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Time Travel for Baby: Making A Time Capsule for Newborns – Part II

Updated on April 25, 2012


Please click here to see Part I of this time capsule series.

The time capsule container must be sealed securely enough so that it can only be opened once. The recipient must not be able to sneak looks inside until opening day. Multiple layers of wrapping paper and tape can guard cardboard boxes. Sturdier boxes of wood, plastic or metal may require a padlock, preferably at the end of a chain dramatically wound around the capsule.

© 2011 by Aurelio Locsin


The necessary exterior label for the time capsule must similarly be durable since it identifies the birth date, the recipient’s full name, the giver’s full name and the opening date. Putting it in a transparent sleeve or an attached hard case will work. Popular milestones for the big reveal can be high school or college graduation, 21st birthday, marriage or first child. If you want to exclude any possibility that the recipient can look you up during the big day, schedule it for the first Social Security or retirement benefit. (Whether such a thing will exist in the future is another question entirely.)

An interior letter is a needed touch, just in case the exterior label is lost. Take it as an opportunity to handwrite good wishes, explain the reason for the time capsule or express how much you love the newborn. Position it so it’s the first item revealed when the capsule is open.


You want to include valuables in the time capsule though whether something merits such distinction is relative. One measure of worth is rarity. Think about things that are common now that may not exist during opening day.

  • Newspapers, magazines, books, printed menus, junk mail, postage stamps and other printed materials will almost certainly give way to digital versions.
  • Common disposables never last, such as paper coffee cups, empty beer cans, fast food containers wrappers, plastic utensils, plastic grocery bags.
  • Representatives from the natural world such as wood, fur and seeds. How about pictures or models of polar bears and rhinos, or a snapshot of the local coastline or trees?
  • Cynics may want throw in expressions of privacy, freedom, individuality, democracy, ethics and good manners.

And you may want to include things that have maintained value over time because who doesn’t like getting treasure? Small pieces of gold, silver, rare stamps or coins, or perhaps collectibles such as baseball cards or comic books are just a few examples.


Be careful about including any recording media such as CDs or DVDs. Such anachronisms will be unplayable in a few years. If you want to include multimedia, make it part of a portable player that is totally self-contained. That way, the recipient can hear your message without resorting to external accessories. Make sure any batteries are sealed in a leak-proof pouch. You can still include the DVD or other media as a backup, in case the portable player doesn’t work.


I created such a treasure for the first newborn of my generation. I gave it to him as a gift for his first Christmas, to be opened on his 21st birthday. Of course, he was clueless since he was just a few months old. But his parents and the people gathered there thought it was very cool and unique. I’m hoping the kid will be just as delighted with the time capsule when he finally receives it.


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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Combining this hub with your first one about creating a time capsule for a newborn baby is great. Even simple ideas such as the current comic books and postage stamps is great because look how some of those are bringing big prices today. Who would have known that keeping them could be a future treasure! I like Nell Rose's idea about including a family tree and/or family photos. So many good ideas! Up, useful and interesting votes.

    • biancaalice profile image

      biancaalice 5 years ago from Southern California

      So wierd. I thought about doing this for my son but we ended up moving after I had him and I missed my chance. Too busy recooperated from a c-section.

    • algarveview profile image

      Joana e Bruno 5 years ago from Algarve, Portugal

      Glad I could help...

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thanks for cluing me in to the missing link algarveview. Fixed.

    • algarveview profile image

      Joana e Bruno 5 years ago from Algarve, Portugal

      Hi, Alocsin, great idea, such a shame I didn't do that for my kids. Anyway, I have a friend that just had a baby, I'm going to tell her about your hub, because I think it's an excellent idea. Finally, I don't think the link to the 1st part is working... just thought I should give you a heads up on that. Voted up, interesting and sharing. Have a great day!

    • chamilj profile image

      chamilj 5 years ago from Sri Lanka

      Nice idea. These things rarely used in my country.

      Voted up!

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      What an incredibly thoughtful idea for a gift, I love it! Something fun for anyone to receive.

      Shared, up and useful!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

      Such a wonderful idea, I especially like the letter to be found first. I wish I had done it, I would have put loads of photos with the persons name on the back and where they were at the time, a family tree too and as you said a piece of 'treasure' such as maybe a gold charm bracelet that will add to the value, oh I could go on! haha! great stuff, cheers nell