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Time Travel for Baby: Making A Time Capsule or Memory Box for Newborns – Part I

Updated on December 28, 2011

Help the new mom out with something truly unique – a time capsule/memory box. Booties, rattles and stuffed animals are expected gifts for the new baby. But how’s she supposed to react when she receives her fifth knitted hat or fourth teddy bear at the baby shower? With polite but forced enthusiasm? With the unexpressed hope that the next present won’t duplicate the previous dozen? The time capsule will be a one-of-a-kind gift.

© 2011 by Aurelio Locsin


Time capsule is a fancy term for a collection of ordinary things, gathered on the baby’s birthday, that will be revealed at an arbitrary future date:

  • a newspaper, definitely
  • a screen grab of a current website
  • a video of the newborn coming home
  • a recording of dad announcing the birthday on the home answering machine
  • magazines documenting current styles in fashion, furniture and society
  • flyers from the grocery store documenting prices
  • a diecast model of a contemporary car
  • flowers from the backyard pressed into a blotter
  • family tree or personal scrapbook
  • cards from well-wishers
  • anything to evoke Day One when the recipient is 21, 30 or 55.


The jaded can argue that all this information will be available on the future version of the Internet: the newborn can research the past at will. But digital versions are easy to change and thus, always suspect. With a run-of-the-mill word processor, art program or media editor, anybody can alter text, add people to images or delete unwanted episodes from video. Who knows how many people have broken into the Internet archive to rewrite history to their specifications?

Tangible objects like brochures, books, artwork or pieces of clothing, cannot be changed without obvious distortion. So the only way that baby can be sure that the news was exactly like it was on his or her birthday is to read it from a printed newspaper.


The number one requirement for the time capsule is durability. The container must survive the years. This isn’t much of a problem if mom and dad stores it in an interior space, such as the corner of a closet or a high bookshelf.

  • A hand-decorated cardboard box serves nicely for such situations.
  • But for storage in garages or attics, something more weatherproof is needed. Maybe a plastic or stainless steel box that can weather temperature changes.
  • Under no circumstances, should the gift be kept underground. Even professionally manufactured, scientifically sealed capsules have been known to break outdoors, with their contents eaten away by mold and insects. Even worse, the location simply disappears from memory, losing the capsule to history.



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    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      What a unique idea! I'll keep it in mind for the next baby shower. Thanks for sharing.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 6 years ago from California

      As a new grandmother I'm always looking for ideas for my grandson. This idea is great. Really like your writing.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I hope my nephew thinks so, but it's most likely I won't be around when he opens it, so I don't have to worry about it. I hope he isn't expecting something valuable like gold or a precious antique. Of course, by then, the paper magazines I enclosed may be valuable given that everything is going digital.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

      Hi, what a lovely idea! as you mentioned, just because they may be able to find it on the future internet doesn't mean that the info can't be changed in some way, and actually touching and seeing the stuff is so much better, wonderful, going over to read the next part now! voted up and shared, nell

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 6 years ago from USA

      This is a great idea - I think saving a time capsule that is preserved at a particular time also helps you know what was important in the day. We tend to look at things from a different perspective as time goes by, so the things that are preserved tell a story by themselves as well.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      What an interesting idea! I think that most people would find looking at a time capsule of their birth date interesting 20+ years later and possibly even more so as they age. Votes up on this hub. Nice job!

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thanks subun143 -- I appreciate your suggestion for the top billboard chart songs.

    • sunbun143 profile image

      sunbun143 6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Great idea! I am into preserving memories through scrapbooking, and I have pages made for milestones and pictures, plus a place to keep their baby shower and birthday cards (I still need to print out photos and organize them though!).

      Also another idea - record or at least list the top billboard charts during the week/month/year they were born. This could be awesome or amusing for them in the future.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      You're probably right there, but I should've like to have opened a time capsule on my birthday -- but then I'm into history and antiques.

    • hoteltravel profile image

      hoteltravel 6 years ago from Thailand

      This is an interestng idea. But, I think mothers will enjoy opening the time capsule more than their grown up kids.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thank you Veronica. When you're done, let me know what you put into it and when you set the opening date for.

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      The idea for this hub alone is fantastic! I really enjoyed this one. What a beautiful idea for a new mother!

      My newest niece will be born in just a few weeks. I am going to start on this now! =] Thank you!

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thanks Tammy. I hope my recipient feels it's a good idea. Maybe I should've included a bottle of beer or wine in the capsule ;)

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 6 years ago from North Carolina

      This is a very interesting hub and idea. Very creative. By the time your child is 20, it is difficult to remember different things such as popular songs and headlines. Voted up and interesting!

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 6 years ago from West Virginia

      Voted up, awesome, and useful. Very well written I may add. This is very important in my eyes. These memories will become very important in the latter days. Great idea. Merry Christmas pal. Take care.