box of baby items, including clothes and handprint ornament

The Ultimate Guide to Baby Time Capsules: How to Capture Precious Memories in 2023

Nothing feels more fulfilling than holding your baby in your arms. Your love for your child will only grow as they do. But what if you could also freeze these heartfelt moments in time to view later? With a baby time capsule, you can!

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What is a Baby Time Capsule?

A time capsule is a container or box that holds items that are like a snapshot of the current time.

The first time capsule was uncovered in 1976. It revealed 19th-century relics and photos of President Ulysses S. Grant and other politicians. But this doesn’t mean that time capsules are restricted to events from history books. You can also choose to create a time capsule for yourself, your family, and your baby.

A baby time capsule can even be a perfect choice for a baby shower or baby’s first birthday gift.

If you plan on burying the time capsule, you’ll want to use a sturdier container or tin. But, if you opt to keep it in the closet, any shoebox or decorated cardboard box will do!

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What to Include in a Baby Time Capsule?

The first step to creating a baby time capsule is to define what you want your capsule to represent. Do you want to freeze specific milestones in time, such as birthdays and first steps? Or do you want a wider variety of daily experiences with your baby? Was there a precious lovey they carried around everywhere? Or is there a particular utensil they always wanted to use for yogurt?

If you’re unsure, just start collecting items that feel special. After a while, you can decide if you’ll need an extra-large time capsule (or two). Here are a few personal ideas to get you started.

Newspaper Clippings

There are no set rules for baby time capsules. If you start early, you may want to include newspaper clippings from the day of your child’s birth. This can serve as a screenshot of the day and year your child was born.

You can include an entire newspaper edition or only your favorite articles from that day. Keep the baby time capsule full of joy by including the happier sections, such as the comics.

A Personal Letter From You

Back in July of 2019, I shared a letter written to my firstborn child. At the time, I was pregnant with my second child and wanted to document my love for my firstborn. I also shared my hopes and dreams for our family.

How can you use this as inspiration for a time capsule? If you’re an online writer like me, consider printing a personal letter to your baby onto cardstock paper. Or, you can choose to handwrite the letter and decorate it with washi tape, stickers, and photos.

Include friends and family in this, as well! Other loved ones can include letters or cards to your child. They can include their well-wishes and words of advice for the little one. I love these letter prompts that you can write to your baby, seal, and open at a later time! They even have an option for letters from grandparents. 🥰

You, your family, and your baby will have a heart-warming time reading these letters in the future. While our love for a child never fades, it evolves, and documenting each phase can be beautiful.

Items that are Time-Specific

Younger generations today cannot imagine having a phone without a screen. Yet for some of us, it feels like we were renting and rewinding VHS tapes only yesterday. Consider items that you use every day while your child is young. Which ones may seem ancient in 18 years?

What about ads for kid’s toys, or a USB drive with countless home family videos and photos? Including these in your baby time capsule could offer an amazing blast to the past later on. Hopefully, we’ll still have something in the future to read those USBs! 🤣

Baby’s Hand or Footprints

Despite our wishes, our babies don’t stay small forever. Consider including a simple art piece of your baby’s hand or footprints in the time capsule! This can be the perfect heartfelt reminder of how tiny they used to be.

Father's Day Printable Closeup


If your child is older before you start a time capsule, include a curated collection of their artwork. Your toddler can even do this abstract art project on a canvas! Even writing a card to themselves can be an exciting activity when young.

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Photos are always great to include in a baby time capsule. They are literal snapshots of time! You can include a few favorites from your pregnancy and from the day your little was born. If you plan to continually add memories to the time capsule, include a few from each age. This way, you can capture their personality and beautiful smile at each phase.

And you don’t need a fancy camera for any of these photos! All you need is your phone to take gorgeous photos of your kids!

Photograph Kids with Phone Featured Image

When Do You Open a Baby Time Capsule?

With a traditional time capsule, it is typically buried underground and has a set open date. But you don’t necessarily have to do the same for your baby time capsule. Popular times to open a baby time capsule include the child’s 18th birthday or high school graduation.

Consider opening the time capsule during a special occasion. This allows friends and family can join in on the astonishment of how times have changed over the years.

It can also be fun to check-in on the memories every 5 or 10 years. If you are choosing to physically bury the time capsule, be sure to remember the open date! But, if you’re prone to feeling nostalgic, keep the time capsule easily accessible as a memory box!

Set a calendar reminder for the date that you set so you don’t forget. And if you do plan to bury the time capsule, don’t forget it if you move before the designated opening date!

older adults with man looking at photo album

Baby Time Capsule Kits

You can make a time capsule yourself without any specific supplies. It’s just a box or container that is big enough to hold all your memories. Okay, that will be one pretty big box. 😉

However, there are many time capsule kits available that can make this project easier! This Peter Pauper Press Kit includes a hardcover keepsake album where you can record those precious memories. It also has a family tree card and a how-to guide on what to include in the sturdy laminated tube. Seal the tube with a sticker that indicates when the baby time capsule was sealed and when to open it!

Other kits, including this one from Peaceful Kingdom Store, are more centered toward kids and toddlers. It includes prompts for young kids to reflect on their current selves and picture frames. It also comes in a colorful box that is attractive to kids and appropriate for indoor storage.

Capturing Bliss in Your Baby Time Capsule

You can choose to create your own baby time capsule from use a kit. All that matters is that the contents are for you and your family to enjoy for years to come. If it makes you extremely happy now, take a picture or make a copy to share with your future selves!

Do you plan on making a baby time capsule or have you already started one? I would love to hear your thoughts on this project and ideas on what you plan on including!

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