Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard are on a mission to make other parents’ lives easier. In an SXSW keynote conference last week, the actress and podcaster promoted their affordable baby product line Hello Bello and spoke about the perks and challenges of parenting. Shepard welcomed the audience and jokingly asked them if they were sure they wanted to be there for their “diaper panel.” But he quickly started raving about fatherhood. “Nothing compares to being a dad,” he said. “It is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.”
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Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard Are Navigating Parenthood Like All Moms and Dads
Both Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard are known for their quirky personalities, humor, and star talent. They seem to make everything look easy. But when it comes to parenting, they’ll both admit that it’s taken hard work. Part of that comes as a team, part of it comes from friends, and sometimes it’s just about basic necessities — like affordable diapers. The couple met in 2007, married in 2013, and have two daughters, Delta (8) and Lincoln (10).
10-Year-Old Daughter Lincoln Bell Shepard
Lincoln was born on March 28, 2013. Her father made the announcement in a now-deleted but hilarious tweet (via People). “Lincoln Bell Shepard is here. She has mom’s beauty and dad’s obsession with breasts. Hooray!!!”
8-Year-Old Daughter Delta Bell Shepard
Delta came soon after, on December 19, 2014. “Delta Bell Shepard is here. She doesn’t look like either Kristen or me, but we’re gonna keep her anyway,” Dax tweeted.
Neither Lincoln nor Delta have been photographed much by the public. In fact, when they are, their faces are usually covered with emojis. Kristen Bell told Romper that this was a deliberate safeguard.
“My feeling is that I chose a career in the public eye. I chose to be quoted, I chose to have my picture taken. I don’t know them yet; I don’t know if they will want that. So I really don’t have the right to choose for them,” she said.
Conversely, she acknowledged that she and Dax love to talk about their daughters. So, here is what we know about Lincoln and Delta Bell Shepard!
Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard Look Forward to Playing With Their Daughters Whenever Possible
Both Lincoln and Delta seem to share their parents’ sense of enthusiasm, in anything they do. Dax shared a video of the family traveling in an RV together and singing along with Adele. Speaking with People, Bell said that she and the girls like to sit down and draw together. With Dax, they all ride dirt bikes.
“That’s what we’ve been itching for, to get them to play with us,” said Bell. They do the same with music, playing Motown and Hall and Oates instead of baby music. “We’re trying to get them to join our party,” Bell added.
Delta Has a Keen Sense of Humor
Kristen Bell previously opened up about Delta’s sense of humor. At the age of 6, she was cracking up her parents while trying to save leftovers.
“I often find threatening notes like these around the house,” Bell wrote to Instagram. “(This note was taped to her door during her 30 mins hunger strike:) ‘Don’t disturb, Delta is starving to death, only Mom can come in.; ‘Deltas cookie Don’t eat it or else…’…Guess I should be grateful my kid can speak her mind! (And appreciates leftovers.)”
Bell and Shepard Limit Their Daughter’s Screen Time
Kristen and Dax’s daughters have also been limited in their screen time. “[The] world is enormous,” Dax said on the Endless Honeymoon Podcast. He and his wife decided it would be best to not “reduce it to a seven-inch screen.”
“We don’t have a phone problem ’cause they’re not in the mix. And iPods aren’t, iPads aren’t in the mix and video games,” Dax added. “So, there’s three things in my house that are not happening — those things. And they complain about it all the time… ‘So-and-so’s got it.’ And I go, ‘Yeah, but you gotta swimming pool and you got a dirt bike.'”
The Bell-Shepard team’s primary rule was to engage their daughters in one brain activity and one body activity every day, and beyond that to have fun.
“The forced creativity has been one of my favorite things,” Bell told Romper. “So, we’re saving toilet paper rolls and we’re putting googly eyes on them and we’re putting them in daddy’s underwear drawer.”
The COVID Pandemic Raised New Parenting Challenges
But even super parents Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard have had their struggles. Especially with COVID, Bell said that they had to bend some rules for sanity’s sake.
“We’ve loosened all the TV parameters. They can turn it on whenever they want. After school, obviously,” said Bell. “There will be no other year that this will be happening, so let me be here to experience it and see what good I can pull out of it, as opposed to assuming that just because it’s different than my other years, it’s bad.”
The COVID pandemic seems to have had a huge impact on Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard’s awareness of parenting challenges. They spoke about what helped them most at the SXSW conference.
“Parenting is really hard,” Bell said during the panel (via People). “…In those first few months of being isolated — you need this community. We are all in this together. It’s all ok, we are here for you. This is your village.”
Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard Started Hello Bello to Help Other Parents
One of Hello Bello’s foundational purposes is to provide a sense of community, aka the “village” that is famously called upon to help raise children everywhere. Apart from offering affordable baby basics (diapers, gentle cleaners, balms, vitamins, etc.), the company also offers a State of Parenthood Report. The report identifies common challenges and stresses which parents face and lays them out with statistics. The idea is to let moms and dads feel less overwhelmed and offer ways to overcome our biggest hurdles. Part of that is community.
Kristen Bell told the SXSW audience that she and Dax were shopping around Los Angeles baby boutiques and not thinking twice about their budgets. It suddenly dawned on her that so many people don’t share the financial privilege that they do.
“It seems unfair that friends and family don’t have accessibility or affordability to do this,” said Bell. “No one should have to choose between their baby or their budgets… If I can be a part of helping that or fixing it, then why shouldn’t I be doing this.”
Bell and Shepard Truly Believe That It Takes a Village to Raise a Kid
Bell and Shepard founded Hello Bello along with Erica Buxton. The brand’s website emphasizes that the couple believes “there is no such thing as other people’s children,” except of course “when it’s diaper duty time.” This isn’t just a cheeky motto. It’s something the couple has discovered from first-hand experience. Sometimes moms and dads need help.
“I’ve called friends or mom friends that I’ve had in moments of stress, just to come over and diffuse the energy in the house. It could be as simple as that,” Bell recently told People.
Shepard revealed that their house has become a hangout spot for fellow dads and their kids whenever the wives are traveling.
“I get a lot of calls from dads when their wives are out of town, like, ‘I have both kids for five days. I need to come over for three of those days completely,'” he said. “It makes it so much more fun and easy when we get a few families together and the kids, can kind of entertain themselves and adults can recharge on some adult conversation… It’s so crucial.”
“And I also think you benefit from seeing that everyone’s wrestling with something,” the Armchair Expert host added. “No one’s got a turnkey, easy experience. Everyone’s got these little tiny challenges, some have bigger ones. And I think it’s just comforting to know that the struggle’s kind of universal. You might be looking at your friends and thinking they are fantastic parents and not extending yourself the same grace.”
Kristen Bell Has a Special Bond With Elder Daughter Lincoln
As for their own family time, both Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard depend on each other, too. Dax called Kristen’s connection with their elder daughter Lincoln “telepathic,” even though he thought Lincoln’s personality was more like his.
“I’m just listening to this connection they have and seeing that my daughter has an angel in her life, she has someone who fully understands every molecule of her,” Dax said of bedtime. “She’s so seen by Kristen and I’m just so grateful that she has that.”
Kristen praised her husband for his “endless patience” and ability to “diffuse” heated conversations that can arise amongst all the females.
“The two girls and I can get into a tet-a-tet, and Dax seamlessly integrates into the conversation and gets us off the power struggle topic and into a joke or a story,” said the Frozen actress.
Lincoln and Delta Have Taught Their Parents That All Children Are Different
The couple noted how proud they were of teaching their daughters certain social and emotional coping techniques that they themselves needed 40 years to learn. Some of these techniques come from keeping an open mind and learning about different parenting and learning styles.
“What I like is that every time a new parenting technique comes out that someone believes in, there’s a book written about it, it gets publicized. That allows every parent to absorb that technique and decide if it’s right for them,” Bell told People. “I’m able to use what I want and leave what I don’t, which only makes my toolbox as a parent bigger.”
“Because if there’s one thing, and there is only one thing that I’m positive about as a parent, it’s that each child is different,” Bell added. “Our two girls have required completely different styles of parenting, and the minute we clicked into how to handle them, individually things got easier.”
Kristen and Dax Are Using Their Own Parenthood Experiences to Build Awareness and Community
This openness to data and research, and a desire to help other people who are navigating the journey of parenthood, is what prompted Dax and Bell to release their State of Parenthood Report. Dax himself has an entire podcast dedicated to sharing stories of humanness — which can make people feel less alone.
“I think starting with some data seems like a really fun idea to really see what percentage of parents are feeling what way about these certain topics. We wanted everyone else to have a place to check in and make sure that they don’t feel alone or bizarre about how they’re feeling,” Dax said of the report.
The SXSW Conference took place this year from March 10-19 in Austin, Texas. Keynote speakers gathered to discuss forward-moving ideas and experiences which can inspire help global creatives. For Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, they offered a sense of serenity and community along with their product line. It’s not about selling a product but building connections and maintaining sanity.
“When I have failures in life, I get to come home and still be dad,” Shepard said at the conference. “It is the most transformative experience. You can feel it’s why you are here.”