Knowing that my son had just started crawling, and knowing that everything he touches goes into his mouth, and knowing that he loves to explore; I knew it would be an interesting experience. I'm grateful to say that he loved the beach! Here are some things that helped us:
*chair & umbrella service - so we didn't have to lug anything else to the beach!
*an extra umbrella to shelter the baby during play and naps
*a cheap inflatable baby pool (thank you Jessica for this advice!) that gave him a confined non-sandy play space
*a handful of toys and balls to put in his pool play area
*lots of snuggles as we ventured into the water. The sudden changes in the waves made him nervous, but he enjoyed it as long as mom & dad held him close.
*building his own sand piles that he could bat down (instead of batting down the castles his siblings were building)
*disposable swim diapers! Our LO only poops every 3-4 days, so on the days we knew he wouldn't poop, we used washable swim diapers, but on the 'he might poop' days, we used disposable diapers. The best thing about them is that you can rip the sides open to get the diapers off - limiting exposure to poop & eliminating the challenge of sliding a wet sticky diaper off a baby.
*jogging stroller to cart LO and stuff to beach (though it was too hard to push on the sand)
What have you learned to make baby beach time safe and fun?