Why and How to Build your Baby a Digital Time Capsule
8 min read
Every parent has likely wondered how to slow down time while watching their children grow up, it happens so fast. Most parents will tell you that it feels like just yesterday that they held their baby in their arms for the first time and brought them home.
Even more important, we often forget the little moments we have with our children- how tiny their feet are, the way that their head smells, and their baby laugh.
Collecting these precious moments and bringing them together in a digital time capsule can give you, and your child, an amazing gift that can be cherished forever.
Here’s why and how to build your baby a digital time capsule, one that will ensure they know the story of their life and the important people in it.
Why It’s Important to Save Memories for Your Children
You’ll have vivid memories of the day your child was born, their first birthday, and how excited their grandparents were the first time they met.
Your child doesn’t have the luxury of remembering all that. Researchers believe that children are about two years old before they start forming explicit childhood memories, which are based on events and can be described as “autobiographical.” But even at that point, most memories are implicit, which are more unconscious and emotional. It isn’t until around seven years old that recollection becomes more like an adult’s memory.
Researchers call “childhood amnesia” the fact that there are few autobiographical memories from a child’s first years of life. Then as children get older and their memory develops to be more adult-like, they often lose access to early memories.
For instance, one study confirmed that there are age-related increases in the survival of memories. By studying children from 4 through 11 years old, the results showed that differences were especially pronounced for memories of children who were 8 years old versus those 4 years old.
The study concluded that “individual memories were more likely to survive when the events were experienced when children were older than when the children were younger.”
That makes it important for you to help by capturing those early memories for your child. A keepsake, like a digital baby book, is one way to note those important details. A time capsule goes a step farther.
Why It’s Also Important To You To Save Baby’s Stories
Your new baby isn’t the only one to benefit from a digital time capsule like memoryKPR. You’ll also appreciate being able to look back on memories that can be easily forgotten in the busy-ness of everyday life.
Remember the way you felt the day you found out you would be having a baby? How about the look on grandma’s face when she heard the news? Then there are all the firsts in your baby’s life: first smile, first steps, first haircut. Those might be easy to recall, but the little moments in between may not.
As your baby grows up, you will relish the opportunity to look back on memories like the funny name she called the dog, or the look on his face the first time he ate green beans.
These memorable time capsules aren’t a new trend. For example, one dedicated mother started a time capsule on her daughter’s first birthday. Throughout the years, she asked friends and family to collect items and give words of advice for her daughter to open and read on her 18th birthday.
“Best of all, it was filled with gifts and notes from loved ones, many of whom have since passed,” Kim Chastain said. “It was really special.”
The ability to pass those stories to your child is a powerful way to ensure they can forever keep their memories - even the ones they were too young to remember. It also gives you the chance to look back and savour all those special times, including those little moments that you have forgotten about.
How To Build Your Baby a Digital Time Capsule
It is so easy to use an online tool, such as memoryKPR, that allows you to store photos, handwritten letters, notes, momentos, and videos and audio files documenting your child as they grow and become the beautiful person they are meant to be.
Think of it like a digital scrapbook. You aren’t simply storing photos for your child, you are telling the story of their childhood. Add a video of them laughing at one of your jokes, or write personal messages to them. Share your story with friends and family and get them to include thoughtful and inspiring messages for when your baby is all grown up. You don’t have to start from scratch, instead, you can upload photos from your phone or social media account of your little one, or you can even scan photos and letters to add to the digital scrapbook.
Here are some ways to create a digital time capsule, whether you want to capture a “moment in time” such as the year of your child’s birth, or you want to gather items over the years.
1. Start Before Your Baby Is Born
Your baby’s story starts before their birthday. Add memories like where mom and dad met, setting up the nursery, the excitement of an older child at the news of an arriving sibling, and add ultrasounds from doctors’ appointments or photos of mom’s growing belly. Your baby is going to want to know their entire story, including your life before they arrived.
2. Add Their Birth Story
Use your digital storybook like a baby book and note the key facts of your baby’s birth like date, time, location, baby’s length, weight, and more. Save a photo of the home where your baby will live and the day your baby came home and get a photo of your baby in her crib for the first time.
Collect key memories from family members, like what it was like for them to hold your child in their arms for the first time. Moments like these are priceless and can never be replicated, which makes them extremely important to document and cherish forever.
3. Watch as They Grow
If your baby is about to turn one, you’re likely pondering how to make the big day an extra special one. The truth is, every year they are getting bigger, changing interests, and are slowly becoming the amazing person they were meant to be. Make sure you document this process and ask them about who their friends are, what they want to be when they grow up, and what they love doing. When looking back on the time capsule, you and your child will love to see how they grew throughout the years!
4. It’s Never Too Late To Start!
Let’s face it - kids grow up fast. As parents, we want to remember those special times, and the not-so-special ones, like the picture of your baby crying the first time she saw a clown, or the funny thing he said to Santa Claus at the mall.
By starting now to preserve your child’s history, you’ll have a keepsake and your child will have something to reflect on when they’re older. Capture your thoughts and emotions as they grow up, and don’t risk forgetting the details of the moment, for your sake and your future grown child’s sake.
5. Give Them This Priceless Gift When They Turn 18
One way to debut your digital time capsule for your baby is to present it on their 18th birthday, another big occasion as your child becomes an adult.
The collection of memorabilia will allow your child to look back on their adventures, the lessons learned along the way, and view messages from loved ones. Give your child a gift to treasure forever, and give yourself a life-long keepsake.
6. Keep Childhood Mementoes Through The Years
Don’t stop collecting memories just because your child is no longer a baby. Even a surly teen will get a smile from the metre stick you used to measure his height each year. Write letters to your children every birthday, and invite family members to contribute too. Ask their grandparents what they want their grandchildren to remember, so their stories are also saved.
There will be the first day of school, graduations and weddings and other big events through the years, and you’ll be glad you started a memory keeper the whole family can cherish.
If you’re wondering how to build a digital time capsule, an easy-to-use digital platform like memoryKPR is an ideal solution.
This online tool makes it simple to put together a baby book and add to it over time. Build a time capsule of the year your baby was born, and create story “books” for other years of your child’s life.
Gather videos, voice clips, photographs, and written words, or scan items that you’d like to document digitally. Make notes of those funny things your kid says, or write a journal for your child right in your memoryKPR. You can use it on a computer, or on a mobile device, with the app that’s available on the App Store or on Google Play. Then upload all kinds of files with support for formats like JPEG, PNG, MP4, MP3, WAV, and more.
You can even import directly from social media like Facebook and Instagram, and invite others to contribute via email or with a QR code.
Then, when it’s time, you and your child will enjoy reflecting back on their childhood with their own digital time capsule.
Ardith Stephanson is a freelance writer and journalist who shares some of her own stories at theardizan.com