRISTEN BELL: You do really a good job.

DAX SHEPARD: These interviews are great because we would never have sat down and told each other what we appreciate about one another because we're a normal married couple like every other one. All I'm aware of is the red flags and the alarms.

KRISTEN BELL: We're sitting down lodging a lot of complaints. We don't often sit down and do--

DAX SHEPARD: We need to schedule more of these.

KRISTEN BELL: --what's the best thing about me do you think?

DAX SHEPARD: When we had kids, we lived in Los Angeles, so we had access to all these little boutique places. We thought, well, this is pricey. This is like an expensive endeavor if you really want to go with largely organic and healthy stuff.

KRISTEN BELL: There was a real need for a premium product that was a much lower cost, that had accessibility. We started with 10 products a few years ago and now we have over 100 products. And we're in tens of thousands of stores in seven different countries. We're also the only independently owned diaper company that's manufacturing in the US.

DAX SHEPARD: Soup to nuts.

KRISTEN BELL: And making a commitment to buying most of our raw materials locally or regionally and creating jobs was incredibly important to us. The goal that we wanted was to positively affect the parents' lives and have no one have to choose between their baby or their budget. It's a real honor to be behind the scenes and something that's really taking that effect.

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