Kristen Bell Got Real About How Smelly Co-Sleeping Can Be

Kristen Bell Dax Shepard weird smell on podcast
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Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard have never shied away from sharing their parenting and marriage strategies and struggles

The couple, who share daughters Lincoln, 8, and Delta, 7, have weighed in on all the online parenting discussions, from how frequently they bathe them to explaining swear words and the middle finger to their kids. On the latest episode of Shepard’s podcast Armchair Expert, the couple talked about their family’s sleeping arrangements and how quickly four gassy bodies — among other things — can stink up a room.

“You know the girls sleep on the floor of our bedroom,” Bell explained. She dove into their nightly ritual, which involves watching an episode of How It’s Made before going to sleep. On one particular evening, Bell noticed a “really raunchy smell” in the room, which she assumed was caused by one of her sleeping buddies.

“‘Who’s farting?’ All three of them are like, ‘Sorry, it’s me,'” Bell explained. “So I go, OK, my family has gas, big [deal].”

But the next day, the foul smell was still lingering in the bedroom

Anyone who’s been in a classroom full of elementary school-aged children knows how quickly these little bodies can stink up a room. So at first, Bell just thought she needed to thoroughly air out the room to get rid of the smell. When the smell hadn’t dissipated a few hours later, Bell put on her old Veronica Mars hat and started sleuthing.

“That night, I go to bed, I’m like, ‘Does anybody else smell this, like, rotten garbage?’” she recalled. She had washed the sheets, lit candles, and opened all the windows with no luck. Shepard and the girls were on “hidden poop duty” and looked around for droppings that might have been left somewhere by a furry friend.

The family started sniffing around, and Bell and her eldest daughter Lincoln eventually found the culprit: a spot on the bottom of Shepard’s side of the mattress.

“I lean down and smell the mattress, Dax’s corner, his feet corner of the mattress, and I almost hit the deck,” Bell said. “I almost passed out. It was so strong.”

Turns out that Shepard had accidentally filled their mattress topper with a protein shake instead of water in a sleepy stupor. Their mattress pad, an OOLER, is meant to be filled with water to help regulate body temperature. The protein shake mix started to rot inside the mattress pad and, well, no amount of kid farts could make the smell that came from that mattress.

This should go without saying, but friends: if you have any piece of furniture that requires being topped off with water every couple of months, make sure you have a clearly marked bottle that is strictly for said purpose. Also, know that if you too have confused the stench of rotting protein shakes with kid and hubby gas, you are not alone.