In a Zoom call with Today’s Parent, Kristen and Dax spill the tea on their potty training secrets, summer plans with the kids and pandemic parenting.
Last time Today’s Parent spoke to Kristen Bell, she was in Toronto announcing the launch of hellobello.ca, the Canadian site for her baby-care line, Hello Bello. Now that the products are making their debut in Canadian retail stores, we once again caught up with her and her podcaster/actor husband, Dax Shepard—this time, over Zoom (where else?).
So much has happened since the last time we met. But let’s start with Hello Bello. Canadians are finally able to buy it in stores.
Kristen: The whole reason we created Hello Bello is because when we first had our kids, we were going to fancy LA boutiques and buying premium plant-based baby products, and we said to each other, “It seems really unreasonable that everyone can’t do this. No one should have to choose between their baby and their budget.” So we worked hard to try to create the absolute most premium products at affordable prices—including diapers that use a ton of new technology and are super soft and have such great patterns. In the fall, they became available in Canada online, and now we’re putting them on store shelves in Canada.
I’ve already heard parents raving about the diapers.
Dax: You’re not going to find a cuter diaper, let’s just start there.
Kristen: And we refresh them every three months, we try to keep them fun. We put tools on some for Dax, and there’s a special sloth diaper that I freaked out about. Speaking as a parent who has used a lot of diapers, they are the softest diaper I’ve ever felt and they’re incredibly absorbent.
Last time we spoke, you told me your five-year-old was still in overnight diapers. A few weeks ago, celeb websites started reporting on that and you went viral. What’s the update today?
Kristen: You know what’s so funny? I started talking about it and people were like, “You have a five year old who’s still in overnight diapers?!” And then it was, like, two weeks later that we pushed her a little farther, and now she—
Dax: Hold on. That was a really kind representation of people saying that to you.
Kristen: Yeah, that’s true. The Twitterverse was kind of mom-shaming me, which I’m not interested in. So I kept responding with the same thing: “Every child is different,” which they are. And yes, I have a five-and-a-half-year-old who still sometimes wets the bed and that’s OK! But she’s getting there.
So she’s out of diapers now? Nice! What finally did it?
Kristen: You know what we have to do? We wake her up at about 11 p.m. when she’s like a zombie and put her on the toilet.
Dax: Yeah, we put a wet spaghetti noodle on the toilet once a night.
You pop into her room right before you go to bed?
Kristen: Yep. I think it’s really normal and no one should feel ashamed if their kid has an irregular pattern for potty training. And if you want to try this 11 o’clock make-them-pee trick, great, there’s no shame in any of it. Sometimes it takes kids until they’re even older than five! But I’ve never met a high-schooler who pees their pants all day. It’s going to stop at some point. And by the way, we’re making great, soft, absorbent diapers that they can pee in all night if you need them.
What’s it been like being stuck at home with the kids?
Dax: It feels like we’re in the twilight zone, or maybe groundhog day is a better way to put it. The days are flying by; we’re like, “There’s no way June is almost over.” Because, you know, generally we work a lot, so we stake out specific times to go on a family vacation, so there are all these markers of the seasons passing that we’re missing. All in all, though, we’ve had so much time with the girls and that part has been really heavenly.
Kristen: It’s been so good having this much contact with them while they’re young.
Dax: Now that their Zoom school is over, we’re just in the fun of it.
What are your summer plans for the kids?
Kristen: Just hanging at home.
Dax: I have to work though so we’re considering motor homing.
Kristen: We had originally signed up for a camp, and we withdrew. Not because of the virus—the camp is taking precautions. But because we’re learning about our girls. They’re five and seven and their personalities are coming out, and we’re learning that they’re homebodies. They are really, really, really happy playing in a corner by themselves; they aren’t like, “We’re dying to go to camp.” So we’re trying to support the people they’re becoming, and maybe they’re a little bit more introverted than we are, and that’s fine.
Must be a lot more kid time than you’re used to!
Dax: I have definitely spent more time with my girls in the last three months than my dad did with me the entire ride, for sure. But Kristen’s mom is in town and she makes these videos of the kids over the years that are so sweet (and thank god she does it because we wouldn’t do it), and last night we were watching one with Lincoln when she was about to turn two and now, knowing her, I was thinking, Wow, she was already that person, and maybe I was misinterpreting some of that behaviour. Like now that I know who she truly is, she has always been that girl. It was trippy to watch.
Kirsten: It’s such a challenge in parenting to not look at your child and go, oh, that’s just like me, oh, that’s so Dax. It might be, but in reality, it’s just so the child. The child is a separate entity.
Dax: She made a painting the other day and I was just like, That’s neither of us, that’s just a whole new talent, and it blows me away. I can’t draw a painting like that currently, nor can Kristen, so that’s interesting.
Kristen: [laughing] And you don’t even draw paintings, you paint them, so…
Dax: That’s probably why mine never look like hers.
Hello Bello products are available in stores across Canada, including Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore, Indigo, Toys R Us, Well.ca, London Drugs, Buy Buy Baby, Whole Foods Market as well as many other leading baby and natural stores across Canada. Click here to find retailers near you.