The controversial way Kristen Bell put her kid to bed—but it works!

Some parents may not agree with her special method of sleep training, but it does the job for her family so she's not gonna apologize for it

The controversial way Kristen Bell put her kid to bed—but it works!

Photo: Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic via Getty Images

Every parent knows that kid sleep is precarious, and you gotta be willing to try anything and everything to get them to stay in bed and shut their eyes. It may take weeks, months or even years, but when you find the routine that does the trick, you stick with it. Seriously. No matter what people say, if you want those child-free hours (or minutes) to plop yourself in front of Netflix before passing out from sheer exhaustion, you do what works and you DON'T STRAY.

Nobody knows this better than one of our favourite celeb moms, Kristen Bell, who recently spilled the beans on the controversial way she and husband, Dax Shepard, "sleep train" their youngest daughter, Delta.

How do they do it you wonder? They lock their 3-year-old in her room.

According to Parents, Kristen recently told reporters on the red carpet of Pandas, the new IMAX nature documentary she narrates, that "[Delta] decided to stop sleeping about nine months ago. And every night, when we put her to bed, she turns the lights on, which annoys the 4-year-old [Lincoln], and she will move furniture, and she bangs on the door with different, hard toys. We switched the door knob. We turned the lock on the outside."

Now before you get all judgy, they don't just lock Delta in for the night and go to their bedroom. No, no, no—Kristen and Dax have strong parenting game and wouldn't do that. Instead, they stand outside their daughter's bedroom door and wait it out.

"I'm sorry, I know that's controversial," she said. "but we lock [the] when she gets in there, and we stand outside and say, 'We love you, we will talk to you in the morning, but now, it's time for sleep.'"

"Then after about 10 minutes, she'll wind herself down," Kristen continued. "And then, before we go to bed, obviously, we unlock it."

Now the idea of locking a child in their room brings up all kinds of safety issues—and definitely gets mom-shamers in a frenzy—but as long as they're standing there the whole time it's locked and make sure to unlock it before they leave, we're not sure it's really a big deal.


As always, we love Kristen's honesty and candidness about the matter. Like we said, you gotta do what you gotta do when it comes to putting your kids to bed. Whether it's a locked door, nursing your kid to sleep, or—dare we say it—co-sleeping, whatever works for you and your family is what you should be doing. Just make sure to do so in the safest way possible.

Read more: Kristen Bell had to breastfeed her husband because it was a frickin’ emergency 6 ways to help your child get a good night's sleep

Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with your baby's development, get the latest parenting content and receive special offers from our partners

I understand that I may withdraw my consent at any time.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Kevin is an associate editor for Canadian Business in Toronto, Ontario. More of their work can be found in MSN Canada, Chatelaine and This Magazine